October 26, 2010
Juan Williams and the ObamaCare Death PanelsBy Michael Applebaum, MD
The events surrounding Juan Williams' firing offer evidence on how Obama's death panels could function. They can serve to provide a "teachable moment."
RIP, Juan Williams' career at NPR. He was fired on Wednesday, October 20, 2010.
What purportedly killed JW's NPR gig was the following statement made on the FNC's "O'Reilly Factor":
Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous. (Monday, October 18, 2010)
In a related story, Barack Hussein Obama rendered the following medical diagnosis as the actual basis for why "facts and science and argument does [sic] not seem to be winning the day all the time": "because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared, and they have good reason to be [Saturday, October 16, 2010]."
This diagnostic conclusion, which preceded Mr. Williams' comments by two days and were based on BHO's knowledge, skill, training, and experience in the science of cognitive function and practice in the fields of neurology and psychiatry, is relevant to Mr. Williams and ObamaCare.
It connects the two, just like the spirochete that holds both of BHO's cortical (cerebral) cells together (a possibility).
According to Dr. POTUS, Juan Williams, because he felt scared, is the victim of being human -- i.e., "[he is] hardwired not to always think clearly when [he's] scared."
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
JW worked with NPR for "more than ten years." Presumably, he was a "qualified individual."
Conditions that humans manifest, and for which there are data demonstrating hardwiring, include fears (e.g., fear of snakes, fear of spiders), pedophilia, comfort-eating, overweight, obesity, alcoholism, substance abuse, sexuality, sexual orientation, and risk-taking.
Among the aforementioned conditions, notable are alcoholism, substance abuse, and overweight/obesity. These are all conditions under which a person may certainly sue pursuant to the ADA.
Further, these conditions are those which the government considers to fall beneath the ambit of workplace wellness programs (WWP).
Thus, hardwired conditions are part of being human and are recognized by the Government and Sick Care as a) treatable and b) conditions that do not act as bases for employers to fire their employees.
There are more conditions protected by ADA, such as "organic brain syndrome[s]," which data indicate we are also hardwired to have.
The Justice Department, which is charged with interpreting the ADA, gives further definition about what is a disability...and interprets the phrase "physical or mental impairment" as meaning the following: "organic brain syndrome, emotional [illness,] or mental illness."
Therefore, according to Dr. BHO's diagnosis of October 16, Mr. Williams certainly suffers from an organic brain syndrome for which he is hardwired (as does a substantial portion of the population, which, by strange coincidence, opposes Dr. BHO's policies).
NPR confirmed its agreement with the diagnosis of the Physician-in-Chief that its ex-employee suffered from a mental illness: "Williams should have kept his comments about Muslims between 'himself and his psychiatrist.'"
There can be no other reasonable conclusion from the referral to psychiatric care.
(Though JW has denied being under the care of a psychiatrist, perhaps for self-protection ["scared"?], it remains possible that NPR committed a HIPAA violation by disclosing Mr. Williams' protected health information.)
ADA applies to "employers with 15 or more employees." NPR, Inc., employs in excess of fifteen people. Williams was reportedly an employee.
His firing is in contravention of the ADA. (Perhaps JW should sue NPR, Inc.)
Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director of CAIR -- the once-unindicted co-conspirator in the federal case against the Holy Land Foundation -- in an interview following the firing of Mr. Williams, expertly described NPR as a station that "obviously has a more liberal viewpoint."
Though I was unable to find documentation, it is not improbable that a business with NPR, Inc.'s viewpoint might have available to its employees a wellness program. If this is the case, then treatment for JW's NPR-acknowledged illness may well have been within the ability and anticipation of NPR, Inc., making contract termination premature.
Dr. BHO has not rushed to remedy Williams' ill-wrought situation as he did during GatesGate, where he diagnosed the police as "stupid" (mentally ill? learning disabled?) and personally prescribed, and then administered, the therapeutic elixir of ethanol to the injured and himself.
Nor has he attempted palliative therapy of Mr. Williams' wounds as he did of Shirley Sherrod's after his administration fired her.
Whether Mr. Williams' comments were borne of unclear thinking may be a matter of debate, but not to the Physician-in-Chief.
BHO's unequivocal conclusion must be that Juan Williams' behavior resulted from a hardwired organic brain syndrome resulting from being "scared" and leading to thinking unclearly.
Yet BHO has not offered assistance to Mr. Williams. Nor has he chastised NPR for its apparent violation of the ADA, its possible HIPAA violation, and its failure to secure treatment for JW via its WWP (assuming it has one).
Thus, there is selective application of treatment by a practitioner, or at least one who plays one on national TV.
This brings us to BHO's death panels, as they are referred to commonly, if not completely accurately, and a teachable moment.
The final version of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did not include Sec.1233 of HR 3200, "Advanced Care Planning Consultation." This section formed the basis of BHO's death panels. Instead, the bill as passed left aspects of cost-cutting to uncertainty. The resurrection of the death panels remains possible.
A noteworthy feature of the consultation is the personal delivery of the information by individual practitioners. This allows for variations in the message.
As demonstrated above, when Dr. BHO engages in therapy, his response varies. He even responds with no attempt at therapy, leaving the injured untreated.
Thus, for some, a planning consultation may very well be a shove in the direction of the grave, while for others, it might be an opportunity for life (or something in between).
In the matter of Juan Williams, he appears to be fortunate enough to have experienced the latter -- in the absence of treatment by Dr. POTUS.
In the sick care setting, others may not be so lucky.
It is better to have evidence of what can happen and go wrong now rather than later, when the consequences are real.
Michael Applebaum is a physician and attorney practicing in Chicago, IL. His website is www.drapplebaum.com. He is an advocate for patients.