Over the past week or so, I’ve noticed several liberal blogs trying to insinuate that it’s some crazy conspiracy or myth that old people will be allowed to die to save money under the health care plan being considered in Congress.
Just to be clear, that is EXACTLY what will happen — and it’s what happens right now in nations with socialized medicine around the globe. You may think waiting months to get life saving operations is a bug in socialized medicine, but to bureaucrats, it’s a feature? Why? Because while people are waiting for the operation, some of them die, thereby saving the cost of the operation — and it’s ever so much easier for the politicians. Although they can — and sometimes do — say, “Sorry, but we’re denying you this operation that will save your life,” the easy way to do it is just to delay, delay, delay. Then, there wasn’t some mean old bureaucrat denying somebody’s sweet, old grandmother the operation she needed to live on, it was just how it played out. She needed to get the operation in a month, but the first open appointment was six months later. What a stroke of bad luck!
Even Barack Obama has tacitly alluded to this on more than one occasion. Remember this?
President Obama struggled to explain today whether his health care reform proposals would force normal Americans to make sacrifices that wealthier, more powerful people — like the president himself — wouldn’t face.
The probing questions came from two skeptical neurologists during ABC News’ special on health care reform, “Questions for the President: Prescription for America,” anchored from the White House by Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist and researcher at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said that elites often propose health care solutions that limit options for the general public, secure in the knowledge that if they or their loves ones get sick, they will be able to afford the best care available, even if it’s not provided by insurance.
Devinsky asked the president pointedly if he would be willing to promise that he wouldn’t seek such extraordinary help for his wife or daughters if they became sick and the public plan he’s proposing limited the tests or treatment they can get.
The president refused to make such a pledge, though he allowed that if “it’s my family member, if it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care.["]
What happens if one of your family members gets sick and an operation that would be covered today under your insurance, wouldn’t be covered under Obamacare (and that would undoubtedly happen quite a bit)? Do you have the sort of money that Barack Obama does? Can you pay out of pocket for the “very best care” that your insurance would cover today? For most people, the answer to that question is, “no.”
Just in case you think Obama is being misconstrued there, he again hinted at the same thing recently ,
The questioner’s mother needed a pacemaker. But she was 100 years old. And though her doctor said she needed a pacemaker to go on, an arrhythmia specialist declined to do it because of her age and, like a government bureaucrat would, by reading her file rather than seeing her. When the arrhythmia specialist actually saw her in person – at her doctor’s insistence – he changed his mind about the level of risk and went ahead. As the questioner put it, he did so when he saw “her joy of life.”
Her question is essentially about care for the elderly, the removal of personal care and the weight of impending additional impersonal bureaucracy under Obama’s government health care takeover plan. His answer is a plate of spaghetti. With a side of painkillers.
Question: “Outside the medical criteria for prolonging the life of someone who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, or quality of life; or is it just a medical cut off at a certain age?”
President Obama: “Yeah, we’re not gonna solve every difficult problem in terms of end of life care. A lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and a society making better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that is not making anybody’s mom better that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what, maybe this isn’t gonna help. Maybe you’re better off not taking the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”
Translation: she’s 100 years old and the operation is expensive. Granny should have been loaded up with painkillers and sent home to wait to die.
Look, I understand that this is a difficult issue and that medical care is so expensive in the United States, in large part, because we get what we pay for. When the 100 year old grandmother wants a pacemaker, we think she should get the pacemaker. When people are suffering and need an operation, we think they shouldn’t have to wait for months or even years to get it. We choose to do the operations that people wouldn’t get in Britain or Canada — and none of that is free.
But personally, I think about the sort of care that I’d want if I were sick and I have to say, I believe it’s worth paying more for. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t improvements that can be made to our health care system. In fact, I’ve written about some of them here. However, what Obama is doing will destroy the quality of our health care and literally lead to Americans being denied the treatment that they need to save their lives. That’s just not the direction America’s health care system should be going.