Cannibalizing America

Americans have gone collectively insane. Like sheep being led to the slaughter, no one could imagine the terror that is about to be visited on millions of unsuspecting innocents. The health care bill is an instrument of selective death. Seniors will be prematurely sacrificed so that millions of poor Americans (many of them illegal immigrants) can get mediocre government care

The health care bill soon to pass the Senate hasn't changed anything but the packaging. Cuts to Medicare are still a reality, but a bureaucratic Medicare Commission will indiscriminately make these cuts, and, we're told, not on the basis of age [i]. In practice, it makes no difference, since those benefiting from Medicare are seniors. Charged with deciding how to apply $500 billion in cuts to primary Medicare services, the Medicare Commission will most surely make decisions that result in rationed care for seniors. It's not conspiracy; it's simple arithmetic. Less money equals less care. 

Other provisions give the new government-funded Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute power to decide what treatments are "effective," which results in the ability to recommend cuts in certain types of treatments or services deemed excessive. This organization is required to cooperate with the Federal Commission on Comparative Effectiveness Research, of which Ezekiel Emanuel is a part [ii]. Remember Ezekiel? 

Ezekiel Emanuel views the handicapped and the mentally ill as an expendable commodity, stating that medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not for those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens ... An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." 

Emanuel's view of seniors is one of blatant disdain. He openly condemns what he considers antiquated notions of age discrimination. If Emanuel has his way, age discrimination will become standard practice.  As he wrote in Lancet, a prominent medical journal:

Unlike allocation [of healthcare] by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years. Treating 65-year-olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not [iii].

Consequently, Emanuel is an advocate of the "complete lives system," whereby human life is rated on a curve, favoring the younger first and the older last in treatment. As Emanuel has said:

The complete lives system lets us consider the morally relevant factors at work in the choice between providing three 60-year-olds with a treatment that would save their lives for 15 years each or providing it to a 30-year-old and extending her life by 45 years. Youngest-first and providing individuals a complete life counsels saving the one [iv].

If Emanuel has his way, to treat or not to treat will become a government -- not a medical -- decision.

In the new legislation, the Health Secretary is given the virtual power of life and death over the elderly. Section 3026 provides that those readmitted to hospitals a certain number of times will be automatically transferred to hospice care at the discretion of the Secretary, and the quantity and quality of hospice care received will also be within the Health Secretary's purview [v]. Who needs a death panel when the Health Secretary can make the call? Morphine will be a senior citizens' best friend when the Baucus Bill passes.

Sen. Harry Reid, who has no aversion to lying, is doing his part to convince Americans that there is no alternative and that delay means death. But in actual fact, the Republicans have offered numerous alternatives, none of them taken seriously by Democrats, who dismissed these proposals as more of the same. One of these "nonexistent" Republican proposals suggested an ingenious strategy whereby people below a certain income threshold would receive tax incentives towards Health Savings Accounts (HSA). This is hardly a proposal that will lead to riots in the streets. 

Never let it be said that Americans haven't been warned. The health care bill will turn America into a nation of cannibals, living on the sacrifice of our elderly so that the disadvantaged can have checkups. We're selling our souls for a bowl of stew. The Democrats call this "saving Medicare." Americans should call this travesty an assault on human life. 

[i] S. 1796, "America's Healthy Future Act," Section 3403, Introduced in the Senate 19 Oct. 2009, Library of Congress THOMAS.

[ii] Ibid., Section 3502.

[iii] Govind Persad, Alan Wertheimer, and Ezekiel J. Emanuel, "Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions," (The Lancet, vol. 373, issue 9661).

[iv] Tim Baker, Peter Baker, Afschin Gandjour, Govind Persad, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, et al., "Ethical Criteria for Allocating Healthcare Resources," (The Lancet, vol. 373, issue 9673), 1425.

[v] S. 1796, "America's Healthy Future Act," Section 3132, Introduced in the Senate 19 Oct. 2009, Library of Congress THOMAS.