August 15, 2009
'Death panel' is not in the bill... it already existsBy Joseph Ashby
Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin has come under fire for her Facebook post
accusing President Obama and the Democrats of including a "death panel"
provision the health care bill. The Associated Press recently ran a ‘Fact Check'
article rebutting Palin's claim.
argues that the bill's end-of-life counseling provision has been
mistaken as a promotion of euthanasia and thus the death panel
assertion by Palin and many other conservatives is false and
The New York Times has joined in the death panel bashing
. Jim Rutenburg and Jackie Calmes assert the following:
is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the
creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut
off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure.
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
What both outlets fail to point out is that the panel already exists.
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.
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:
says health-care reform "will not be pain free." Seniors should be more
accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating
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:
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.
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
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."
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/death_panel_is_not_in_the_bill.html
at August 15, 2009 - 11:05:57 AM EDT
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