These are not the droids you’re looking for

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“In the next decade every country will face very hard choices about how to allocate scarce medical resources. There is no consensus about what substantive principles should be used to establish priorities for allocations,” he wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 19, 2002. Yet Dr. Emanuel writes at length about who should set the rules, who should get care, and who should be at the back of the line.

Dr. Emanuel makes a clear choice: “When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get changes that are attenuated.”

The youngest are also put at the back of the line: “Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. . . . (, Jan. 31, 2009).

“This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity – those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberation – are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” (And people had the gall to smirk at the idea of “death panels” – the only reason they aren’t death panels is because they aren’t CALLED death panels. Maybe they should just call them “Caskets for Clunkers.”)

Recognize the words of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health advisor to President Obama? Take a peek at John Holdren sometime – he’s no mere advisor; he’s got a backdoor cabinet post – it’s called a “Czar” and it means there is no confirmation process, no accountability to congress or constituencies – he’s merely appointed, and there he stays. He’s the “Science Czar” and he preaches forced abortions for those he deems unfit, forced sterilizations, birth control in the water and food supply to control the population, and forcible removal of children from single mothers or those who deign to have more than two children. Hey, totalitarian madman – Goebbels wants his script back!

Then don’t forget Obama’s declaration to the rabbis that we are partners together in matters of life and death. No. No no we really AREN’T. Who in the hell gave him that delusion of grandeur? All these things taken together, if they don’t give you pause as to who exactly is in charge and is demanding to be put in full charge of your most intimate matters, well, you better wake up and take notice.

The “profit motive” so many decry need only be examined in light of reality – to bring it into perspective let’s look at Barbara Wagner. She had state-run health care, and due to her age and her condition (cancer) it was deemed too expensive to cover the cost of her drugs, the drugs that would have prolonged her life. They did, however, offer to pay for euthanasia. This is in the US, by the way, not in some already-socialized health care country. So what became of her? The evil big pharmaceutical corporation, that had spent millions, perhaps billions developing the drug that would prolong her life and bring her comfort, since they had been allowed to make the profit to sink into that effort and since they could afford to, gave her the drug for free. In fact every pharmaceutical company has a program available to make their drugs free or at a reduced cost to those who can’t afford them, and those on goverment health care are at the top of THAT list. The state put in no personal interest at all – they look at their charts and their tables and say “This person – euthanasia; this person – productive enough and doesn’t cost too much – treatment approved.” The drug company looked at the woman and her circumstances and decided accordingly to give her the drug gratis. The government, which produces nothing (it can only take), which progresses nor grows anything (only what it can confiscate) does not have these resources available – either for the R&D that went into the drug or the ability to give it to certain needful persons for free. That isn’t. how. the. world. works.

But let’s move on. Let’s say for some reason you believe in universal health care and socialized medicine, and you want it to become a reality. Well then you will not be fighting for the passage of this current house bill (try reading it – I know it’s long; that’s the idea; most of them haven’t even read it even as they ram it down our throats) because that isn’t what it is. The preamble states that the purpose is not, as many believe, to provide comprehensive health care to all regardless of their income or station in life; the purpose is to cut costs. To ration healthcare from on high and make life/death decisions in order to bring down the costs of medicine. Now government can’t bring down the cost of anything, and the bill is by and large surprisingly non-specific – but what it DOES do – all 1400 pages of it, is wrest control from private people dealing with private doctors and private companies for what they want and how they want it and what they’ll pay for it, and put the entire control in the hands of as-yet unnamed appointees and yes, PANELS, to make all those decisions for you (you needn’t worry your pretty little heads anymore with making decisions – we will once and forever be CHILDREN instead of free men and women)…with a goal towards lowering costs. Heaven help you if you aren’t “productive” enough for that panel – bottom of the line for you. Or if your illness (obesity, asthma, diabetes, et. al.) are “preventable illnesses” AND you’re not very productive because of them. You think they won’t offer to pay for – not your knee replacement, silly, but your gastric bypass! Or maybe, if you’re too far gone, like Ms. Wagner, your death.

If you really, for whatever bizarre reason, support universal socialized health care, start demanding an ACTUAL universal socialized health care bill, because that isn’t what this is. Oh, there’s elements of it in there, but this thing is just a travesty and any thinking person who’s read it ought to have their heads examined if they support it.

