Obama’s Health Rationer-in-Chief

It is worth some time learning about the man who will be playing a pivotal role in Obamacare (should it come to pass), and who is already playing a pivotal role in Obama’s version of Medicare.

He is Dr. Ezikiel Emanuel, and, if the name sounds familiar, he is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff.  So far, Dr. Emanuel has  been appointed by the President to two very important positions…health policy advisor to the Office of Management and Budget, and, a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

What does Dr. Emanuel think of Obama’s statement that we will  cover some of the costs of Obamacare by cutting waste, etc.?

Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change.

So, how would Dr. Emanuel control costs?

To him, the issue is the Hippocratic Oath.  Here is what he says about that,

“Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness,” he writes. “This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath’s admonition to ‘use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment’ as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others.”

Although most would find that approach to the practice of medicine laudable, in Dr. Emanuel’s mind, adhering to the Hippocratic Oath is a problem because it does not “control costs”.   His solution…change the Hippocratic Oath.  Medical students should be trained,

to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care. [emphasis supplied]

Exactly what is socially sustainable, cost effective care?  According to Dr. Emanuel, it is,

adding the communitarian perspective to ensure that medical resources will be allocated in a way that keeps society going: “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 deliberations—are to be socially guaranteed as basic. [emphasis supplied]

Thus, according to Dr. Emanuel, health care is a basic right if you fit the above description.  Conversely, it is not a basic right if you fit the following description:

Covering 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. [emphasis supplied]

And who decides whether someone is “prevented” from becoming a participating citizen?  Given his leadership role in Obamacare, I suppose Dr. Emanuel gets to make that decision.

I wonder what medical care he would have given to Helen Keller had he been her family’s doctor?

One further insight into Dr. Emanuel’s thinking…

“Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda,” he wrote last Nov. 16 in the Health Care Watch Blog. “If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration’s health-reform effort.”

Hum…could there be a connection between the union support for Obamacare, and the auto bailout?

Democrats admit Medicare cuts part of Obama-Kennedy health care plan

From Gateway Pundit, we’ve got video from a Colorado town hall meeting where Rep. Betsy Marky (D-Colo.) flat out states Medicare recipients will have to give up benefits for Obama-Kennedycare to work. Who are you going to believe?

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Medicare, the reason for Obamacare

Jim has been talking for months about the tie between Medicare and Obamacare.  Medicare is broke, and to keep it running, the government needs an enormous infusion of cash.  Finally, someone has admitted that Jim is correct.

Alan Greenspan has now spoken about the connection.


And, let me explain why.

When Medicare came into being under President Johnson, there were millions of “baby boomers” in the work force, and, they paid a payroll tax to offset the cost of Medicare.  And, that continued for decades.  Medicare worked, and all was well.

Now, as the say, “Houston, we have a problem”.  The millions of “baby boomers” who paid for the system are now retiring themselves, and this creates a double “wammy”.

First, the “baby boomers” are now reaching the age of 65, and they have no where else to turn for medical insurance except Medicare.  That program long ago wiped out any private insurance for seniors.  So when you hear Obama say that his public option will “compete” with private insurance, remember what happened when Medicare came into being…private insurance for seniors quickly died.

And, second, those retiring “baby boomers” will no longer be paying payroll taxes into the system.  The net effect of this is that hundreds of thousands of retirees will be added to Medicare each year, and the tax base to pay for the system will be eroding.

Without Obamacare, and, a public “option”, Medicare will fall further and further into a sea of red ink.  To halt this trend, Obamacare ultimately will force the young and healthy to buy the public “option” insurance, and the premiums they pay will be used to prop up the ailing Medicare system.  But, it will not, and cannot stop there.

Obama and Congress tell us that they can pay for Obamacare by saving $500 billion over 10 years from Medicare.  Logic tells us that adding millions of “baby boomers” to the Medicare rolls, eliminating the payroll taxes they pay into the system, and, simultaneously wringing billions out of Medicare can never happen.  Unless, of course, health care for seniors is rationed.

And, that is a preview of what Obamacare will look like in the future.  The system can only be sustained if medical care is rationed, not just for seniors, but for all.

Update (Jim): The Sound Off Sister and I listened to this further affirmation last night on Special Report from Charles Krauthammer. The Feds need to save Medicare and they are going to do it with your kids money and by stealing the insurance companies premiums.


Is AARP selling its members down the river?

For months, President Obama has been promoting his health care plan, and proposing to pay for it by, among other things, squeezing billions of dollars out of Medicare.  And AARP, looking more and more like an arm of the DNC than an advocate for its members, has been backing the president’s plan.

So this week, the president held yet another in a seemingly endless series of town hall meetings to promote his plan, but, this time the meeting was with AARP.  I suppose it should have come as no surprise to the president that seniors, given all they have heard, would be concerned about things like rationing, reduced benefits, and “end of life” counseling.  The surprise though to many AARP members is that AARP doesn’t seem to share those concerns.

I’ve linked to an article, not necessarily because it is “the truth, the whole truth, and, nothing but the truth”, but because of the comments section below the article.  It is not only me that is questioning AARP’s motives, but AARP members as well.

But, back to the AARP town hall meeting, and the president’s attempt to allay seniors’  fears.

Mr. Obama said the Medicare cuts will be targeted at wasteful spending, such as overpayments to insurance companies that participate in private Medicare plans, as well as unnecessary hospital readmissions.

Were I on Medicare, and, at that town hall meeting, I wouldn’t find that statement particularly comforting.  I would have raised my hand to ask, “Why can’t you do that now, Mr. President?  Does it take an act of Congress for our government to stop wasteful spending?”  In response, the President would probably have spoken about red pills and blue pills, and unnecessary removal of tonsils, but I’m  fairly confident that I wouldn’t have gotten an answer.

The answer, to me,  is simple, Mr. President.  You can’t cut $250 to $500 billion in Medicare spending over 10 years when you are simultaneously adding millions of “baby boomers” to the Medicare rolls, without reducing payments to health care providers.  Reduced payments means fewer and fewer health care providers will accept Medicare.  And, fewer and fewer health care providers means longer and longer wait times to see a doctor.

Mr. President, is it too much to ask that you be honest with the American public?  And, AARP, is it too much to ask that you be honest with your members?