Healthcare Death Panels Are Inevitable

Much was made of Governor Sarah Palin’s use of the term “government death panels” to lambaste Obamacare. Left-wingers and Democrats everywhere scoffed at the term and accused Palin of demagogy and even lying. But the fact is, government death panels of all sorts are inevitable once government takes over healthcare. In fact, once government takes over healthcare, all sorts of unscientific, non-health related nonsense creeps into your healthcare whether you like it or not and none of these decisions are made with your doctor’s advice or consent.

To understand this we have but to look to countries that already have government provided healthcare to see many incidents of the foolishness that is government control of medicine. Arbitrary decisions are made, people are told they are too old to bother with and treatments are too late to save the patient because of long wait times.

Worse, are the cases where government lackeys use non-medical criteria to replace medical considerations such as a recent case in Britain where a woman was told she can no longer get her healthcare because her travel distance makes her “carbon footprint” too big.

That’s right, in Westcliff-on-Sea, an elderly British woman was told she is not allowed to have her surgery because the travel distance from her home is not “green” enough.

Here we have a case of environmentalist extremists putting their so-called “green” agenda above the health of a person!

The British woman was told via letter that she was no longer wanted at the surgery center she was registered with.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live.

Obviously the government doctors did not feel their “greatest concern” was for the woman’s health. No, the government doctors actual concern was for enviro-wacko issues first and foremost.

Remember, America, when President Barack Obama lied and said “you can keep your doctor if you like your doctor”? This case in England is exhibit number one to make the lie to his statement.

You see, when government controls healthcare, government tells you what you will get, how you will get it, when you will get it… not to mention if you will get it. It is guaranteed that situations just like this British case will occur in the U.S. once Obamacare takes away all your options and rights in healthcare.

Your doctor will not be working for you. Your doctor will be working for the government and if the government says “green” issues are more important than your health, then green issues will take precedence over your health quite despite what you or any caring doctor want.

Obamacare, your healthcare, will become just another avenue for meddling government perfunctories to lord over people and institute their idiotic little ideas and medicine will be the last thing they care about. Ergo, your health will be a lower priority and that folks means defacto “death panels” are a reality.

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Posted by on April 12, 2012.
Filed under Barack Obama, Big government, corruption, Culture Of Corruption, Deaths, Democrats, Economics, Entitlement Culture, Environment, Environmentalism, Europe, Health Care, Medicine.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events.He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com"The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • Hugh_G

    And you know who the first ones to go will be.

    I just hope I get picked to be one of the panelists.. Oh boy! You betcha!!!

    • jim_m

       Yep.  Exactly why everyone else is opposed to obamacare.  The left makes no mistake about their intent to use healthcare as a way to murder their political opponents.

      • Hugh_G

        Shhhhhh Jim. Someone you don’t want to may hear you. You know the death panelists are out there listening don’t you?

        • jim_m

          I’ve read enough leftist trash about how there should be a mechanism to keep conservatives or Christians from having children to know that basic services for people who are not bowing to leftist ideology will be the first ones to get their services denied.

          You laugh, but I will guarantee that if obama had his choice that would be the case.  I am pretty sure that you had no problem with Steven David Crosby’s liver transplant, where he was jumped to the front of the line despite having major disqualifiers (drug addiction, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes), but I know that you had major problems with Dick Cheney’s heart transplant even though he waited longer than average.

          So go ahead and laugh as though withholding medical treatment from political oponents isn’t something you wholeheartedly support.

          • Hugh_G

            Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You’re make it easier for the leftist “panelists” to make their choice.

            By the way who thew hell is Steven Crosbie?  Did he get past a panel?

          • jim_m

            Luddite

            [edit] I corrected the name. It’s David Crosby.

  • Commander_Chico

    As if insurance companies didn’t have death panels right now, and the doctors didn’t work for them.

    When I’m on Medicare/Tricare, at least I’ll be able to complain to my Senator if the government turns down my third liver transplant.

    • jim_m

       The difference is that if you don’t like your insurance you can go somewhere else and there is competitive pressure and governmental pressure to offer more services.

      When the government appoints a nameless bureaucratic panel to make these decisions there is no alternative.  And the government has already shown that it will approve medical treatment just like it approves business loans: not on the basis of need or qualification, but on the political connections of the recipient.

