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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Death Panels: Yes, they're real 
20th-Aug-2009 07:43 am
They are, in fact, a feature of all government health plans, whether British, Oregonian, or Obamacare.

Full Explanation, and sources here. Read the whole thing.


Let’s look at how it is done in the UK’s National Health System right now today. The UK’s NHS is the liberals model for the kind of system they want to push on us here in America. In the UK, they too are ‘cutting costs’. Here is one completely acceptable way for hospitals to cut costs in the UK:

"Already around one in ten hospitals refuse to carry out joint replacements for obese patients or orthopaedic surgery on smokers."

It is legal, in the UK NHS system, to designate who is worthy and who is not for health care dollars. Who sat on the panel of inquisitors and decided what life styles were worthy of national health care money? What is it’s real name and the names of its membership? Who knows – who cares! All we need to know is some body exists and decided what lives were worthy for care.

Mark Steyn puts it very well:

Government-directed health care is a profound assault on the concept of citizenship. It deforms national politics very quickly, and ensures that henceforth elections are always fought on the left’s terms. I find it hard to believe President Obama and his chums haven’t looked at Canada and Europe and concluded that health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. He doesn’t say that, of course. He says his objective is to “control costs”. Which is the one thing that won’t happen. Even now, health care costs rise far faster under Medicare than in the private sector.

By the way, to accept that argument is to concede a lot of the turf: Why is the cost of my health care Barack Obama’s business? When he mused recently as to whether his dying grandmother had really needed her hip replacement, he gave the game away: Right now, if Gran’ma decides she doesn’t need the hip, that’s her business. Under a government system, it’s the state’s business – and they have to “allocate” “resources”, and frankly at your age your body’s not worth allocating to. Why give you a new hip when you’re getting up there and you’re gonna be kicking the bucket in a year or two or five or twenty?
(bold mine)
20th-Aug-2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
"Creative" is right. Like your reading of decisions about hip replacements as "death panels".
20th-Aug-2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Once you have people deciding who is worth care, and who not, you have death panels. I remind you that there were other people who used the phrase "life unworthy of life" and suggest you don't want to be one of them, or support them.
20th-Aug-2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
You're fooling yourself if you think that HMOs give any more of a shit over whether you live or die.

It's a moot point whether "Gran'ma" decides she needs the hip if she's uninsured and can't pay for it--or if the HMO denies her claim.
20th-Aug-2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
But I can sue the HMO and force them to live up to their contract. I can't do that with the government. The Veterans Administration killed lots of cancer patients for years before finally becoming ashamed of themselves and closing the unit. And note, that was "closing" not "fixing" or "paying compensation to the families". Bad medicine, bad decisions, bad execution -- but no one is responsible. Government health care in a nutshell.

Now, about how common the grandma without insurance is, I'd suggest the stats don't bear you out. About a fifth of those uninsured are rich, and don't need it. Another quarter are illegal aliens, and no one's plan covers them, grandma or no. Then we have people young and healthy -- who will have to start paying rather hefty premiums under the government plan for their (unused) plans. Frankly, the uninsured grandmas could be covered for about 4.7 billion dollars -- barely a twentieth of what the plan is underestimated to cost.
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