Monday, July 20, 2009

ObamaCare - Health, Euthanasia, Life in Jeopardy! (Part 1)

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Freudian Slip?
The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system. And greater stability and security to America’s families and businesses. — Barack Obama, Childrens National Medical Center, 7/20/2009
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ABC Reports: It’s Real People, REAL MadRefutes the left wing mantra that all the outrage over Obamacare is fake, manufactured, or invented by a “Brooks Brothers rent-a-mob”By Warner Todd Huston
Saturday, August 8, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13507
ABC News seemed to file a report that refutes the left wing mantra that all the outrage over Obamacare is fake, manufactured, or invented by a “Brooks Brothers rent-a-mob” with coverage of the local folks that confronted Blue Dog Democrat Frank Kratovil (D, Maryland) as he attempted to avoid a townhall meeting on his recess.
Kratovil employed the Democrat’s newest form of avoidance by trying to set up one-on-one meetings with his constituents instead of the regular townhall styled meeting and in that way avoid the confrontations that whip up crowds.
The Democrats are hoping that the less volatile way to meet the folks back home will paper over the outrage so widely felt by voters. They also realize that their members returning home won’t have to see as many of those voters with time consuming one-on-one sessions instead of larger townhall meetings.
It’s all just a sneaky Democratic trick to keep their members from being forced to deal with the voters.
The kinder gentler meeting did not work for Kratovil, though, as more and more angry residents showed up forcing him to meet them all at once and boy did they give him an earful.
Kratovil is one of those Blue Dogs that barely beat out a Republican last election and if this is an indication, many residents of Eastern Maryland are regretting having pulled the Democrat lever. In any case, an interesting aspect of this report is that ABC didn’t find any “fake” protesters but found instead that all the angry attendees were actual voters that actually lived in the Congressman’s district.
There were no lobbyist-funded buses in the parking lot of Mardela Middle and High School on Tuesday evening, and the hundreds of Eastern Maryland residents who packed the school’s auditorium loudly refuted the notion that their anger over the Democrats’ health care reform plans is “manufactured.”
This is, of course, the facts on the ground at every townhall. There are no “manufactured protests.” It is real citizens that are real angry at Obama’s socialist policies.
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video
Fight Back Against Health Insurance Lies
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Cash for GrannyObama Care: Empower family members of senior citizens to relieve themselves of the burden of caring for elderly AmericansBy Joy Tiz
Sunday, August 2, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13312
Following the breathtaking success of the Cash for Clunkers scheme, the White House is about to roll out a key plank in Obama Care: Cash for Granny. The program is designed to empower family members of senior citizens to relieve themselves of the burden of caring for elderly Americans who are no longer useful and are consuming valuable resources.
Though Obama and Nancy Pelosi are both claiming credit for the program, it was actually drafted by unrepentant Nazi collaborator and democrat financier, George Soros. Soros is a notorious advocate of the assisted suicide campaign. He papers over it with tripe about compassion; in reality, the project is a drive to provide palliative care rather than treatment for gravely ill patients:
“Can we afford to care for the dying properly? The number of people dying in the United States currently stands at 2.2 million annually. Increases in cancer and AIDS and the aging of the baby boomers will cause this figure to climb faster than the population . . . [But] [a]ggressive, life-prolonging interventions, which may at times go against the patient’s wishes, are much more expensive than proper care for the dying.”
Mr. Compassion wants us to believe that his interest in caring for the dying was sparked by the death of his own father. Soros was irked at his father’s obstinate refusal to just die already: “...unfortunately [he ]wanted to live… I was kind of disappointed in him ... I wrote him off.”
In Australia’s Northern Territory, Soros has already managed to buy significant government influence leading to reports of patients being pressured into accepting euthanasia. Another inescapable consequence of socialized medicine will be that medical decisions will be made not by doctors and patients, but by indolent bureaucrats who have good insurance for themselves.
Dr. Obama himself acknowledged Soros’ geriatricide plan when he responded to a question from Jane Sturm whose 100 year old mother was denied a pacemaker because of her age. Sturm rejected the Soros platform and did not order her mother to lie down and die. Instead, Sturm found a doctor willing to provide the pacemaker, appreciating that Strum’s mother was not in the mood to expire on command. It was a revelation to Mr. Obama that some seniors enjoy a high quality of life and can remain spry.
The Narcissist in Chief, who is afflicted with a sepulchral lack of empathy replied:
“I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit,” Obama said. “That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people. “
Under the Cash for Granny program, family members will receive a check from the government for turning unwanted relatives over for involuntary euthanasia. Speaker Pelosi insists that Cash for Grannies will create or save thousands of green jobs. Americans can rest assured that no organs or tonsils will be harvested from their loved ones. All parts will be destroyed to ensure that high mileage, inefficient body parts won’t find their way into the bodies of young, vibrant registered Democrats.
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The REAL Villains in Health Care CrisisMaking a bad situation intolerably worse while wasting trillions of dollars of taxpayer moneyBy John Lillpop
Saturday, August 1, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13305
Once again, Shrieker Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated, conclusively, why a woman’s place is in the home, but should NEVER be in the US House.
This time the issue is the so-called health care crisis. The Obama administration, with the aid and support of leftist ding bats like Pelosi and Harry Reid, is working frantically to do for health care what they did to the automobile industry and the economy in general.
Which is, to make a bad situation intolerably worse while wasting trillions of dollars of taxpayer money.
So far, the left’s “stimulus” has stimulated one thing and one thing only: The federal deficit, which has exploded since Barack Obama took power on that dark and dreary day back in January.
As Obama’s approval ratings continue to drop ominously (now below 50 percent) and headed further south, liberals are looking for a scapegoat to blame for the Messiah’s dwindling influence and unraveling presidency.
Shrieker Pelosi obligated with a foolish charade in which she attempted to blame America’s health care issues on greedy insurance companies.
As reported, in part, at Wordpress:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) brought out the new message in an exchange with reporters in the Capitol, when she said, ‘They are the villains in this’,” Mike Soraghan wrote July 30 at The Hill
“That’s going to be hard to sell in the reality-based world. As Soraghan reported, the “attack comes even though the health insurance industry hasn’t attacked President Obama’s plan or the legislation being hammered out in Congress.”
The REAL villains, of course, are liberal extremists like Pelosi and Obama who refuse to secure America’s borders, which is why there as many as 20 million illegal aliens in the nation right now.
Illegal aliens generally use health care services for which they cannot pay and which are ultimately paid for by the American people. Countless hospitals have been forced out of business because of the federal mandate that requires them to serve people who have no right to be here and whom have no ability or desire to pay for services received.
Rather than deporting illegal aliens and forcing Mexico to deal with the health of its own citizens, Obama and Pelosi want to grant amnesty to the invading criminals, which will only encourage tens of millions more to come here illegally in search of free health care and other costly amenities which will be added to the federal deficit.
Leftists also support unchecked power for large labor unions that demand exorbitant pay and benefits for members with minimal skills. Rich but unsustainable retirement plans are also a product of leftist malfeasance that drive health care costs through the ceiling.
Last, but not least, is the left’s absolute refusal to support tort reform needed to keep ambulance chasers like John Edwards from getting rich at the expense of the American people with outrageous litigation against medical doctors and other health care service providers.
As painful as the experience would be, Nancy Pelosi needs to take a look in the mirror to discover one of the real “villains” of the health care crisis!
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Good Enough For You - Not Good Enough For Congress?By Mary Starrett
July 31, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/Mary/starrett205.htm
If the socialized healthcare plan President Obama has been pushing, and Congress seems close to passing, is good enough for all of America, why isn’t it good enough for members of Congress?
Why is it the “vastly improved,” “cost-effective” healthcare “reform” package the left has been trying to pry open our clenched teeth to deliver for years is something we should all buy into while our elected officials in D.C. get an opt out from the get-go?
It’s simple. Congress’ Cadillac plan provides them easy access to their choice of doctors, the full array of diagnostic tests, prescription coverage, and all the bells and whistles our system of medical care offers. In short, with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) they get all the benefits that a fully comprehensive health insurance plan provides. In fact, the FEHB offers “Federal employees, retirees and their survivors ... the widest selection of health plans in the country.”
Meanwhile, the liberals are salivating because they’re thinking they’re this close to passing the “Goodbye Grandpa” health plan they’ve been trying for years to force in an esophageal cramdown. Now they believe it will finally, finally happen.
But the lack of access, rationed, age-dependant bargain basement health insurance we’re being told is for our own good isn’t good enough for members of Congress.
That’s why Louisiana Congressman John Fleming is sponsoring a bill saying if the public health plan is so wonderful then members of Congress should sign up for the new plan they’re touting and forego their Cadillac plan.
H.R.615 says:
“... Members who vote in favor of the establishment of a public, federal government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.
The Democrats’ current healthcare legislation provides for members of Congress to be exempt from the jalopy government-run health insurance plan we’d all be struggling to make work.
They must know something they think we don’t know about the reality versus the rhetoric surrounding the quality of care we’d all be forced, forced to utilize.
Maybe Congress has been reticent about opting out of their Cadillac plan because they know that, like any program or area the government gets involved in, (as this well-circulated diagram of how the plan would work shows, the quantity and quality of care could never equal what free market innovations can deliver.Here’s a list of H.R. 615’s co-sponsors.
Are your Congressional representatives on the list? If not, call or email them and ask “Why isn’t the public health plan good enough for you, if you’re voting to make it good enough for me?”
