ObamaCare train wreck has been and is being allowed to happen?

Senior Citizens Public Square

imagesWhat if this spectacular slow motion ObamaCare train wreck has been and is being allowed to happen so that what’s going on around the bend from the fiery crash site gets little attention, from the public, from the media or from Congressional investigators? Think about it, friends.

How could Barack Obama and his celebrated team of incredibly proficient, plugged in techies – the team that twice got him elected – be behind the utterly disastrous launch of the ObamaCare online storefront, healthcare.gov – arguably the biggest website failure in history?

How could so much money have been spent to produce such a problem-plagued site that apparently was doomed in its developmental confusion? And how to fix this monumental mess, well, there doesn’t seem to be any clear plan…other than hope. And now we learn that many, if not most, of the people actually signing up for ObamaCare through…

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Many of you reading this article right now will one day suffer death-by-liberalism

 

 

hillary bill obama cartoon“We love Obamacare but not for us”

Rationing and “End of Life” issues

akdart.com

 Unless this is stopped, many of you reading this article right now will one day suffer death-by-liberalism, when the government bureaucracy decides that the health care you need is not worth the cost, or puts you in a waiting line where death will arrive before treatment.


 Federal “healthcare” must inevitably turn into “Death Care,” because the bureaucracy will have the sole power to determine the rules under which you and I will live and die.  The bureaucrats will have a fixed pot of money, and money spent to save your life comes from the same kitty that is used to give prenatal care to some poor woman from Mexico or Bangladesh.  That is what they think is moral 
 

Obamacare’s Three-Step Cancellation Program.  You may have thought that the most painful part of Obamacare was the rollout of healthcare.gov.  Sadly, the worst is yet to come.  Obamacare has a Three-Step Cancellation Program that ends with cancelling you. […] ACA’s Independent Payment Advisory Board — IPAB, Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel,” recently renamed HTAC, Health Technology Assessment Commission — is meeting right now in secret (if they are following the law).  In 2014, they will declare some medical treatments Cost Effective and others Not Cost Effective.  The latter, obviously the expensive ones, will not be authorized for payment and therefore not available to 99% of the American populace.

PPACA’s Anti-Constitutional and Authoritarian Super-Legislature.  In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) created the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB.  When the unelected government officials on this board submit a legislative proposal to Congress, it automatically becomes law:  PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement it.  Blocking an IPAB “proposal” requires at a minimum that the House and the Senate and the president agree on a substitute.  The Board’s edicts therefore can become law without congressional action, congressional approval, meaningful congressional oversight, or being subject to a presidential veto.  Citizens will have no power to challenge IPAB’s edicts in court.

Gruber: Seniors Should Be Limited to Three Lowest Cost Medicare Part D Plans.  In a 2009 paper, “Choice Inconsistencies Among the Elderly:  Evidence from Plan Choice in the Medicare Part D Program,” Obamacare advisor Jonathan Gruber argued that there were too many Medicare Part D plans for seniors to choose from, which led them to make bad decisions when enrolling in a plan.

Four Times Obamacare Advocates Admitted It Will Kill Old People.  [Scroll down]  In other words, yes, Obamacare redistributes healthcare.  Yes, Obamacare will endanger people who cannot afford healthcare because they are young and healthy, all in order to pay for government benefits for those who are sick.  And yes, in order to control the resulting costs, care will have to be cut for the elderly.

The Death Panels are Coming.  Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber quite correctly attributed the passage of Obamcare to “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” — because it turns out that Obamacare will ration care, and that the most well-respected bodies in terms of health rationing have already recommended cutting off services.

The Seven Sacraments of Liberalism.  [#7] Physician-Assisted Suicide:  If you were not fortunate enough to be aborted, then later on you may take advantage of physician-assisted suicide.  You will make room for others by not consuming scarce resources.

 

Obamacare Architect Thinks 75 Is Old Enough.  Ezekiel Emanuel only wants to live to 75 years, he claimed in a recent interview. Let’s see what he says when he gets there.  What should alarm us about this is that Ezekiel Emanuel, author of the Complete Lives System, is also the architect of Obamacare.  The government, thanks to Obamacare, now has the final decision over whether we live or die.  Because of Obamacare, Zeke’s philosophy is our philosophy, our doctor’s philosophy, and our hospital’s philosophy whether we like it or not.  Zeke made this admission in an interview with the Atlantic on September 17th which I first read on Political Outcast.  For people who say the ideology behind Obamacare won’t determine our life span, they should read this interview.

Justice Ginsburg advocates aborting the poor.  Yesterday I posted on a recent essay by Obamacare architect, Ezekiel Emanuel, who claimed that he only intended to live until he was 75.  He made a point of saying that he didn’t wish to inflict his vision on anyone else, but the metrics he laid out for continuing life are sadly widespread in a medical profession that has ceased to see its role as one of healing the sick and injured and rather one of deciding what is best for people and society.

Should We Hope to Die at 75?  Normally, no one would care that in a recent Atlantic essay — “Why I Hope to Die at 75” — 57-year-old Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel argued that living to be 75 years old was long enough for anyone.  After 75, Emanuel suggests, “We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”  But Emanuel is no garden-variety crackpot.  Nor is he a wannabe science-fiction writer dreaming of a centrally planned planet of robust youthful humanoids.  Unfortunately, he was one of the chief architects of the troubled Affordable Care Act and a key medical advisor to the Obama administration.

Obamacare Architect Finds Cure for Old Age.  Last week the Atlantic published an essay by Emanuel titled, “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” wherein he avers that “families — and you — will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.”  Note the words “you” and “families.”  Its title notwithstanding, Emanuel’s article isn’t really about himself.  It is actually a none-too-subtle attempt to make us feel guilty for burdening our families, and society in general, by clinging to life past what he considers the optimum age to die.  In other words, it is you whom he hopes will go gentle into that good night after three-quarters of a century.

Obamacare Architect Thinks We Should Die by 75.  Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House Special Adviser on Obamacare and current Director of Clinical Bioethics at NIH, has decided the optimal age for death:  Seventy-five.

Obamacare Creator: Die At 75!  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the masterminds behind Obamacare, has now explained that he wishes to die at age 75.  In an article in The Atlantic, Emanuel writes, “Seventy-five.  That’s how long I want to live:  75 years.”  He explains that his daughters disagree; so do his brothers and his friends.  But, he says, “I am sure of my position… here is a simple truth that many of us seem to resist:  living too long is also a loss.  It renders many of us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death but is nonetheless deprived.”

The 15 Most Shocking Statements in Obamacare Architect’s ‘Die at 75’ Article.  Last week, esteemed doctor and one of our ObamaCare Architect Overlords penned a column for the Atlantic that should win a Pulitzer Prize for passive-aggressive shaming.  Although Emanuel claims that he doesn’t want to live past the age of 75, the article itself could have been a listicle titled, “Top 15 Reasons No One Over 75 Should Receive Healthcare.”  Emanuel even includes a monstrous but brightly colored graph that is meant to tell anyone over 75 that their “last contribution” to society likely occurred more than a decade ago.

Bureaucrats Have Revived End-Of-Life Counseling.  Remember the controversial provision of Obamacare that would have paid physicians extra money to provide “end-of-life counseling” to seniors whose conditions required expensive medical care?  That feature of “reform” caused such a public outcry that the Democrats had to drop it from the final legislation.  But the government apparatchiks didn’t give up.  On Christmas Day, 2010, it came to light that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) planned to implement the program anyway.  Within a week, however, vehement objections by clinicians and citizens alike forced the CMS bureaucrats to back off once more.  Well, they’re at it again.

Feds May Reimburse Medicare ‘End- of-Life Discussions’ After Mocking Palin’s ‘Death Panels’.  Years after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was mocked for being concerned about “death panels,” the federal government may reimburse Medicare doctors for end-of-life consultations that critics say would only encourage sick patients to reject costly treatments to prolong life.

Bedside rationing is coming with Obamacare but doctors can stop it.  National uproar over the Veterans Affairs scandal should refocus the nation’s attention to the issue of health care rationing.  Under VA care, 40 patients died while waiting for treatment at a Phoenix, Ariz., facility.  Not only is that the tip of the iceberg in terms of what government-run health care means for patients, it should also sound the alarm about the newest tactic for rationing care, bedside rationing.

More about the VA hospital scandal, which paints a pretty clear picture of Obamacare’s future.

Obamacare’s Dangers for Seniors.  Nationwide, readmissions rates are dropping because Section 3025 of Obamacare punishes hospitals if a senior returns within 30 days.  What happens to the senior treated for a heart attack who rushes back to the hospital a week later feeling faint, possibly because of arrhythmia?  To dodge the penalty, hospitals put the patient under “observation.”  It’s just a word on the chart.  The patient may get the same tests and be put in the same room as if he’d been admitted.  But unless he stays at least two nights, the hospital won’t bill Medicare for a stay, and the patient gets clobbered with the cost.  Many seniors don’t even know they were under observation until they get the bill.

Campfield regrets comparing Obamacare to Nazi train ride.  [Tennessee] State Sen. Stacey Campfield says he regrets that “some people have missed the point” of a blog post he made earlier today that compared Obamacare signups to Nazi “train rides”.  In a statement released this afternoon, Campfield stood by the analogy, saying that the Affordable Care Act would open the door to “bureaucrats deciding who should be given life saving medications and who should be denied” and government funding for abortion.  But he said that point had been lost amid the reference to the Holocaust.

 

The Other Stealthy ObamaCare Menace.  The Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory Board has been so heavily criticized for being an unaccountable body with the power to effectively ration Medicare services that many congressional Democrats no longer support it.  IPAB’s bureaucratic cousin — the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation — deserves the same treatment.  Both institutions are in place to preserve rather than reform Medicare’s traditional, and broken, fee-for-service Medicare program.  They both also embrace the ObamaCare technocratic mind-set.

