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Yes, Again, Sarah Palin was Right About Obama’s Deathcare

Yet another respected pundit, Andy McCarthy, adds his support to Sarah Palin’s criticism of Obamacare: Palin Was Right on the “Death Panels” — A Dissent from Today’s NRO Editorial

An excerpt:

I don’t see any wisdom in taking a shot at Governor Palin at this moment when, finding themselves unable to defend the plan against her indictment, Democrats have backed down and withdrawn their “end-of-life counseling” boards. Palin did a tremendous service here. Opinion elites didn’t like what the editors imply is the “hysteria” of her “death panels” charge. Many of those same elites didn’t like Ronald Reagan’s jarring “evil empire” rhetoric. But “death panels” caught on with the public just like “evil empire” did because, for all their “heat rather than light” tut-tutting, critics could never quite discredit it. (“BusHitler,” by contrast, did not catch on with the public because it was so easily refuted.)

The editors implicitly concede that Palin is on to something. Indeed, from an Obamaesque perch, they find themselves admonishing both “Sarah Palin’s fans and her critics.” With due respect, there’s a right side and a wrong side on this one. Above the fray is not gonna cut it.

Sure, the editors acknowledge, there’s lots of reason to be worried that we’re speeding down the road toward euthanasia and that Obamacare could make things worse. But it’s somehow “to leap across a logical canyon” to suggest that death panels are imminent or that they are what Obama wants.

On the latter, who cares what Obama personally wants? I don’t see why we should play into the personality cult that the Left is hoping will overcome the deep substantive flaws in the president’s policies. I happen to think that something like death panels is exactly what is desired by Obama — who is an abortion extremist, who supported a form of infanticide when he was an Illinois state legislator, and who has wondered aloud about the value of end-of-life care provided for his own grandmother. But Obama’s personal feelings are beside the point. What matters is what’s in the bill.

In suggesting it’s hyperbole to say death panels are — or were — in the bill, the editors engage in a little hysteria of their own, describing the function of such panels as “deciding whose life has sufficient value to be saved.” But few people worried about death panels think the process will be anything so crude. It will be what Mark Steyn described in his column this weekend: the bureaucrats won’t pull the plug on you; they will gradually restrict your access to various forms of treatment while you wither away prematurely. Maybe if Palin had called them “Dying on the Vine Panels” our opinion elites would have been more understanding — though I doubt it, Palin derangement syndrome having proved itself more infectious than Bush derangement syndrome.

The editors further suggest that Palin could be wrong — not that she is wrong, but she could be. After all, they reason, “it may well be that in a society as litigious as ours, government will err on the side of spending more rather than treating less.”

Really? First of all, there is no more to spend. Second, the editors themselves admit at the very beginning of the editorial that “rationing is inevitable in medicine. Not everything that might be in a patient’s best interest can be done in a world of finite resources.” The whole point of health-care “reform” is to enable something other than the combination of individual liberty and market forces — namely, government bureaucrats — to do the inevitable rationing. Third and finally, as I discuss in my column this morning, the Obamacare proposal has a remedy for “a society as litigious as ours”: it systematically cuts off access to the courts so that the decisions of the executive branch are final. The bill is designed to insure against litigation pressure to spend more rather than treat less.

I think Palin was right to argue her point aggressively. Largely because she did, a horrible provision is now out of this still horrible Obamacare proposal. To the contrary, if the argument had been made the way the editors counsel this morning, “end-of-life counseling” would still be in the bill. We might have impressed the Beltway with the high tone of our discourse and the suppleness of our reasoning, but we’d have lost the public. I respectfully dissent.

I don’t respectfully dissent at all. The elitists at NRO can go chuck themselves. They are what is wrong with politics today. Their elitist nonsense is the prime reason I stopped reading their site over a year ago, after having been a daily reader of The Corner for years. Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Victor Davis Hanson and Andy McCarthy are pretty much the only pundits making that place worthwhile anymore.

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August 17, 2009 , 1:31PM Posted by | Barack Obama, Death Panels, Healthcare, Sarah Palin | Comments Off on Yes, Again, Sarah Palin was Right About Obama’s Deathcare

Sarah Palin was Too Late, Democrats Already Established Death Panels in the Stimulus

Via Joseph Ashby in The American Thinker:

The AP is technically correct in stating that end-of-life counseling is not the same as a death panel.   The New York Times is also correct to point out that the health care bill contains no provision setting up such a panel.

What both outlets fail to point out is that the panel already exists.

H.R. 1 (more commonly known as the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, even 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 Council is the brain child of former Health and Human Services Secretary Nominee Tom Daschle.   Before the Porkulus Bill passed, Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant governor of New York, wrote in detail about the Council’s purpose.

Daschle’s 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. The end result is to slow costly medical advancement and consumption. Daschle argues that Americans ought to be more like Europeans who passively accept “hopeless diagnoses.”

McCaughey goes on to explain:

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.”   Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them.

Who is on the Council?   One of its most prominent members is none other than Dr. Death himself Ezekiel Emanuel.   Dr. Emanuel’s views on care of the elderly should frighten anyone who is or ever plans on being old.  He explains the logic behind his discriminatory views on elderly care as follows:

Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.

On average 25-year-olds require very few medical services.  If they are to get the lion’s share of the treatment, then those 65 and over can expect very little care.   Dr. Emanuel’s views on saving money on medical care are simple: don’t provide any medical care.   The loosely worded provisions in H.R 1 give him and his Council increasing power to push such recommendations.

Similarly hazy language will no doubt be used in the health care bill.   What may pass as a 1,000 page health care law will explode into perhaps many thousands of pages of regulatory codes.   The deliberate vagueness will give regulators tremendous leverage to interpret its provisions.  Thus Obama’s Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein will play a major role in defining the government’s role in controlling medical care.

