Obama's Friends 'Out' the Death Panels

The president and his media enablers are outraged, just outraged, that anyone would suggest the prospect of, let alone come up with a name for, government panels designed to ration care for the elderly -- and as the president said, “pull the plug on grandma.” Nothing lower, the left punditocracy fumed, than coming up with the “death panel” slur. Except that is precisely what Obama and his ilk want.

We need look no further than the worshipful David Brooks, Obama’s political soul mate. He confesses, in a sort of Jack Nicholson code red moment that yes, darn it, he wants death panels. He chats with colleague Gail Collins in the New York Times blog: “I’m pro-death panel. We spend so much money on end-of-life care we have to have some way of talking about it.”

Brooks cites a moving piece in Atlantic Monthly by David Godhill which details the death of Godhill’s vital 83-year-old father who succumbed to an infection. But isn’t this the case against ObamaCare -- and Brooks' desire to shut off the flow of care to our inconveniently expensive parents and grandparents? It would be interesting to ask Brooks how much money he thinks was “wasted” trying to keep Godhill’s father alive for five weeks in the struggle to beat off an ultimately fatal infection. Well, in Brooks’ death panel world, we’ll nip much of that “wasteful” end-of-life care in the bud.

As for Obama, a candid Mickey Kaus observes: “I can't help but feel that the reason the president doesn't effectively rebut the ‘rationing’ argument is that he kind of believes we have to move toward rationing. But couldn't he fake it?” Well, Obama would have to fake it and muzzle a great number of his own advisors who seem to think there’s nothing wrong with limiting care for all of us and, specifically, pulling the plug on the grandmas and grandpas who account for a disproportionate amount of health care spending.

Obama, for example, would have to hush up Rahm Emanuel’s brother Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the president’s health care advisors. He too is all in favor of cutting off care to those whose days are limited and whose medical expenses are high. The Wall Street Journal reported on Dr. Emanuel:

True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors' ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the "overuse" of medical care: "Medical school education and post-graduate education emphasize thoroughness," he writes. "This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath's admonition to 'use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment' as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others."