Ezekiel Emmanuel’s Reaper Curve.  Ezekiel Emanuel has written extensively, before and after he helped draft ObamaCare, about who should get medical care, who should decide, and whose life is worth saving.  Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs.  Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.

My Wife’s Last Days — And the Coming ObamaCare Death Panel.  We have been so absorbed by the cavalcade of government incompetence and individual hurt produced by the rollout of ObamaCare that it is easy to forget the tragedy-in-waiting should this federal healthcare takeover stay in place:  the death panel, also known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  This is the group of political appointees designed to allow the federal government to use a combination of medical and social criteria to determine the healthcare an individual receives.  Or, to put it as bluntly as Sarah Palin did, to determine who lives and who dies.

Revealed: Obama’s ‘attack’ on Medicare Part D.  The Obama administration is launching an “attack” on the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs as part of Obamacare that will result in higher costs and fewer health care options for seniors, according to a U.S. House subcommittee.  The administration is quietly introducing “policies that would undermine the integrity and success of the Medicare Part D program” according to the subcommittee.  President Bush signed Medicare Part D into law in 2003 to subsidize prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

What Belgium’s child euthanasia law means for America and the Constitution.  Belgium has just passed a law allowing euthanasia for children.  The Low Countries allow for suicide and doctor-assisted suicide, but Brussels is the first to open to door to dealing death to children of any age.  If the prospect of youngsters being helped to off themselves seems horrifying, do not worry — the law has “safeguards” to ensure all the killing will be purely voluntary:  a psychologist has to certify that the child has “capacity or discernment” to understand what they are doing.

Drug Rationing for Seniors Begins.  Buried beneath the avalanche of recent news reports about the latest Obamacare-mandated funding cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is a related but far more disturbing story — the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has taken a major step toward rationing medications to the elderly.  Since passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, seniors enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program have been guaranteed access to “all or substantially all” of the drugs in several classes of pharmaceuticals.  President Obama’s health care bureaucrats, however, have proposed removing three of these classes from the “protected” list.

‘Aid in Dying’ Movement Takes Hold in Some States.  Helping the terminally ill end their lives, condemned for decades as immoral, is gaining traction.  Banned everywhere but Oregon until 2008, it is now legal in five states.  Its advocates, who have learned to shun the term “assisted suicide,” believe that as baby boomers watch frail parents suffer, support for what they call the “aid in dying” movement will grow further.  In January, a district court in New Mexico authorized doctors to provide lethal prescriptions and declared a constitutional right for “a competent, terminally ill patient to choose aid in dying.”

Palin appearing more and more the Prophet as older UK cancer patients are increasingly shunned.  Former Alaska Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin caused quite the stir in 2009 when, in challenging the drafting of the Affordable Care Act, she stated that the bill would create a “death panel” of bureaucrats who would decide whether Americans — such as her elderly parents or children with certain disabilities were “worthy of medical care.”  But critics like Palin had already viewed Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) and its cost-effectiveness analysis to determine whether new treatments and drugs should be available to those covered by under the NHS.

More information — none of it favorable — about the NHS.

Obama Dooms Seniors to Ravages of Aging.  On Oct. 1, 2012 the Obama administration started awarding bonus points to hospitals that spend the least on elderly patients.  It will result in fewer knee replacements, hip replacements, angioplasty, bypass surgery and cataract operations.  These are the five procedures that have transformed aging for older Americans.  They used to languish in wheelchairs and nursing homes due to arthritis, cataracts and heart disease.  Now they lead active lives.  But the Obama administration is undoing that progress.  By cutting $716 billion from future Medicare funding over the next decade and rewarding the hospitals that spend the least on seniors, the Obama health law will make these procedures hard to get and less safe.

The Death of Little Nell.  In the real world, most cancellations up to this point have been of “bad apple” policies that fell short of Barrycare’s lofty moral standards for acceptable coverage, including maternity benefits for menopausal women.  But on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and similar precincts, the problem is the opposite.  Their policies are plenty generous, but they have to die so as not to “siphon off” the healthy folks whose participation in the exchanges is vital to keeping the absurd scheme solvent.

Sebelius the Grim Reaper? Obama’s HHS head control’s Medicare payouts.  Is Kathleen Sebelius trading her tailored suit for flowing black robes of death?  The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or the Obamacare Death Panels, are the reason that Kathleen Sebelius, current secretary of Health and Human Services cannot be fired for the absolute disaster of the Obamacare roll out.  Under Obamacare, the decision on what Medicare will, and won’t, pay for rests with the Head of Health and Human Services, and note it is ‘Health and Human’ not ‘Health and Humane’ Services.  As head of HHS, she can, without oversight, make what ever decision she wants over your health care benefits.  What will and won’t be paid for.  And how much they will pay the doctors and hosptials.

Liberal Semantics and the Redefining of Death Panels.  Ever since the idea of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was introduced, and certainly since it was signed into law, realists like Sarah Palin have forewarned that a government teetering on bankruptcy would eventually have no choice but to ration health care.  Eschewing semantics, right from the start Palin pegged the ACA’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) for what it is: a “death panel.”  Made up of 15 unelected bureaucrats, the IPAB was established expressly for the purpose of determining whether doctor-recommended treatment will be paid for or not.

President Obama is the nominal leader for permanent bureaucracy.
The Front Man.   Consider his hallmark achievement, the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of which is the appointment of a committee, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the mission of which is to achieve targeted savings in Medicare without reducing the scope or quality of care.  How that is to be achieved was contemplated in detail neither by the lawmakers who wrote the health-care bill nor by the president himself.  But they did pay a great deal of attention to the processes touching IPAB:  For example, if that committee of experts fails to achieve the demanded savings, then the ball is passed to … a new committee of experts, this one under the guidance of the secretary of health and human services.  IPAB’s powers are nearly plenipotentiary:  Its proposals, like a presidential veto, require a supermajority of Congress to be overridden.

A Death Panel Toldja So.  My pal Steve Malzberg, now hosting a show on Newsmax TV, scored big this week with an interview with leftist journalist Mark Halperin — co-author of Game Change, and the former ABC News political director who once sent a memo directing reporters to be biased in their coverage of the Bush-Kerry election.  Halperin admitted that Obamacare includes death panels — committees of bureaucrats who will decide when your life is no longer of value to the state.

Time’s Mark Halperin: Death Panels Are ‘Built Into’ ObamaCareWhen former Alaska governor Sarah Palin famously said years ago that ObamaCare included death panels, the liberal media went nuts declaring her a kook while defending the law.  On Monday [11/25/2013], Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin, appearing on Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg Show, agreed that this was the case saying, “It’s built into the plan.  It’s not like a guess or like a judgment.  That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled”.

Democrats’ Senate Nuke Allows Obama to Pack the Obamacare ‘Death Panel’.  The Independent Payment Advisory Board is the 15-member unelected board that the Obamacare law creates.  Its voting members are nominated by the president, and confirmed by the Senate.  Prior to the breaking of the filibuster, President Obama would have had an extremely difficult time getting a single member appointed and confirmed.  Dubbed the “death panel” by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the IPAB is charged with essentially rationing health care.  The IPAB is so controversial that the American Medical Association has taken the unusual step of publicly supporting its abolition.

Obamacare and Liberal Cruelty No one has the right to sacrifice your life to save someone else’s life.  No one has the right to harm your family to help someone else’s family.  That’s a bedrock principle in America.  Until Obamacare. […] Obamacare privileges the poor over the rich, the middle aged over the young, women over men, and everyone else over the elderly on Medicare.  In order to extend more government control over private insurers, doctors and hospitals, Democrats have chosen to sacrifice the financial well-being and even the lives of other Americans.  They justify it because they want to offer government subsidized insurance to those they deem needier.

The Architect Speaks.  Ezekiel Emanuel, ObamaCare architect, Ph.D, bioethicist, Harvard M.D., a brilliant man who displays his intelligence by continuing to defend ObamaCare.  He is the president’s top healthcare adviser.  He is famous for promoting the idea that medical resources should be primarily directed in support of adolescents and young adults.  The elderly and infants should take a back seat, especially if medical resources become scarce. […] Basically, young lives are valued highly as productive useful lives, so if you save one adolescent, it is equivalent to saving 20 or so old folks.  Therefore, guess who gets the short end of the hypodermic needle.  This system is already in place in Great Britain.

Dem Senator: Kill the ‘Death Panel’.  Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said on C-SPAN Wednesday morning that the Independent Payments Advisory Board (IPAB) — the so-called “death panel” of Obamacare, which will cut Medicare costs by restricting care — should be “revisited.”  His comments came as more Democrats are joining calls to amend Obamacare, in particular by supporting the Keep Your Health Plan Act, proposed by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), which would fulfill President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise that patients could keep their existing health insurance.

Oregon Tightens Duty to Die on Cancer Patients.  As I have discussed here previously, the first state to explicitly ration Medicaid — an integral feature of all single payer systems — tightened the screws against terminal cancer patients a few months ago.  Now, the issues is gaining wider discussion in Oregon.

Sarah Palin knew a death panel when she saw one.  Under Obamacare, the sick and weak and old would stand before death panels of bureaucrats to be granted life or death.  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was laughed out of town for making four years ago what we now know is a prescient prediction.  Perhaps she is one of the few who actually read the health care bill before it passed.  “And who will suffer the most when they ration care?  The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course,” she wrote on her Facebook page in 2009.

