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Obama Adviser Pushes for Death Panels in ObamaCare (NYT, 9/16/2012)

Posted by FactReal on October 3, 2012

GOVERNMENT TO DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT THE ELDERLY LIVE
To make the case for death panels (a.k.a. rationing), Obama’s former counselor to the Treasury secretary, Steven Rattner, wrote in the New York Times an article titled Beyond Obamacare. His first line: “We Need Death Panels.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/opinion/health-care-reform-beyond-obamacare.html?_r=0

(Emphasis added)

Beyond Obamacare

By STEVEN RATTNER
Published: September 16, 2012

WE need death panels.

Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.

But in the pantheon of toxic issues — the famous “third rails” of American politics — none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical. […]

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s hopes for sustained cost containment are pinned on a to-be-determined mix of squeezing reimbursements, embracing a selection of the creative ideas that have spewed forth from health care policy wonks and scouring the globe for innovations. […]

…The problem is, the [Obama’s Independent Payment] advisory board can’t propose reducing benefits (a k a rationing) or raising fees (another form of rationing), without which the spending target looms impossibly large.

That’s the view of the bipartisan Medicare trustees, whose 2012 report stated: “Actual future Medicare expenditures are likely to exceed the intermediate projections shown in this report, possibly by quite large amounts.” […]

Let’s not forget that with the elderly population growing rapidly, even if cost increases for each beneficiary can be contained, Medicare would still claim a rising share of the American economy.

The big money in Medicare is not to be found in Mr. Ryan’s competition or Mr. Obama’s innovation, but in reducing the cost of treating people in the last year of life, which consumes more than a quarter of the program’s budget.

No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. […]

Britain …uses a complex quality-adjusted life year system to put an explicit value (up to about $48,000 per year) on a treatment’s ability to extend life.

Rush Limbaugh concludes:

Once Obamacare is fully implemented, folks, once it’s fully implemented, there will be rationing. There can’t be any alternative to that once the government’s responsible for paying for everything. They don’t have an endless supply of money, either. The question will be, “Does it make more sense to spend a lot of money on surgery or treatment or pharmaceuticals for somebody statistically close to death, or does it make sense to save that money and spend it on a young person that might end up in an accident or what have you?”

That’s gonna be the calculation.

Your life will actually come down to a dollars-and-cents value assigned to you — as a number, by the way — by the government. It was always part of Obamacare. Sarah Palin was right. It was always there. We’ve all been right.

Sarah Palin was right when she said Obamacare would lead to health care rationing:

“Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is, many of these accusers finally saw that Obamacare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life and death decisions about health care funding,” Palin wrote. “It’s called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and its purpose all along has been to ‘keep costs down’ by actually denying care via price controls and typically inefficient bureaucracy. This subjective rationing of care is what I was writing about in that first post.”

Obama’s Health Care Solution for Elderly – Just take a Pill
In 2009, Obama told a woman that her elderly mother instead of receiving a pacemaker maybe she should just take a pain pill. Obama exact words, “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”
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