Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘Meet Rahm Emanuel’s Brother: Dr. Zeke the Bleak’) Is Up (See UPDATE for WaPo Editorial)
Despite his recent attempted reputation rehab, Zeke always ends up at the same place: not treating the somehow unworthy or letting them die.
It will go up at BizzyBlog on Monday morning (link won’t work until then) under my originally submitted title (“Zeke the Bleak Tries a Sneak”) after the blackout expires.
The column’s early paragraphs remind readers of the three central incurable moral problems with ObamaCare, first mentioned in my “ObamaCare as a Moral Clunker” column a couple of weeks ago, and how they are still quite present:
…. there are three insurmountable moral objections to the president’s and Democrats’ versions of mislabeled “health care reform”:
- They are all designed and destined to ration care. This will lead, as it has in state-run systems virtually everywhere, to long waits for even critical services. In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Harvard professor and chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers Martin Feldstein confirmed this obvious and inconvenient truth, writing that “rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama’s health plan.”
- Under the idea of “Comparative Effectiveness Research” (CER), which has already been funded to the tune of over $1 billion, the inevitable and unavoidable rationing just described would more than likely be carried out under a regime of care denial driven by age-based and “quality of life” criteria. This will, formally or informally, lead to a system similar to that found in the UK, where its National Health Service, under the concept of “Quality-Adjusted Life Years” (QALY), won’t pay for medical procedures that “cost” more than $50,000 for each year of additional life expected to be gained (“cost” is in quotes because I believe that such “costs” are often overloaded with fixed overhead that largely should not be relevant to such decisions).
- The people who would be in charge of implementing a state-controlled system, which remains the objective of President Obama and Congress as long as they seek any kind of “public option” or government-managed “co-operative” set-up, have viewpoints that are ethically questionable at best and morally abhorrent at worst.
Ezekiel Emanuel is, of course, primarily a Point 3 problem, because his track record indicates no qualms about the presence of Points 1 and 2. There are many others who hang with President Obama who hold to similar beliefs. The president’s indifference to infanticide, and his suggestion at the ABC infomercial in June that the mother of the woman who had a pacemaker installed at age 99 would have been better off taking a pill instead, are both strong indicators that he is a kindred spirit with Zeke et al.
Zeke, as I refer to him, is attempting to rehabilitate his reputation based on an alleged conversion during the last “five to seven years.” He now wants us to believe that statist health care can be managed without rationing. The column shows that positions he has taken on health matters in just the past few years render that claim an epic fail.
Read the rest at PJM.
UPDATE: There’s a great comment at PJM from “jerryofva” (after correcting typos) –
This is fundamentally a story about ethics. The question one has to ask is how did a Jew like Ezekiel Emanuel become a proponent of a medical care regime that Henrich Himmler would applaud. The entire idea of “QALY” based system smacks of disposing of the “lives unworthy of living” criteria established by Nazi Germany.” Is there a Rabbi in America who will step up and condemn Dr. Emanuel to the Jewish community?
That transitions into a reminder to anyone who believes otherwise that the regime that attempted to exterminate the Jews was socialist and left-wing. Here are 10 reasons. More discussion is here. A good related vid is here.
UPDATE 2, August 23: The Washington Post editorially attempted to defend Emanuel yesterday, ginning up as much “we’re outraged” language as it could in a few paragraphs.
Critics also point to a January 2009 piece in the Lancet in which Dr. Emanuel and co-authors discuss how to determine which patients should obtain scarce resources such as organs for transplant. The authors consider various possibilities — lotteries; first-come, first-served; sickest first — and propose a combined “complete lives” approach that would consider age, prognosis and maximizing lives saved. Importantly, this would not apply to all health care — only “when genuine scarcity makes saving everyone impossible.” Ms. Palin misleadingly describes this as a “rationing system” that “would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential.”
First of all, compare the full range of considerations Emanuel said he would include at Lancet — “youngest-first, prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value” — to what WaPo listed above (“age, prognosis and maximizing lives saved”). Conveniently editing, don’t you think?
Then go back to Point 1 at the very beginning of this post — “They (state-controlled health care systems) are all designed and destined to ration care. This will lead, as it has in state-run systems virtually everywhere, to long waits for even critical services.”
State-run care inevitably creates the conditions for what WaPo itself described as “genuine scarcity that makes saving everyone impossible.” It imposes those conditions on a nation as a permanent part of the landscape, causing a top-down care-decision process that the likes of Zeke Emanuel would manage, a la NICE in the UK, to inevitably kick in. NICE currently and routinely does what Sarah Palin describes and decries, i.e., it “refuse(s) to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential.”