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Grills Slippery ‘Architect’ of ObamaCare.  Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on her show Friday night and called him an “interesting guy.” […] At the heart of ObamaCare is Emanuel’s ‘complete lives’ system proposal — i.e. reduce costs by cutting health services to individuals who are prevented from “being or becoming participating citizens.”  According to the doctor, the Hippocratic Oath is way overrated.  A utilitarian-minded government panel takes the place of the doctor-patient relationship and decides who’s a financial drain and who’s not.  On his list of those who need care, but shouldn’t necessarily receive it, are newborns, toddlers, the disabled, those with genetic disorders, late-stage cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and senior citizens who have already consumed maximum resources.

Death Panels Alive And Well In Canada And Coming Here.  Lost in the discussion of defunding ObamaCare and the failed effort in Congress is the fact that failure means the government’s ability to defund your life through the ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) remains.  IPAB is regarded by many, starting with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as a death panel whose decisions based on cost effectiveness would result in health care rationing.  A glimpse of this brave new world can be had by casting a glance at our neighbor to the north.

What Democrats Really Care About Obama’s primary objective in his first term was a massive government takeover of the health care system.  Once the government controls your health care, it will have a very real life-and-death lever — support liberals, or the death panels will decide you’re too fat or have too many kids or don’t eat right to get the medical care you need.

Obamacare Doctor Rationing Begins in California.  The latest bad news for the Affordable Care Act comes from California, a state that the Obama administration has consistently pointed to as an important indicator of the law’s success.  President Barack Obama even traveled to the Golden State in June to tout the health-care law’s success at “pushing down costs” for consumers.  Unfortunately, several analyses have recently revealed that because of Obamacare individual health insurance premiums are headed anywhere but down for California residents.

Sarah Palin Was Right — More Dems Ditch Death Panels.  Some Democrats are signing on to bills repealing the powers of the Independent Payment Advisory Board to effectively ration health care for seniors.  So Sarah Palin was right about those death panels after all?

ObamaCare ‘death panel’ faces growing opposition from Democrats.  ObamaCare’s cost-cutting board — memorably called a “death panel” by Sarah Palin — is facing growing opposition from Democrats who say it will harm people on Medicare.  Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean drew attention to the board designed to limit Medicare cost growth when he called for its repeal in an op-ed late last month.

Obamacare’s Death Panels Will be Implemented in Two Years.  [IPAB] has been derisively referred to as a death panel because so many have called for it to have health care rationing powers and because its decisions could result in cost-cutting measures that deny lifesaving medical treatment.  The Independent Payment Advisory Board was one of the most controversial parts of the Obamacare legislation — mainly because it puts 15 unelected strangers in charge of health decisions for most Americans.

IPAB: An ObamaCare Board Answerable to No One.  Signs of ObamaCare’s failings mount daily, including soaring insurance costs, looming provider shortages and inadequate insurance exchanges.  Yet the law’s most disturbing feature may be the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  The IPAB, sometimes called a “death panel,” threatens both the Medicare program and the Constitution’s separation of powers.  At a time when many Americans have been unsettled by abuses at the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department, the introduction of a powerful and largely unaccountable board into health care merits special scrutiny.

Sebelius Waivers Are For Union Pals, Not Dying Child.  Kathleen Sebelius’ claim she can’t waive a rule to save a 10-year-old’s life is rich, given she was last seen doling out ObamaCare waivers like candy to union groups.  Welcome to the world of politicized health care.

GAO: HHS Already Rationing Enrollment in Obamacare’s Pre-Existing Condition Plan.  A pre-existing condition health insurance program established by Obamacare is already straining its own budget and, to control costs, the administration’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has stopped enrolling any new people in the program, according to an audit by the General Accountability Office (GAO).  In addition, to further control spending, HHS has directed the program to shift more of the costs onto the current enrollees, thus raising the out-of-pocket health care expenses for the people with pre-existing conditions.

ObamaCare Board Ought to Walk the Plank.  One of the linchpins of ObamaCare looks more and more as if it’s coming loose.  The ObamaCare monstrosity (officially misnamed the Affordable Care Act) is already heading for a “train wreck,” and a large majority of senators are on record for repealing one of its most hideous taxes.  But that medical device tax, important as it is, is a minor sideshow in comparison to something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which is a central element of ObamaCare’s (supposed) cost-control scheme.

Republicans refuse appointments to Obamacare rationing board.  The IPAB is the signature health care cost-control device of Obamacare.  If Medicare spending grows faster than specific targets set by the law, IPAB is empowered to reduce payments to health care providers or eliminate coverage for specific treatments and procedures entirely.  Congress would need a three-fifths majority to overturn IPAB’s cost-control measures.  The members of the IPAB are all appointed by the President and subject to Senate confirmation.

Scared of Obamacare’s IPAB? Meet the USPSTF!  Another nasty ingredient in the alphabet soup of Obamacare is the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).  This is “an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine.”  Formerly a sleepy quasi-governmental body charged with making recommendations about public health screening, under Obamacare the USPSTF will determine whether your doctor will be able to diagnose you with diseases.

President Obama has set in motion forces that he can’t handle.  [Scroll down]  Obamacare may help to reduce healthcare costs, but when evidence mounts that those “death panels” that we have heard so much about are real and that we are saving money by medicating patients and allowing them to pass away peacefully rather than treating their maladies, people will be hopping mad.  Many of them will take to the streets to vent their anger.  If you think that it can’t happen here, you haven’t been paying attention.

Adolf Hitler — Progressive Pioneer.    The Nazis were also quite open about the need to ration healthcare when it came to what they called ‘useless mouths’, This included the mentally ill, the disabled and handicapped, and in many cases people whom were simply terminally ill.  Almost 300,000 people — that we know about — were killed by lethal injection in this way, not in concentration camps but in German medical facilities.  Horrific as this may seem to some, this bears remembering when we look at the conversations about healthcare in our own time and examine the views of some of President Obama’s healthcare appointees.

Krugman: ‘Death Panels and Sales Taxes is How We Do This’.  Years of accumulating debt and expanding government programs only moves us down the “road to serfdom.”  As Krugman surmised, the consequence is government confiscation of wealth and government control over health care.  Rarely are Leftists so candid in articulating their hopes.

The Logic of the Progressive Healthcare Death Cult.  Whether ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board should correctly be described as a “death panel” or a “cost-reduction system” is actually a stale semantics debate, given that when they are not acting outraged, leftists explain their real intentions quite clearly.  Cutting to the chase, the proper question to ask is, “Why are progressives willing to condemn the old and infirm to death?”

This can happen here:
Half of those on Liverpool Care Pathway never told.  Almost half of dying patients placed on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway are never told that life-saving treatment has been withdrawn, a national audit has found.  The study suggests that in total, around 57,000 patients a year are dying in NHS hospitals without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped.

Or this:
Top Japanese Official Urges Elderly to ‘Hurry Up and Die’.  Taro Aso has never been one to hold his tongue.  But Japan’s 72 year-old deputy prime minister may have outdone himself with his latest gaffe.  At a government panel to discuss social security reforms, the former prime minister called the elderly who are unable to feed themselves “tube people,” then proceeded to say the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” to reduce the burden on a country tasked to pay for their medical expenses.

From Healthcare to Holocaust.   Of course, such sacrifices are often couched in the language of compassion.  Hitler called his euthanasia program “mercy killing.”  In 2012 Great Britain, it’s called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).  Originally created to help cancer sufferers during their last days, the LCP, which withholds lifesaving care from heavily sedated patients, has been expanded well beyond its inventors’ intentions.  According to British neurologist Dr. Patrick Pullicino, today 130,000 National Health Service (NHS) patients, many of whom are far from death, are shown to an early grave each year via the LCP; 29 percent of all deaths under NHS care can be attributed to euthanasia.  Likewise, the Netherlands, with its ObamaCare-style short-term care and Bismarck-style long-term care systems, has some of the most liberal abortion and euthanasia laws on the planet, including one allowing physicians to euthanize “suffering” infants with their parents’ consent.

This Is Your Life under Obamacare.   Yes, supposedly to save costs, a panel of bureaucrats will decide, for example, that a 60-year-old cancer patient will not get chemotherapy.  It’s too costly, and younger patients need it.  Elderly, go home and take a pill.  If you believe the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s cost-cutting measures won’t ration medical care, which will involve life and death decisions at the end of the bureaucratic process, you still believe in the tooth fairy.

Obamacare’s IPAB: When Government Takes Over Health Care, You Become A Budget Item.  As a physician, I would like to make you aware of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a key element of the administration’s federal takeover of medicine.  IPAB is a board consisting of 15 unelected, appointed bureaucrats whose task it is to cut the growth of Medicare spending, and the cuts they are mandated to make will be deep.  The decisions IPAB makes behind closed doors can only be overturned by a supermajority of Congress, something almost impossible to achieve.

In Britain’s Liverpool Pathway We Get A Preview Of Obmacare [sic] And Hell.  It is well known that about 30% of medical expenditures occur in the last year of life.  I view this a tautological dodge because you usually don’t need a lot of medical care until you are near death and as no one knows which is the last year of their life it is a pretty useless metric… unless you can designate with certainty the last year of a patient’s life and then set out to minimize costs during that period.

More about the British version of socialized medicine.

Care? No, this is a pathway to killing people that doctors deem worthless.  It sounds like a well-worked-out schedule for providing the best possible approach to treating a patient.  Accordingly, when relatives have been asked to sign up to the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), that’s precisely what they thought they were agreeing to.  And, in theory, that’s what it is supposed to be. […] In practice, however, the LCP has turned into something quite different.  For while in some cases it has been used properly as intended, with numerous others it has become, instead, a backdoor form of euthanasia.