As to this federal bureaucracy being “responsive” to the people living and dying under it? Call up your congressman right now and see what kind of response you get – you might even act like you disagree with this bill, and see what they say. See how “responsive” they are to your pleas. Remember how “responsive” Obama was to the woman who asked about her hundred year old mother that needed a pacemaker, and THAT was while campaigning FOR the bill. Get back to me on that responsive thing. With the government, there IS no appeal. There IS no review. You die, you die. And all the better if you weren’t properly productive anyway, right? C’mon, it’s for the children.

4 comments on “These are not the droids you’re looking for

  1. doomgloom says:

    Clearly, Obama’s plan is worse than “socialist”. It’s Nazi! Its motivation is to loot our government’s health care budget, lower the standards of care which will be required of HMOs/PPOs as well as government agencies, help HMOs/PPOs make even more money, and provide more money for bailouts!

    However, I wouldn’t rely on free medicine from pharmaceutical cartels. Companies formed by hostile takeovers and mergers, funded by deregulated banks and bailouts, junk bond sales and other swindles, are not trustworthy.

    At present, we have a health care system in the U.S. that is partially “socialized”. Under the Hill-Burton Act of 1946, with later extensions, the government funds construction of “public hospitals”, which are then obligated to provide care to people who are unable to pay. The government also provides medical insurance for the indigent (Medicaid) and the elderly (Medicare), from a special income tax. These programs are highly efficient, but inadequately funded, because the economy as a whole is in hell, with most income gained by a few filthy rich parasites. People look at the dollar amounts of these programs relative to the GDP and other government programs and say “how can we afford that?”, but they forget that not only has the dollar lost much of its earlier value, but the productivity of the economy is far lower than it can and should be, with importation of the products of slave-labor masking most of the inflation in consumer goods (which mask is much more difficult to apply to health care). Plus, excessively low birthrates (again, driven by the collapse of the physical economy) have given us an aging population.

    There has been a campaign to make those who can’t really afford private insurance appear to afford it: HMOs and PPOs. Administrative costs of HMOs/PPOs consume about 30% of the premiums! Yet people buy this garbage just so they can say “I’m insured” and thereby gain access to non-emergency care (which the horribly underfunded Hill-Burton system is presently denying), albeit of reduced quality. Companies buy this shit for their employees so they can say “our employees are insured”, to protect their image.

    Fascist Nixon made this crap legal; but instead of crying about how “health care is already being rationed”, we should just repeal the HMO laws, and massively increase funding for Hill-Burton, Medicare and Medicaid, and allow anyone who can’t afford genuine private insurance, and is too young for Medicare, to qualify for Medicaid. But, of course, this would require a repeal and repossession of all bailouts and a full-blown bankruptcy reorganization, together with a ‘New Bretton Woods’ international treaty to stop speculation in currencies and commodities, and a total rejection of ‘green’ policies. In other words, a total overthrow of the globalized system of financial imperialism that is presently sucking our blood.

  2. anniemcphee says:

    “At present, we have a health care system in the U.S. that is partially “socialized”.

    This is actually one of the reasons health care costs so much for the rest of us. Medicare and Medicaid undercut the payments and the hospital makes up the cost by charging more to the insurance companies – that’s why you get a ten dollar aspirin in the hospital. So you put the whole thing under that kind of system and you end up like in France, where a woman just had to call a fire brigade to bring her ten miles to the nearest open hospital so she could deliver a baby or in Ottawa where there is a year wait for an MRI. Those awful “profit” things are what keep the whole system going and growing and progressing. Without them there is collapse and stagnation.

  3. anniemcphee says:

    Might I add that originally HMOs were created to solve this alleged crisis (it’s been a crisis since before I was born apparently) and instead, they predictably made things worse. Any sane economist could have explained why that would be, but sadly, those in charge don’t listen to sane economists very much.

  4. doomgloom says:

    The U.S. health care system is partially “socialized” because of the principle expressed in our Declaration of Independence, that the right to life is inalienable, and the principle expressed in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, that the government must promote the General Welfare. It is not possible to uphold these principles without funding state-of-the-art care for those unable to pay.

    So, if Medicare and Medicaid “undercut” payments, then Medicare and Medicaid should increase their payments.

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