Saturday, August 8, 2009

Obamacare and Deadly Docs

Two of the President's top health care their own words:

First, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

"Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).

Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others" (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).

Emanuel sees even basic amenities as luxuries and says Americans expect too much: "Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy . . . physicians' offices are typically more conveniently located and have parking nearby and more attractive waiting rooms" (JAMA, June 18, 2008).

"communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "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).

"Unlike allocation 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" (Lancet, Jan. 31).

Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending.

Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they're "associated with longer waits" and "reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices" (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001). But he calls it "debatable" whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost. (more)


alaiyo said...

Culture of death, anyone? And of youth and perfection and utilitarianism . . . Yeah, my daddy is useless for wage-earning now (though he still pays plenty of taxes on dividends and other kinds of income), so just let him stay at home and die -- probably taking out my mother with him as she tries to care for him and doesn't have the strength to do so. I mean, really, who cares that he is a living human being, made in the image of God; he was 25 once and now he's just old; get him out of the way of those 25-year-olds! And of course, my severely handicapped granddaughter ought not to receive care either; really, she's useless for anything more than a good hug and what does that add to the sum of human productivity? I DON'T DARE WRITE ON A PUBLIC FORUM WHAT I THINK OF THIS!!!

You know, I knew these attitudes exist on the Left, but I didn't know that we were really at the point of electing someone who would put such *blatant* eugenicists into high office.

Magister Christianus said...

There is precedent for the kind of thinking Ezekiel Emanuel has displayed. It appears in the writings of Julius Caesar as he described one of his Gallic adversaries. To read more, see my post

alaiyo said...

Eutychus -- Are Emanual's remarks available on the web?

alaiyo said...

Never mind . . . I missed the link at the end!

eutychus said...

nicely put Alaiyo, as always. Sorry, I didn't respond sooner

eutychus said...

Excellent blog, MC. Thanks for bringing it to our attention