Obamacare Could Cost 35,000 Elderly Patients Their Lives Every Year.  In recent remarks to the AIM conference, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth,” Betsy McCaughey said that the regulations and cuts in Barack Obama’s healthcare law could lead to the deaths of 35,000 hospital patients who otherwise might have recovered, had they received the care available at a higher spending institution.  McCaughey, the former Lt. Governor of New York and an expert on the new healthcare law, cited the drastic cuts to Medicare in detailing how seniors will suffer under the provisions of the law.

Obstacles for Obama’s health panel.  President Obama’s plan to control Medicare spending — an expert board of cost-cutters — might have trouble even coming into existence.

Obama adviser admits: ‘We need death panels’.  A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of heath services under Obamacare is “inevitable.”  Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.”  Rattner serves on the board the New America Foundation, or NAF, a George Soros-funded think tank that was instrumental in supporting Obamacare in 2010.  Soros’ son, financier Jonathan Soros, is also a member of the foundation’s board.

Bailing Out Obamacare: Sarah Palin Was Right.  I missed this piece from Steven Rattner (who was a key figure in the Obama auto bailout) when it appeared in the NY Times a couple weeks ago.  Tacitly acknowledging that costs are going to soar out of sight, Rattner opens with this frank admission:  “We need death panels.”

Steven Rattner: ‘We Need Death Panels’.  For those who want the short answer to the question in this post’s title, the answer is almost definitely “no.”  But in a New York Times op-ed piece in mid-September, former Obama “car czar” Steven Rattner effectively said that the so-called “fact-check” site known as PolitiFact should make amends to former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

More Obamacare Fiction.  What good is a Medicare card if you can’t find a doctor?  That is precisely the problem that patients on Medicaid — the program for lower-income Americans — face today, forcing them to go to hospital emergency rooms for even routine care.  Do seniors want that?  And they certainly don’t want the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the unelected, unaccountable board of 15 bureaucrats charged with keeping Medicare spending down.  The main tool the IPAB will have is an ax to cut Medicare payments even further, which will reduce access to care even more.

The return of the death panels.  Obamacare defenders scoff at the idea that the IPAB’s decisions would have fatal consequences for seniors, but the panel has been given an extraordinary and perhaps unconstitutional degree of power.  Its proposals automatically become law unless Congress counters it with another plan.  Overriding the IPAB requires a three-fifths supermajority in the Senate.  The Obamacare law dictates that Congress may not even propose doing away with the IPAB until 2017 and may not actually get rid of it until 2020.  This dubious provision undercuts the argument that the IPAB is a harmless advocate for government efficiency.

Rationing Begins: States Limiting Drug Prescriptions for Medicaid Patients.  Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.  Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Inside IPAB: Obama’s Bureaucratic Rationing Board.  Until the passage of President Obama’s health care law, Congress was the only entity allowed to change what Medicare paid physicians and other health care providers for treating Medicare patients.  Now, unless the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare in its entirety in June, that power will be handed off to a group of unaccountable political appointees.  The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under Obama’s law consists of a 15-member committee designed to ration health care to seniors by lowering Medicare reimbursement rates.  Unlike Congress, IPAB will be able to change the pay rates for Medicare services without having to worry about electoral ramifications.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death Panels.  [Scroll down]  But I suspect there is more to the story.  I think I may have been death-panelized, more or less.  I strongly suspect that the insurers are starting to restructure, ending coverage for “unnecessary” medical procedures, unnecessary meaning that said procedures do not justify the costs to save someone’s life.  Most Lifevest wearers are, I am sure, elderly, so this is the perfect thing to cut.

IPAB Is an Acronym for ‘Death Panel’.  Obamacare’s “Independent Payment Advisory Board” was created to deny care to seniors.

IPAB’s seven deadliest sins.  This week, the House voted to repeal ObamaCare’s infamous “death panel,” officially known as the more polite-sounding Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB.  But whatever you call it, it should be repealed.  Here’s why.

Drinking the Pro-Death Kool-Aid.  With the entire world watching, my sister, Terri Schiavo died seven years ago on March 31, 2005 of a court-ordered dehydration — an agonizing death that lasted nearly two weeks.  It may have been the first time most people were witness or even considered that this type of inhumane act could happen to an innocent individual.  Sadly, Terri’s case wasn’t isolated — it continues and in every imaginable setting.

The Obamacare Hydra.  As soon as combatants lop off one of the law’s unconstitutional agencies, another takes its place.  On Thursday [3/22/2012], as the behemoth federal health-care law marked its second anniversary, House Republicans passed a bill that would repeal the infamous Independent Payment Advisory Board.  The mother of all death panels, IPAB would have unprecedented authority over health-care spending through a rogue board of 15 Medicare spending czars.

Pap smears? Mammograms? Prostate exams? Not under Obamacare.  Slowly but surely the truth is coming out about Obamacare:  Conservatives were right.  Conservatives said Obamacare would cost trillions.  Our intellectual and moral superiors on the left sneered.  The CBO reported this week that Obamacare will cost nearly $1.8 trillion in the first 10 years alone — nearly double what Democrats said it would cost.  And instead of reducing the deficit, Obamacare will increase the deficit.

Independent Payment Advisory Revolt.  Public opposition to the Affordable Care Act has grown in surprising and unpredictable ways since the entitlement passed two years ago, but few would have predicted then that so many Democrats would repudiate so many of President Obama’s core promises.  Yet that is happening now, as Congress targets the 15-member central committee that is supposed to control health costs.

What We’re Learning about Obamacare isn’t Good — Especially for Seniors Our senior citizens are most at risk under Obamacare — especially those over 70.  Rationing of services and death panels (only they’re called “ethics panels” under Obamacare instead of death panels for obvious reasons) are now the rule, not the exception.  I have a friend who is a loyal Democrat and a strong Obama supporter.  In 2008 when she voted for Obama, she couldn’t imagine that in 2012 she would have a massive heart attack and need a pacemaker.  Prior to 2010 and the passage of Obamacare, that would have been a routine procedure, but not anymore.  She’s over 70, and under Obamacare people who are over 70 routinely receive “comfort care.”  That’s a euphemism.  It means that a panel of experts has determined that your life isn’t worth saving beyond 70, so they will try to make you feel good while you die.

Healthy men don’t need PSA testing for prostate cancer, panel says.  Most men should not routinely get a widely used blood test to check for prostate cancer because the exam does not save lives and leads to too much unnecessary anxiety, surgery and complications, a federal task force has concluded. The Editor says…
I hereby predict the conclusions of the next federal task force:  Healthy people don’t need medical attention of any kind, so it won’t matter that Obamacare makes it impossible to get treatment.

ObamaCare’s IPAB Spells Medicare RationingDuring my career as a heart surgeon, I often treated patients who had difficulty finding a primary care doctor because they were on Medicare.  The problem persists today, and the new health law will make it worse.

A Trojan horse named IPAB.  Perhaps the most underreported and, until recently, least discussed aspect of the Affordable Care Act is IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board.  This 15-person unelected panel , it will be a key to the success of Obamacare.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been quoted as saying that the majority of IPAB members must not be medical practitioners.

Rolling Back the Obamacare Banana Republic.  A rising chorus of repeal-mongers, outraged at the Obama administration’s federal health care power grab, took over Washington this week.  Nope, it’s not the tea party.  It’s Democrats Against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  Yes, Democrats.  What’s IPAB?  A Beltway acronym for subverting the deliberative process.

GOP Decries ‘Rationing’ IPAB; Dems Downplay Its Role.  Republicans say it will impose “rationing.”  Reform supporters claim it may “transform” the entire health care system.  But top Democrats, fearing a political backlash, argued Tuesday [7/12/2011] that ObamaCare’s panel of unelected experts is no big deal.

Valuing Seniors’ LivesThe administration’s regulatory czar tries to disavow his statement that a program that saves young people is better than one that saves their parents and grandparents.  It’s called rationing, and its name is ObamaCare.

Is it time to push Cass Sunstein over the cliff?  They laughed when Sarah Palin (R) mentioned death panels.  You’ve seen the Democratic commercial of a man pushing a terrified wheelchair bound grandma off a cliff.  In real life the head driver and chief pusher was Professor Cass Sunstein.  So now Cass Sunstein isn’t laughing.  Because he is one of the chief proponents of death panels.  Of course he didn’t call them that but nevertheless Palin accurately picked up his intention.

We Call It ‘Rationing,’ Obama Calls It ‘Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board’.  Suppose Congress asked Americans: which government officials should decide what foods you would be allowed to eat and what prices you had to pay at the grocery store — Congress, or an unelected board of nutritional experts appointed by the president?  Most Americans would immediately reply, “Neither!”  But that’s precisely the debate between Congress and the White House regarding President Obama’s proposed Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board.

IPAB Is an Acronym for ‘Death Panel’.  Contemplating the 2012 election that can already be seen looming on the distant horizon, the President’s advisors were no doubt hoping that the “death panel” debate was… well… dead.  But Obama himself inadvertently resurrected it when, in response to Republican budget proposals, he claimed that Medicare costs will be kept under control by the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).

The Administration’s Answer To High Healthcare Costs is… Rationing.  After months of denial that healthcare reform would involve rationing of healthcare for those who are the most vulnerable, the senior citizens who depend on Medicare, the President has come up with a proposal to decrease healthcare costs and guess what… it’s rationing.

Dr. Berwick and Mr. Hide.  The Dr. Berwick with whom we have become all too familiar was a vocal advocate of health care rationing.  In a 2009 interview for Biotechnology Healthcare, he gushed with enthusiasm for the heavy-handed rationing regime of Great Britain’s National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) and advised his interlocutor that “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care; the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”  When the good doctor’s alter ego appeared before the Ways and Means Committee, however, he told a different story.