House Republican Leader John Boehner’s Leader Alert urges Americans to push to:
“Require all Members of Congress to get their health insurance through the proposed government-run plan.” pointing out that “ Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV) offered an amendment in the Ways & Means Committee that would have required Members of Congress to enroll immediately in the government-run health plan that would be established under the Democratic bill. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) offered an amendment to put his committee on the record in support of enrolling Members of Congress in the government-run plan as well. While the Wilson amendment was approved by voice vote in the Education & Labor Committee, the Heller amendment was killed in the Ways & Means Committee at the behest of Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Rangel.”
It’s time to push back and push back hard. Call and email Congress today, because unless Congress knows we mean business this healthcare debacle will wind up choking us while our elected officials continue to enjoy health insurance that goes down nice and easy.
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Obamacare called 'euthanasia bill'
Critic: 'Reflects regime worse than China's one-child policy'By Bob Unruh
Posted: July 31, 2009
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105525
The Democrats' proposed national health insurance plan would dictate medications, treatments and mental health services; determine coverages individuals are allowed to have; and operate with real-time access to personal bank accounts, according to a new analysis.
And it's worse, a critic said, than China's mandatory one-child policy.
"In the same way that the bill pushes elderly or the sick toward euthanasia, it is a pill that would cause economic suicide," said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. "It's a euthanasia bill for America."
Congress members have admitted they have not read the more-than-1,000-page bill, and Staver's organization is one of the first to go through it and offer an analysis.
In the Liberty Counsel analysis, Staver notes that under Section 163, the government would be allowed to have real-time access to individuals' finances, including direct access to bank accounts for electronic funds transfers.
Under Section 1308, the analysis finds, the government will dictate marriage and family therapy as well as mental health services, including the definitions of those treatments.
Will the elites control life itself? 'The Emerging Brave New World' documents the battle against the sanctity of life ethic
Under Section 1401, a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research would be set up, creating a bureaucracy through which federal employees could determine whether any treatment is "comparatively effective" for any individual based on the cost, likely success and probably the years left in life.
It also, according to Staver, "covers abortions, transsexual surgeries, encourages counseling as to how many children you should have, whether you should increase the interval between children."
The plan would allow, in Section 1401, for the collection of information about individuals' health records, both "published and unpublished," and recommend policies for public access to data.
"It reflects a repressive regime worse than China's one-child policy," Staver told WND. "It's going down the road for a government that manages the most intimate matters of your life regarding health and safety."
Further, the plan is created to be the "only game in town," he said. And as people age or get sicker, it includes mandatory "consultations" offering suggestions on how to end life sooner, he said.
The Liberty Counsel staff that did the research was "astonished" by what they found.
J. Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, said in a commentary the bill reflects the influence of those who now surround President Obama.
"His choice of Harvard professor and self-styled 'neo-Malthusain' John Holdren as 'science czar' provides the latest and perhaps most troubling example of just how bad America really muffed it last November," Barber wrote.
"In the name of population control, Holdren has advocated both forced abortion and compulsory sterilization through government-administered tainting of the water supply. In a book he co-authored, entitled 'Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,' Holdren calls for a 'Planetary Regime' to enforce mandatory abortions and limit the use of natural resources," he wrote.
Staver pointed to some of Holdren's outrageous suggestions, such as implanting sterility capsules in girls at puberty and extracting them only when they obtain government permission to have children. For men, he has suggested putting additives in the water system to cause sterility.
Barber wrote that Holdren has affirmed he believes there is "ample authority" under the U.S. Constitution for population growth to be "regulated."
"Even ... laws requiring compulsory abortion … could be sustained under the existing Constitution," Holdren suggested.
Nina May, founder of Renaissance Women, added to the arguments. She cited a 1948 Hitchcock movie about murder in which the victim's body is hidden in plain sight.
"The health care bill that Obama proposes has this theme at its core and has in its crosshairs the Baby Boomer engine that is pulling the derailed economy as it takes its final lap toward retirement. In less than two years, Baby Boomers will begin retiring in multitudes, expecting to reclaim the hard earned money they have been paying into Social Security. But this Health Care Bill, HR3200, has other plans for them," she wrote.
"Those 65 and older will be required to undergo mandatory 'end of life' counseling to determine if they are worthy to continue to not only live, but take much needed resources from those who are younger and more worthy to receive them. Counselors will be trained to discuss how to end life sooner, how to decline nutrition and hydration, how to go into hospice, etc.," she said.
"This will not be done without coercion. For those who have amassed assets enough to take care of themselves in their old age will have these assets confiscated in the name of fiscal responsibility, because by this time, every citizen will be entered into a national database under the guise of improved efficiency. This database will be run by a type of 'star chamber,' appointed by the president, that will determine whether or not you deserve the much needed operation your personal doctor thinks you need," she said.
The Liberty Counsel analysis also pointed out the government would be allowed to ration health care procedures, prevent "judicial review" of its decision, tell doctors what income they can have, impose new taxes for anyone not having an "acceptable" coverage, regulate whether seniors can have wheelchairs, penalize hospitals or doctors whose patients require "readmission," prevent the expansion of hospitals and set up procedures for home visits by health care analysts.
Under Section 440, Liberty Counsel said, the government "will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that expect children." And Section 194 provides for a program that has the government "coming into your house and teaching/telling you how to parent," LC said.
WND reported earlier when Betsy McCaughey, the former New York state officer, told former presidential candidate Fred Thompson during an interview on his radio program the health care plan includes consultations for seniors on how to die.
"One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session," she said. "They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner."
The proposal specifically calls for the consultation to recommend "palliative care and hospice" for seniors in their mandatory counseling sessions. Palliative care and hospice generally focus only on pain relief until death.
The measure requires "an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available."
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Obama-Care, Euthanasia, and The Boiled Frog SyndromeWorried SeniorsBy Jim O'Neill Thursday, July 30, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13242
We’re going to be covering quite a bit of ground in this article: I’ll be discussing “Glen Beck’s Common Sense,” Ezekiel Emanuel (Dr. Death), Collectivism, AARP, Sorelian myths, the Fascist Left, and The Boiled Frog Syndrome, among other things—so let’s get started.
Roger Kimball wrote in his book “Tenured Radicals,” “I regret to report that the situation is far worse than [you] are ever likely to have imagined.” Kimball was referring to the Radical Left’s takeover of our educational system—especially in the humanities departments of our college campuses. The situation has only progressively worsened since Kimball’s “report from the front lines” almost twenty years ago.
The far-left radicals didn’t give up after the 1960s, many simply stayed on at the campuses that they had once so vociferously railed against. They stayed and spread their poison— loudly, and vehemently, or subtly and quietly. They became professors, and they taught.
They taught a mixture of Marxist, Rousseauian and Nietzsche-esque ideology, combined with French far-left philosophies. They taught that science was absurd, that logic and reason were meaningless, and that the truth was always relative—heck, everything was relative.
They put “the people” on a pedestal, but insisted that the individual person was subservient to the “general will.” They excoriated capitalism, free enterprise, and individualism; while glorifying a collective, narcissistic, nihilistic hedonism. And they taught, oh so much more.
My point here is that, while many students rejected this radical indoctrination, many did accept it, and then went on to become professionals in their various fields—law, teaching, etc. This has been going on for decades, and if you’re wondering where all these people with a far-left agenda come from, there’s your answer.
Add a thoroughly indoctrinated media/entertainment industry, and it’s no wonder that the Obamaites had the numbers needed to stage a bloodless coup, and take over the United States.
(I should also mention that there were also many people who voted for Obama simply because they bought his song and dance about “transparency,” “post partisan politics,” et al.).
At any rate, the end result is that the barbarians aren’t at the gates – they’re in the castle. Now that they’re in the castle, how do they plan on completely restructuring it?
Fascists like to use war as a means of implementing their social agendas, but if a war isn’t handy, they’ll use whatever’s available—any ol’ crisis will do. As Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel said, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Such societal upheavals are called “the moral equivalent of war” – first coined by the American philosopher William James. It is a phrase near and dear to the liberal elite.
Our current “moral equivalent of war” is the economic crisis. The Obamaites are using the economic crisis for cover, as they attempt to push through legislation that will fundamentally change the nature of the United States. The Obama-care package that they are trying to railroad through Congress is all about gaining control.
I don’t agree with Rush Limbaugh about everything, but he is absolutely correct, when he says that the Obama-care bill isn’t about health-care at all. It’s about taking away the individual freedoms of Americans, and replacing them with subservience to the state.
How else do you explain the fact that the government is attempting to add trillions of dollars of debt to an economic system that’s already at the breaking point? It only makes sense if you realize that the current administration is in no particular rush to get America out of its current economic woes, but instead, is using the crisis to push through what they really want—control over you and me. They believe that it’s for our own good, of course.
Yes, our health-care system needs improvement, but this fascist takeover under the guise of health-care reform, is most assuredly not what we want. This bill will ring the death knell of American freedom, if it passes.
Americans who still value their individual freedom will reject this bill in a heartbeat—once they know what it represents. No wonder the Obamaites are in such a rush to push it through.
The whole Obama-care package reeks from top to bottom. It’s economic suicide, and will bury our descendants—for who knows how many generations—under an onerous debt. This bill is a not so subtle attempt to turn our first rate Republic into a second-rate Socialist welfare collective.
These things are all a cause for grave concern, and action, but on a more mundane level, do you know what really got my goat? It was the knee-jerk endorsement of the bill by AARP (American Association for Retired People). ACORN and the SEIU both endorse Obama-care – but AARP?
