Aug 14 2009

“Death Panels” Are A Fact Of Cheap, Government Run Healthcare

Published by at 1:13 pm under All General Discussions,Obamacare

Major Update: Incredibly we have two examples of the Inquisitor’s death panels in action today. There is one operating in the State of Oregon (one place I was once thinking about retiring to – clearly not anymore):

Oregon’s Health Plan does not cover everyone in the state as Obama’s Gov’t Care Plan eventually aims to do. The Oregon Health Plan covers only low-income people, and a panel ranks diseases and conditions in order of priority for treatment.

If you have a deformity of your upper body, arms, or legs, no treatment for you! Ditto if your vocal cords are paralyzed. Live with it! Advanced breast cancer? Go home and, you know. . . .

If you are a pathological gambler, a drug user, or want to stop smoking , you can get treatment! Want to be sterilized or get an abortion? Step right up.

You just can’t make this stuff up – too scary. So, we have a ‘panel’ in Oregan that ranks an gambling and smoking addictions as higher priority than serious cancers. I feel like we have stepped into an alternate universes where America has turned into its opposite.

Update: Sarah Palin comes out again today, noting as I did, this is not about end-of-life consultations, it is about the core essence of any cheap, government run healthcare system – end update.

The liberals are now all up in arms because someone (i.e., Governor Sarah Palin) was finally able to label the core problem with any and all government run health care options. That label is “death panels”, and it is very appropriate and accurate, and is only marginally attached to end-of-life consultations.

Today’s liberal know-it-alls march around with the pompous, busy-body attitude reflecting a modern day inquisition. They tell everyone how to think, how to live, how to talk to each other, what myths to follow (global warming comes to mind). And if we lowly peasants violate these holy liberals we are chastised, attacked and can be punished under the law for our digressions from orthodoxy.

Interestingly, right now the opponents of the liberals’ government run dreams of conquest don’t need to theorize or extrapolate about the possible outcomes, because the UK clearly shows us all where a government run health care ‘option’ will lead us. What they are going through now, in terms of ‘cost savings’, is what ANY government controlled health spending program for individuals will end up. And realize, this is not about consultations – it is about cost savings (aka ‘cheap healthcare’, ‘affordable health care’, ‘universal access’, etc) and how the liberal inquisitors will chose the worthy.

Remember, a government run health care systems is where the government confiscates YOUR money through taxes and tells YOU what you can spend it on in terms of YOUR health care. And they will mandate that YOU save costs by doing what they say under threat of penalty. Under todays options the government cannot touch our health care dollars. Companies provide insurance pools. But if individuals could pool outside corporate and state lines, we could remove all outside parties from our health care decisions. And isn’t that what we want?

It is no secret the prime intent of the government run system is to ‘save money’, which everyone with two brain cells to rub together knows actually means to NOT SPEND money. They take our money and determine how not to spend it for us. Voilà! Health care cost savings.

So, how does the government save/not spend money on health care? Let’s hear from President Obama’s lead architect and advisor, in his own words (which he is today trying to deny are his words) on how this can be accomplished:

Start with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change,” he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

Emanuel, however, believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia” (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ’96).

These are exact quotes from the man’s own writings. He admits there are no efficiencies or waste that can really cut costs/not spend. The only real option – deny treatment. He can deny he wrote this all day long, but only a liberal dupe will believe it (these people are as sane as the 9-11 truthers and the Obama birthers). But I digress.

Here is another quote from this presidential health care advisor:

Under this system, patients would receive scarce care according to the graph shown below.

Complete Life

The paper concludes: “the complete lives system combines four morally relevant principles: youngest-first, prognosis, lottery, and saving the most lives. In pandemic situations, it also allocates scarce interventions to people instrumental in realising these four principles. Importantly, it is not an algorithm, but a framework that expresses widely affirmed values: priority to the worst-off, maximising benefits, and treating people equally. To achieve a just allocation of scarce medical interventions, society must embrace the challenge of implementing a coherent multiprinciple framework rather than relying on simple principles or retreating to the status quo.”

Emphasis mine. Look at the graph. Look were health care spending is maximized (money spent) and minimized (money withheld, not spent = SAVED!). Then read the words I put into bold: in order achieve ‘just allocation’. This is not rationing, this is worse. Under rationing everyone gets an equal share, but to allocate is to distribute unequally.

Under advanced triage, which is the essence of the liberal government run plans as outlined above, a panel of bureaucrats and appointed ‘experts’ decide what is a ‘just allocation’.

In advanced triage, doctors may decide that some seriously injured people should not receive advanced care because they are unlikely to survive. Advanced care will be used on patients with less severe injuries. Because treatment is intentionally withheld from patients with certain injuries, advanced triage has ethical implications. It is used to divert scarce resources away from patients with little chance of survival in order to increase the chances of survival of others who are more likely to survive.