How does Sunstein approach end of life care?   In 2003 he wrote a paper for the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies arguing that human life varies in value.   Specifically he champions statistical methods that give preference to what the government rates as “quality-adjusted life years.”  Meaning, the government decides whether a person’s life is worth living.   If the government decides the life is not worth living, it is the individual’s duty to die to free up welfare payments for the young and productive.

Ultimately it was Obama himself, in answer to a question on his ABC News infomercial, who said that payment determination cannot be influenced by a person’s spirit and “that at least we (the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research) can let doctors know and your mom know that… this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Maybe we should ask the Associated Press and New York Times if they still think we shouldn’t be concerned about a federal “death panel.”

August 15, 2009 , 2:32PM Posted by | Barack Obama, Communism, Death Panels, Economy, Healthcare, Liberalism, Marxism, Sarah Palin, Socialism | 1 Comment

The Left Explains Why We Must Ration Health Care

Via Jonah Goldberg at NRO The Corner: The NY Times Blames – Guess Who? – for the Death Panel “Rumors”

If you haven’t read the story, it’s the usual connect-the-dots to blame dishonest and crazy rightwingers piece gussied up as truth-squadding. My own question is why the Times couldn’t bother to at least quote Obama’s interview with … The New York Times:

LEONHARDT: And it’s going to be hard for people who don’t have the option of paying for it.

THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

LEONHARDT: So how do you – how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

I don’t think Obama’s calling for a death panel here, if by death panel you mean something out of Logan’s Run. But, it sure sounds like something that even a non-conspiratorial person might worry about. If Obama said he wanted a “free speech panel” to offer guidance on what newspapers should or shouldn’t say, the Times would get its knickers in quite a twist (at least I hope they would).

Also, now that I think of it, The Times story could also have mentioned a huge piece by Peter Singer in this magazine called The New York Times magazine called “Why We Must Ration Health Care.” It drips with examples, illustrations and arguments about why oldsters should be offed to save money. Again, it can’t be held against Obama, but if you’re trying to figure out why conservatives think liberals want to do this sort of thing, the Times might ponder just a bit harder where conservatives got the idea in the first place. It’s all fine to point fingers at Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, but both of those guys actually cite evidence that comes from the left’s own words and actions. A real truth-squadding piece would look at the actual evidence.

August 14, 2009 , 12:25PM Posted by | Barack Obama, Communism, Death Panels, Healthcare, Liberalism, Media Bias, New York Times, Socialism | 4 Comments

Sarahcuda Palin Humiliates Fah King Obama on Health Care

This is hilarious. The Fah King ‘genius’ Obama outsmarted by a couple posts on Facebook by some ‘irrelevant dumb hick’ from Alaska. heh

Not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to facts the last few days and actually reading the bill and putting it into context with Obama’s own words and those of his health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.

Tammy Bruce: Palin Power: Senate Removes ‘End of Life’ Provisions

Palin responded again last night on Facebook to attacks on her exposure of the Death Panels as part of Obama’s DeathCare agenda. This time she did it with a hard slap at the Obama admin and viola, after being derided as “nuts” and out-of-touch, Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee made this statement today:

Finance Committee drops end-of-life provision

Also, here is ace at Ace of Spades HQ: Finance Committee Drops End-of-Life Counseling Positions

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note, as A. Weasel did, that Sarah Palin’s agitation contributed to this.

Bear in mind, though, that Obama is proposing a $500 billion cut to Medicare (or Medicaid, or both; forget which).

Where do those savings come from?

Well, unless you believe we can save $500 billion by just not cutting out seniors’ tonsils and skipping one “unnecessary” test per visit what we’re talking about is reducing coverage for the elderly.

A death-panel of a kind, too.

August 13, 2009 , 5:06PM Posted by | Barack Obama, Communism, Death Panels, Healthcare, Liberalism, Marxism, Sarah Palin, Socialism | Comments Off on Sarahcuda Palin Humiliates Fah King Obama on Health Care

Obama Spoke of “Death Panels” in April 2009?

Well then! Sarah Palin’s description of “death panels” is being seen as more and more on the mark afterall. I wrote about this initially in my post “Sorry, Palin-haters, She is RIGHT About Obama’s Deathcare” and then followed that up with examples of pundits supporting her classification of Obama’s “end-of-life care” as “death panels” in “Yes, “Death Panels” is Appropriate to Say“.

Now, we have this from the Kausfiles (via Slublog at Ace of Spades HQ):

Tom Maguire digs further into that April Bloomberg story — and the David Leonhardt NYT interview behind it — and discovers that Obama came a lot closer to talking about “death panels” back in April than I’d thought. Here’s the key passage [emphasis added by Maguire]. It comes as Obama is talking about the hip replacement his grandmother got a few weeks before her death:

[ … ]

THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

LEONHARDT: So how do you – how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

[ … ] He’s talking about a panel of independent experts making end-of-life recommendations in order to save costs that have an effect at an individual level. And he thought it would be in the bill that emerges. … It’s also pretty clear that something like the “IMAC” panel is what he has in mind.

Hmmm…

More, via Shannon Love: The Dangers of Decompartmentalized Health Care Spending (via Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit)

“The elderly consume 70% of all health care spending. That means that when it comes to cost control, they will bear the brunt of the burden. If we don’t cut spending on the elderly we can’t reduce cost without simply denying care for everyone else. When it comes down to choice between spending on old people and children, the elderly know full well who we are going to pick.”

August 13, 2009 , 9:51AM Posted by | Barack Obama, Death Panels, Healthcare, Sarah Palin | 1 Comment