Outwitting Lethal Government Polic In recent years, the NHS has adopted a program known benignly as the Liverpool Care Pathway.  By means of this protocol, aged or extremely ill patients can be labeled terminal by a single doctor (the Nazis required three in their odious T4 program), whereupon all food and water is cut off, and the patient is given heavy sedation.  Death usually occurs within a week.  Hundreds of cases are on record where families have been forced to rescue elderly relations from this procedure.  There is no known case where hospital staff cooperated.  Often, attempts are made to have the family arrested or escorted out by police.  As for how many of the lonely or socially isolated have been sacrificed in this manner, we have no idea.

The reality of death panels.  G.K. Chesterton once wrote that vulgar notions (and jokes) invariably contain a “subtle and spiritual idea.”  The subtle and spiritual idea behind “death panels” is that life-prolonging medical technology is an expensive, limited commodity and if the market doesn’t determine who gets it, someone else will.

Death Panels Revisited.  At a stroke, Medicare chief Donald Berwick has revived the “death panel” debate from two summers ago.  Allow us to referee, because this topic has been badly distorted by the political process — and in a rational world, it wouldn’t be a political question at all.

She Told Us SoSarah Palin deserves an apology.  When she said that the new health-care law would lead to “death panels” deciding who gets life-saving treatment and who does not, she was roundly denounced and ridiculed.  Now we learn, courtesy of one of the ridiculers — The New York Times — that she was right.

Political End Runs.  The Constitution of the United States begins with the words “We the people.”  But neither the Constitution nor “we the people” will mean anything if politicians and judges can continue to do end runs around both.  Bills passed too fast for anyone to read them are blatant examples of these end runs.  But last week, another of these end runs appeared in a different institution when the medical “end of life consultations” rejected by Congress were quietly enacted through bureaucratic fiat by administrators of Medicare.

The ‘Right to Health Care’ Can Be the Right to No Care.  If you read British newspapers, you know their universal health care system is cutting more and more services.  There, everyone’s right to health care is becoming the right to no care.  Do we want that in the USA?

Regulated To Death By ObamaCare?  Unable to attach it directly to ObamaCare, a new Medicare rule will offer incentive to doctors who advise patients on end-of-life care in a program that seeks to control costs.  Connect those dots, grandma.

White House attempts to quiet revived talk of ‘death panels’.  The Obama administration is trying to quiet talk about so-called “death panels” after The New York Times reported Sunday that a new Medicare regulation includes incentives for end-of-life-care planning.  The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times.

Have you noticed how the Obama team manipulates the media?

Return of the Death Panels.  After anti-ObamaCare rebels raised a ruckus about the “death panels” they alleged to be part of the original healthcare reform legislation, that language was removed from the final version of the bill.  Nevertheless, the Obama administration, reluctant to part with its own instrument of death, has quietly reinstated more or less the same provision via regulation.

ObamaCare Rationing Begins.  The FDA has reversed its approval of a widely used cancer drug approved in Europe to treat breast cancer on the grounds it doesn’t provide a “sufficient” benefit.  Let the terminally ill and their doctors decide.

Medicare regulation revives end-of-life planning.  A new health regulation issued this month offers Medicare recipients voluntary end-of-life planning, which Democrats dropped from the monumental health care overhaul last year.

Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused a Stir.  When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system.  But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Return of the Death Panel.  Government control of anything equals rationing, pure and simple:  the use of compulsive force to divide a limited resource, with no input from the recipients beyond the occasional opportunity to voice their displeasure during elections.  If health care will be rationed, the most critical care will be rationed most severely, since it has the most restricted supply.

NYT’s Krugman Slips and Tells the Truth about ‘Death Panels’.  Nat Hentoff certainly is no conservative but he is a principled civil libertarian who has stood up for life since his days writing in the Village Voice.  Unlike most liberals, Hentoff fears that the threat of rationing under the President’s health care plan is not only real but imminent and he is willing to go after those who advocate rationing of care leaving no sacred cows behind.  That’s why Paul Krugman is now in Hentoff’s sights and he is firing at will.

Obama Will Decide if Your Medicine is Too Expensive to be Allowed.  It’s very easy for Obamacare supporters to scoff at the whole idea that there are “death panels” ensconced in Obama’s health care power grab.  But the fact of the matter is that they exist in a de facto form.  One of those de facto death panels is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an agency invented under Obamacare that has no congressional oversight and will be able to summarily cancel your drug prescriptions as paid for by Medicare.

Death Panels Begin As Reform Takes Shape.  After the recess appointment of a Medicare and Medicaid head, an FDA panel drops its endorsement of a widely used cancer drug.  Another FDA-approved cancer therapy may not be paid for.  It begins.

The Deadly Pact:  How ObamaCare will ‘Save’ Money.  Andy Griffith, the former TV Sheriff of Mayberry and guardian of small town America, was the national spokesman for ObamaCare.  More specifically, this venerable gentleman is the spokesman for the new Medicare.  Apparently Griffith is under the naïve belief that ObamaCare is a genuinely good thing for seniors.  As much as it pains me to say this, Griffith is dead wrong.  ObamaCare is a fatal bargain for seniors, and all Americans.

Moron Time With Barry, Andy, and Gaga.  At a time in which our republic appears on the brink of financial dissolution, some of its most shallow citizens are driving the news cycle.  Their intervention is helpful and evidences the truth behind the cliché “stupid is what stupid does.”  First there was Andy Griffith of television fame.  He recorded a commercial in honor of ObamaCare.  The sage of Mayberry graced the airwaves for the purposes of celebrating the 45th anniversary of Medicare.  Despite being a man of tremendous wealth, the government bankrolled his ad.  Indeed, $700,000 of our tax dollars were spent for the purposes of brainwashing drumming up support among seniors for a statist power grab.

Update:
Andy Griffith’s Obamacare Ads Cost Taxpayers $3.66 Million.  Politico reports that the Obama administration’s pro-Obamacare Andy Griffith TV ad cost taxpayers $3.66 million, according to records obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services.  Actually, there were at least three such ads, so it’s not clear whether this was the cost for one, or for the whole batch.  In [one] ad, Griffith says, “That new health care law sure sounds good for all of us on Medicare!”

 Berwick Blues.  As one who generally believes that administrations should receive deference in their personnel selections, I found the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) disturbing.

Obama names a health czar who favors rationing.  Donald Berwick is no household name, but President Obama just handed him immense power to shape what kind of health care will be available to every American man, woman and child.  Berwick is the president’s newly appointed administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that is ground zero for Obamacare’s politicization of American medicine.

The President’s One-Man Death Panel.  The president recess-appoints a fan of rationing and Britain’s National Health Service to direct one-third of American health care.  Why does the administration want his views hidden from scrutiny?

Obama, Say It Isn’t So!  Obama used the 4th of July congressional recess to implant Donald Berwick as his healthcare czar.  Talk about wing nuts, this guy was knighted by the English Queen because he is such a big fan of their healthcare system which has people dying in hospital corridors awaiting someone to help them.  Berwick makes no bones about rationing only that he says rationing must be done with your eyes wide open.

Obama appointee’s prescription for socialism.  Barack Obama promised the most open and transparent administration in history.  His vow didn’t convince him to extend senators the courtesy of listening to their advice and consent on the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Obama to Seniors:  ‘Drop Dead’.  According to surveys, no group of Americans is more skeptical of Obamacare than senior citizens — and with good reason.  While bits and pieces of the massive law are designed to appeal to seniors — more taxpayer subsidies for the Medicare drug benefit, for example — much of the financing over the initial ten years is siphoned off from an estimated $575 billion in projected savings to the Medicare program.  Unless Medicare savings are captured and plowed right back into the Medicare program, however, the solvency of the Medicare program will continue to weaken.  The law does not provide for that.

ObamaCare and the value of human lifeJust how much concern for the health care of of all human beings does the Obama administration actually have?  How much do they really value human life? … Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the White House’s Health Policy Adviser, has repeatedly stated that certain people shouldn’t be treated equally by a government health care system.  He advocates “allocating and rationing” of services, particularly by age and disability.  This kind of policy conflicts with government’s constitutionally mandated obligation to enforce “equal treatment under the law.”

‘Death panels’ were an overblown claim — until now During the debate over ObamaCare, the bill’s opponents were excoriated for talk of rationing and “death panels.  And in fairness, with a few minor exceptions governing Medicare reimbursements, the law does not directly ration care or allow the government to dictate how doctors practice medicine.  But if President Obama wanted to keep a lid on that particular controversy, he just selected about the worst possible nominee for director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the office that oversees government health care programs.

Obama Names Rationing Czar to Run Medicare.  Dr. Donald Berwick of the Harvard Medical School does not like free enterprise, but he does like rationing.  Two years ago, in England, he delivered a talk celebrating the 60th birthday of Great Britain’s National Health Service, the bureaucracy that runs that nation’s socialized medical system.  He apparently entertained some fear that day that the Brits might turn back to free enterprise.  So … he offered British socialists some words of advice.

Impatience with patients who won’t die.  The last time I saw my father he was standing on his stoop, sweetly smiling and waving goodbye.  As we backed out of his driveway, I thought about how healthy he looked and how grateful I was that my children and I had seen him this way once again.  Had it been up to a hospital nurse 12 months earlier, Dad would have been dead.

A “Duty to Die”?  One of the many fashionable notions that have caught on among some of the intelligentsia is that old people have “a duty to die,” rather than become a burden to others.  This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table.  Already the government-run medical system in Britain is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly.  Moreover, it seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when American medical care is taken over by the government.

Whistling past the death panel.  President Obama has selected Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Berwick is a Harvard professor, a pediatrician, and the CEO of a nonprofit that, according to its website, has a staff of over 100 people.  These seem like dubious qualifications to head a massive organization with a budget greater than that of the Department of Defense.