Yes, there is even a formal definition of what these panels do when cutting costs. They decide who lives or dies by deciding who to spend money on (see graph above). This ‘advanced triage ‘ or ‘communitarianism’ process  or  ‘complete lives system’ is rightfully summed up as a government ‘death panel’. The liberals will try and hide its true nature under pleasant sounding words strung together to lull the poor victims to sleep, but the label ‘death panel’ makes sense. And that is why it is sticking.

Most importantly, this has NOTHING to do with end of life consultations. If you can’t convince the patient to cut costs by getting on with their dying – thereby reducing the surplus population (think Ebenezer Scrooge) – then there are other ways to cut costs/not spend.

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.

Now, this is a future NHS concept for making more cost savings/not spending, which sounds a lot like that “communitarianism’ and ‘complete lives systerm’ old Doc Ezekiel was writing about above:

The contract, first floated by Tony Blair was proposed by Gordon Brown in a New Year message to Health Service staff today.

The Prime Minister believes a new focus on the prevention of ill health, rather than curing it, is essential for a modern NHS.

So, the UK ‘death panels’ at NHS hospitals, faced with tight budgets (keep it ‘cheap’ healthcare folks) already decided obese people and smokers are not as worthy as others. When will the drinkers and meat eaters be added? When will NHS be for non smoking, tea-toting, young vegans only?

Not too long it seems. The UK’s Cost Cutting Inquisition is looking to expand its definition of unworthy behavior – and those obese people and those smokers have some scary new company:

Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

The inquisitors on the UK’s death panels are seriously considering to define ‘growing to a ripe old age’ as abhorrent and unworthy behavior – right up there with heavy drinking smoking and over eating!

The liberal news media has no ability or desire to show the connection between the words of the president’s health care advisor with the actions and discussions now ongoing regarding the UK’s NHS. They keep blaming the conservatives and independents who oppose government run health care of being evil because we have the brain wattage to process the concepts expressed (presidential advisor) and the results produced (UK NHS) to date to see how they will impact us here in the US. Damn us and our brains!

The fact that the liberal media is refusing to connect the dots is a sad commentary on the left and the liberal media. It doesn’t change the facts. They are all trying to deny that there is any ‘death panel’, but the only way to not spend money is to decide which procedures and patients are not worthy of the expense. This doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out.

While the liberal left is in the throws of denial so deep that they make truthers and birthers look sane, America gets it:

Elderly Americans are turning out in droves to fight ObamaCare, and President Obama is arguing back that they have nothing to worry about. Allow us to referee. While claims about euthanasia and “death panels” are over the top, senior fears have exposed a fundamental truth about what Mr. Obama is proposing: Namely, once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted.

Seniors are most at risk. They represent 80% of the health care spending. To cut costs/not spend is to limit their options. Look at the funding curve under Doc Ezekiel’s chart at the top once again. After 55 it is literally downhill for folks in an advanced triage or ‘complete lives system’ of health care approach. Not to mention how cheap the stingy government will be with children of all ages and needs. Governor Sarah Palin is correct to look at that chart of ol’ Doc Ezekiel’s and realize her youngest child is targeted to help cut costs/not spend.

Americans of all ages have a right to be scared, because we don’t know where the Obamacare Death Panel of Life Style Inquisitors will be hidden in the legislation. Of course they are not called out! If they were, we could make sure they would never see the light of a congressional bill at a presidential signing ceremony. The only way to make sure there are never government inquisitors sitting on death panels determining who is worthy of health care is to never let the government get into the health care business – ever.

If the Dems think the voters are going to chose death panels of life-style inquisitors, doling out our hard earned tax money which the government confiscated from us, in order to cut costs/not spend, then they truly deserve the wrath of voters. The best response to this kind of sick thinking is to throw the bums out and cut off their money supply. Instead of the government taking control of our health care decisions and dollars, it may be easier to just take back over government and cut it out of any all decisions. It would lower costs and stop the red ink if we cut the cost of government instead of health care.

We The People hold the power, not DC liberals. In 2010 that will be more than evident.

Update: Tom Macguire notes that President Obama has been talking ‘death panel’ talk (albeit using those soothing, vague, trance-setting words) for some time:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.

Excuse me? what kind of ‘discussion’ requires an ethicists? Life and Death discussions? Where is the patient and their family in this mix?

