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Great Investor’s Business Daily cartoon.
This NY Post health care op-ed includes some truly appalling commentary by Dr. Ezekiel (Rahm’s brother) Emanuel and Dr. David Blumenthal.
As I was reading the piece I had a wrenching, visceral reaction. Orwellian in nature.
These people actually believe they are adequately equipped to make not only “minor” but also life-and-death health care decisions for the elderly, the infirm, and the terminal. That they have the right to say when a person does, or does not, need or deserve health care – and to what degree. That they can and should decide which technologies are “appropriate” and which are too costly depending on the age and condition of the patient.
They knowingly and deliberately wish to suppress and subvert the will of family, and of the individual. And they do it in the name of money: cost savings, greater efficiencies.
It is horrifying. Because the only thing more agonizing and torturous than having to make a life-or-death and/or quality-of-life choice about the care of a loved one, or yourself, is to be taken out of the process and have some computer algorithm or committee make the decision for you.
If these monsters are allowed to proceed — what else do you call men so misguided and monomaniacal that they sit in their mahogany-trimmed offices and play at being gods with clear conscience? — we will find ourselves living that horrifying vision that was once but a fiction.
(As an aside, Orwell’s heirs should sue Emanuel, Blumenthal, President Obama, and two-thirds of Congress for copyright infringement over health care language.)
And we should all come out of our slumber before we find ourselves in a nightmare from which we cannot wake.
Update: Fred Thompson interviews the writer of the above-named NY Post piece, Betsy McCaughey (8 minutes).
She said that on page 425 of the House bill is language making it mandatory that every five years, people in Medicare will have a required counseling session that will educate them about how to end their life sooner (how to refuse nutrition and medication, and how to approach hospice care). And that some parts of the bill dictate that the elderly will be faced with denials of care based on their age. It’s called “comparative effectiveness.”
Yuval Levin always impresses. Read it.
Let Freedom Ring has a pledge designed to hold congressmen accountable for reading the entire health care bill before they vote on it.
(How ridiculous is it that we even have to have such things?)
Here’s what the website says:
All 535 Members of the U.S. House and Senate have received multiple copies of the Pledge by fax, email, regular mail or personal visitation. Any Representative or Senator not shown on the list of signers below may therefore reasonably be classified as having declined to sign. A few Senators have insisted that although they are supportive of our Pledge, they have adopted a blanket policy against signing pledges that prevents their signing ours. Although Let Freedom Ring believes that that they should make an exception for our pledge, because it is narrowly drawn and quite specific, we have agreed to post letters from those Senators in a separate section following the list of signers. You may read the letters by clicking on the Senators’ names.
Go see the list. And download the pledge if you want to send it directly to your own rep.
Balanced Budgets, Congress, Economy, Fleecing the Taxpayers, Government Spending, health care, Liberty, Taxation / No Comments
Nearly every argument in favor of universal (socialized) health care includes the premis that it is a “right.” But according to the U.S. Constiution, this is not so. Geoff Lawrence over at NPRI explains why by giving us a brief lesson (via the writings of John Locke) about how the Constitution does not in fact support “positive rights.” If you wish to effectively debate someone on health care reform (or any other entitlement program), you must understand this fundamental concept. I recommend that you read Geoff’s whole post, but here’s the opener to give you a taste:
In the ongoing debate over health care reform, I continue to hear pundits on the left claim that health care is a right. Yet, this notion that government exists to guarantee “positive rights” such as free health care completely misunderstands the development of constitutional government.
The entire notion of constitutional government can be traced to John Locke’s Second Treatise. Here it is explained that all men are endowed with a set of natural rights which include: life, liberty and property. In order to protect those rights, civilized individuals agree to a “social contract” in order to form a government whose primary purpose is to protect the rights of individuals. This is done by empowering government to restrain the actions of others (such as theft, physical violence, etc.) that might directly infringe on your own natural rights. Hence the expression “Your rights end where someone else’s begin.”
The primary problem with the concept of “positive rights” is that the purpose of government changes from protecting the natural rights of individuals to actively infringing upon those rights. Any requirement for government to provide individuals with a certain amount of goods means that those goods must first be confiscated from society – which is a limit on the natural right to control property.
For a wonderful treatise on why the government should not be in the business of deciding whether or how much to take from us in order to give to select others, read this story that was told on the House floor by Davy Crockett when he was serving as a U.S. Representative from Tennessee. It concerned two votes on spending bills and the temptation of Congress to distribute money that was not their own for “charitable” purposes.
Our federal and state legislatures, as well as the Oval Office, have too long been staffed by too many people who do not understand nor support our rights and protections as they ought to exist according to our Constitution. Through the increasing willingness of we, the citizenry, to allow government to do what we, as individuals, ought to be doing – helping and giving to the poor and needy as we are able and as we feel called to do – we have permitted our great Republic to become a tax-laden “social democracy” that reduces rather than protects our prosperity and freedom.
On May 23, 1857, in a letter to an American friend, Lord Thomas MacCauley wrote: “A democracy cannot survive as a permanent form of government. It can last only until its citizens discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority (who vote) will vote for those candidates promising the greatest benefits from the public purse, with the result that a democracy will always collapse from loose fiscal policies, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Are we there yet? Not quite, but I fear we are getting dangerously close. Educate yourselves, good people, and let us find ways to speak out and persuade others before this great Republic devolves into a pitiful excuse for the nation it once was.
I’m a sucker for Monty Python references. And this one recalls one of my favorite scenes from The Holy Grail while cleverly poking fun at socialized health care.
My very favorite scene from Grail is this one (dialogue with Graham Chapman as KING ARTHUR, Michael Palin as DENNIS THE PEASANT, and Terry Jones as the WOMAN).
Available on YouTube here.