Serfs They Want Us To Be And Serfs We Will Become!  That’s right.  It’s over.  Their guns are bigger.  They control all the money.  They control the energy.  They control the land.  They control the food and they control the water.  Soon they will control our health care, down to the last detail on our electronic health care records being stored in a giant computer in Washington DC, from which they can determine if we are worthy of receiving health care.  The older we get, the less worthy we become.

Is Obama Steering the Ship of State Toward the Rocks?  This is Obama’s Audacity of Desperation.  Obama’s Medi-Grab will break the Medicare system, because you can’t cover 330 million people, including illegals, just with the tax money currently dedicated to the elderly.  Something’s got to give, and it will be Medicare for the elderly.  But the elderly are the most medically endangered sector of the population.  Does anybody see Death Panels in the offing?

“Your Life, Your Choices”.  Here are the links to several materials we discussed in this morning’s [8/23/2009] segment about Veterans’ health care and end-of-life counseling with Former Director of the White House Faith Based Initiatives Jim Towey and Assistant Secretary of Veterans? Affairs Tammy Duckworth.

Your Life Choices:  Recently, the VA re-implemented a pamphlet known as “Your Life — Your Choice” dealing with end of life decisions for Veterans.  I have briefly looked it over and here are a few pages to really pay attention to:  Page 24 — this is the page mentions things like you “cant shake the blues” as a possible reason to not continue your life.  You will also notice that it even mentions “I rely on a kidney dialysis machine to keep me alive.”  My wife’s Stepfather is on dialysis through the VA and that just floored us when we saw it.

  The Death Book for Veterans:  Last year, bureaucrats at the VA’s National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, “Your Life, Your Choices.”  It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA’s preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes.  After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated “Your Life, Your Choices.”

Editor’s note:
The booklet, Your life, your choices is available with and without the cover page / disclaimer about the document being under review.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Panels Right now, if I want a hip replacement, it’s between me and my doctor; the government does not have a seat at the table.  The minute it does, my hip’s needs are subordinate to national hip policy, which in turn is subordinate to macro budgetary considerations.

Palin v. ObamaCare:  Once again we’re presented with evidence that the health-care debate is occurring without adequate attention being paid to the record of established nationalized health-care systems overseas.  This has arisen as a result of Sarah Palin’s superb maneuver in forcing the administration to drop Section 1233 of the ObamaCare act, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” … Palin accused the administration of opening the door to euthanasia, with Section 1233 amounting to a first step toward “death panels” making life-and-death decisions amounting to such action.

Death Care and the Commodification of Life.  Federal “healthcare” must inevitably turn into “Death Care,” because the bureaucracy will have the sole power to determine the rules under which you and I will live and die.  The bureaucrats will have a fixed pot of money, and money spent to save your life comes from the same kitty that is used to give prenatal care to some poor woman from Mexico or Bangladesh.  That is what they think is moral — and this is an argument about morality above all.  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother and big advisor to Obama, considers fee-for-service medicine immoral, because it allows richer people to pay more.

‘Death panels’ exist already.  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who says President Obama’s heath care reform would result in “death panels,” needs to look no further than Texas to see a slippery slope like the one she envisions.  In Texas, a legislative provision that many thought was an innocuous proposal to help people has been twisted to snatch end-of-life decisions out of the hands of families.

The Catholic Church and Health Care Reform.  Rationing health care could result in the death of a patient.  It would clearly be an example of an omission that may cause death.  Although it may not be direct euthanasia, it is definitely passive euthanasia.

Hello ObamaCare, Goodbye Grandma.  Oh, look!  See Ezekiel.  See Ezekiel Emanuel.  Zeke is in charge of health care policy for the Obama administration. … See Zeke think.  Zeke has not run a hospital.  He has not run an insurance company.  He has not run a medical practice.  He has not worked in the pharmaceutical industry.  Zeke has spent more than twenty years in education and government… thinking.

Unplugging Grandma isn’t the problem.  Obamacare means treatment rationing, so getting Grandma plugged in in the first place is the greater peril.

‘Death panel’ is not in the bill… it already exists.  H.R. 1 (more commonly known as … the Stimulus Bill and aptly dubbed the Porkulus Bill) contains a whopping $1.1 billion to fund the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. … [The] stated purpose (and therefore President Obama’s purpose) for creating the Council is to empower an unelected bureaucracy to make the hard decisions about health care rationing that elected politicians are politically unable to make.

That’s Where the Money IsWhen famed bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said:  “Because that’s where the money is.”  For the same reason, it is as predictable as the sunrise that medical care for the elderly will be cut back under a government-controlled medical system.  Because that’s where the money is.

ObamaCare Is All About Rationing.  Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan.  The Obama strategy is to reduce health costs by rationing the services that we and future generations of patients will receive.

Included in the Health Care Bill:
 — Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process).
 — Page 42: The “Health Choices Commissioner” will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
 — Page 149:Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll.
 — Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll.
 — Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
 — Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
 — Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
And these are just a few examples.

‘End-of-Life’ Counseling Intensifies Health Care Debate.  A provision in President Obama’s health care reform bill encourages “end-of- life” counseling for seniors — sparking euthanasia fears among some of the legislation’s critics and leading others to believe that the White House is looking to save money by pressuring insurers to provide less coverage to seniors.  The provision, tucked deep within the House bill, would provide Medicare coverage for an end-of-life consultation every five years, and more frequent sessions if a person is suffering a life-threatening disease.

Gingrich:  Palin concerns about euthanasia warranted.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich lent credence Sunday to Sarah Palin’s claim that the healthcare reform legislation will create “death panels” to judge end-of-life issues.  “Communal standards, historically, is a very dangerous concept,” Gingrich said on ABC’s “This Week.”  On Saturday morning [8/8/2009], Palin called President Obama’s healthcare proposal “downright evil.”

How House Bill Runs Over Grandma.  At a town hall meeting at AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C., President Obama was asked by a woman from North Carolina if it was true “that everyone that’s Medicare age will be visited and told they have to decide how they wish to die.”  At first, the president joked that not enough government workers existed to ask the elderly how they wanted to die.  The idea, he said, was to encourage the use of living wills and that critics were misrepresenting the intent of the “end of life” counseling provided for in the House bill.  He did not say, “No, they wouldn’t be contacted.”

Did Obama Say We Should Kill the Old Folks to Save Money Last Night?  I am wondering when the euthanasia folks are going to start touting this one?  I mean, it sure seemed to me as if the most caring, most civil, most intelligent president evah just said that healthcare could be cheaper if we don’t give old folks and the infirm the full measure of care they now get.  It appeared that Obama said we should just let them die or suffer because they aren’t worth the effort.  Imagine if Bush had said something like this?  The left wouldn’t have hesitated to call him any manner of names.

Death as a cost-cutter.  Hurry up and die!  That, in a nutshell, is how President Obama hopes to save large sums of money through health care “reform.”  But that isn’t how the president advertises it.

Rationing health care.  It doesn’t matter what your doctor says; the Obama administration plans to decide if you will have cancer treatment or heart surgery. … The hypocrisy is enough to make a heart stop.  A White House that doesn’t think government should intervene between a doctor and a woman deciding whether to have an abortion has no problem telling doctors whether they can perform tonsillectomies or hysterectomies.

Nationalizing Life and Death.  Hidden deep in the stimulus bill is a Trojan horse like no other.  I am not speaking of pork.  A scheme more dastardly would have been hard to concoct.  With the passage of this bill, the US government is now empowered to “ration” healthcare.  That means, to treat or not to treat is now a government question.  Within the bill is a line that would sentence millions of people to death.

Will Old Folks Get in the Way of our Brave New World?  Washington bureaucrats hoped something wouldn’t see the light of day until it was too late.  Buried in the stimulus bill is the framework for rationing medical care to the elderly.  The part Obama and his cohorts are talking about publicly — electronic medical records — sounds great:  no more having to fill out annoying paperwork at the doctor’s office or hospital when you are ailing.  But according to the provision’s author, former Health and Human Services director nominee (and tax cheat) Tom Daschle, there’s much more, including the newly-created bureaucracy of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology.  What will the NCHIT be doing?  Making sure your doctor gives you the treatment it deems to be efficient and cost-effective.  And if your doctor doesn’t comply?  Well, that part is still a bit fuzzy.

Why Obamacare may beget euthanasia.  The idea comes straight from former Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle’s 2008 book “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis” in which he says that doctors are going to have to give up their autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”  Inevitably, this means the government will decide who gets lifesaving treatment and who doesn’t.  It is survival of the fittest in practice.

Obamacare Could Kill You This “Federal Health Board,” as Daschle refers to his proposed behemoth, would be modeled on Great Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).  In the UK’s socialized medical system, NICE is the bureaucracy responsible for determining the value and effectiveness of medical treatments and procedures.  And it regularly hands down death sentences to gravely ill patients.

Obama Gives What Doctor Did Not OrderBarack Obama forced a bitter pill down the throats of Americans that the doctor did not order and patients do not want.  Obama snuck into the stimulus bill a new system for rationing medical care, and he got Congress to ram it through the House and Senate without reading it.

Stimulus Bill Raises Concerns Over Government Rationing of Health Care.  Two provisions in President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan could give the federal government the authority to oversee the medical decisions made between doctors and patients, critics warn, which could result in the rationing of health care.

Death Panels by Proxy.  [Scroll down slowly]  Then a president who won’t save infants born alive but who does want the government to be involved (a “democratic conversation”) in deciding end-of-life treatment — and whose medical policy adviser would “prioritise” young people — hires as his chief science adviser a man, John P. Holdren, who first gained notoriety pushing eugenics ideas such as coerced abortions, forced sterilizations through the water supply, and other notions so outrageous that the man should never be accepted in polite company again, much less have the ear of the President of the United States.

