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Friday, August 14, 2009

Sarah Palin: Troubling Questions Remain About Obama's Health Care Plan. We Give The Final Word (Hopefully) On "Death Panels"

The big discussion in health care, thanks to Sarah Palin, has been those metaphoric "death panels."

Now, I have to laugh out loud because the NYC/D.C. Beltway "elites" with their Ivy League educations have failed again to grasp common sense!

Now whether this is by design, or stupidity, I’ll let others debate, but it is obvious that education was wasted on those in Washington and in the media.

By now you have heard that key Senators in the Senate Finance Committee are saying they will take out certain "end of life" provisions of Obama’s disastrous health care fiasco.

"See, those death panels we swore were never there, now they're gone!"

Now, these people actually think they’ve done something!

All better now.

Again, I don’t know if politicians and media are just inherently stupid, or are just playing it on TV.

The end of life "counseling" was troubling, for sure, and we have found cases in Oregon where cancer patients were offered suicide drugs, but not cancer treatments. Oregon has statewide socialist medicine as well as assisted suicide laws. It seems that many progressives are members of the Hemlock Society.

Folks, let me be clear. "Death panels" is a metaphor.

For you educated Ivy League "elites", media and politicians alike see below:

From Merriam-Webster Online:

* Main Entry: met·a·phor

* Pronunciation: \?me-t?-?fo?r also -f?r\

* Function: noun

* Etymology: Middle English methaphor, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French metaphore, from Latin metaphora, from Greek, from metapherein to transfer, from meta- + pherein to bear — more at bear

* Date: 15th century

1 : a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money); broadly : figurative language — compare simile

2 : an object, activity, or idea treated as a metaphor : symbol 2

— met·a·phor·ic \?me-t?-?fo?r-ik, -?fรคr-\ or met·a·phor·i·cal \-i-k?l\ adjective

— met·a·phor·i·cal·ly \-i-k(?-)le-\ adverb

You see, those "death panels" are not the end of life counseling, or anything associated with them.

As Sarah Palin, and many others have been pointing out for weeks now, the condition in every single nation that has socialized medicine is rationing. It’s inevitable!

Now we all know the 45 million or so uninsured number, that the democrats throw around at will, is complete bull. It’s likely less than half that number. Take out the illegal aliens, and those who are only temporarily uninsured due to a job change, and it’s even smaller still.

But let’s use their number (or even half of it)

How in the world are you going to add another 20-45 million people into a health care system without adding a substantial amount of new doctors, nurses, and other workers? How can you add 20-45 million people to the health care system without building new hospitals?

And of course, how can you add 20-45 million people to the health care system without spending a whole lot more money?

The answer is: You can’t!

Obama claims you can and that he will. But that's a provable lie.

With the government takeover of health care, they will have set budgets. It will end up being first come first served.

Years ago, in Waco, Texas, East Waco, to be exact, there was a great barbecue joint. It was in the rough part of town, but all of the big shots loved to eat there. There was always a line out the door and into the street, at lunch time. And it was only open for lunch.

The place had been there since 1947 and the owner/cook/server/cashier was a real character. You went in, placed an order, which oddly enough, was called "an order." "An order" consisted of roughly ½ pound of beef, however much bread he grabbed, and a coke! This was served on butcher paper, with no silverware, no napkins, no nothin’! He just served it up, and his helper, would take it, and you, to a long table where everyone sat. Pickles and onions could be had if you asked and if he thought you needed ‘em!

I'm not kidding!

It was heaven if you like good barbecue. Oh, and it came with a little bowl of drippins to dunk the meat in, and there was some serious hot sauce on the table.

Here’s the thing though. The old boy knew how much he wanted to sell every day, and how hard he wanted to work. He always made that much, and no more. You needed to want an early lunch if you were going there. Get there late and you might not get fed!

In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to be out in the street, or just inside the door, and hear him yell at his helper:

"Might as well tell them folks to go on over to the Chicken Shack and get a table, I’ll be over there myself pretty quick!"

That was his way of saying he was about done. Of course, few left, hoping his was playin’ around! But he always had more customers than food.

