If ever an opportunity presented itself for some great “teachable moments,” as the President likes to say, it is the health care debate, with all the alleged “myths” being spread about the dems’ Heath Care Bill by us right wing fanatics who think that the Bill will lead to:
· a government takeover of a huge segment of the economy;
· rationed care, especially for the elderly and the very ill;
· skyrocketing costs; and
· a huge increase in the already gargantuan deficit.
But despite all his (choreographed) townhall appearances before (hand-picked adoring crowds of pro-Obama) American citizens, our President does not assail these supposed myths one by one, teaching us why people’s fears are misplaced.
The President is a lawyer, and should know how to argue his case to the American people. But we hear no substantive discussion of the facts from him, just generalities and promises, and, as always, ridicule of those who dare to disagree.
As trial lawyers know, if the facts are with you, you argue the facts. If they’re not, you argue the credibility of the opposition. The facts are not on Obama’s side, and so he and his allies have set about attacking the character of the opposition.
So far we’ve been called:
· rude and uncivil;
· shills for insurance companies or radical groups;
· racists who hate Obama because he’s black (even though undoubtedly a goodly percentage of protesters voted for him and/or supported him after his election);
· mindless enough to believe patently untrue “myths”;
· brainwashed by evil cable news channels; and, LAST BUT NOT LEAST,
· “wee-wee’d up.”
Yes, the President of the United States, in his latest blast at those opposed to Obamacare, fired a charge that in August people just get all “wee-wee’d up,” a phrase incomprehensible to all but his spokesman, Robert Gibbs, who suggested that it had something to do with bed-wetting. (Check out videos of both IMPOTUS and Gibbs on “wee-wee” at http://tinyurl.com/nbvfle.)
What on earth was he thinking, this man who is claimed by many to be our most glorious presidential orator? (And one has to wonder if that kind of speechifying still gives MSNBC’s Chris Matthews a thrill up his leg? Or maybe it would go down his leg…)
While Obama keeps attacking Americans with increasingly demeaning and ridiculous charges, and repeating that opposition is based on “myths,” he does not attack the “myths” themselves:
· There’s no teachable moment where Obama shows us how his plan will not lead to a government takeover of health care and private insurers being forced out of the market.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be sure the private market will survive a public “option.”
o He doesn’t explain how provisions in the Bill banning new private plans will affect your ability to change or add to your policy.
o He doesn’t explain how you can “keep your private insurance if you like it,” as he keeps repeating, if the insurers are no longer in the market.
o He doesn’t explain how you can “keep your private insurance if you like it,” if your employer drops your coverage, choosing to pay a fine instead.
o He doesn’t explain how you can “keep your private insurance if you like it,” if your premiums go sky high as the insurers’ costs rise under the plan.
· There’s no teachable moment where Obama shows us how his plan will not end up covering illegal aliens.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured of this when his plan contains no enforcement mechanism.
o He doesn’t explain how Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a negotiator in ongoing Senate Finance Committee talks, was wrong when he recently said:
“The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund health care subsidies for illegal immigrants.”
o He doesn’t explain how you can only get to his figure of 47 million uninsured if you count those illegal aliens.
· There’s no teachable moment where Obama shows us how his plan will not lead to publicly funded abortions as part of the standard coverage for women.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured of this when abortion is so much a part of the DNA of the left who are demanding abortions be covered.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured of this when the Bill does not specifically exclude that coverage.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured of this when it’s not clear the so-called Hyde Amendment, which generally bans public funding of abortions, would apply to the public option plan.
· There’s no teachable moment where Obama shows us how his plan will not end up rationing health care, particularly for the elderly and the very ill.
o He doesn’t explain how a limited number of doctors, nurses, medical facilities and equipment are going to treat millions more patients without rationing care.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured of this when Obama himself said that someone his grandmother’s age maybe should just take a pain pill instead of getting a hip replacement surgery.
o He doesn’t explain how we can be assured that rationing won’t result in people dying prematurely if denied coverage of life saving prescriptions or surgeries.
o He doesn’t explain why the charge of “death panels” is a laughing matter under those circumstances.
o He doesn’t explain how we can save on medical costs without rationing when 80% of all medical costs come from the last years’ of life, meaning seniors and the very ill account for most of the costs.
o He doesn’t address how his plan’s reliance on “QALY” standards will not result in rationing for the old and very ill.
Wikipedia defines the QALY as:
“The quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is a measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in assessing the value for money of a medical intervention. The QALY model requires utility independent, risk neutral, and constant proportional tradeoff behaviour.
The QALY is based on the number of years of life that would be added by the intervention. Each year in perfect health is assigned the value of 1.0 down to a value of 0.0 for death. If the extra years would not be lived in full health, for example if the patient would lose a limb, or be blind or be confined to a wheelchair, then the extra life-years are given a value between 0 and 1 to account for this.” (Emphasis added.)
Want your life to be reduced to a formula implemented by some anonymous government board of bureaucrats? That’s just what happened to this woman under Oregon’s government health plan. (See the video at http://tinyurl.com/ngky3k).
The video shows the Oregon woman, who was denied life saving chemotherapy drugs by the government run health plan, which offered her doctor-assisted suicide instead.
One of the “evil” pharmaceutical companies, upon hearing of her plight, provided the drugs free of charge, and the woman has survived her cancer because of the prompt treatment.
The term “death panel” has been greeted with a lot of derision and even chuckles on the part of the president. But I bet that Oregon woman wouldn’t think the phrase exaggerated in the least.
I actually think that the current plan of rationing care, which is:
· to be based on QALY, cookie-cutter templates and protocols;
· decided by a board of government employees who have never laid eyes on you;
· who don’t have to answer to you personally; and
· whose decisions are not subject to appeal;
is arguably more insidious than “death panels” where at least you’d get the chance to confront your condemners and spit in their faces before being led away to take your pain pills and await death.
These are only some of the questions Obama and his allies are not addressing, choosing instead, once again, to demonize the opposition as a way to blast through their programs. Which leads to the question, why no teachable moments from the President?
Obama and his allies do not delve into the facts with us because:
· single payer is where they’ve always wanted us to be. (See Obama say this at http://tinyurl.com/m3ze63 and Barney Frank say the same thing at http://tinyurl.com/n7qo2y)
· they’re OK with a government takeover, because they hate the private sector and think their form of government will know best what’s good for us;
· they’re OK with individuals suffering rationing and losing private insurance if it means the “masses” are served.
“To me ethics is doing what is best for the most,” said Saul Alinsky, the radical whose teachings became the guidebook for then community organizer and now President, Barack Obama. (Rules for Radicals, 1971, by Saul Alinsky, p. 33.)
That statement provides the main truth behind the government plan:
If some individuals (or many individuals) must get sacrificed for the “good of all,” as they in their ultimate wisdom see it, well, that’s just too bad.
This radical President and Congress value the “masses of humanity” over individual human beings. They value their vision of what America should be over Americans themselves.
This is the real teachable lesson from this debate.