They don’t get a seat at the Death Panel – they are the subject of the Inquisitor’s decision to determine worthiness.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to ““Death Panels” Are A Fact Of Cheap, Government Run Healthcare”

  1. lacegrl130 says:

    You know, in a way – I think Medicare is already practicing for this. My mother lives with me. She has a pace maker and congestive heart failure and other problems. Early this spring, she had a major breathing issue arise. It was AWFUL watching her gasp for breath. Naturally, we went to her cardiologist who fiddled with her meds and we walk a tight rope to keep her breathing comfortably. But, during the final session, her Doctor drew his stool up to her wheel chair and said (did not ask) “Hon, you don’t want to be on a respirator do you?” She was confused and he went on to explain that it was better to call the office before EVER going to hospital if she had breathing issues in the future. He said if she went to the hospital – they would be obligated to put her on a respirator. He then looked at me and while nodding his head up and down said, “you agree? Don’t you?” Well, I was really put off by this conversation. First of all, I am not sure I am up for watching her suffocate. When she has these issues, it is hard to just watch. She becomes VERY panicked. And begs me to help her breathe. So far, through persistent visits, we have her meds worked out so she breathes comfortably for now. But, each time we show up at the Dr.’s office he seems surprised to see her. He keeps telling us her heart rate is at 15% of what it should be and she won’t last long. That started two years ago. Really, I fear for the end of life stuff in the HR3200 – I think they would not give her the time of day. They would have finished her off by now, or suggested Hospice.

  2. […] New York Times once again talks bout Death Panels. A.J. Strata writes an excellent […]

  3. owl says:

    “Americans of all ages have a right to be scared, because we don’t know where the Obamacare Death Panel of Life Style Inquisitors will be hidden in the legislation.”

    Bingo. All these posts I read that it has been taken out? No way.

  4. kathie says:

    I think that the intension of Obama’s “real Health Care program” is to insure the poor and lower middle class, also to cover some with pre existing conditions, though not his real focus, and change the rules for doing so, or expand Medicaid by many percentage points for adults, just like they have done for the SCHIPS program, and have tax payers pay for it so that it doesn’t expand the deficit. The disguise is reforming Health Care.

    So families that own homes, and have other goodies can infact get medicaid. Part of the money will be taken from the Medicare program, that may not go over too well, the rest from the rich.

    This would fit in with Obama’s other ideas, work of the poor and plenty of money for schools in inner cities. What is not being talked about where the stimulus money is going. We talk about that it is not getting out fast enough, but not to whom it is going to. Like this week millions in cash went to children in New York who’s parents were on welfare, so that they could buy books for school.

    The shovel ready projects are waiting for minority contractors to bid on jobs to get going. Millions are going to neighborhoods where unemployed youth need jobs. Millions are going to hospitals that serve unprivileged peoples, and to train ethics for positions.

    The Federal government is now the primary lender for students to attend college. Who selects those students for loans?

    I remember that Obama did not like the idea of reparations, but thought that giving jobs, education, and medical care was a better was to deal with the situation. That is exactly what he is doing.

    I can think of better ways of doing it, other then ruining the economy. Because in the long run, this money will run out and without the economy growing the poor and undereducated will only be able to participate in the American dream on a temporary basis.

  5. kathie says:

    to the above…… I’m just throwing out ideas, because none of this makes any sense.

  6. Snapple says:

    My brother was in a wheelchair and had kidney disease. He was given at least three new kidneys, but they all eventually failed.

    He was on dialysis and in and out of hospitals for more than three decades.

    The government (taxpayers) paid for most of this “free” care, and I am sure it cost millions. He also took tons of different medicines.

    One time when we were in Italy, an Italian doctor at the dialysis unit told my brother that after 65 the Italian socialized medicine won’t pay for dialysis. I think we got this right, but it is hard to be sure. I think he said this was the situation in other European countries, but we weren’t sure if we understood him correctly.

    We were able to take my brother to Italy, pay for dialysis in cash and submit the bills to medicare or medicaid (I get this mixed up) when we got home.

    I felt like my brother got a lot of help from the government (taxpayer), but there was also rationing.

    For example, after he reached a certain age or had a certain number of transplants fail, he became ineligable for a new kidney.

    Still, for over 30 years he got several kidneys and dialysis until he died of complications of his disease in his early 50s.

    I am grateful for all this “free” care, which I know cost taxpayers millions.

    Whatever system we have–private or public–there is rationing, but I have to say that the government (taxpayers) paid millions for my brother’s medical care.

    I doubt that Obamacare would do as much for my brother because he would be considered too expensive.

    Some private insurance also refuses to cover certain medicines, treatments, and surgeries. Whatever system we have will have to ration.

    I think if we had more competition in the health services industry it would reduce costs, but I am not sure a government health care will provide this.

    Probably there would be a lot of corruption and people with really serious and expensive problems would be left to die.

    Now that the baby-boomers are retiring, there will be a lot of expenses for the taxpayer. This burden is on our children.

