Skip to comments.Palin Firestorm Brings Fresh Scrutiny to ObamaCare "Death Panels"
Posted on 08/12/2009 5:47:25 AM PDT by rhema
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin ignited a firestorm over the weekend by calling the health-care reforms pushed by President Barack Obama "downright evil" for proposals that could usher in rationing, and turn federal health boards into "death panels" that would decide whether the elderly and the disabled, like her infant Down's syndrome son, Trig, were "worthy of health-care." Palin's provocative statements, however, have brought fresh scrutiny of the dangers of the proposed "Heath Benefits Advisory Committee," if it were to adopt guidelines of a "Complete Lives System" advocated by Obama's policy advisor on health care reform, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.
Many Americans have flocked to town-hall meetings to protest what they see as the imminent government-takeover of the health-care industry, which makes up one-sixth of the total American economy. But more and more Americans revolting at Congress's health-care reforms have expressed fears for the health-care of the elderly and disabled, whom they fear will be victims of rationing and even passive euthanasia by way of the "advance care planning consultation" provisions featured on pages 424 - 443 of HR 3200, "the American Affordable Health Choices Act."
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil," said Palin communicating through her Facebook page, which has over 715,000 subscribers.
Although the White House and members of the mainstream media rushed to dismiss Palin's statement as "nuts," the threat of the government insurance plan becoming a "death panel" for the weakest members of society may not be far off the mark. ABC News recently reported that the Oregon Health Plan refused to cover cancer drugs that cost $4000 per a month for Barbara Wagner, a 64 year-old terminally ill patient with lung cancer. Instead they offered to give her a one-time prescription for lethal drugs to end her life, which would cost the state health provider only $50.
Palin attacked the promise of Congressional Democrats that the government plan would reduce the cost of health care, saying "as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost."
"Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion," concluded Palin.
A main feature of the legislation is a proposed "Health Benefits Advisory Committee" under the Executive Branch, which would be charged with determining "essential benefits" for all health-insurance plans and formulate standards for treatment that incorporate cost-cutting strategies. The federal health board would be comprised of a panel of medical experts, half of which would be nominated by the President. Under the current proposal, the HBAC would be independent of Congress, and its rules and recommendations guiding doctor treatments and insurance companies could only be overturned if Congress, the Executive Branch, and ordinary citizens through the judiciary act within 30 days. Even then, the actions of the Committee would have to be accepted or rejected in toto, with no exceptions.
But Palin pointed out the enormous danger for federal health boards becoming "death panels" through a policy of rationing, esp. by following the policy proposed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an issue first raised by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
Emanuel is a key advisor of Obama's health care reform as health-policy adviser at the White House's Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. A member of the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Bioethics Council and brother to Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, he advocates "The Complete Lives System," which as he described in a Jan. 31, 2009 article, "prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life."
Emanuel's approach has five principles which he lays out in "Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions" published on January 31, 2009: "youngest first, prognosis, save most lives, lottery, instrumental value."
"When the worst-off can benefit only slightly, while the better-off could benefit greatly, allocating to the better off is often justifiable," wrote Emanuel.
He continued that the CLS discrimination based on age is not "invidious discrimination" because "everyone who is 65 years now was once 25 years." But in the CLS, care would also be rationed away from young people with a "poor prognoses" because they lack "the potential to live a complete life." (Read here)
Emanuel has also stated that doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, and stated that "Savings [in the medical industry] will require changing how doctors think about their patients" in a 2008 article written for the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a separate 1996 article for the Hastings Center Report, Emanuel spoke about rationing care away from those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens" to the non-disabled, adding "An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."
Approximately 33 percent of medical spending occurs in the final year of a patient's life, and throughout the legislation (HR 3200), enormous pressures are put upon on physicians and medical professionals to incentivize them to cut costs.
Opponents, especially at tumultuous town-halls, have expressed fears that current provisions in the bill for government-run health-care could lead to doctors thinking of the bottom line first, could end up pressuring patients through "advanced care planning consultations" (sec. 1233) into accepting lower-quality care or care they do not want, out of a feeling that they pose some kind of burden on their families or society. Under that section in the version under discussion by the House Ways and Means Committee, doctors would formulate with patients end-of-life orders, regarding their desire to continue or discontinue antibiotic treatments or nutrition and hydration under particular circumstances.
This is just sickening. They want people to work their entire life & pay the govt taxes, & then when it comes time to relax & enjoy life after retirement, they want to get rid of you.
Kudos to Sarah for advocating for all of us & our loved ones!
An immoral society refuses to help those it deems not worth supporting. This is the true meaning of evil.
Wasn’t Murkowski’s dad a crook and a enemy of Palin? Didn’t Palin run as a purge against the corrupt politics of Murkowski and her father?