At first , I thought that AARP had merely done a leftist lapdog act, and rolled over at the command of the liberal elite, but the more I looked into it, the more convinced I became that they knew exactly what they were signing us up for.
In case you aren’t aware of them, please let me inform you of some facts.
Obama’s “health” czar is Rahm Emmanuel’s brother, Ezekiel. Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel has this sage advice for doctors treating the elderly, “Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost, or the effects on others.” Kind of warms the cockles of the heart, doesn’t it?
Not to put too fine a point on it, we’re talking about euthanasia here folks—i.e killing people deemed unfit to serve society, because of mental or physical infirmities. No joke. The “joke” is that AARP is endorsing euthanasia for the welfare of its elderly members.
Think I’m kidding, or imaging things? For some good info, and a chronological timeline that shows the steady growth of this insidious idea, check out Tree of Life: http://www.lifetree.org/timeline/index.html
Read the paper Dr Emmanuel co-wrote with Margaret Pabst Battin entitled, “What Are the Potential Cost Savings from Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide?” For even more fun, you’ll want to dive into his co-author’s “Choosing the Time to Die: The Ethics and Economics of Suicide in Old Age” or the ever-popular, “Age-Rationing and the Just Distribution of Health Care; Is There a Duty to Die?”
You might want to look into The Project on Death in America, started and funded by wealthy Obama backer George Soros, and you won’t want to miss Anton Chaitkin’s short PDF “The Nazi Euthanasia Program: Forerunner of Obama’s Death Council.” Among other interesting facts, you’ll find out about the Hastings Center, which you really should know about. http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2009/2009_20-29/2009-24/pdf/74-77_3624.pdf
One of the more interesting members of the Hastings Center is the animal rights activist Peter Singer. Here’s a quote from his paper “Taking Life: Human,” “...the use of the Nazi analogy is utterly misleading. On the contrary, once we abandon those doctrines about the sanctity of human life that...collapse as soon as they are questioned, it is the refusal to accept killing that, in some cases, is horrific.” http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1993----.htm
“The doctrines about the sanctity of human life collapse as soon as they are questioned.” Really? Gee whiz, I didn’t know that. And, gosh, I could’ve sworn that you sound a whole lot like a Nazi-style Eugenics nut. Thanks for setting me straight Doc.
According to Chaitkin, “Singer advocates the killing of handicapped infants, to stop them from being a burden to parents and a cost to society. He believes that humans have no right to life above that of beasts, and that it may be more appropriate to do medical experiments on disabled, unconscious people than on healthy rats.”
Heinrich Himmler, the man in charge of Hitler’s extermination camps, was, like Singer, an animal rights activist. I’m not implying anything, I’m just saying… I just find it an interesting coincidence, is all.
Our “health” czar, Dr. Emmanuel, is also a member in good standing of the Hastings Center. How’d you like to be “a fly on the wall” during a chat between Emmanuel and Singer at the Hastings Center? It would be an eye opener, no doubt. Probably a jaw dropper too. I think I speak for a whole lot of retired people when I say, “Thanks AARP! Really appreciate your looking out for us older folks!” God, what a bunch of duplicitous, back-stabbing weasels. (Note to self—cancel my AARP membership – and don’t leave Mom alone with any people from AARP).
The Fascist Left will tell you “Oh, that euthanasia stuff is just slippery slope nonsense. There’s nothing in our health bill about euthanasia.” Don’t you buy into their B.S. for a second. This is one slippery slope they are just dying to slide down (pun noted).
As long as we’re in the neighborhood, I’d like to discuss the fascist nature of the Left. The Left, especially the radical Left, is, and has always been, closely aligned with fascism.
I know, I know, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin—Marxism, Communism, Fascism, Statism, Socialism, Progressivism, and so on. How do you tell them all apart? Which is which, and what is what?
The simplest solution is to just put them all under the umbrella term “Collectivism.” Here’s the Wikipedia definition: “Collectivism is a term used to describe any moral, political, or social outlook, that stresses human interdependence and the importance of a collective, rather than the importance of separate individuals.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectivism
All of the “isms” that I listed above will fit into the category of Collectivism.
The most important thing to know about Collectivism, is that it is ideologically the polar opposite of Individualism. Permit me to rephrase and repeat that: COLLECTIVISM IS DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED TO INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. In Collectivism the individual is always subservient to the good of the collective. (Sounds like a Star Trek episode with the Borg hive—“You will be assimilated! Resistance is futile!” Yikes).
At any rate, one of the “isms” included within Collectivism, is Fascism. Obviously, Fascism can’t be that far apart from Marxism, Socialism, et al, or it wouldn’t be included with the other collectivist doctrines.
The Fascist Left would have us believe that fascist doctrines have nothing to do with the Left. “Oh no,” they say, “fascism is, of course, a reprehensible, conservative, right-wing ideology.”
Well it isn’t right-wing at all, and it is really past time that we bust this Sorelian myth, once and for all. A Sorelian myth (named after French philosopher Georges Sorel --1847-1922), is a fable that is used to sway the masses. Whether the myth is true or not is irrelevant; what matters is—does it work.
The myth about Fascism being a right-wing ideology has worked just fine, thank you very much.
(In my last article I urged you to read Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism.” I urge you to do so again, if for no other reason than to read the chapter “Liberal Racism: The Eugenic Ghost in the Fascist Machine”—which is, trust me, more engaging than the title might suggest.)
During the early part of the last century, the Left (called Progressives, in America) heartily embraced Fascism. And why wouldn’t they? Fascism was clearly nothing but a variant of the Collectivism that was so near and dear to them. Communism, Fascism—why quibble, when they all built a utopia, right?
So what happened to cause Fascism to be booted out of the “family,” and out into the cold. How did it become associated with the right-wing, for God’s sake?
In a nutshell, here’s what happened. First, Communist leader Joseph Stalin stigmatized Fascism as being anathema to the party faithful, and secondly, Hitler’s atrocities made it untenable for the Left to be associated with Fascism anymore—at least by that name. Ahem—at least by that name.
Stalin put the hex on Fascism, because Mussolini’s Italian fascists would not toe the Russian party line. Russian Socialism, being applied Marxism—straight out of the book—followed the motto “Workers of the world unite!” Mussolini, being of a more nationalistic frame of mind, believed that it was much more practical to endorse “Workers of Italy (not the world) unite!” In other words, Mussolini embraced a nationalistic, versus a global socialism, and that was ideological heresy to “Uncle Joe” Stalin. So he kicked Mussolini out of the fold.
The Communist Party faithful around the world were told that Fascism was not a “kissin’ cousin” to Communism anymore, but was instead its polar opposite. The Fascists went, in a relatively brief span of time, from being seen as closely aligned with Communist Socialism, to being deemed a reactionary right-wing force of capitalist greed. It’s a Sorelian myth that worked like a charm for Stalin, and it’s still working today.
Hitler’s brand of Fascism put the nail in the coffin. There was just no way that the Left would let themselves be associated with Hitlerism, following WWII —although they had largely endorsed his brand of Collectivism up until that point.
However, today’s Liberal Fascists (who, of course, don’t call themselves that), are still quite fond of doctrines promulgated by the Nazis. (Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed a definite anti-Semetic slant to Leftist rhetoric, and a decided cooling towards Israel in the past few years? Just asking.)
I believe that Glen Beck was trying to make a point along these lines when he recited the “AmeriCorp Pledge of Allegiance” dressed in lederhosen. That’s my guess, at any rate.
Speaking of Beck, his book “Glen Beck’s Common Sense “ is another book that I urge you to read, if you haven’t done so already.
I especially like this passage from his book: “If you bury your head in the sand, and believe that things will just get better on their own…then you deserve to see your children wearing the chains of servitude.”
Beck’s book is a call to action, but he advises us to “leave your muskets at home.” This is sage advice.
Those of us who value personal liberty, the U.S. Constitution, and “One Nation Under God,” need to wake up and take committed, passionate action – NOW – but violence is not the answer, and would be counter-productive. We must use the tools that our Founding Fathers wisely assembled, and entrusted to our care.
A bloodless fascist coup has been successfully staged against the United States of America. It is our duty, our right, and our privilege, to stand up and deny our wanna- be Fascist overlords, the successful implementation of their plans for us.
We must act, and we must act now. The time for being “asleep at the wheel” is over. We simply must get involved, or our precious freedoms are forfeit. That’s not alarmist hyperbole, I’m just stating the facts.
There’s a phenomenon known as The Boiled Frog Syndrome, and it goes like this: If you drop a frog into a pot of hot water, it’ll immediately jump out, but if you put it into a pot of tepid water, and slowly turn up the heat by incremental degrees, the frog will simply be lulled by the warmth into a comatose state, and just lay there until it dies from the heat.
Well, America’s like the frog in the pot, and the liberal fascists have been turning up the heat slowly over several decades—and we’re about to get cooked alive. Believe it.
I’ll finish with another quote from Beck’s book:
If we fail to speak up, and speak out against this madness, then we should be prepared to accept everything we get. Samuel Adams said that those who prefer the “tranquility of servitude” had best be prepared to “crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you.” That advice is as relevant today as it was back then. And so are his closing words: “May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”
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Big Pharma Fraud & Overweight Americans Drive Health Care CostsBy Byron J. Richards, CCN
July 30, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/Richards/byron177.htm
While Democrats shoot themselves in both feet trying to explain how their proposed health care reform will be able to contain costs over time, there is another much better organized group who is pushing very hard to get this legislation through and is poised for dramatic profits at the expense of the American taxpayer. That group is the lobbyists that represent Big Pharma, the American Medical Association, hospital groups, and insurance companies.