The Nightmare of Rationing in Oregon.  Two cases of “public option” administrators rejecting patient requests for lifesaving or life-extending drugs (and instead offering to fund those patients’ assisted suicides) reached the mainstream media in the last two weeks.  This has caused critics of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul proposal to look to Oregon for clues about what a national health system would bring.  The picture is not pretty.

The fault, dear Barack, is not in our stars, But in ourselves.  The opposition to Obamacare would have gone nowhere had the president offered a concise plan, had his team kept repeating four or five logical and easily understandable talking points, and had he prepared a few pat answers to the more controversial elements of the plan, from the public option to so-called “end of life” panels to treatment of illegal aliens and the real cost.

Will You Still Need Me, When I’m Sixty-four?  We know that Social Security is unsustainable because fewer and fewer workers are paying into the system to support more and more retirees.  It is, as it was from Day One, a pure, a classic Ponzi scheme masquerading as a pension plan.  For decades, government commissions have repeatedly recommended increasing the retirement age.  Everyone agrees that the system will soon run out of money. … [Obama’s] brilliant solution:  encouraging Americans to continue to pay into Social Security while discouraging Americans from asking for Social Security checks.

Obama to veterans:  Drop dead!  When I wrote my Power Line post “Obama to Elderly: Drop Dead,” I had no idea that the Obama administration had already in one sphere implemented the macabre policy embedded within the various drafts of the health care bill, but now I know better.  In an important column published in the Wall Street Journal last week, St. Vincent College President and former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives Jim Towey spills the beans.  The Department of Veterans Affairs is circulating among those in VA hospitals a 52-page end-of-life planning document entitled Your Life, Your Choices.

Remember the Golden Oldies, Dr. Emanuel Someone like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health advisor to Obama, and Zeke’s brother Rahm, who loves to hurl thunderbolts from Mount Olympus and bully freshman congressmen.  They and their ilk will give us “guidance” about who is worthwhile, who is ready to die, who shall live a week or two longer.  Zeke is a Harvard academic who is arrogant enough to believe that he can change human nature and decide the most intimate and complex of human issues — those of life and death.

Obama’s Friends ‘Out’ the Death PanelsThe president and his media enablers are outraged, just outraged, that anyone would suggest the prospect of, let alone come up with a name for, government panels designed to ration care for the elderly — and as the president said, “pull the plug on grandma.”  Nothing lower, the left punditocracy fumed, than coming up with the “death panel” slur.  Except that is precisely what Obama and his ilk want.

Talking Seniors to Death.  This benevolent plan is in Section 1233 (p. 424) of the health care reform bill known as “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” (HR 3200).  It didn’t just show up on the doorstep of health care reform, but was packaged and delivered by Compassion & Choices, the assisted-suicide advocacy group previously known as the Hemlock Society.

In Revolt Against Euthanasia.  Earlier this summer, former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin was criticized for deploying hyperbole in her opposition of health-care-reform proposals on the table in Washington, D.C.  She warned of end-of-life “death panels.”  By doing so, she got some pols to back down from proposed “end-of-life counseling” boards that would parcel out advice in a government-controlled health-care system.

The Convenient Death.  Wait for patients to die before taking their organs, and the organs won’t be as fresh.  Let doctors take the organs from living patients — even if it means causing them to die a little faster than they otherwise would — and the supply of usable organs will go up.  Some other patient will get a second chance at life, and the dead guy won’t miss anything: What could possibly go wrong with this idea?

Cannibalizing America.  Americans have gone collectively insane.  Like sheep being led to the slaughter, no one could imagine the terror that is about to be visited on millions of unsuspecting innocents.  The health care bill is an instrument of selective death.  Seniors will be prematurely sacrificed so that millions of poor Americans (many of them illegal immigrants) can get mediocre government care.

The cold heart of Obamacare.  Much of the press coverage of the Democrats’ health care legislation, now fiercely embattled in Congress, focuses on the public option, the actual long-term costs and tax increases, and the amendment barring funding for abortions.  But the cold heart of Obamacare is its overpowering of the doctor-patient relationship — eventually resulting in the premature ending of many Americans’ lives for being too costly.

Political Science and Mammograms.  Last month the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released their study and recommendations for breast cancer screening.  There was an immediate universal rejection of the Task Force’s work, from Senator Barbara Mikulski on the left to Representative Michele Bachmann on the right.  The outcry from Washington was deafening, and on December 2nd, researchers from the USPSTF actually apologized before a congressional committee for their study.  Like most conservatives, I have a healthy skepticism of what I read in the mainstream media, especially concerning scientific research.  So I read the USPSTF’s study.

Doubt Is Cast on Many Reports of Food Allergies.  Many who think they have food allergies actually do not.  A new report, commissioned by the federal government, finds the field is rife with poorly done studies, misdiagnoses and tests that can give misleading results.

The Editor says…
This is another “study” softening up the American people for the idea of rationed medical care.  You don’t really need a mammogram; you don’t really have a food allergy; you don’t really need to go to the doctor.  Naturally the New York Times is happy to publicize the “study” on behalf of the White House.

ObamaCare Would End Pre-Existing Conditions, Right?  When it comes to “pre-existing conditions,” the left conveniently fails to mention the nastiest and most brutal screen of all as set forth in ObamaCare:  The Old Age exclusion.  From death panels to age-based discrimination practices for costly surgical procedures and medications, ObamaCare would sanction the practice of cutting off medical help to the old, solely because of that group’s reckless behavior in growing old.

Rationing’s First Step.  A government task force has decided that women need fewer mammograms and later in life.  Shouldn’t that be between patient and physician?  We have seen the future of health care, and it doesn’t work.  We have warned repeatedly that the net results of health care bills before Congress will be higher demand, fewer doctors, more cost control, all leading to rationing.

Liberals and Mammography.  The flap over breast cancer screening has provided a fascinating insight into the political future of ObamaCare.  Specifically, the political left supports such medical rationing even as it disavows that any such thing is happening.

Mammograms and Rationing:  The Future of American Healthcare.  As Hippocratic physicians dedicated to saving lives, we fear the new breast cancer screening recommendations foreshadow what is yet to come.  Enamored with European universal healthcare, Washington is hell-bent to push through some form of government-run health plan.  But at what price?  If America adopts European style medicine, Americans must expect European style results.

Pelosi’s Reform Bill Establishes Waiting List.  H.R. 3962, the Democrats’ health insurance reform bill, to be voted on this week by Congress, contains a provision to establish waiting lists as a mechanism to control costs.  Such waiting lists have long been a characteristic — and a bane — of socialized medicine.

ObamaCare Vs. The Hippocratic Oath It is obvious.  The “New” Obama-Pelosi-Reid Health Care Bill’s heart and soul is based on (1) rationing and denying care to cut costs, and (2) taxing every American in its path.  The end result strips Freedom from every citizen.  Then again, what would you expect from a document that uses the words “require” 118 times, “tax” 87 times, and “penalty” 113 timesThe Oath my classmates and I took 29 years ago was based on the premise “Do No Harm.”  I cannot condone this legislation, which promises to HARM every person, family and business in our country.  We need to reject rationing, and fight the loss of control of our health care lives.

Harry Reid’s Train Wreck.  Democrats were heartened Oct. 7 when the Congressional Budget Office said the version of Obamacare drafted by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, would cost “only” $829 billion over 10 years. … There was a problem with this gimmick, though.  Mr. Baucus proposed to save money in Medicare by gutting the Medicare Advantage program, in which 23 percent of seniors are enrolled, and by slashing the payments doctors and hospitals receive for treating Medicare patients.

Or We Could Make It Simple and Cheap.  The monstrously complicated Democratic health-care bills costing upward of a trillion dollars were churning through the Pelosi Congress.  They are too complicated for the average voter to fully comprehend and too voluminous for the average lawmaker to read.  They spend money we don’t have and create enormous new bureaucracies to regulate, limit, control, and, yes, ration care.

Obama Health Plan:  Rationing, Higher Taxes, and Lower Quality Care President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are rushing to enact legislation that would overhaul the way health care is financed and delivered in the United States.  It would dramatically increase the role of government in virtually all aspects of health care.  Such an initiative should be carefully studied to determine whether it actually solves problems in the health care arena or makes them worse.

‘Killing Granny’.  Newsweek seeks to make us more comfortable with the idea of killing our parents and grandparents.  The ObamaCare deal they want us buy is that only if more old people die, will there be better medical treatment for everyone else.  That is, you and me.  It’s a sucker’s deal.  Because not only will more “old” people die with ObamaCare, but more of everyone else will die too.

Kennedy’s legacy:  Chappaquiddick end-of-life care Edward Kennedy’s death can teach us one thing about ObamaCare.  It’s not the spin the Big Media wing of the Democrat Party is trying to sell:  that Congress should force government-run health care on us, no matter how much we oppose it, You can bet your grandma’s iron lung, though, that under ObamaCare neither she nor you nor I will receive the end-of-life care provided to Kennedy.

Meet Rahm Emanuel’s Brother:  Dr. Zeke the Bleak.  Despite his recent attempted reputation rehab, Zeke always ends up at the same place:  not treating the somehow unworthy or letting them die.

Obama’s Health Rationer-in-Chief.  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health adviser to President Barack Obama, is under scrutiny.  As a bioethicist, he has written extensively about who should get medical care, who should decide, and whose life is worth saving.  Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs.  Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.

Death Panels and Decision Makers:  When the town halls adjourn and the cameras stop rolling, the health care debate is about one thing:  decisions.  Issues like end-of-life counseling, comparative effectiveness boards, uninsured Americans, and rising health care costs all, when examined, reduce to a question of who will make medical decisions.

