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Sophistry: Obama, Painkillers and Pained Words

I want you to pay very close attention to the whole of Obama's response to the woman's question on treating her 105 year old mother. Because it is with biting irony that he uses the language of Liberty to pull the American public in, only to conclude with a crafty manner of describing the absence of Liberty as the solution.

Everyone is honing in on "...maybe she would be better off not having the surgery but taking the painkillers" quote. But you'd be missing a lot if you let the first part of his response go unnoticed. With thanks to Hot Air for the video, pay attention here:

Is this not astounding? The now-infamous painkiller remark pales in comparison to this sophistry. That and the fact that he gives this response without answering the woman's question.

The questioner's mother needed a pacemaker. But she was 100 years old. And though her doctor said she needed a pacemaker to go on, an arrhythmia specialist declined to do it because of her age and, like a government bureaucrat would, by reading her file rather than seeing her. When the arrhythmia specialist actually saw her in person - at her doctor's insistence - he changed his mind about the level of risk and went ahead. As the questioner put it, he did so when he saw "her joy of life."

Her question is essentially about care for the elderly, the removal of personal care and the weight of impending additional impersonal bureaucracy under Obama's government health care takeover plan. His answer is a plate of spaghetti. With a side of painkillers.

Question: "Outside the medical criteria for prolonging the life of someone who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, or quality of life; or is it just a medical cut off at a certain age?"

President Obama: "Yeah, we're not gonna solve every difficult problem in terms of end of life care. A lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and a society making better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that is not making anybody's mom better that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what, maybe this isn't gonna help. Maybe you're better off not taking the surgery, but taking the painkiller."

We don't need a massive bureaucracy and government health care to make "better decisions within our own families and for ourselves." We can do that just fine without. In fact, we can do so better without. Because a government system - which is designed to squeeze out free-market providers - resorts to rationing, which is a wholly impersonal method of distributing short supply based primarily on statistics. the "better decisions" are made by computer models and the bureaucrats running them and crunching the numbers. And, let's be clear: 105 is not a good number for any of the modeled systems, from Canada to Britain.

Yes, Obama ropes you in with the citation of Liberty with talk about "better choices." Because he knows full well that Liberty resonates resoundingly with the American public. It is of dismissive consequence, it seems, that the very function of a central government system is to centralize that decision-making power. Individual decision-making is the very definition of Liberty. And it can only be brought to the central government system by wresting it from where it exists: With American citizens and their doctors, on the fringe.

Obama answers the woman by saying that the government and its bureaucracies can make better decisions than you and she can. And if you will just allow him to help by creating this centralized government health care system, you and she will be making better decisions by extension.

He's subtly fishing for buy-in at this point. The hook is baited with your Liberty.

After prattling on about waste in the private system - which another massive government bureaucracy can defy historical precedent and squash like a bug - he concludes that "we can let doctors know and your mom know" that a certain treatment might not help. Didn't her doctors quite successfully resolve that conundrum all by themselves without the aid of a benevolent and brilliant government distribution system - five years ago when she was a mere 100?

His answer is unmistakable: The Federal Government can make that decision for you.

What's more, there is no "maybe you're better off" inquisitive dialog with a national health care system. Ask a Canadian. Or ask a Brit. It's perhaps better to envision the dialog if the IRS were to suggest that "maybe you are better off" choosing option A vice option B.

Obama's answer is pure sophistry.

Oh, and he said "painkillers." That might have gotten your attention. But that's not the heart of what he said by a country - or downtown Chicago - mile.


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Comments (22)

Single payer system = ratio... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Single payer system = rationing.
Simple math.

Is there an easy way to Fac... (Below threshold)
Lisa:

Is there an easy way to Facebook link your posts? Sure would like to!

Obama says he goes on liste... (Below threshold)
kathie:

Obama says he goes on listening tours, the question is, does he hear? Not only did he not answer the question, his answer was not even related to the question. Does he not understand the nature of the question? Who is best to judge the life forces of a loved one? Or was he saying generically, old people need pain pills, not operations?
Or, was he reiterating the old line, we are really going to bring costs down, pain pills will help.

KathieHe listens. ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Kathie

He listens. He just doesnt answer the questions asked.

iwogisdead: Sometimes scien... (Below threshold)
Steve Schippert:

iwogisdead: Sometimes science is just plain simple.

Lisa: Thanks for that. I think the "Bookmark" Icon at the bottom of posts expands to include a link to FaceBook for just that purpose. Let me know how it works for you.

Kathie: He can't answer the question. Not once she threw in the buggaboo of "Quality of Life" for elderly patients. So he resorts to the trickery of sophistry to try and sell her on the idea that his system would make great decisions and thus help her to make great decisions, too. Simply stunning in its bare and brazen affront to logic and sense. But there it is.

Look for Obama to promise a... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Look for Obama to promise anything and everything to get it to his desk. THen he will sign it and issue signing statements to overrule any hint of bipartisianship or compromise.

The only thing missing in t... (Below threshold)
914:

The only thing missing in that mug shot, is the ass cheeks spreading as He puckers up!

SSSSSSSMMOOOOOCHH!

The desperation is starting... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The desperation is starting to show. He knows the marks are catching onto his con - so he's got to close the deal fast before it all blows up in his face.

The thing is - how does he figure he'll be able to get away with it long-term, when it all blows up in his face?