Sorry - wrong thread - or I read something wrong. In either case I need more coffee.......
White House and members of the mainstream media rushed to dismiss Palin's statement as "nuts,"Right. Exactly. Its "nuts" as there is nothing specific in HR 3200 about a 'Death Panel'.
Then again, Hitler and Himmler never put down in writing the plans for 'The final Solution' either. It was all done with a wink and a nod and code speak.
'Death Camps for undesirables', responded Herr Hitler, 'utterly preposterous'!Naturally, he said that in German.
Der Fuhrer and his minions will soon find that people will not go for this, and it is easier to get rid of them - with malice.
Obama wen ton to explain exactly why the government should not take over healt care by giving the post office a well-deserved trashing. Hoisted by his own petard.
'Death Camps for undesirables', responded Herr Hitler, 'utterly preposterous'!"
Actually, there were the Wannasee Protocols.
There is no question that health care will be rationed based on who has political power.
Palin’s comment on the death panels is completely legitimate, and I give her credit for using a term which would draw attention.
Under the Obama plan, the government will run all healthcare. When I’m old, if I get sick, I will have to apply to some government bureaucrat or board to determine what, when, and where I will get treatment. If they scrutinize my records, and determine my affliction is not worth treating, they will deny me treatment, or authorize some other ineffective treatment. I will not have the option of paying for th2e treatment myself, as the government will control all healthcare in the U.S. There will be no private doctors. They will not have killed me, in a Hitler, gas-oven sense. They’ll just deny me care, if they think I’m not worth saving, and I will die anyway.
Sure sounds like a “death panel” to me.
Here is a clue- this part of the bill describes processes and procedures to OBTAIN life-sustaining treatments. It’s an opt-in, your “coalition of stake holders” acting in accordance with applicable state Law (Like Oregon’s) decide whether you get life-sustaining treatment. What if, at the end of the process, the stakeholders (including you, you have a voice, but the insurance provider has the money and the doctors have the tools) it’s decided that you don’t get the Enabling Order for Life-Sustaining Treatments? Gotta save that 30% end-of-life expense to make universal health care less expensive for all [that are still alive].
1 (F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of
2 orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar
3 orders, which shall include
4 (I) the reasons why the development of
5 such an order is beneficial to the individual and
6 the individuals family and the reasons why
7 such an order should be updated periodically as
8 the health of the individual changes;
9 (II) the information needed for an indi
10 vidual or legal surrogate to make informed deci
11 sions regarding the completion of such an
12 order; and
13 (III) the identification of resources that
14 an individual may use to determine the require
15 ments of the State in which such individual re
16 sides so that the treatment wishes of that indi
17 vidual will be carried out if the individual is un
18 able to communicate those wishes, including re
19 quirements regarding the designation of a sur
20 rogate decisionmaker (also known as a health
21 care proxy).
22 (ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement
23 for explanations under clause (i) to consultations
24 furnished in a State
1 (I) in which all legal barriers have been
2 addressed for enabling orders for life sustaining
3 treatment to constitute a set of medical orders
4 respected across all care settings; and
5 (II) that has in effect a program for or
6 ders for life sustaining treatment described in
7 clause (iii).
8 (iii) A program for orders for life sustaining
9 treatment for a States described in this clause is a
10 program that
11 (I) ensures such orders are standardized
12 and uniquely identifiable throughout the State;
13 (II) distributes or makes accessible such
14 orders to physicians and other health profes
15 sionals that (acting within the scope of the pro
16 fessionals authority under State law) may sign
17 orders for life sustaining treatment;
18 (III) provides training for health care
19 professionals across the continuum of care
20 about the goals and use of orders for life sus
21taining treatment; and
22 (IV) is guided by a coalition of stake
23 holders includes representatives from emergency
24 medical services, emergency department physi
25 cians or nurses, state long-term care associa-
1 tion, state medical association, state surveyors,
2 agency responsible for senior services, state de
3 partment of health, state hospital association,
4 home health association, state bar association,
5 and state hospice association.
6 (2) A practitioner described in this paragraph is
7 (A) a physician (as defined in subsection
8 (r)(1)); and
9 (B) a nurse practitioner or physicians assist
10 ant who has the authority under State law to sign
11 orders for life sustaining treatments.
Even for active working people it will be cheap cares at high costs
The Emanuel/Obama approach assumes a world of static resources with no medical progress. The real world situation, up to now, has been that expensive experimental treatments are tried on the rich customers. If they work and are effective, the treatments will be used for more people and the cost comes down. Government control will bring an end to medical progress since the new treatments will be too expensive (and illegal)to use.
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