A superb column by Mark Steyn on the ongoing healthcare debate/debacle: "...you’d be surprised how quickly the 'right' to health care elides into the government’s right to tell you how to live in order to access that health care. A government-directed medical system can be used to justify almost any restraint on freedom... Ultimately, it’s not the nationalization of health care but the nationalization of your body."
Follow that article up with "Deadly Doctors" by Betsy McCaughey, who has read both the House and Senate bills and is doing superb work on this topic.
As McCaughey explains, one of President Obama's top healthcare advisors is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of the White House Chief of Staff.
Dr. Emanuel advocates policies which would make Hitler proud. Among other things, he doesn't believe in medical care for the disabled, "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).
He justifies discrimination against providing medical care to the elderly with the suggestion that they will receive their share when they are young: "Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years."
McCaughey also writes: "Since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors' lives have been transformed by new medical treatments such as angioplasty, bypass surgery and hip and knee replacements. These innovations allow the elderly to lead active lives. But Emanuel criticizes Americans for being too 'enamored with technology' and is determined to reduce access to it. Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, agrees. He recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending."
Of course, why do I suspect that these ideas would not apply to the governing elite, just as they are exempting themselves from the healthcare plans they are writing? There's something rather Kremlinesque about that.
Scary times, indeed.
Previously: Obamacare Outlaws Private Insurance.
Wednesday Update: The President proposes withholding payments from doctors as services are rendered -- called "bundling" -- and instead "rewarding" doctors based on the government's perception of the "quality" of care rendered to a patient over the long term.
This is sounding more Orwellian and intrusive -- and less capitalistic -- with every passing day.
It's also becoming increasingly clear that the President has some very negative opinions of those evil tonsil-yanking doctors. For instance, he says: "My interest is not in getting between you and your doctor... What we've said is, we just want to provide some guidelines to Medicare as and by extension the private sector about what works and what doesn't."
Does the President think that, after years of medical school and training, doctors don't already know "what works and what doesn't"? Are doctors not capable of forming opinions without direction from the government? What's the point of medical school?
As Rush Limbaugh recently said, "We don't need doctors. Just put out the list of what works best. Just put a list out!"
Update: The President's willingness to engage in baldfaced lies to promote his healthcare program is another cause for concern. He continually claims that "If you have insurance that you like, you will be able to keep that insurance," even though a review of the bills shows this is clearly untrue.
The President also says "Nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits," yet he has done exactly that.
If he'll lie about these issues, what else will he lie about, and why should we trust the President and the government to take over our health insurance?