      You can get your third liver transplant as long as you have you lips on obama’s ass.  Oh, never mind.  Congratulations on your continued treatment.

      • Commander_Chico

        The difference is that if you don’t like your insurance you can go somewhere else 

        Yeah, an insurance company is going to take a guy who needs a liver transplant, riiight.  I would be able to switch insurance companies just like that.

        I can imagine calling an insurance company to complain about their nameless death panel: “Press one for English, para Espanol numero dos, If you’re calling to complain about a denial of treatment, press three for our affiliated funeral services . . . 

        At least you can build political connections, anyone in the 40s that doesn’t have some is a fool. But no political connections can save you from the tyranny of an insurance company’s profit margin.

        • jim_m

           Having worked in healthcare I would rather have the recourse to the courts and have an employer who can pressure the insurance company, than have an unanswerable panel that I cannot exert any influence upon.  You mock the idea of a phone system but at least the company will have a phone number to call.  The government will just make a rule and the people enforcing it will have no reason to help you and no responsibility for their actions.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yeah, it’s been so outrageous with Medicare over the years, they have a 100% death rate.

          • jim_m

             Ha Ha.  You might be happy with government deciding who gets healthcare and who does not on purely political lines, but I’m not.

            And I can recall a tie when the standard Medicare treatment for Breast Ca, was a chemo regimen know to be ineffective and highly toxic, but Medicare would not pay for anti-emetic drugs.  SO you got horribly sick from a treatment that was unlikely to help you but it was the only thing the government would pay for.

            I only hope that you live to see how many more of your family would have survived had we kept our current system.

          • Gmacr1

            Nobody gets out alive…

        • jim_m

           Oh, and see your fellow traveler Hugh at the top to see why no one wants a bunch of godless, amoral leftists in charge of choosing who gets healthcare and who does not.

          • Hugh_G

            I want to be on the panel that chooses for you. Damn betcha this time.

          • jim_m

             You don’t have to tell me.  I already knew you were a scumbag.

        • PBunyan

          We (the left and the right) can both acknowledge there are problems with insurance companies.  Actually that’s true of most problems.  Where we disagree is on the solutions. 

          The right would prefer a more open and free market without goverment regulation and barriers that prevent competition and new start-ups.  If was easy to switch to another of a vast variety of insurance companies, they’d be a lot less likely to screw you over.

          The left wants to massively increase govenment regulation and barriers and to stiffle competition.  In other words, your solutions are to massively increase the problems.

          You know, it’s funny how Obama talks of “Darwinism” as if it’s some horrible, evil thing, yet the left insists that in science classes it, and only it, be taught while excluding any and all competing theories.  Well if Darwinism, or more accurately “natural selection”, is a such powerful force that it alone drove the evolution of life on earth from a pond full of goo into the vast diversity we have today, then why do you want to eliminate such forces from societal development?  Why do you want society to stagnate?  Why do you want healthcare to stagnate?  Cause that’s what happens when you do away with “Darwinism”, cultural or otherwise.

          It’s a good thing the intelligent designer of life on Earth wasn’t of the same mindset as the modern leftist or all life on Earth today would be nothing more than primordial soup.

          • jim_m

             The dirty secret is that “social Darwinism” is something that the left has loved and pursued for decades.  It’s offspring, Eugenics, has been followed by leftist icons like Margaret Sanger, and even currently by obama’s science czar, John Holdren.

            Don’t let them fool you. The left really desires to be able to play with society and be able to pick who are the fittest (their friends and donors) and who is not (their ideological enemies).  The dems used Eugenics to pass their anti-miscegenation laws in the South and they will do it again in the future if given the chance.

          • PBunyan

            That’s not Dawinism; that’s intelligent design.  (Well actually in the case of the progressive leftists, it’s ignorant, biggoted design, but it’s still kinda the same principle.)  It would be better compared to humans selective breeding that created broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, collards, and a few other plants all from wild mustard plants.

            Darwinism is when the system operates natually and freely.

          • jim_m

             Maybe that his what the dems are complaining about.  They are demanding that they be allowed to select who live and who dies; who wins and who loses.

            Just like the Soviets thought that they knew better than nature and drained the Aral sea in order to farm rice in a desert, the American left will do the same to our economy and our healthcare.

