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Klavan On The Culture

A Death Panel Toldja So

November 27th, 2013 - 10:15 am
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My pal Steve Malzberg, now hosting a show on Newsmax TV, scored big this week with an interview with leftist journalist Mark Halperin — co-author of Game Change, and the former ABC News political director who once sent a memo directing reporters to be biased in their coverage of the Bush-Kerry election. Halperin admitted that Obamacare includes death panels — committees of bureaucrats who will decide when your life is no longer of value to the state. Here’s a transcript via Media Research Center:

MALZBERG, HOST: A lot of people said you weren’t going to be able to keep your health care, but also they focused on the death panels, which will be coming, call them what you will, rationing, is part of it…

HALPERIN: No, I agree, and that’s going to be a huge issue, and that’s something else on which the president was not fully forthcoming and straightforward.

MALZBERG: So, you believe there will be rationing, a.k.a. death panels?

HALPERIN: It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.

Later, Halperin backtracked, but he was clearly just being mealy-mouthed. He was right the first time. The panels are in the act.

Now, I wrote about the inevitability of this in 2009 in the Wall Street Journal. In an op-ed entitled “The Panel,” I imagined a future victim of the ObamaCare State:

It begins to occur to you that this is how you are going to die: by the fiat of fatuous ideologues—that is to say, by the considered judgment of a government committee. They are going to snuff you out and never lose a minute’s sleep over it, because it’s only fair, after all.

That logic is implacable too. Free people can treat each other justly, but they can’t make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.

I only remind the reader of this because of the reaction I got at the time. You can get the gist of it by reading some of the comments on the WSJ site in which I’m accused of writing “fiction,” “science fiction,” and of being a paranoid schizophrenic, among other things.

So I would now like all those who made such comments — online and in my email — to imagine my response. And, ala Obama, let me suggest you spend Thanksgiving dinner breaking it to Grandma that the Hopey-Changey One thinks it’s time she stop being such a burden…

 

 

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Top Rated Comments   
Irony alert! The same people who beat their breasts in shame and horror at the "torture" the Bush administration inflicted on bloodthirsty terrorists find losing elderly lives so that others may have government-funded birth control to be an example of this administration's saintly "fairness".
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fewer doctors to treat treatable illnesses as more physicians retire or drop out of Medicare/Medicaid. Five hundred billion dollars trimmed from Medicare in order to provide for those without insurance. After a while it becomes a simple mathematical formula. Care will be rationed and the "deserving" will receive it. The panels will make the deicisions. Case closed folks.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Last argument I had with a lefty over healthcare ended when I told them they'd die in poverty, probably of something easily cured today.

BTW - are we that thick that we can't read? Many people poured over that bill, said what was in it, said what it would do. Some even highlighted the relevant sections. It was all there.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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Will no one mention the obvious, and call the correct name?

Okay, then, I'll say it. Sarah Palin was right.

And if someone could get Mark Halperin to say that, on live television, I'd pay money to see it.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think I will be one of the "DEATH PANEL'S" INVITEES. It is so reassuring that the life of someone begging at a highway exit is worth more than mine. .....volunteering since childhood, teaching 26 years, volunteering in homeless shelters and schools. friend of animals, contributor to charities. My medical expenses are high but I feel I've earned them and I question whether the beggar has helped humanity in any way....of course it still may come.
The only case I know of which was a misuse of treatment was that of the father-in-law of a friend who had a leg amputated when he was dying. His own family was opposed to the procedure but it was done anyway.
"
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is of a piece with the assertion, backed by "medical ethicist" Daniel Callahan among others, that no further research nor expenditure should go into life-extension technologies, because it primarily benefits the well-to-do!

