There will be death panels. When the government takes over medical finding, there must be triage. Panels will decide: (1) Who cannot be saved; (2) who don’t need to be saved; (3) who is left over. That is what battlefield medicine has decided ever since World War I. Battlefield medicine is government medicine.
All the “shock and horror” that liberal Democrats feigned when this issue was raised about Obamacare was just a smoke screen.
The once influential but now peripheral news magazines, Time and Newsweek, have done cover stories on euthanasia: killing granny. The Newsweek story is forthright: “The Case for Killing Granny.” It was written by Professor Evan Thomas of Princeton, who used to be the editor of Newsweek. The Time story was written by veteran Washington reporter Joe Klein: “How to Die.”
Both stories begin with the story of the author’s parents. The strategy here is to personalize the issue. Then they move from the personal (individual responsibility) to the general (bureaucratic responsibility). It’s all about the famous bottom line. Prof. Thomas writes:
Compared with other Western countries, the United States has more health care—but, generally speaking, not better health care. There is no way we can get control of costs, which have grown by nearly 50 percent in the past decade, without finding a way to stop overtreating patients. In his address to Congress, President Obama spoke airily about reducing inefficiency, but he slid past the hard choices that will have to be made to stop health care from devouring ever-larger slices of the economy and tax dollar. A significant portion of the savings will have to come from the money we spend on seniors at the end of life because, as Willie Sutton explained about why he robbed banks, that’s where the money is.
The death panels are coming. They have to come. The government has to have rules for spending money. The rules must determine who wins and who loses. There is no possible escape from this responsibility. If the government pays for any service, it must do so within written rules.
Liberals know this, but they at first pretended that it would not apply to Obamacare. Of course it will apply to Obamacare, if the program survives the Supreme Court’s case. It applies to Medicare, too. Medicare operates under the laws of the United States government. It is not legally allowed to spend taxpayers’ money on anything not authorized by the law, which means rule books.
Spending money on old people must come under rules. These rules must cover when it’s time to pull the plug.
This can be delayed for political reasons. Now the Establishment has begun to prepare the public for the inevitable.
It’s not that Time and Newsweek have much influence any longer. A generation ago, they did. Today, they are weather vanes. They let us know what the unofficial Party Line is for Establishment thinking.
To read the Newsweek story, click the link.