    • LiberalNightmare

      >> When I’m on Medicare/Tricare, at least I’ll be able to complain to my
      Senator if the government turns down my third liver transplant.

       Really? You mean at a town hall meeting or something like that?

  • Guest

    I’m not seeing anything new in this article except for a letter from a woman in Britain.

    Not sure what you’re offering in the way of anything new.

  • GarandFan

    You can trust government people.  Why just look at some of their previous successes; “Fast and Furious”, “The Tuskegee Experiment”, “Solyndra” just to name three.

    Yup, it’s all about trust.  Why just a couple years ago, The Chosen One was curious as to why his grandmother should be given a hip replacement; after all, didn’t she have cancer?  Screw what she wanted, just slip her a couple pain pills every day.

    Besides, it helps the bottom line on Social Security.  Kill off enough old people, the program will be financially stable again.

    • jim_m

       Not to mention, that if we kill off the old people we can jack up the estate tax and confiscate far more money from the public!  It’s a win-win!

      • Hugh_G

        Right on!

      • 914

        An estate tax is not necessary because Obamacare will drain the elderly’s assets before cancelling their contracts..

    • LiberalNightmare

       Maybe we’ll get lucky. Chico will go in for his liver transplant and come out with gonorrhea.

  • 914

    Hard to tell which is growing faster?  BarakiO’s  nose, or the national debt and suffering his greedy agenda  has brought?  

    Barry’s prime directive: Rape, pillage and plunder the wealth and liberty of America. Oh, and lie like a snake.

  • herddog505

    Lefties should stop and think:

    Do you really want the same civil servants who (perhaps) bungled the Martin / Zimmerman case?  Do you really, really want those same incompetent, bigotted, podunk, ignorant rednecks (or people just like them; the government doesn’t exactly hire rocket scientists, e.g. Timothy Geithner) to be in charge of your health care?

  • PBunyan

    If Obama’s nose actually did grow everytime he told a lie, he’d have to be driven around in this and they’d have to move his seat on Airforce 1 into the tail cone.

  • 914

    Obamas nose is trying to keep up with the unemployment lines.. Or maybe its the other way around.. 

  • ackwired

    I qualified for Medicare 2 years ago.  It was such a relief to finally have insurance that would actually pay a claim.  I now see the same releif on my friends faces when they turn 65.  The healthcare system is terribly broken.  If they had the desire or ability to fix themselves, we would have never heard of Obamacare.

    • jim_m

       Well, good luck to you since obama is cutting Medicare to the bone.   If you though that Medicare was the way to fix things, he is bent on killing it. 

      Plus, since Medicare only pays 50 cents on the dollar for health care, one of the reasons healthcare costs so much is providers pushing off the unpaid costs onto other payers. 

      Just another example of how the dems believe that cutting costs means just refusing to pay people for the work they do.  For the rest of us it’s called theft.

      • ackwired

        Interesting statistic.  Link?

        • jim_m

           I’m recalling that from my days of writing a business plan for a new department within a 500+ bed community hospital  Finance directed that they received less than 50% reimbursement from Medicare.

          A few years ago I worked for a device company that marketed a product for blood testing.  The HCFA schedule for reimbursing a blood group antigen typing was $12.95 per unit of blood (so if the blood needed to be typed for multiple antigens you still got only $12.95).  The average cost of the test was $27 (including labor costs etc).  So in that instance the reimbursement was far less than 50%.

          • ackwired

            Anecdotal and extrapolation.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Then you won’t mind providing sourced data which contradicts his anecdotal information.

          • jim_m

             Part of it does depend on where you are.  If you are a critical access hospital (usually some 25 bed facility 100 miles from nowhere)  you get reimbursed at close to 100%, but they offer little more than emergency room services.

            If you are a rural hospital, they have a rural hospital program that pays more, closer to 72-74% of cost.  But again, these are small hospitals that offer limited services.  ( I know of one that does not even offer labor and delivery services because they can’t afford it)

            But for the majority of urban area, full service hospitals you are looking close to 50%.  You should also be able to find a number of stories showing that Medicare reimburses surgical procedures at 15% or more less than private insurance (and remember that private insurance is negotiating steeply discounted services too, usually in the area of 60-70%).

