Now witness the power of a full operational Death Panel

Hey – remember how Obama and his cronies mocked the idea of death panels?  Well they set one up.  White house speak with fork tongue.

the President’s advisors were no doubt hoping that the “death panel” debate was… well… dead. But Obama himself inadvertently resurrected it when, in response to Republican budget proposals, he claimed that Medicare costs will be kept under control by the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Obamacare opponents have been screaming about this committee since it was first added to the “reform” bill. And, since that time, anyone with the temerity to call it by its proper name — death panel — has been vilified by the Democrats and the “news” media. Nonetheless, that’s precisely what IPAB will be. Its sole purpose is to cut funding for some health care services seniors now take for granted. And those cuts will kill people.

Some of the members seem to have let their god-like powers go to their heads already :

“Somebody has to say no to the terminal patient who refuses to acknowledge that he or she is terminal and demands hopeless if expensive treatment.… Somebody has to have the power to rule that Procedure A or Drug A is more cost-effective than Procedure B or Drug B.… Even Heaven has a gatekeeper.”

Read the rest here.

That “Family Guy” Dow’s Syndrome gag…

A commentator in Newsweek makes a good point, that’s gotten lost in all the “controversy” –

The problem with the conversation surrounding the Family Guy episode is that it presupposes that people fall into one of two categories: those who think the joke was funny because they weren’t offended by it, and those who think the joke wasn’t funny because they were. I didn’t find the joke funny, not because it was insensitive to people with Down syndrome or to Sarah Palin, but because it just wasn’t funny. Like, as a joke. Plenty of criticisms have been lobbed at Family Guy, from the quality of the animation, to its reliance on interchangeable, inorganic cutaway gags (see South Park’s two-part take down, “Cartoon Wars”) but the Palin joke is a perfect example of the show’s major shortcoming. The MacFarlane sensibility puts a premium on being offensive, and that’s fine when the jokes are soundly constructed, but too often Family Guy jokes aren’t clever or well written, they’re just shocking. To some people (me included, at times) the shock value is enough to inspire some uncomfortable tittering, but jokes like that don’t stand up to scrutiny. If you take two seconds to think about them, you realize it wasn’t that funny to begin with, and it certainly doesn’t work on a subsequent viewing, when you’re expecting it.


It had to happen… Robot Andrew Sullivan!

Update on Death Panels

Senate committee removing the death panels which weren’t in the bill, according to Obama.  Now they are double not there, I guess.

Sarah Palin : Concerning the “Death Panels”

Sarah Palin responds to Obama, using the actual text of the HR 3200.  Here’s some of it –

Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these “unproductive” members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.

The President made light of these concerns. He said:

“Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore….It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything.” [1]

The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” [2] With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual … or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility… or a hospice program.” [3] During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services. [4]

Now put this in context. These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” [5] Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care? As Charles Lane notes in the Washington Post, Section 1233 “addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones…. If it’s all about alleviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?” [6]

As Lane also points out:

Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.

Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic. [7]

(more)

Kerry and Boxer Staffers “rebut” Palin!

So the Washington Post has published an OpEd piece, signed by John Kerry and Senator Ma’am. It is meant to be a refutation of Sarah Palin’s OpEd on “Cap-and-Tax”.

It starts out with the assertion that they hope “for a substantive dialogue” and that they “want to put facts ahead of fiction and real debate ahead of rhetorical bomb-throwing.” The problem, though, is that they piece is pretty much void of substantive anything, and is just bomb-throwing.

Heck, in the paragraph that immediately follows, they pretend that Palin opposes “clean energy legislation” as if that was identical to the “cap-and-trade” bill. Do they even understand their own bill?

Other than making a couple of undefended assertions, that the bill (somehow) will Save Us All and that the bill will (somehow) create Millions of Jobs(!), there is nothing that comes close to addressing the bill or why it should be supported. The rest of the article can be summarized as this : “If you are against our bill, you are just like people who opposed clean water”. That’s it read it yourself and count the number of times this trope repeats, with “acid rain”, “superfund”, etc.

If they wanted to take a stab at substance they could have given some examples of the assertion that “Each time, our environmental laws have cleaned the water we drink, the air we breathe and the communities we live in at far lower cost than initially expected”. It isn’t relevant to cap-and-trade, but it would be interesting if true.