I think that the longer Oba... (Below threshold)
Not Always Right:

I think that the longer Obama thrusts himself into every aspect of American life and especially the longer he makes it all about himself, the quicker the public is going to turn on him. His comments as quoted in the above posting are cold, caluculating and heartless. I doubt you could find one person in a million who wants his doctor to be guided in life-saving decisions by the government and the longer Obama prates on about how the government has to help doctors make decisions, the quicker this ass is going to be shown the door.

I know you wanted to focus ... (Below threshold)

I know you wanted to focus on other aspects of what he said, Steve, but I'm thinking it's worth looking at all of it.

I'm reminded of what they say about overworked hospitals facing repeated visits by non-paying illegal aliens - they give them a few painkillers and push them out the door after they get to know the 'regulars'.

I guess we can all look forward to that level of health care.

I dont know Not Always Righ... (Below threshold)
914:

I dont know Not Always Right? The Kennedys and their counterparts in politics and on Downing street/ Buckingham palace have always been enamored with themselves.. ( Accept for the Beautiful Lady Diana ) what a loss. So everything is about them or him.. No matter how stupid they appear to objective views.

He listens. He just does... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

He listens. He just doesnt answer the questions asked.

He listens...to himself talk.

Some libtard must have comp... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Some libtard must have complained to Kevin Jackson's provider and they canceled his hosting account. That's how they do things folks, they complain to your ISP and claim you have violated your agreement by being mean in an email or some other whiny drivel.

It works both ways. Turn Alinksy's rules against them.

"...what we can do is make ... (Below threshold)
24usmcr:

"...what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that is not making anybody's mom better that is loading up on additional tests..." BHO

One of the interesting aspects of ObamaCare is that the doctors are still liable for any malpractice claims, not the federal government. Cutting out the 'extraneous' tests the doctors use to "touch all the bases" in an attempt to guard against malpractice suits has absolutely got to have the ambulance chasers drooling all over themselves in anticipation of ObamaCare's passage.

obama being obama. A pure ... (Below threshold)
mag:

obama being obama. A pure con-artist. He really should be in back of a band wagon selling snake oil to cure all. I could really picture it.

Seriously, I would love to know how many people voted for him and now are very sorry that the did.

Talk about sophistry, not t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Talk about sophistry, not to mention intellectual dishonesty. Shippert, you omitted about two minutes of dialogue, by cutting and snipping or accepting Hot Air's first video, that a child could see was obviously heavily edited... in order to fabricate your point or plead your case.

Steve Shippert:
I want you to pay very close attention to the whole (you gave only about 25% of it) of Obama's response to the woman's question on treating her 105 year old mother.


Question: "Outside the medical criteria for prolonging the life of someone who is elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, or quality of life; or is it just a medical cut off at a certain age?"

(two minutes of response) see full unedited video in context, and finally,

President Obama: "Yeah, we're not gonna solve every difficult problem in terms of end of life care. A lot of that is going to have to be we as a culture and a society making better decisions within our own families and for ourselves.


Actually, Steve Crickmore, ... (Below threshold)
cyr:

Actually, Steve Crickmore, I see very little difference between the two other than the stuttering at the beginning and the faux 'I don't want bureaucracies managing these things' (notice the trailing 'but')

"Seriously, I would love... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"Seriously, I would love to know how many people voted for him and now are very sorry that the did."

Mag, I've been pretty quiet in the shop on that - we had a few folks who were very Pro-Obama, and after a few discussions where Obama's past 'accomplishments' were trotted out and tempers kind of flared, we all just figured it'd be best if politics didn't get discussed in the office. One of the pro-Obama folks quietly said to me about a month back "You know, you were right." I didn't press him on just what, but I think he's had his eyes opened in a rather painful manner.

It also doesn't help that his baby son is profoundly deaf - and they're looking at getting cochlear implants. Covered by our insurance now... but who knows under ObamaCare?

Pain Pills instead of a Pac... (Below threshold)
epador:

Pain Pills instead of a Pacemaker?

I can only say:

WTF

"...the question is, does h... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"...the question is, does he hear?..."

"He listens. He just doesnt answer the questions asked."

It happens all the time. I'm surprised more people don't know this. You should have heard the rambling non-answer he gave to the question asking how he could reconcile his straddling of the issue of DC gun laws pre-Heller.

actually, Obama did not sug... (Below threshold)
Kenneth:

actually, Obama did not suggest that the government could make better decisions than the individual. He did not mention the government at all. he alluded to offering the doctors better information to base decisions on.

Liberals are concerned with waste and inefficiency. They want to be cautious with every resource and deal with problems quickly and accurately. a massive blanket policy like "kill the elderly" would be wasteful, agonizing, and very inaccurate. there would be wonderful, beloved people like this woman's grandmother who would be swept aside, along with people who would chose to pass from this world peacefully, not pricked with needles and tubes.

do you really think a group obsessed with conservation and peaceful discussion hippies would turn around and treat people like waste to be thrown away?

I find it funny that so man... (Below threshold)
Kenneth:

I find it funny that so many people here are listening to, and reading, the words a man has said, and not accepting them. some people are doing what they accuse Obama of doing, listening, and then hearing themselves talk.

Steve even highlighted the most important part of Obama's answer: we as a culture and a society making better decisions within our own families and for ourselves.

read it again. WITHIN OUR OWN FAMILIES. Not within Congress, or within a bureaucrat's office, but amongst ourselves. Obama's own grandmother died of cancer, yet he said that he would have paid for her hip replacement out of his own pocket, if he had to. clearly he will be on the side of the doctor suggesting the pacemaker, rather than the Specialist.




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