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Sarah and the Death Panels

buchanan11"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Of Sarah Palin it may be said: The lady knows how to frame an issue.

And while she has been fairly criticized for hyperbole about the end-of-life counselors in the House bill, she drew such attention to the provision that Democrats chose to dump it rather than debate it

And understandably so. For if Congress enacts universal health care coverage, we are undeniably headed for a medical system of rationed care that must inevitably deny care to some terminally ill and elderly, which will shorten their lives, perhaps by years. Consider:

Democrats call Medicare the model of government-run universal health care. But Medicare is a system whereby 140 million working Americans pay 2.9 percent of all wages and salaries into a fund to pay for health care for 42 million mostly older Americans. And Medicare is already going bust.

If Obamacare is passed, the cost of health care for today's 47 million uninsured will also land on those 140 million. And if Obama puts 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens on a "path to citizenship," as he promises, they, too, will have their health care provided by taxpayers.

Here is the crusher. The Census Bureau projects that, by 2050, the U.S. population will explode to 435 million. As most of these folks will be immigrants, their children and grandchildren, the cost of their heath care would also have to be largely born by middle-class and wealthy taxpayers.

Now factor this in.

In 2000, the average American male in a population of 300 million lived to 74; the average female to 80. But in 2050, the average male in a population of 435 million Americans will live to 80 and the average female to 86. And, according to U.N. figures, 21 percent of the U.S. population in 2050, some 91 million Americans, will be over 65, and 7.6 percent, or 33 million Americans, will be over 80 — and consuming health care in ever-increasing measures.

Now if a primary purpose of Obamacare is to "bend the curve" of soaring health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and the number of seniors will grow by scores of millions, how do you cut costs without rationing care? And how do you ration care without denying millions of elderly and aged the prescriptions, procedures and operations they need to stay alive?

Consider two beloved Americans: Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Since he was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, Sen. Kennedy has had excellent care, including surgery and chemotherapy, which have kept him alive and, until very recently, active.

For a decade, President Reagan, because of round-the-clock care, lived with an Alzheimer's that had robbed him of his memory and left him unable to recognize his own family and close friends.

In the future, will a man of Kennedy's age, with brain cancer but without the means of offsetting his own health care costs, be kept alive, operated on, given chemotherapy — by a government obsessed with cutting health care costs?

Will a bureaucracy desperate to cut costs keep alive for years the tens of thousands of destitute 80- and 90-year-old patients with Alzheimer's, as was done with Ronald Reagan?

What if, in 2050, Palin and her husband are not here. And 42-year-old Trig, with Down syndrome, has been in an institution for years, and the cost of his care and that of hundreds of thousands like him with Down syndrome is draining the resources of the health care system?

Will there not be voices softly suggesting a quiet and merciful end?

In Oregon, the law permits doctors to assist in the suicide of terminal patients who wish to end their lives. Let us assume numerous patients have Alzheimer's and, so, cannot be part of the decision to end their lives. Who then makes the decision to continue or end life? Would it be unfair to call the decision-makers in those cases a death panel?

Almost a third of all unborn babies in America have their lives terminated each year with the consent of their mothers. Fifty million since Roe v. Wade have never seen the light of day. For many, the quality of life now supersedes in value the sanctity of life. That is who we are.

Between 2012 and 2030, 74 million baby boomers will retire, cease to be the major contributors to Medicare and become the major drain on Medicare. How long will an overtaxed labor force in a de-Christianized America be wiling to pay the bill to keep all those aging boomers alive?

Rationed care is coming, and the death panels will not be far behind.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.


2 Responses »

  1. Pat,
    You insult Americans' intelligence and the integrity of the medical profession when you join voices with Sarah Palin's baseless allegations of death panels.
    Betsy McCaughey is the woman who started the rumors of "euthanesia" and "rationing", Palin jumped on the bandwagon to get a little publicity. McCaughey 's allegations have been so discredited by now, she was forced to resign from her director post of a health industry company.

    The lie has been exposed. The topic, like the stupid allegation, is now dead.

    Obama never said illegal aliens were going to get healthcare. That is propaganda from your party that's been discredited many times by non-partisan sources.
    http://www.politifact.com/.../e-mail-analysis-health-bill-needs-check-/ -

    As for Medicare's fiscal crisis, let's not forget that for a decade your party has been blocking any legislation to cut costs to Medicare and make drug/insurance industry profits more reasonable, and all these lies are nothing more than their efforts to block reform again:

    A 2008 Center for Public Integrity (CPI) investigation reported:
    The pharmaceutical industry, which spent $1,000,000,000 on lobbying over the last decade, sought and won key health care policy, MOSTLY THROUGH SENATE FILIBUSTERS BY REPUBLICANS and upholding presidential vetoes of key reforms. These included blocking the importation of drugs to reduce the costs of pharmaceuticals for low-income families, extending pharmaceutical patents to prevent lower cost generics from entering the market, putting US drugs into international free trade agreements to ensure greater access in overseas markets, and preventing Congress from limiting direct-to-consumer ads, which have been criticized for risking patients' health by moving the conversation about health into the market place.

    For their part, DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN CONGRESS SOUGHT GREATER OVERSIGHT of the pharmaceutical industry and attempted to hand more regulatory power to the FDA. They also made efforts to revise the Bush-Republican Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003, which is considered to have handed huge financial subsidies to the drug industry and other health care industries while reducing benefits for Medicare recipients.

  2. If another AMNESTY sneaks past Americans, then their must be at least a ten year moratorium of the 20 million plus Path to Citizenship recipients. The consequence for these millions getting immediate access to government welfare, would be financial ruin to our national wilting economy. Nor will a new amnesty end there, because millions more in every impoverished niche around the world, will come--expecting a welcome? Only if we enforce the border with engagement by the National Guard, who are armed and ready to stop drug smugglers, terrorists and a host of other criminal enterprises, will US citizens feel safe. We desperately need strong immigration laws such as E-Verification. Do not let politicians undermine the "Rule of Law" and our very Constitution pandering to the profiteering special interest lobbyists, while jobless American workers numbers grow.

    Of all the states that should be using E-Verify, is the illegal immigrant sanctuary state of California. Illegal immigration attributed to the near bankruptcy of California and many of the bordering territories.

    We are still conveying many entitlement programs to illegal aliens and their families, with extorted taxes including health care. Free health care given in the hospitals and passed onto taxpayers. We have always been the recipients of business welfare and likely always will be? Pariah businesses that hire illegals, never pay anything to their support. THATS THE TAXPAYERS YOKE TO BARE! . GET RAW ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA Contact those in WASHINGTON! NO MORE AMNESTIES. USE ATTRITION TO DEPORT THEM THROUGH E-VERIFY, 287 G, NO MATCH SOCIAL SECURITY LETTERS AND LIGHTENING ICE RAIDS. CONTACT YOUR POLITICIAN 202-224-3121 AND DEMAND NO WEAKENING OF CURRENT 1986 (IRCA), also Simpson-Mazzoli Act (Pub.L. 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359,LAWS? We already have the laws, that become saturated with corruption. The legislation made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants (immigrants who do not possess lawful work authorization), required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status. It also granted amnesty to certain illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. From its inception it was full of fraud leading to 5 million illegal aliens instead of 3.5 receiving green cards.