            Like all businesses there is a mark up on healthcare services.  When you pay so little that even rural hospitals that get paid better can’t afford to keep offering services you are not paying enough.  But that is the government’s plan.  Keep cutting back payments in order to “reduce costs”.

          • ackwired

            I don’t know if there are any studies about the % of costs covered by Medicare.  I’ll nose around a little.  I can counter the anectotal data with some of my own.  I was in the alarm business and Medicaid paid a fair price for my product.  I observed many health service businesses that were entirely dependent on Medicare, and probably would not have existed without it (diabetic shoes and scooters come to mind).  Virtually the entire hospice industry is funded by Medicare, and I observed many in-home medical care companies starting a hospice business for financial reasons.

            It is my opinion that Medicare pays too much.  Not too little.  The cost of Medicare could be significantly reduced by eliminating the corporate subsidies that are built into the system.

          • jim_m

             Medicare pays less on average than private insurance for any given treatment.

            Here’s an example: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/February/28/medicare-knee-replacements-lower-hospital-costs.aspx

          • ackwired

            Your example is  well off of the 50% number that you used.

          • jim_m

             Some federal regulations make it impossible for private insurers to participate in some areas of health care.  Ask anyone on dialysis and they will tell you that.

    • 914

      And hopefully after this election we will only hear about its abolishment..

    • lasveraneras

      Since the rest of us are paying for your health care… you’re welcome!

      But don’t celebrate too soon.  This from USA Today on recent physician surveys by state medical boards shows, among other information:

      “• The American Academy of Family Physicians says 13% of
      respondents didn’t participate in Medicare last year, up from 8% in 2008
      and 6% in 2004.
      • The American Osteopathic Association says 15% of its members don’t
      participate in Medicare and 19% don’t accept new Medicare patients. If
      the cut is not reversed, it says, the numbers will double.
      • The AMA says 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of
      Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the
      rate is 31%.”But I’m sure your Medicare physician with the office in his garage will give you first class service…

      BTW.  Since 1980 USG health care (Medicare/Medicaid) spending has increased from $53B in 1980 to $820B last year.  That’s over 9% inflation per year.  If this trend holds (why shouldn’t it with more Obama?) the taxpayers will be facing a Medicare/Medicaid system that absorbs 25% of GDP by 2020 and 40% of GDP by 2028.  Please review Herb Stein’s Law “if something cannot go on forever… it will stop.”  And the “stopping” may not look pretty.

      P.S.  I’m nearing decision time and I’m keeping my private insurance, thank you very much.  It’s way too early to know how the Progressive-Gen X effort to kill off the Boomers will play itself out.  So I’ll just hold fast and observe.

      • jim_m

         One of the reasons that medicare is not accepted by many physicians is the aggressive action that Medicare takes toward fraud. 

        If a physician charges more than what Medicare determines to be “reasonable and customary” they send a notice to the patient in the EOB stating that physician overcharging may be a form of medicare fraud and that the patient should report such activities to the fraud hotline.

        While the federal fine for this is only $5000, the state penalties in Illinois are 10 years and $250,000 per instance.  Since Medicare is actively soliciting complaints for what are mostly reasonable charges many doctors are unwilling to deal with the risk.

        And, as I note above, Medicare actually pays less than private insurance:  http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/February/28/medicare-knee-replacements-lower-hospital-costs.aspx  So what Ackwired claims is patently false and uniformed.

        • Hugh_G

          Which is why I have supplemental insurance which is reasonably priced. The providers I go to are doing just fine between the two.

  • ackwired

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.  Medicare is certainly not perfect and not a panacia.  But it does pay, which is more that private insurance.  The costs that you cite are unjustifiable.  Medicare is full of corporate subsidies, and I don’t think that the cost issue can be solved without eliminating them.  The three largest are the fee for service system, Medicare Advantage plans, and the prohibition against negotiating drug prices.

  • guest3

    The fear of death panels will not disappear because they are still there. As soon as an insurance company stops honoring payments the game is over for the patient. The industry practice is at fault. Hospitals are allowed 5 times multipliers in invoicing followed right away by 80% discounts to insurance companies by the very same hospitals. There is absolutely no practical fallback option to single payer mode in case of a dispute between an insurance company and a patient. The death panels are here to stay until the Truthfulness in Hospital and Healtchare Act, THA bill has passed