Why did I just tell you that story?

Well, if we allow Obama and the democrats to take over and destroy health care, we will always have more sick patients than doctors, nurses, hospitals, and money. Always.

So, at some point, folks will sit down and start looking for ways to save money, and cut the back load of patients. They will do this by cutting back on services and denying services to those they determine "not worth the effort."

And there is your "death panel."

Will they call it that?

Uhhh, nope.

They will be called "advisory boards" and have names like: "Standards and practices" or "patient care panels" or whatever Orwellian name they can come up with.

Sarah Palin has been hitting Obama really hard on this stuff, and has released another statement on why Obamacare is a disaster waiting to happen. Palin has something that is illegal, evidently, in Washington D.C. or New York City, and that is common sense.

Common sense dictates that the snake oil Obama is trying to sell isn’t going to work. And as we told you earlier this week, Sarah has had her own experience with the federal government and health care. When Sarah Palin assumed the Governor’s office Medicaid was an incredible mess in Alaska. Seniors faced long waits and iffy care. She worked to get emergency funding, and then cleaned up the system. The result was in two short years, she reduced the backlog for Medicaid patients by a whopping 83 %!

Look, it’s just this simple: Who do you trust?

Do you trust a rookie President who has never led anything in his life. A back bench state Senator of no importance, who after only serving 140 some odd days, abandoned his U.S. Senate job to run for President? A man who has never run a city, never run a state, never run a lemonade stand? A man who has never held a private sector job, never made a payroll, never had to worry about a budget, or turning a profit?

Or, do you listen to a proven leader. A woman who HAS run a city, HAS run a state, and HAS OWNED a successful small business for 20 years?

Look, congresscritters sit around and debate stuff. By nature, there are few if any leaders. It’s not much more than a big debate society that can write bad legislation on a regular basis.

As Governor of a state, Sarah Palin’s job mirrored that of the President’s. There is a reason why, in the United States, we generally elect Governors to be President, not Senators or congressmen. Being Governor is to lead. Being Governor is to actually have to accomplish something, rather than give it lip service. The buck stops at your desk.

Sarah Palin has already proven that she understands the health care issue better than most. She’s already had to clean up a big mess caused by a federal health care program that wasn’t working at all. When Sarah Palin warns of the looming disaster America faces if Obama and the democrats get their way, she speaks from first hand experience, not some theoretical mind exercise.

She’s actually been there, done that, and got the t-shirt from it!

With that said, Sarah has released some more concerns. Some food for thought, as it were , about the continuing problems with the Obamacare nightmare.

It’s time for us to defeat this mess, neuter Obama, and get ready to take back Congress in a big way. It’s time to run the democrats out of town for good, and get America back to what made it work, using strong conservative principles and ideas.

Before you read Sarah’s statement, Ronald Reagan, way back in 1961, was part of the famous "Coffee Cup Campaign" to stop socialized medicine. It was a bad idea then, it’s a worse idea now!

Please take time to listen to his short message here.

From Sarah’s Facebook page:

Troubling Questions Remain About Obama's Health Care Plan

I join millions of Americans in expressing appreciation for the Senate Finance Committee’s decision to remove the provision in the pending health care bill that authorizes end-of-life consultations (Section 1233 of HR 3200). It’s gratifying that the voice of the people is getting through to Congress; however, that provision was not the only disturbing detail in this legislation; it was just one of the more obvious ones.

As I noted in my statement last week, nationalized health care inevitably leads to rationing. There is simply no way to cover everyone and hold down the costs at the same time. The rationing system proposed by one of President Obama’s key health care advisors is particularly disturbing. I’m speaking of the "Complete Lives System" advocated by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the president’s chief of staff. President Obama has not yet stated any opposition to the "Complete Lives System," a system which, if enacted, would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential. [1] Why the silence from the president on this aspect of his nationalization of health care? Does he agree with the "Complete Lives System"? If not, then why is Dr. Emanuel his policy advisor? What is he advising the president on? I just learned that Dr. Emanuel is now distancing himself from his own work and claiming that his "thinking has evolved" on the question of rationing care to benefit the strong and deny the weak. [2] How convenient that he disavowed his own work only after the nature of his scholarship was revealed to the public at large.

