September 4, 2009
Before I weigh in too deeply on the current healthcare debate I would like to make it clear that I am neither a Democrat or Republican, nor do I consider myself a liberal or conservative. The only alignment I wish to make for myself is with freedom, liberty, and a basic respect for the Constitution.
Let me begin by saying that I am actually quite open to the idea of a single payer healthcare system here in the United States. I have heard proposals that I believe could achieve the goal of healthcare for every American without raising taxes and without the Federal or State governments being involved in the doctor-patient decision-making process. Of course, these proposals have been scrapped and ignored from the very beginning. But, as I say that I am open to the single payer system, it may surprise many that I am opposed to the current healthcare bill generating so much debate around the country. So, let me explain myself.
First, this bill is not single payer. The mainstream media has created a false debate in this country. Liberals and democrats support this bill because they see it as single payer healthcare for all while conservatives and republicans oppose it because they see it as single payer socialized medicine. But as the American people argue over something that does not even exist, they completely miss the things that spell the opposite of healthcare for all as well as the things that are much worse than “socialized medicine.” Essentially, this bill is going to require every American to purchase a private insurance plan with their own money. If you can’t afford this private insurance, then you will be “taxed” or fined by the government (Title IV, P.167).
Secondly, before denying healthcare to the elderly and the handicapped became a national joke, there was a flicker of debate about what the mainstream media mockingly labeled as “death panels.” I regret to inform the readers that these panels do in fact exist both within this bill as well as other legislation. Section 1233 of the healthcare bill is rife with clauses that establish government control over the health care procedures you undergo particularly at the end of life. This section asserts that a government approved list of end of life resources will be established(Section 1233, p. 425) as well as the required “end of life counseling” every five years or if his/her health takes a sudden turn for the worst (Section 1233, P.425). It goes even further to say that a government board will determine what level of treatment you will receive, if any, at the end of your life (Section 1233, P.430). Section 1162 indicates that the government will mandate what it calls “outcome based measures,” which is a polite way of saying rationing (Section 1162, P.335).
The government panel that will make these decisions is actually already in existence. It was created earlier in the year tucked away safely in the stimulus bill. The stimulus legislation created a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research which is modeled on a UK board that oversees the rationing of healthcare procedures in that country and uses a formula to determine who receives care and who doesn’t (McCaughey). With its focus on “cost effectiveness” and “outcome based measures,” it is clear that the elderly, the handicapped, and the chronically ill will receive far less care than younger healthier patients as they are seen to benefit less in terms of quality of life and quantity of years. Yet it should be clear to everyone that it is not a question as to whether or not these individuals will benefit from the treatment, it is a question of whether or not they are seen as a benefit to the governmental establishment.
If one is not convinced of the intended rationing of healthcare by simply reading the bill, then he/she should consider what the authors and largest supporters have said in regards to it. Former Senator Tom Daschle, also a former Obama nominee for the position of Health and Human Services Secretary, actually wrote many of these provisions (McCaughey). Daschle is quoted in his book as saying that Americans expect too much from their healthcare system and that Europeans should be commended for being more willing to accepting “hopeless diagnoses” and foregoing “experimental treatments" (McCaughey). He also goes on to say that seniors should be more accepting of these hopeless diagnoses and illnesses that come with age instead of treating them (McCaughey).
Ezekiel Emanuel, health policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget as well as a sitting member of Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research is quoted as saying that doctors take the Hippocratic oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (JAMA June 18, 2008,). Indeed, that is generally what patients want from their doctors. In an article written for the Hastings Center Emanuel says, “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” (Hastings Center Report Nov.-Dec. 1996, p.13). Emanuel is clearly advocating a eugenics-based rationing system.
The healthcare bill also contains other frightening clauses such as Subpart XII, Section 340L which establishes a “Corps” that will conduct “Home Healthcare visits” as explained in Section 1713 to assess the designated families’ “economic self-sufficiency, employment, school readiness, and educational achievement” and to coach them on how to raise their children (Section 1713,P.768). This bill does in fact contain provisions that would set the wages of doctors (Section 225 and Section 223), possibilities of a draft to a National Health Service Corps (as mention also in the stimulus bill; section 1713), creation of a National Medical Device Registry (Section 2521), and potential to mandate even the food we eat (Section 3121).
It is important for the American people to realize that this bill is not single-payer and that it does not provide healthcare for all. It is a eugenics program that will ration healthcare for most and outright deny it for some. The mainstream media and those who control it have created a false debate among us in an attempt to divide and distract us from the real issues at hand. The American people continue to argue with one another over issues that do not even exist. While we spin around chasing our tails they attach yet one more link in the chain of tyranny and government control.
HR 3200 “Making Healthcare Affordable” PDF file
“Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan,” Betsy McCaughey, Bloomberg News
“The Perfect Storm of Overutilization”, Ezekiel Emanuel, Journal of American Medical Association, June 18, 2008
“Where Civic Republicanism and Deliberative Democracy Meet,” Ezekiel Emanuel, “The Hastings Center Report Nov.-Dec. 1996.”