Terrorists Get Appeals, Obamacare Patients Don’t.  [Scroll down]  For example, let’s say you’re hospitalized for some condition or procedure and are discharged, but you relapse and need to go back to the hospital.  Not so fast.  Under Democratic health-care reform, the government will be rationing hospital treatment.

Obama’s Twisted Faith:  Eventually you will end up with one insurance company — its name is Uncle Sam.  And when your good Uncle Sam wants to save some money, he will start making bureaucratic decisions, rather than medical decisions, about your health.  Mom won’t get that treatment to save her life because it is expensive and she has already lived 90 good years. … How am I so sure?  Because there has never been a government-run health plan, anywhere in the world, that did not ration care.

Obamacare Or Logan’s Run?  (Part 2):  According to Betsy McCaughey — the former lieutenant governor of New York State and the prime debunker of Hillarycare — the president is lying when he says that those who like their present health care plan can keep it.  Ms. McCaughey says that you only have to get to Page 15 of the 1,018 page bill to understand that you will be forced to give up that plan that allows you to go to whatever doctor you select, whenever you like, or to see a specialist or get a diagnostic test.

What Lies Beneath:  The debate — OK, the shouting match — we are having over “health-care reform” is about many things, including cost, who gets help and who does not and who, or what, gets to make that determination.  Underlying it all is a larger question:  Is human life something special?  Is it to be valued more highly than, say, plants and pets?  When someone is in a “persistent vegetative state” do we mean to say that person is equal in value to a carrot?

Obama’s Authoritarian Style.  One question about ObamaCare that has caused enormous anxiety has to do with the category of “end-of-life care.”  Would people feel pressured, or be forced, to pull the plug on those who, on economic grounds, are deemed not worth saving?  Would ObamaCare allow or encourage assisted suicide, even euthanasia?  These are serious questions.  Last July we noted that Oregon’s socialized health plan had denied a $4,000-a-month cancer drug to 64-year-old Barbara Wagner.  But the bureaucracy cheerfully informed her “that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide.”

Obamacare Or Logan’s Run.  Even though H.R. 3200 is cloaked in language disguised to hide the fact that many provisions address end-of-life options and hospice accommodations, it is quite clear that the authors of the bill think these options outweigh medical care. Power-driven wheelchairs will be regulated by the government (P. 268); physician services for seniors will be reduced (P. 239); the government provides a list of end-of-life resources, guiding you to death (P. 425); government mandates programs that will order end-of-life treatment (P. 427).  Don’t take my word for it.  The bill is available [here].

Take Two Aspirin And Call Me When Your Cancer is Stage 4.  All the problems with the American health care system come from government intervention, so naturally the Democrats’ idea for fixing it is more government intervention.  This is like trying to sober up by having another drink.  The reason seeing a doctor is already more like going to the DMV, and less like going to the Apple “Genius Bar,” is that the government decided health care was too important to be left to the free market.

Deadly Doctors.  The health bills coming out of the democrat Congress would put the decisions about your care in the hands of presidential appointees.  They’d decide what plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have and what seniors get under Medicare.  Yet at least two of President Obama’s top health advisers should never be trusted with that power.

Saving Liberty.  With Obamacare, government will decide when and if you can get that knee replacement.  From the clear utterances of the president’s healthcare advisers, namely, Drs. Ezekiel Emanuel and David Blumenthal, that knee replacement will depend on such factors as your age and your overall health.  If you are too old or decrepit, government will have a more economical place to spend its money.  In other words, your health will not be decided by what you want to pay for it but by government policy.  That test you wanted for colon cancer might be denied.  You might just be too old.  Such decisions are made by the nationalized British system all the time.

Obama’s Health Future:  If or when the Administration’s speculative cost-cutting measures under universal health care fail to produce savings, government will start explicitly limiting patient access to treatments and services regarded as too expensive.  Democrats deny this eventuality, but health planners will have no choice, given that the current entitlement system is already barreling toward insolvency without adding millions of new people to the federal balance sheet.

Obama Wants to Let Those Pesky Geezers Die.  In a rare moment of candor, President Obama explained to an audience how government-run healthcare would work in America. … Medical decisions should be made by patients, their families, and their doctors, not by government bureaucrats, but that’s ObamaCare for you.

Obama’s Senior MomentAt the heart of President Obama’s plan is his stated goal to cut medical costs.  That might sound good to you, but it means cutting services, nurses, technicians, medical tests, and most prominently the use of expensive technology.  The President’s top medical advisers are quite frank about this.  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel and a health policy adviser in the Office of Management and Budget, has chided Americans for the expense of their “being enamored with technology.”

“Efficiency” Means Death.  Apparently the agreed-upon approach is to give health care to 47 million new beneficiaries without massive new costs by being “more efficient” in allocating the currently available health care assets. … Here is what this “efficiency” would mean in stark terms:  severely restricting health care services to our elderly, and the severely and terminally ill.  “Efficiency” here means providing services to millions of young and healthy, who do not need much of it, and cutting health care to seniors and the severely ill who “statistically do not have as much to lose by not getting good health care.”

Obama’s Health Cost Illusion.  The main White House argument for health-care reform goes something like this:  If we spend now on a hugely expensive new insurance program for the middle class, we can save later by reducing overall U.S. health spending. … What if this particular theory turns out to be a political illusion?  What if the speculative cost savings never report for duty, while the federal balance sheet is still swamped with new social obligations that will be impossible to repeal?  The only possible outcome will be the nationalization of U.S. health markets, which will mean that almost all care will be rationed by politics.

Court Says Bureaucrats, Not Doctors, Decide What Is ‘Medically Necessary’Earlier this month, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of three states that filed suit to have final medical decision-making authority transferred from doctors to state bureaucrats.

Extinguishing Physician ConscienceThe largest generational cohort in American history, the Baby Boomers, will be the first Americans to be denied available effective life-saving treatments for reasons of cost.  The seeds for this mass liquidation have already been planted.

Repeal Health Care Fascism Buried in Barack Obama’s so-called stimulus bill is funding for a bureaucratic structure for the government to begin rationing the health care of the American people.  A centralized government bureaucracy would be established that would ultimately have the power to decide what health care you can have, and when, especially when it involves highly expensive, advanced medical care for the seriously ill.  Unless this is stopped, many of you reading this article right now will one day suffer death-by-liberalism, when the government bureaucracy decides that the health care you need is not worth the cost, or puts you in a waiting line where death will arrive before treatment.

‘Too Old’ for Hip Surgery.  President Obama and Congressional Democrats are inching the U.S. toward government-run health insurance.  Last week’s expansion of Schip —the State Children’s Health Insurance Program —is a first step.  Before proceeding further, here’s a suggestion:  Look at Canada’s experience.

How the Stimulus Bill Could Kill You.  When you read through the nearly seven hundred pages of the House stimulus bill it is easy to begin dozing off after a few hundred billion dollars worth of run-of-the-mill wasteful government spending.  One has to keep a keen eye out for the components of the bill that don’t just steal your money, but that may actually do you great physical harm, if not kill you outright.

Change to Think Twice About:  Around the world, single-payer systems keep costs down by rationing care.  A Cato Institute study found that in Norway, health care is funded through general tax revenues (taxes consume 45 percent of GDP).  But Norwegians commonly travel abroad to avoid long waits.  “Approximately 280,000 Norwegians are estimated to be waiting for care on any given day (out of a population of just 4.6 million).”  In Britain, “delays in receiving treatment are often so long that nearly 20 percent of colon cancer patients considered treatable when first diagnosed are incurable by the time treatment is finally offered.”

National Health Care Can Kill John Edwards and his rival for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, may disagree on some things but they both support a universal health care system, their way of describing what is really socialized medicine.

There’s No Caring in ObamaCare.  How many of society’s frail would take their own lives in a socialist health system?  After they were subjected to the “death talk,” how many would forgo treatment or even accept medical euthanasia?  Countless numbers would give up.  The message from society would be clear:  Your life doesn’t matter.

Futilitarians.  Established by the Labour Party, NICE decides which treatments and medications are to be utilized by the NHS based on the principle of “the greatest good for the greatest number.”  Of course, this is not determined in a solely arbitrary fashion.  Specific formulas are employed to monetize the value of life.  Subjective judgments regarding “quality of life” and “suffering” are simmered down to a neat mathematical theorem by which life-sustaining treatments are awarded.

Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year.  NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday [6/18/2012].  Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.

Death Panels After All? There’s an explosive story out today in the Daily Mail over in the UK claiming that Britain’s National Health Service euthanizes 130,000 elderly patients a year.  This claim doesn’t issue from some loopy former governor of an arctic province; it comes from professor Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist for East Kent Hospitals and Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Kent.

Killing the Elderly Is Old News for Britain’s NHS Last week’s story here that Britain’s National Health Service euthanizes 130,000 elderly folks a year is no surprise.  Last year, a major report cited the socialist health-care agency for neglecting the elderly under its care.  The neglect was so severe that doctors began prescribing drinking water to patients because they would otherwise die of thirst.  In other words, nothing changes in Britain, no matter how bad the abuses are.  That is the lesson to be be learned about nationalized health care.  Euthanasia, as well, killed the patients more quickly than simple neglect.

Death panels on steroids On its pages, the [New England Journal of Medicine] has long featured articles favoring euthanasia and assisted suicide as well as health care rationing.  Indeed, two of its former editors, Dr. Arnold Relman and Dr. Marcia Angell, are vocal advocates of eliminating the private health system and replacing it with a single-payer, government-controlled health system.  And both are among the 14 subscribing petitioners on a doctor-prescribed suicide initiative that will appear on the November 2012 ballot in Massachusetts.  Angell is so enamored with the concept of assisted suicide that, in a 2004 article, she decried the fact that too few people were availing themselves of Oregon’s doctor-prescribed suicide law.  She expressed concern that the law was too restrictive.

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