The president is busy assuring us that we can keep our private insurance plans, but common sense (and basic economics) tells us otherwise. The public option in the Democratic health care plan will crowd out private insurers, and that’s what it’s intended to do. A single payer health care plan has been President Obama’s agenda all along, though he is now claiming otherwise. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what he said back in 2003:

"I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan.... A single payer health care plan – universal health care plan – that’s what I would like to see." [3]

A single-payer health care plan might be what Obama would like to see, but is it what the rest of us would like to see? What does a single payer health care plan look like? We need look no further than other countries who have adopted such a plan. The picture isn’t pretty. [4] The only way they can control costs is to ration care. As I noted in my earlier statement quoting Thomas Sowell, government run health care won’t reduce the price of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay the price. The expensive innovative procedures that people from all over the world come to the United States for will not be available under a government plan that seeks to cover everyone by capping costs.

Our senior citizens are right to be wary of this health care bill. Medical care at the end of life accounts for 80 percent of all health care. When care is rationed, that is naturally where the cuts will be felt first. The "end-of-life" consultations authorized in Section 1233 of HR 3200 were an obvious and heavy handed attempt at pressuring people to reduce the financial burden on the system by minimizing their own care. Worst still, it actually provided a financial incentive to doctors to initiate these consultations. People are right to point out that such a provision doesn’t sound "purely voluntary."

In an article I noted yesterday, Charles Lane wrote:

"Ideally, the delicate decisions about how to manage life’s end would be made in a setting that is neutral in both appearance and fact. Yes, it’s good to have a doctor’s perspective. But Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party -- the government -- recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach." [5]

I agree. Last year, I issued a proclamation for "Healthcare Decisions Day." [6] The proclamation sought to increase the public’s knowledge about creating living wills and establishing powers of attorney. There was no incentive to choose one option over another. There was certainly no financial incentive for physicians to push anything. In fact, the proclamation explicitly called on medical professionals and lawyers "to volunteer their time and efforts" to provide information to the public.

Comparing the "Healthcare Decisions Day" proclamation to Section 1233 of HR 3200 is ridiculous. The two are like apples and oranges. The attempt to link the two shows how desperate the proponents of nationalized health care are to shift the debate away from the disturbing details of their bill.

There is one aspect of this bill which I have not addressed yet, but it’s a very obvious one. It’s the simple fact that we can’t afford it. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Doug Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He told the Senate Budget Committee last month:

"In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs." [7]

Dr. Elmendorf went on to note that this health care legislation would increase spending at an unsustainable rate.

Our nation is already $11.5 trillion in debt. Where will the money come from? Taxes, of course. And will a burdensome new tax help our economy recover? Of course not. The best way to encourage more health care coverage is to foster a strong economy where people can afford to purchase their own coverage if they choose to do so. The current administration’s economic policies have done nothing to help in this regard.

Health care is without a doubt a complex and contentious issue, but health care reform should be a market oriented solution. There are many ways we can reform the system and lower costs without nationalizing it.

The economist Arthur Laffer has taken the lead in pushing for a patient-center health care reform policy. He noted in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month:

"A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws." [8]

Those are real reforms that we can live with and afford. Once again, I warn my fellow Americans that if we go down the path of nationalized health care, there will be no turning back. We must stop and think or we may find ourselves losing even more of our freedoms.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See http://www.scribd.com/doc/18280675/Principles-for-Allocation-of-Scarce-Medical-Interventions

[2] See http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/14/white-house-adviser-backs-off-rationing/

[3]See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hsqzSKuC44

[4] See http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N2M0ODk0OTNkZjkwNGM4OGMyYTEwYWY3ODUzMzFiOTc=

[5] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703043.html

[6] See http://www.gov.state.ak.us/archive.php?id=1094&type=6

[7] See http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/07/cbo-sees-no-federal-cost-savings-in-dem-health-plans.html

[8] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574324361508092006.html

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