According to OpenSecrets.org these groups put up $484 million in lobbying money in 2008, getting ready for this legislation. You can just imagine how much they are spending this year. The reason you can imagine the sum must be quite large is because Obama and company are doing absolutely nothing to address the key issues of how these groups plan to profit from a government-backed stream of millions of new customers.
The trend in the last several years is that employer-sponsored health care plans are shrinking and individual policies are too expensive for many. Government and private insurance are cozying up and private insurance companies are playing a middle-man role in programs like Medicare and Medicaid. At stake is the dividing of the hundreds of billions of dollars per year pie created by fraudulent Big Pharma sales.
The lobbying scenario is quite different than the previous Clinton attempt at a health care overhaul. At that time health industry was by and large against what was going on. This time they are fully on board and pushing very hard to make something happen, jockeying for their position in the New World Health Order.
The sad reality is that this group profits from sickness. They like poor health. They know individuals and companies can’t afford what they have to offer, so they have to call it “health care” or “health insurance,” and run a publicity campaign designed to make the American public feel guilty for not paying for everyone’s often fraudulent care.
Their current agenda is to bilk dying cancer patients of $50,000 to $100,000 with drugs that have no chance of curing anything yet extend life two or three months. By the way, I have a solution for this problem. No payment should be owed unless the cancer treatment given extends life a full year past the conclusion of the treatment. Writing that into the current legislation would immediately stop massive fraud.
Big Pharma really got excited a few years back when they saw minorities were the biggest new users of the expanded Medicare program, responsible for a 5% increase in drug sales when other demographics were flattening. The new pot of gold, the 46 million currently uninsured, are quite frankly the most unhealthy members of the population due in no small part to their own failures to take care of themselves. Big Pharma is licking its chops because this is not care for emergency needs, this is ongoing sales of highly profitable drugs that “need” to be taken every day and are a major cash cow.
Obama is making no effort to be able to negotiate drug prices or the effectiveness of their treatments with this band of thugs – as their lobbies are running roughshod over Republicans and Democrats alike. Imagine an industry where you can sell a product for 100 times what it costs to produce, because taxpayers foot the bill. That is the general Big Pharma mark up, and many drugs sell for a thousand times their cost to produce. This issue isn’t even addressed.
On top of that, many of the best-selling drugs being crammed down the throats of Americans are near useless for the majority of those taking them in terms of improving the public health. This includes statins, bone drugs, brain drugs, and many other types of medication. Furthermore, the actually safety of the majority of these drugs is almost completely unknown, which is why there are millions of injuries requiring hospitalization each year and over one hundred thousand needless deaths per year. Medication injuries cost $20 - $75 billion per year. There is one drug scandal after another, as Big Pharma tries to wrack up sales while hiding risk data and hoping to make a financial killing before they are stopped.
How can the American public be so gullible as to stand for this charade? There is no way taxpayers can carry the burden of this fraud. It is what is already driving the high cost of health care and unless it is addressed adding millions of new users to this system will only make it worse and more costly for everyone.
Just about everyone I know is in favor of some sort of health care safety net for people with serious health problems, especially those that were not caused by their own doing. Of course everyone would like health care to be more affordable. However, the current health care system is already being scammed for hundreds of billions per year. The newly proposed system will simply expand the scope of the existing problem. It is high time that someone in power take the bull by the horns.
No sane solution even has a chance as long as there are the big-spending lobbies buying the laws they want, spending their money to make sure taxpayers will keep sending them hundreds of billions more each year. There are many elements within the health care system that are nothing but parasites.
Health Costs Relating to Obesity SkyrocketA new report published in the journal Health Affairs shows that the cost of treating obesity-related health problems has doubled in the past decade, from 78 billion a year in 1998 to 147 billion in 2008. Each obese person costs the overall health system an extra $1,429 per year, a 42% higher cost to insure compared to a normal weight person. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one-third are obese.
Last year the journal Obesity reported on obesity trends and costs, projecting that “by 2030 86.3% adults will be overweight or obese….Black women (96.9%) and Mexican-American men (91.1%) would be the most affected….Total health-care costs attributable to obesity/overweight would double every decade to 860.7–956.9 billion US dollars by 2030, accounting for 16–18% of total US health-care costs.”
The majority of the incurred costs relate to diseases that obesity causes, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This group is bar far the biggest pointless users of expensive medication. By and large, the path to disease through obesity is self inflicted. The costs are staggering.
It is apparently politically incorrect to discuss this issue in any meaningful way. However, the block of 46 million uninsured Americans are likely to be higher than the existing pool of insured Americans in rate of obesity.
Why do Americans who watch their weight, eat well, exercise, and do multiple things to be healthier want to pay for the health costs of people who spend their lives pigging out on junk food? How is that remotely fair?
This is one major part of health costs that must be addressed to achieve the goal of a financially solvent health system. The failure to do so will result in class and race conflict.
My proposal is to limit the amount of money to be spent on health care for any individual whose waistline is more than twice his/her height in inches (a low tech and reliable indicator of the amount of extra fat that is associated with disease risk). For every extra inch of waistline above this point an individual’s insurance rates should rise, or treatments should be denied above a certain point unless they are paid for out of pocket.
There is no other fair way to do this. While some will consider such an approach heartless, it is the obese person who is heartless to themselves. Society cannot foot the burden of gross irresponsibility. This problem permeates the existing health care system and is one of the main drivers of current costs ballooning out of control.
Unless real cost issues are tackled head on, such as self-inflicted health problems like obesity and fraudulent Big Pharma drug sales, neither the current system or any future system has a prayer of containing costs in a way that would allow individuals and families affordable health care for legitimate reasons.
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Millions of illegals covered under Obama healthcareChad Groening - OneNewsNow - 7/29/2009
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=620898
The ranking Republican on the House Subcommittee on Immigration says Democrats have refused to pass an amendment that would prevent illegal aliens from being covered in the Obama healthcare plan.
Democrats recently defeated a Republican-backed amendment offered by Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) that would have prevented illegal immigrants from receiving government-subsidized healthcare under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Obama. Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the House Immigration Subcommittee, finds it outrageous that Democrats want to force hardworking Americans to foot the healthcare bill for those who are in the country illegally. "The Democrats will not even allow an amendment to be debated on the subject matter. They have shut down the debate process here, and they have pushed any discussion -- however minimal it is -- up to the secret room up in the Rules Committee. They're not going to debate it," he points out. "They are determined to fund health insurance and healthcare for illegals -- and the number turns out to be 5.6 million that would be insured under this bill. [Those are] Congressional Budget Office numbers." King suspects the actual number will be double that estimate or more.
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ObamaCare’s Prescription for Death
Government mandate can give everyone the health care they need?
By Daniel Greenfield Tuesday, July 28, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13196
The big lie of those advocating socialized medicine in America is that government mandate can give everyone the health care they need. The truth is that every system of medicine shortchanges some to the benefit of others. The only difference lies in how many options those who are shortchanged have to get access to health care anyway.
The more a health care system is centralized, the less options there are for those who are shortchanged by it. It is why Americans who can’t afford to pay for surgery can look to charities, surgeons willing to do procedures pro-bono, and various fundraising mechanisms. By contrast Canadians have to travel to the United States or look into one of a number of illegal clinics. In a free market health care system, the main barrier is financial, and that can be overcome far more easily than in the socialized system where lack of resources and centralized planning combines to close off all legal options.
That is why ObamaCare would not serve to expand American’s access to health care, but rather close it down. The big lie of socialism is freedom from scarcity, but there is no escape from resource shortages. Instead socialism insures greater resource shortages than a free market economy, because it is woefully inefficient, inflexible and unrewarding. And those resource shortages are then passed on to the average citizen in ways far more unjust and restrictive than in any free market system.
While socialism insists on promising an infinite amount of pies in the sky, in the real world there is still only one pie. Where the free market uses trading strategies between consumers and businesses to maximize access to the pie, socialism locks the pie up in Al Gore’s strongbox and creates a bureaucracy to parcel out access to it. By the time the pie has gone stale and everyone has figured out there’s no more pie left, the system either breaks down or becomes nakedly totalitarian.
The question therefore is who will lose out under socialized medicine. Since socialized medicine is premised not on profitability, resource shortages become a much more pressing problem. That means that a socialized system must either limit access to everyone, or selectively limit access to certain groups of people. Or both.
The downside of limiting access to everyone across the board is that it insures that everyone will be unhappy. And it also cheats out government bureaucrats of the one thing they love most, playing god, and deciding who lives and who dies. Unlike private health care systems, socialized medicine exists for the society as a whole. As a socialized tool, it is subject to the mandate of social improvement. This opens the door to letting ethicists, read eugenicists, recommend how to best utilize existing health care resources. Which is a fancy way of saying, deciding who lives and who dies.
The elderly and the disabled who benefit most from a private health care system because it allows them to use their resources to obtain medical care, are the first on the butcher’s block under socialized medicine. So are children with Down’s Syndrome whose parents in a free market system can obtain health care for them, and all the other sort of people who don’t pass muster as having a bright future of productive citizenship ahead of them. Or in the Third Reich’s distinctive phrasing, “Life Unworthy of Life.”
And that is at the heart of the difference between socialized medicine and free market health care. In the free market no one gets to class an entire category of people as “Life Unworthy of Life”. Under socialized medicine, the actual classifications may be disguised in more politically correct labels and categories, such as Quality of Life, but they all mean the same thing in the end. Some people must die, so that others may live.
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of Rahm Emanuel and Health Policy Adviser at the Office of Management, provides a preview of how such a system will get started…
Such an approach accepts a two-tiered health system-some citizens will receive only basic services while others will receive both basic and some discretionary health services… Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity-those that ensure healthy future generations, 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.
Obviously. How could anyone disagree with rationing health care by allocating it based on creating people with reasoning skills who can fully and actively participate in the future of the Reich? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel probably didn’t even have to work too hard to translate his reasoning from the original German.
Or as Dr. Hermann Pfannmüller, who would later stand trial at Nuremberg for his Starvation Hospitals for those he deemed unfit, put it,
“The idea is unbearable to me that the best, the flower of our youth must lose its life at the front in order that feebleminded and irresponsible asocial elements can have a secure existence in the asylum.”
The idea is essentially the same. Why should the weak, the sick and the degenerates receive treatment at the expense of the healthy?
Here’s a quick pop quiz. See if you can guess whether the next paragraph comes from Dr. Pfannmüller or Dr. Rahm?
The complete lives system also considers prognosis, since its aim is to achieve complete lives. A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses.
Dr. Rahm writing in the Lancet this time. It could just as easily have been Dr. Pfannmüller of the Starvation Hospitals who put it much more colorfully;
These creatures (the children) naturally represent for me as a National Socialist only a burden for the healthy body of our Volk. We do not kill with poison, injections, etc.; then the foreign press and certain gentlemen in Switzerland would only have new inflammatory material.. No, our method is much simpler and more natural, as you see. With these words, he pulled, with the help of a … nurse, a child from its little bed. While he then exhibited the child like a dead rabbit, he asserted with a knowing expression and a cynical grin: For this one it will take two to three more days. The picture of this fat, grinning man, in his fleshy hand the whimpering skeleton, surrounded by other starving children, is still vivid in my mind.
But here’s another resource allocation quote to try your wits on. Is it Dr. Rahm or Dr. Pfannmüller?
social value allocation prioritises specific individuals to enable them to promote other important values, or rewards them for having promoted these values. In view of the multiplicity of reasonable values in society and in view of what is at stake, social value allocation must not legislate socially conventional, mainstream values.
Dr. Rahm naturally. The tipoff is his concern that a system of socialized health care eugenics not unduly favor people who represent mainstream values. Else where will the Obamas of tomorrow come from?
But here’s another little preview of the moral calculus behind ObamaCare
Allocators must also avoid directing interventions earmarked for health needs to those not relevant to the health problem at hand, which covertly exacerbates scarcity. 8,49 For instance, funeral directors might be essential to preserving health in an influenza pandemic, but not during a shortage of intensive-care beds.
For instance, former organ donors seem to deserve reciprocity since they make a serious sacrifice and since there is no surplus of organ donors. By contrast, laboratory staff who serve as vaccine production workers do not incur serious risk nor are they irreplaceable, so reciprocity seems less appropriate for them.
Ah, but somehow I suspect funeral directors will actually be quite vital under ObamaCare. Or perhaps they’ll simply dispense with the carbon footprint of energy inefficient funerals and just shove them into the ovens. If they can find any ovens that are “green” enough.
It is of course safe to say that Dr. Ezekiel Rahm will be considered most “essential” to preserving health under this system.
But here’s another quote for the pop quiz.
Making a well-off person slightly better off rather than slightly improving a worse-off person’s life would be unjust; likewise, why give an extra year to a person who has lived for many when it could be given to someone who would otherwise die having had few?
Another deep thought from Dr. Rahm at the Lancet on who should live and who should die. The Lancet you will remember served as a source for the vastly inflated Iraq civilian deaths that proved to be blatantly false. But that was okay since the Lancet only lied because they cared so much about human life. It is really wonderful how much liberals care about human life. And about apportioning that life to those humans they feel are worthy of life.
But here’s one last quote challenge;
The complete lives system assumes that, although life-years are equally valuable to all, justice requires the fair distribution of them… Finally, the complete lives system is least vulnerable to corruption. Age can be established quickly and accurately from identity documents. Prognosis allocation encourages physicians to improve patients’ health, unlike the perverse incentives to sicken patients or misrepresent health that the sickest-first allocation creates.
And if the doctors can’t… well it’s no great loss anyway. And the good people like Dr. Rahm who will be pulling down six figure salaries to provide “ethical guidance” will be doing gangbusters business ethically guiding the new ObamaCare Eugenics (TM).
As Rahm’s own article admits, socialized medicine will not usher in health care for everyone. It will simply centralize resource allocation in the hands of people like Dr. Rahm who will decide who gets or doesn’t get treatment from a shrinking pool of available health care coverage… based on their own social values.
The premise that health care should be doled out to those capable of developing reasoning skills and active participation in the political system, can be easily used to allocate medical treatment based on progressive political views… which in the liberal lexicon is identical with “reasoning skills” and “active political participation”.
Furthermore if health care is allocated based on the overall social goal of political participation by the next generation, affirmative action and diversity will inevitably factor into the decision. By linking civic participation with health care allocation, Dr. Rahm has made an argument for rationing health care in order to promote progressive politics and racial diversity. This of course would bring ObamaCare full circle to merge with Nazi eugenics in a horrid prescription of death.
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video
Lloyd Doggett's meeting on Obamacare in south Austin, TX, 1 Aug 2009
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Call Congress: No on Obama's Health CareBy Dr. Laurie Roth
July 24, 2009
NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/Roth/laurie175.htm
“Take more shingles off the roof. There is a window over there I want you to smash with this ax. Very Good.” Let’s see where this health care plan to rescue the perishing is heading. So far with our “leaders” mostly assumptions of the bill floating through congress (once again largely unread) we see the following with upcoming health care.
1. They will offer free medical care to the mystery millions of illegal aliens living in the states and sucking on our economy.
2. Total funding for all kinds of abortion. You have to get rid of those pesky babies that are in the way…..oh my goodness, did I get confused??? I meant “heads of lettuce in your womb that are shockingly shaped like babies, dream, laugh, recognize music and now we are told even have short term memory well before birth. Who cares! It’s a head of lettuce, a choice, a right and Obama wants it.
3. Forcing businesses to pay Government health care for your employees if you make a million or more. If you don’t, welcome to fines and penalties.
4. Establishing quotas and a rationing system of care looking instead of safe and effective treatment, cost effective treatment that defines itself by looking at the proposed cost of treatment and years the patient would potentially benefit from the treatment. In other words….translation…..put a bullzeye right in the middle of senior’s heads. They are just too old to waste too much money and treatment on. Doesn’t this warm your heart so far? This is how we treat our parents and the generation who has fought in several wars to protect our freedoms. Let’s terrorize them in retirement shall we?
5. No one really knows the money this absurdity and financial rape will cost….start counting the many trillions.
6. Tucked nicely 425 pages into this mostly unread plan from hell is a mandatory counseling session for all on social security every 5 years. What is this forced counseling session about??? END OF LIFE SERVICES. Let’s make sure our Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas are reminded of the glowing option of assisted suicide along with other end of life services. Of course, Obama and his staff can only hope that older masses will eventually be manipulated to end their own lives and free up money for more abortions! Let’s kill them coming in and kill them going out?
7. Your primary physician, representing quotas, immoral, redefining of worth budgets and agendas will be the Government. They will only authorize payment for treatment representing the cookie cutter formula, not the unique judgment of your actual doctor and your specific needs.
Remember, with this administration our worth as citizens is not valued as unique individuals with rights, young and old, given by God. We are expendable, widgets in a socialistic card deck that submits to global elites and international mob rule.
We must hound congress with faxes, phone calls and emails DEMANDING a no vote on any Government health bill from this administration. We not only can’t afford it but it is extremely immoral, conditional, socialistic and creates a sea of additional health problems as folks are forced to wait in endless lines only to find substandard treatment dictated from this Government.
We are in the fight of our lives folks. Tell your leaders in congress, NO on all health Government control health care bills; NO on other over reaches of control into the private sector regarding the auto industry, banking industry, forcing FOCA, submission to international governing bodies and NO on any tax increases!!! Call all Senators at: 202-224-3121 Call all Congressmen at: 202-225-3121
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Obamacare for old folks - 'Just cut your life short'
Health plan provision demands 'end-of-life' counselingPosted: July 22, 2009
By Bob Unruh© 2009 WorldNetDaily
http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=104719
The version of President Obama's universal health care plan pending in the U.S. House would require "end-of-life" counseling for senior citizens, and the former lieutenant governor for the state of New York is warning people to "protect their parents" from the measure.
At issue is section 1233 of the legislative proposal that deals with a government requirement for an "Advance Care Planning Consultation."
Betsy McCaughey, the former New York state officer, told former president candidate Fred Thompson during an interview on his radio program the "consultation" is no more or less than an attempt to convince seniors to die.
"One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session," she said. "They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner."
The proposal specifically calls for the consultation to recommend "palliative care and hospice" for seniors in their mandatory counseling sessions. Palliative care and hospice generally focus only on pain relief until death.
The measure requires "an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title."
It also recommends a method for death: "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration."
Then there's a third reference that sets out reporting requirements for doctors to monitor how such end-of-life orders are followed.
Under "QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE," the bill says, "For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment."
McCaughey said she was stunned.
"As a patient advocate I am so shocked at the vicious assault on elderly people and the boomer generation," she told Thompson. "I hope people listening will protect their parents from what is intended under this bill."
She cited the federal provision that such counseling sessions must be administered every five years. If there's a significant change in the person's health or status during that time, such as an ordinary move to a nursing home because of declining physical abilities, the counseling must be administered again.
The message, she said, is "to do what's in society's best interests, and cut your life short."
"Can you imagine the response of the American people (when they find out)?" Thompson asked.. McCaughey is a health policy expert who founded HospitalInfection.org to stop hospital-acquired infections as well as DefendYourHealthCare.us concerning the proposed nationalization of health care.
The law also allows preferences that treatment levels set up by patients "may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all … interventions."
McCaughey also said the Obama administration is suggesting that medical care be withheld from seniors based on the expected years they have left to live. Such a program already is in effect in the United Kingdom, where patients losing their eyesight to age-related macular degeneration cannot be given an eyesight-saving medication until they lose sight in one eye.
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Political ideology trumps the health of citizens
Government Power Grab, Liberals, Rights and LibertiesBy Arthur Weinreb
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13063
Americans are divided over whether the healthcare plan President Obama and Congress is introducing is good or bad. For many people it is good; everyone will be able to be covered by insurance and no one will be denied medical treatment for the inability to pay for it.
Then there are those on the right and the left that see Obamacare for what it really is – more power and more government control over the lives of Americans. The right and the left of course disagree as to whether this control is good or bad. Those on the left who understand exactly what is involved think that control over the unwashed masses is necessary. Ordinary people, especially women and minorities, are simply unable to properly care for themselves so the state must do it for them. And this gives liberals a warm, fuzzy feeling inside because they are helping the less fortunate. The right believes that more and more government control over the lives of people is nothing more than a power grab; the taking away of more and more of the rights and liberties of the citizen.
So what is the priority in state run health care? Is it the health of the individual or more power for the government? To find an example, you need look no further than what is currently taking place in the city of Toronto.
Toronto is led by Mayor David Miller, a committed socialist who in fairness to him has never made any bones about how he stands on issues. The majority of city councillors are committed leftists that ensure Miller gets his way on just about everything. During a civic workers strike in 2002, Miller who was then just a city councillor picketed with his union brothers and sisters. He is beholden to the unions and there is no left wing issue that he won’t throw money (other peoples of course) at in order to feel good about himself. But this year, the demands of both the inside and outside city workers were so ridiculous at a time when the country is in a deep recession that Miller saw that his political future would be in trouble if he caved in to his union thug buddies as he did in the past. He refused to settle and we have now reached the one month mark of a civic workers’ strike with no end in sight.
As left wing liberal governments are prone to do, residents of Toronto are constantly warned about those things that can adversely affect their health. With the help of a compliant media we are constantly being bombarded with cold alerts, extreme cold alerts, heat alerts and extreme heat alerts. We are always told that we are going to die from either smog or the impact of global warming or as it is referred to when temperatures are cool, climate change. When Mayor Miller isn’t passing bylaws to protect Torontonians’ health such as the anti-idling bylaw he’s travelling the world to save the planet from global warming.
When the civic workers strike began, it was referred to primarily as a garbage strike as the streets became littered and mounds of garbage bags began piling up in local parks. But in the last week as health concerns became an issue in the strike and the mayor and his union hugging supporters on council, to put it bluntly, couldn’t care less. Under the collective agreement between Toronto and the city’s paramedics, during a strike only 75 per cent of the latter have to be working. On the third day of the strike 50-year-old Jim Hearst collapsed and died in the lobby of his downtown apartment building. According to witnesses it took 30 minutes and several 911 calls before the paramedics came and attended to the late Mr. Hearst. The paramedics claim that the ambulance arrived within 9 minutes, a proper time but were “staging”. Staging is where the paramedics will fear for their own health and safety and will not enter premises until the police arrive. There doesn’t seem to have been any evidence of danger and according to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, that situation took place on two other calls that night. Although there have been calls for an investigation, none of those who purport to care about people will attribute this incident to the strike and the lower contingent of paramedics. Everything is okay; the paramedics will attend to all serious calls. In other words what happened was not the fault of the strike; it was the fault of the people around Hearst who didn’t know his exact medical condition. As far as the city government is concerned, the right to reduce the workforce of paramedics during a strike is more important than the health of Torontonians who need medical assistance.
Before the strike began, the city mothers bragged about how they city was preparing for the expected H1N1 flu epidemic. It took from June 22 until July 18 to publicize the fact that many of the people who are tasked with protecting Torontonians are on strike. On the latter date, the Toronto Star ran an interview with Dr. Allison McGreer, a recognized authority on pandemics, wherein Dr. McGreer was quoted as saying that a lot of planning for a possible pandemic is not being done because of the strike. Speaking on behalf of the city, the medical officer of health is quoted as saying that the strike has no bearing on the city’s response to H1N1.
What is happening in Toronto with regard to the health of its residents is proof positive that governments don’t really care about the health of their citizens if ensuring their good health conflicts with more important ideological goals such as the rights of unions. Americans would do well to watch Toronto if they really think that Barack Obama is bringing in healthcare legislation to help ordinary Americans.
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Americans Skeptical Over Obama's Health CareBy NWV News writer Jim Kouri
July 21, 2009
© 2009 NewsWithViews.com
http://www.newswithviews.com/NWV-News/news155.htm
[The following is a continuation of NewsWithViews.com investigative series on President Barack Obama's proposed Health Care Plan.]
With the US economy continuing in its tailspin, President Barack Obama appears to be obsessing over taking over US medical care, according to critics of what they're calling ObamaCare.
Last week while President Obama pushed for a government takeover of US medical care, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that analyzed the effects of changes in the health insurance system on the US labor market. Their report contradicted many of the statements made by Obama, his administration and liberal members of both houses of the US Congress.
With the American public beginning to question the sensibility and the cost of a huge government-run overhaul of the health care system, Congressional liberals released their incomplete plan Tuesday with a distinct sense of panic in the air. In 2009, about three out of every five non-elderly American are expected to have health insurance that is provided through an employer or other job-related arrangement, such as a plan offered through a labor union, according to the CBO.
Changes to the health insurance system could affect labor markets by changing the cost of insurance offered through the workplace and by providing new options for obtaining coverage outside the workplace. Those new options for obtaining coverage outside the workplace are government controlled medical insurance that experts believe will cause rationing, lack of treatment options and other shortcomings.
"The CBO basically warned Congress that government health care or socialized medicine will actually hurt the economy while restricting access to medical care," warns political strategist Mike Baker.
"The President and members of Congress -- mostly Democrats, but some Republicans, as well -- appear to be obsessed with controlling life and death, health and sickness in the USA. This is a dangerous combination: Politicians making decisions on who lives and dies, who's healthy and who's sickly," explained Baker.
According to the CBO, in the current system, employment-based plans are popular largely due to three reasons:
They are subsidized through the tax code: Nearly all payments for employment-based insurance are excluded from taxable compensation and thus are not subject to income and payroll taxes. Employers offering coverage usually pay a large share of the premium – partly to encourage broad participation among their employees, so as to limit the potential for “adverse selection.” Larger group purchasers can spread administrative costs over a larger number of people, using these economies of scale to reduce costs imbedded in premiums.
Although employers directly pay most of the costs of their workers’ health insurance, the available evidence indicates that active workers—as a group—ultimately bear those costs.
Congress is currently considering proposals that would expand health insurance coverage. Those proposals would affect the labor market because of the close linkage between health insurance and employment.
For example, requiring employers to offer health insurance -- or pay a fee if they do not -- is likely to reduce employment. Those who would most likely be affected are currently paid close to or at the minimum wage. They would be more vulnerable to job loss because their wages could not be lowered sufficiently to absorb the cost of health insurance (if their firm decides to offer) or the fee (if their firm does not) without bumping into the minimum wage.
Proposals that imposed surcharges on employers whose workers received subsidies directly from the government could have a larger impact on employment. (Such provisions are sometimes known as free-rider surcharges.) Many of the affected workers would be paid low wages that could not easily adjust to absorb the full cost, said the CBO report.
In addition, providing new subsidies for health insurance that decline in value as a person’s income rises could discourage some people from working more hours. "This is what we see in Third-World countries where incentives to work are limited by government intrusion into the workplace," said Professor Tim Hines of New York's Baruch College."Instead of encouraging hard work and ambition, the Obama Administration may stifle individual growth in the same manner as welfare recipients are deterred from getting married and controlling their families' size. What such a program does is encourage laziness and laxity," said Hines. The CBO report appears to confirm the professor's fears. Subsidies could be targeted to small businesses, but employers or their workers might respond by taking action to qualify for the subsidies. For example, some firms might reorganize into smaller subsidiaries, and workers might move to smaller firms to take advantage of the new subsidies. Increasing the availability of health insurance that is not related to employment could lead more people to retire before age 65 or choose not to work at younger ages.The overall impact on labor markets, however, is difficult to predict. Although economic theory and experience provide some guidance as to the effect of specific provisions, large-scale changes to the health insurance system could have more extensive repercussions than had previously been observed and also may contain numerous pieces that would interact -- affecting labor markets in significant but potentially offsetting ways. "In other words those pesky unintentional consequences might rear their ugly heads. Quite simply, if Universal Health Care is admittedly a disaster in Massachusetts, why would it work on a much larger scale? Why duplicate a failure? Also, proponents claim Canada and Europe have successful government-run health care programs, but rationing is not an indicator of success," said Baker."In Holland, they have a lottery for transplant surgery. In Japan, the elderly are turned away from hospitals. Why would Americans wish to duplicate that?" he asks.
In response to several requests, CBO has considered the likely effects on federal spending and health insurance coverage of adding a substantial expansion of eligibility for Medicaid to the Affordable Health Choices Act, a draft of which was recently released by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The precise effects such a Medicaid expansion would depend importantly on the specific features of that expansion. For example, the effects would depend on how eligibility for the program was determined and on whether the expansion started immediately or only as the proposed insurance exchanges went into operation.
The effects would also depend what share of the costs for newly eligible people was borne by the federal government and what share was borne by the states (which would be determined by the average FMAP, or Federal Medical Assistance Percentage). In addition, the effects would depend on whether states faced a maintenance-of-effort requirement regarding their current Medicaid programs.
The CBO's preliminary analysis indicates that such an expansion could increase federal spending for Medicaid by an amount that could vary in a broad range around $500 billion over 10 years.
Along with that increase in federal spending would come a substantial increase in Medicaid enrollment, amounting to perhaps 15 million to 20 million people. Such an expansion of Medicaid would also have some impact on the number of people who obtain coverage from other sources (including employers).
All told, the number of non-elderly people who would remain uninsured would probably decline to somewhere between 15 million and 20 million.
Such an expansion of Medicaid would have some impact on other aspects of the federal budget beyond Medicaid itself (including tax revenues and the proposed payments to the government by employers who do not offer coverage to their workers, which the legislation labels “equity assessments”).
Those additional effects might increase or decrease the effect of the proposal on the federal deficit by as much as $100 billion.
"To put it another way, the people with health insurance would be taxed to pay for the government to figure out what medical care would no longer be available to them. Wary of the cost, the leader of centrist Democrats, Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR), says Blue Dog Democrats have enough votes to block the health care bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee," according to the group Conservatives for Patients' Rights.
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Why Should WE Pay For Free Health Insurance for Illegal Aliens?
Who does he really think he is; the health fairy?By Jerry McConnell
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13064
Why is that man that sits illegally in the Oval Office spending OUR tax dollars to give 12 million (at least) illegal aliens free health insurance? Who does he really think he is; the health fairy?
Who told him he could spend all these taxpayers’ dollars on people who broke the law to sneak into this country instead of waiting their turn like the good people of Europe and other countries who wait their turn on our standard immigration lists and get nothing for their obedience to our laws while the cheats get a free ticket? It’s almost like the gang of cheats and thieves that Obama has surrounded himself with at the White House; try to find one that ISN’T a tax cheat. And while we’re at it; who are these crazy people who call themselves Congressmen allowing him to do it? Just who are the craziest among us? I’ll tell you who – it is us; we the taxpayers who worked hard to save some money to pay our taxes so we could get things done in this country and possibly help those most needy that cannot fend for themselves and need financial assistance to get by.
We didn’t pay all those taxes to our federal government so that a bunch of criminals, who stole across our borders in the dark of night, raided our farmers fields and in many cases, their homes as well, to get health insurance that WE have to pay even MORE money to get. Why in God’s name should we have to pay for insurance for those who are criminals, most of whom actually hate us and our country and would do anything in their power to help their ally, our usurper president, destroy us and our homeland? There are even murderers among the many millions who are here illegally. These are Obama’s people; we are NOT his people, we are his chattel to steal from at his whims and desires so that HIS people can benefit.
This charlatan and seducer of young peoples’ minds does NOT have the right to just take our tax dollars that were paid to improve our country and just GIVE it away so some of these new illegal aliens will become citizens and have the power and privilege to vote for him and his crooked and corrupt henchmen and women in our Congress. Why isn’t there some one or some other government department that can stop this blatant thievery? Can and will you answer that question Mr. Chief Justice of the SCOTUS?
One Republican Congressman, Dean Heller of Nevada, submitted an Amendment to prevent subsidizing health care to illegal aliens. It was unanimously backed by other Republican representatives from other states, but the liberal Democrats unanimously sided with Obama to defeat the amendment then went on to approve the actual bill in the House.
Is this the kind of government we can expect to see in these final days of the United States as a free nation? Can we expect more raids on our tax dollars and even our income savings accounts? At what point can we expect the American public to stand up and say, “ENOUGH”? David Patten, writing for NewsMax.com on July 19, 2009 stated that “Congressional Democrats and Obama have argued that their health plan is necessary to contain rising health care costs.” This is living proof that these liberal Democrats have no shame about lying to the public, when there have been so many news hits lately from their own Congressional Budget Office to the contrary.
NewsMax.com writer Patton states, “…last Thursday, (July 16) CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified before the Senate Budget Committee and warned lawmakers that the proposed “legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.” Through slight of hand, smoke and mirrors and just general deviousness, liberals in Congress and Obama have been making irrational promises on all things concerning their pet plans for national health care, promising everything in one breath while claiming to contain rising costs at the same time; a physical impossibility.
But when their own Budget Office warns of costs exceeding a trillion dollars over the next 10 years for that one item alone, there is no way of completely covering up these huge increases in costs.
There is no getting around the mounting evidence that the liberal Democrats in our Congress are no longer serving the American people; they are instead assisting Obama in his quest to destroy this country and deliver it into the hands of the corrupt and incompetent United Nations. There is some indication in polls that even the real American Democrats are in agreement with that. They now have the votes necessary to carry out just about any vicious and damaging plan they wish and with the concurrent approval and shepherding from the White House, it can be a done deal.
Which is why it is so important that the people of this country who wish to see it remain an independent sovereignty on its own, rather than a minion of a group of corrupt third world dictators, need to make wholesale changes in our legislative ranks and soon.
We can do nothing about the Executive Branch personnel until 2012 when we can make some REAL and POSITIVE CHANGE back to our founding fathers’ ideals; but in 2010 we can begin cleaning house (and senate) of the radical leftists of the socialist/communist persuasion that are delivering us unto evil and damnation.
November 9, 2010 is less than 16 months away; which is why those currently in power are trying to move so quickly to break this nation down. Watch them carefully.
Oh, I almost forgot; but I guess you’ve heard that the new health care bill exempts our Congress, the President and his staff, and the Supreme Court Justices. What’s that? You hadn’t heard about it? Well, now you have. Seems Ted Kennedy, principal author of the bill figured if it was going to be free for illegal aliens it would not be good enough for the elites as outlined above, so they were exempted.
Now isn’t that just like good old Teddy to make sure our royalty wouldn’t be tainted by the same old drab insurance that criminals will be getting at no charge to them? Ever notice how the stench in Washington starts at the top and works its way down?
Let’s have more tea parties; it has been proven that they really irritate and concern the anti-Americans who plot against this country and the common people.
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Senate Committee Passes Obama Health Crimes Bill
Obama’s Socio-fascist government will rule what health insurance humans can have and who is allowed to live and who must dieBy Sher Zieve, Wednesday, July 15, 2009
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12929
Coming down along Party lines, the bill that Obama said he would shove down the throats of the American people—and charge them a literal arm and leg to pay for it—has passed through the US Senate Health Committee. This bill will further bankrupt the USA—to the tune of $1.5 TRILLION at a minimum—and within a very short period of time will force all private healthcare companies out of business.
Obama’s now almost totally Socio-fascist government will rule what health insurance humans can have and who is allowed to live and who must die to satisfy the aspirations of Obama and his growing collective leaders. Have you checked how many Czars Obama currently has? The last time I checked the total was 34. Do any of you have Blue Cross/Blue Shield or any other private insurance? If you don’t call your Representatives and Senators and advise them “VOTE NO ON OBAMACARE!” (assuming they actually listen to you) you can kiss your health plan—and ultimately any good health you enjoy—goodbye.
Obama and the in-control-of-our-lives Left have now said that they plan to “tax the rich” (if they remain in the USA they won’t be rich much longer) again—to the tune of raising their taxes to 45% of their incomes. As there isn’t enough money amongst all of those that Obama and his minions call “the rich” (soon to be middle-class if they’re lucky), the middle class (soon to be part of the lower-economic class) will be forced to pay for it. Some economists advise that in order to pay for all of the dictator’s programs, those earning $50,000 will also soon be taxed almost out of existence. Elections have consequences. And the 2008 General Election heralded in the most dire consequences yet for the USA.
Turning USA into a feudal stateBetween Obama’s Cap and Trade and Health Crimes bill, the American people will be taxed out of virtually all of their income—which will arrive in Washington D.C. and be placed into the pockets of Obama, his adherents, the political ruling class and the countries that Obama (for his personal purposes) chooses to fund. This turns the USA into a feudal state. I am not exaggerating, folks. This is what is happening before our very eyes. If you don’t want to become a serf—and our legislators continue to fail We-the-People—please have your torches and pitchforks at the ready and keep your powder dry. By the way, the Capitol Hill switchboard number is—once again—202.224-3121. Please call your “leaders” now and often. This time, our very lives really do depend on it!
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Lessons From the Non-Pandemic of 1976
By Robert Mackey
April 30, 2009
As news and concern about the swine flu spreads around the world, governments and public health officials are walking a fine line: They try to alert people to the dangers of the illness without stoking people’s fears. As a post on our politics and government blog, The Caucus, noted this morning, remarks by Vice President Joe Biden illustrated that politicians are often not very good at walking such fine lines.
As if to prove that Democrats have no lock on spreading confusion about the swine flu, or on cases of foot-in-mouth disease, here is a short burst of Rep. Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, who said, incorrectly, during a recent interview on the conservative Web site Pajamas TV that the outbreak of swine flu in 1976, which killed one person at Fort Dix, N.J., took place “under another Democrat [sic] President, Jimmy Carter — and I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”
While Mr. Carter was of course elected in 1976, Ms. Bachmann seemed not to know just when the swine flu outbreak took place, or to remember that President Gerald Ford, a Republican, was still in office every day of that year, when the government developed a vaccine and tried to immunize every American to head off a pandemic:
So what did happen in 1976, and what lessons might we now take from that effort to prevent a swine flu outbreak from spreading worldwide?
The main thing that many people who are following the current swine flu outbreak on the Web seem to know about 1976 is that the government produced two public-service announcements meant to scare people into getting the vaccine, and that they now look equal parts ominous and funny:
As experts now consider whether to produce a vaccine against this new strain of swine flu, it is worth looking back at the controversy that surrounded the mass immunization campaign in 1976.
In an article about flu pandemics and non-pandemics for The New York Times Magazine in 1992, Robin Marantz Henig recalled:
Influenza experts thought they saw big-league trouble coming in February 1976, when a few cases of severe swine flu broke out among young military recruits in Fort Dix, N.J. One of them, Pvt. David Lewis, 19, died. Of 19 patients whose specimens were sent to the Centers for Disease Control for virus typing, Lewis and four others were shown to be infected with the same H1N1 influenza virus as was responsible for the 1918 pandemic. This got many public-health officials into gear, hoping to use modern technology, namely vaccination, to head off a disaster of the magnitude of 1918.
The large-scale effort to manufacture and distribute enough vaccine for everyone in the country showed that millions of doses of high-quality vaccine could be made in a matter of three or four months. But the swine-flu pandemic never materialized. In retrospect, some critics now say 40 million Americans were vaccinated for nothing.
As Andrew Pollack reported in The New York Times a few years ago, the Ford administration’s aggressive approach in 1976 may have wound up doing more harm than good:
That is the year President Gerald R. Ford announced a crash program to ”inoculate every man, woman and child in the United States” against swine flu. But the virus never became a killer, and vaccinations were halted two months after they began after reports that 500 people who received the shot developed a paralyzing nerve disease and more than 30 of them died.
In an article in The Los Angeles Times last Saturday, “Swine flu ‘debacle’ of 1976 is recalled,” Shari Roan explained that “the federal government paid millions in damages to people or their families” who contracted the nerve disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, after getting the vaccine that year.
Still, some influenza experts defended the aggressive approach of 1976. For her 1992 article, Ms. Henig talked to Dr. Edwin D. Kilbourne, “an early and consistent advocate of mass immunization in 1976,” who had the vaccine virus produced in his lab at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. Dr. Kilbourne argued that the government had acted rationally at the time, since the aim was to avoid death on the scale of the 1918 pandemic. “Better a vaccine without an epidemic,” Dr. Kilbourne said, “than an epidemic without a vaccine.”
Dr. Richard P. Wenzel, the chairman of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who also advocated vaccination in 1976, still says “it was a great effort.” Dr. Wenzel told The Los Angeles Times on Saturday that while the immunization program “had unexpected, unfortunate side effects,” he hoped that “there will be a lot of good, honest public health discussion about what happened in 1976.”
As Dr. Pascal J. Imperato, dean of the school of public health at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, who was the chairman of the New York City Swine Flu Task Force in 1976, told Donald McNeil of The New York Times on Wednesday that the new strain that emerged that year was identified quickly enough to make containment a viable strategy. All 230 infected soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., were kept on the base, Dr. Imperato said. “They had no external contacts. One died, the rest had mild infection.”
With reports from Peru and Switzerland on Thursday, there are now at least 13 countries that have confirmed cases of the new strain of H1N1 swine flu. But as Ms. Henig wrote in 1992, one of the lessons that experts like Dr. Kilbourne took from the experience of 1976 was that some new strains of flu may not be virulent enough to merit mass immunization, but that it was still a good idea to get vaccine ready, just in case:
In hindsight, those involved in the decision-making realize that major variants of influenza virus in a few individuals do not necessarily signal the start of a new pandemic. Some variants prove easily transmitted; most, like the Fort Dix strain, will die out after a few passages through human hosts. “Early detection of a new virus therefore may not be adequate evidence on which to undertake mass immunization,” Kilbourne wrote in a 1979 article called “Swine Flu: The Virus That Vanished.” “But it is, I believe, a signal at least to produce vaccine to hold in readiness.”
Last Saturday, the Science magazine blog Science Insider interviewed Dr. Kilbourne, now 88 and retired, and asked him how he thought the lessons of 1976 might be applied to today’s crisis. Dr. Kilbourne defended the immunization campaign, arguing that the cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome may not have been caused by the vaccine, and said that a vaccine should be made as soon as possible this year, even if it will then be held in reserve until the new strain is known to be virulent:
The only thing I would have done differently in 1976, retrospectively, is to make the vaccine, promote the vaccine, but not give the vaccine until the last moment — but the problem with that is that you may be too late. By all means, find the prevalent strain, make a vaccine that can be used, and grow it in eggs, and then go with it. [But] I think it’s premature to do it [vaccinate] now.
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Right-Wing Health Care Mythology
By Joe Conason
October 9, 2007
http://www.observer.com/2007/right-wing-health-care-mythology
Once among the most frightening and effective epithets in American political culture, “socialized medicine” seems to have lost its juju. These days, that phrase sounds awfully dated, like a song on a gramophone or a mother-in-law joke or a John Birch Society rant against fluoridated water.
Yet despite their antique quality, the old buzzwords still appear regularly in columns, press releases and speeches. Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican presidential pack run around squawking about socialism whenever anyone proposes to reform the broken health care system.
Syndicated columnist Robert Novak warns that the federally financed, state-run Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is essentially a socialist conspiracy. So does President Bush, who has threatened to veto a modest increase in that program’s funding because he doesn’t want to “federalize health care.”
Although the red threat can still trigger an autonomic reaction among the party’s true believers, the rest of the country simply no longer twitches to that high-pitched, far-right whistle. Most polls not only show enormous majorities favoring the extension of health coverage to every child regardless of ability to pay, but substantial support for a radical change in how we pay and administer health insurance—including the possibility of a single-payer system overseen by government.
Why doesn’t the traditional propaganda work any more? Perhaps the demise of the Soviet Union and the withering of Communism in Communist China have had a delayed effect on public attitudes in this country. Both the Russians and the Chinese have turned more capitalist than the West, abandoning their former systems without substituting modern democratic protections, leading to predictably bad consequences. As unbridled capitalists, the ex-Communists are more of a threat to the health of their own societies than to us.
Most Americans may also have noticed that corporate bureaucracy and corruption, which both figure largely in the present health care system, are not preferable to government bureaucracy. The same doctors who used to wail about the dangers of Medicare have learned how unpleasant it is to deal with dozens of insurance companies, each of which is creating different rules to cut costs and deny care as often as possible. So have their patients.
This corporate model is more expensive and less efficient than the government plans that provide care in every other industrialized nation.
And most Americans may have learned by now that such systems prevail in Western countries that aren’t normally categorized as “socialist,” including the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Canada, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. All these nations manage to provide their citizens with high living standards, industrial and technological innovation, and broad political and economic freedom, even after 50 years of national health insurance in some form.
Meanwhile, the credibility of conservatives has diminished steadily.
These days they seem to have trouble achieving clarity on the meaning of their favorite clichés. For instance, the president hates federalized health care, but sponsors a Medicare prescription drug program that wastes hundreds of billions on drug companies and private insurers.
Right-wing definitions no longer seem so clear, either. When the government awards a billion dollars in sweetheart mercenary contracts to a wealthy Republican family in Michigan, that’s “private enterprise.” But when the government helps a struggling middle-class family in Maryland to send its children to the doctor, that’s creeping socialism.
The declining relevance of conservative ideology is again encouraging the politics of personal destruction. That must be why right-wing voices on the Internet, talk radio and the Fox News Channel have launched a nasty attack on the family of Graeme Frost, a 12-year-old Maryland boy who appeared in a Democratic radio commercial endorsing the SCHIP program. He and his younger sister, both victims of a terrible car accident that left the little girl with permanent brain damage, have both needed federal assistance because their parents were unable to afford private insurance.
Certain conservative bloggers and pundits, seeking to prove that the Frost family is too affluent to qualify for SCHIP assistance, have started to harass them, their neighbors and their co-workers. They have spread myths and lies about the family, their house, and the schools that their children attend. And they have made repeated telephone calls to the Frost home, demanding answers to questions about their personal finances.
It doesn’t seem to occur to any of these strict Christian moralists that the Frosts have enough trouble trying to care for their disabled daughter, or that the state of Maryland, under the SCHIP regulations, has determined that the Frost children are fully eligible for the help they obviously need.
Let us not hear again from these creeps about “family values” or “compassionate conservatism.”
Such is the devolution of conservatism in our time—from a philosophy concerned with overweening state authority to a movement that bullies children in the name of freedom.
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