The irony, of course, is that the "wellest-to-do," many of whom are cronies of the Obamunist regime, will always be able to circumvent legislated restrictions on such things. Indeed, the regime will assist them in doing so. We risk a future of domination by Marxist Struldbrugs (though perhaps better looking than the ones in Swift's novel).
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was an unwilling member of the American Federation of Teachers which is connected in some way to the CIO so that may make me one of Obama's pals. A lot of the teachers I knew belonged to one of the two unions because of legal coverage if we were sued by a student. I still have the work (unwork) product
of one kid in my garage.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The closest I've seen to a leftie admitting to the concept of death panels is an article I read (sorry I don't have the link) that stated that the Medicare panels will not hear INDIVIDUAL cases, they will just make broad regulations regarding certain medical procedures. For example, no joint replacements for people over a certain age, because they are likely to die before the useful life of the new joint is over, or no bypass surgery over a certain age, or cancer treatment over a certain age. I experienced this already with an elderly relative who needed back surgery. Even though this person is otherwise pretty healthy, the doc would not do the surgery because my relative was "too old." So instead this person has to live with debilitating back pain for the rest of his life - which could be 5 - 10 YEARS based on how long his siblings have lived. We decided to seek a second opinion, and the second doc said if the first doc wouldn't do it because Medicare turned him down, that he could not do it either. The first doc didn't say specifically that Medicare turned him down, but Doc 2 said that's pretty likely.

Guess this is part of "give Granny a pain pill" that Obama was talking about.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I accept your point, of course, but there are reasons other than financial for surgery not being such a great option for the elderly. Issues such as strain on the heart, slow and painful recovery, taking heavy doses of anesthesia and other drugs, etc. I've seen for myself how hip replacement surgery performed on women in their '80s turned out to be a big mistake.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's as may be, but it should be individual choice and not up to a one-size-fits all rule. My grandmother suffered a heart attack brought on by her Felty's Disease and would have needed a fairly dramatic heart surgery. The surgeons taking care of her gave her all the information, told her the chances of making it through the procedure, told her that if she survived that what she would be facing to repair what we thought at the time was the slipped disc in her back, and gave her the odds of regaining her independence assuming she survived it all (80% of not making it; 10 to 20% of regaining independence after that).

He then said that the choice was hers, and he would completely understand whichever route she chose to take. In the end, she opted to bow out gracefully, which turned out to be wise because the thing we all thought was a slipped disc was actually an aggressive sarcoma which is actually what killed her.

But the point was that SHE was the one making that choice rather than having it made for her by a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I completely agree with you. It's an individual choice and, God forbid, it should ever be made by a faceless, nameless bureaucrat.

I'm glad for you and your family that your grandmother made what seems to be the right decision for herself as an individual. There's dignity in that. Obamacare strips the individual of dignity, just as socialism does, and that is its deepest flaw - a flaw so apparent that most people of all political stripes find it repellent.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You know what I think? I think it's long past time conservatives gave up their inferiority complex. So what if a hack like Mark Halperin finally admits the obvious? You can only make a big deal out of something like that if you think he's more important than you are. He's not.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Only a fool would believe that you could resolve limited supply against unlimited demand *without* rationing. Of course there was going to be rationing.

As for death panels, Republicans will go first, of course.

I used to think America would fall like Rome, but lately I'm thinking it'll be more like Byzantium--bureaucratic termites devouring the structure until it's too weak to stand.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good point. Of course, Byzantium is in fact a successor state of Rome and I would offer that in fact we have already become the successor state of Reagan's America. We have seen about 1000 years of history compressed into only 30 years. The blessings and perils of technology.....

And let's not forget that the death knell was when the Mohamedens who scaled the walls of Constantinople that truly ended the empire. We are already well along that path....
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
The MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people who will lose their Health Care BECAUSE of Obozocare are, to Obozo himself and his corrupt REGIME, just INSIGNIFICANT, However you try insulting a HOMOSEXUAL (a mere 1.4% of the population) or criticize the violent Young Black Male THUGS ( the Trayvon Martins look alikes and OBOZO"s 'son' who are just 2% of the population) and no one will say THEY are INSIGNIFICANT in fact all HELL will break around your head.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You hear many DemocRATS bleat 'it will be cheaper if you qualify for a subsidy' But what they NEVER tell you, and FAUX Conservatives like FOX's Bill O'Really NEVER ask, is where the 'SUBSIDY' comes from. It comes from the American Federal TAXPAYER of course and goes to the FECKLESS who pay NO TAX at all as usual.
This whole thing is one big PONZI scheme designed to REDISTRUBUTE the wealth of the country from the Builders and Shakers to the FECKLESS and WORKSHY.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama said it right up front. "Maybe it would be better if grandma took that pain pill instead of having that procedure". Isn't that clear enough? Were you just not listening America?
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
Klavan here is a lesson in intentions. Rationing will be implemented apace. And the administration agreed to drop the mandatory end of life interviews. But they didn't drop their planed acceleration of the end of some poor soul's life - just the interview.

52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
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