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Ezekiel Emanuel: Deny Coverage to Elderly and Disabled for the Greater Good (Wizbang)

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Ezekiel Emanuel: Deny Coverage to Elderly and Disabled for the Greater Good

Betsy McCaughey brings to our attention the Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's views regarding universal health care. Dr. Emanuel is a health policy advisor to President Obama and brother of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, so what he thinks may impact all of us. As Betsy points out, Dr. Emanuel has some very radical views regarding the rationing of health care. Take for example Emanuel's comments in a 2008 article in which he says cutting costs won't be easy:

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.

In other words, these procedural changes aren't really change at all. Instead, he thinks we need change in how we apply health care coverage. As Betsy notes, Dr. Emanuel believes doctors try too hard to apply the Hippocratic Oath to everyone as equally as possible, which is what drives up costs. Instead Emanuel thinks we need to ration basic, guaranteed care to only those who can fully participate in society. Betsy points out a 1996 Hastings Center article in which Emanuel wrote this:

This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just alloca- tion of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future genera- tions, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations-are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia. A less obvious example Is is guaranteeing neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.

So, according to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health care advisor to President Obama, the elderly with dementia and the young who have neurological disorders should be sacrificed for the common good. I can tell you that as a mom to a four year old girl with severe speech apraxia that prevents her from being able to speak intelligibly, this scares the living hell out of me. If you have a child with autism, cerebral palsy, Downs syndrome, or any other neurological disorder or chromosomal defect that prevents him or her from participating in society in the manner Dr. Emanuel or the government thinks they should, that neurological care would not be guaranteed as basic and would, therefore, not be covered in a government takeover of health care.

Making things even worse, private health care companies will be driven out of business, so that won't be an option for parents with disabled children, either, leaving them with no coverage whatsoever. This kind of policy would drive up the abortion rate, which Obama and other liberals want covered as a basic care, as doctors urge parents go out of their way to screen their unborn babies for any and all disorders and defects that would not be covered under basic care. If a child's disorder is undetected by prenatal testing, what happens when the disorder becomes obvious after birth? I shudder to think what the government would come up with then.

Emanuel's policies would lead to a further deterioration of our nation's culture as people begin to look at those with disabilities as objects that drive up collective health care costs instead of as individual human beings who have intrinsic value and rights endowed to them by God.

Hat tip: Flopping Aces

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