    There comes a point at which extremely expensive medical care to prolong the lives of older or very ill people can be a real drain on the taxpayers.

    On the other hand, in places where there is “free” medical care, there is not a lot of incentive to develop new therapies for very sick people. We can’t spend millions on each person who is dying, because that is all of us.

    In Russia, they had “spas” for people who had arthritis where they were “treated” with mud bath therapies instead of the latest medications.

    They had “free” care, but it was not very high quality.

  7. ivehadit says:

    At the heart of this matter appears to be a huge power grab, imho. The program is NOT, repeat not going to cover everyone.

    But it will make everyone close to the same. No one will get any better coverage than anyone else. (Misery loves miserable company?)This is not the American way. This is the statists’ way. It is a recipe for utter depression for the American people sucking the life and spirit out of us. All in the name of “fairness” and “social justice” a.k.a. revenge. It is not what my G-d teaches me. In fact, imho, it is this administration playing god.

    To them I say, Hockey. The United States is not set up in this fashion. And for this reason, others clamor to come here. For Freedom. Freedom of choice given by G-d. The power in Washington is on LOAN. They seem to ignore this as they ignore our Constitution. Unacceptable.

    Honduras, thanks for setting the new tone. We will NOT accept dictators in our government, either. And let us be a shining example to other countries that seek freedom, that we will not tolerate a government strangling us with debt, taking away our liberties and our personal decisions.

    This is possibly the most critical time since the founding of our country, imho. It is on par with the revolution, imho: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness vs. government control.

    Why do the socialists PERSIST all these years in trying to change the United States? Because our model is the most successful and POWERFUL model for living in this world, imho. Imho, socialists come from a place of negative intent.

  8. owl says:

    ivehadit…………no, it will not make everyone close to the same. Common sense tells us that the powerful/rich will get theirs regardless. The problem for the rest of us is that graph above.

    Forget the ploy to divert attention to the end of life discussions. I posted a link in the next thread that explains the real danger has already passed. Just waiting for this one to kick it in. I read a comment (ultima ratio) over at lucienne ……….look at this…….

    “A step in this direction was taken in the stimulus bill which provided over a billion dollars to set up a computer system throughout the health industry, in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The network would be controlled by the WH where a council of co-called “experts” would make the decisions about what kind of care is received by grandma. It would FINE any doctor who did not obey its decisions. The current House bill would trigger this process and convert what is now just a research tool into a powerful new method of government control over the lives of citizens.”

  9. OBloodyhell says:

    > Some private insurance also refuses to cover certain medicines, treatments, and surgeries. Whatever system we have will have to ration.

    Not exactly.

    Under a private system, even if you can’t afford it, you can appeal to the charity of others in order to gain assistance, and, indeed, people can be quite generous in their assistance.

    Under Universal Health Care, such options are not to be found. You are SOL unless you manage to get some disinterested DMV type bureaucrat to sign off on your treatment.

    If you are rich and powerful, well-connected, or some other VIP, you can bet that said bureaucrat can be found and made interested in your fate.

    The rest of us poor schlubs, not so much.

    And hence you can osculate your posterior… “sayonara”.


  10. OBloodyhell says:

    > But it will make everyone close to the same. No one will get any better coverage than anyone else.


    LOL. Ya, right. I have a really, really great land deal for you. Guaranteed return of 500% in only six months. I Swear!!


    I can’t find a ref for it, but I recall some years back about the case of a basketball player for a Canadian team who was “moved up” in the queue for a knee operation in the Canadian NHS.

    If you think the rich, the connected, the powerful, and the SOBs in charge aren’t going to get just fine and dandy treatment compared to The Rest Of Us Plebes you are smoking **CRACK**.


  11. ivehadit says:

    I agree, Owl. The super rich will have their private doctors.
    What I really meant is that the 98% of us that are not super rich will have LOUSY care. Equally. There will be no competition, just lousy bureaucratic-administered low quality care.

    I detest the socialist way. Time to read The Pathology of Liberalism by Joan Swirsky….and the Cloward-Piven Strategy over at

  12. […] The UK system is selecting who is worthy of treatment every day (those mythical death panels), with one proposal lumping the sin of growing old in with those social miscreants who are overweight, smoking and […]

  13. […] these promises with current proposals in the UK to eek out cost savings by lumping the concept of living to a ripe old age in with those social […]

  14. […] Boomers that it is selecting who is worthy of treatment every day (those mythical death panels), with one proposal lumping the sin of growing old in with those social miscreants who are overweight, smoking and […]

  15. […] We can look at the UK, where the rising costs of care have the death panels (cost saving panels) discussing the idea of limiting care for the poor life judgement of growing old: Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly […]