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Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Lack of Historic Memory

For John, BLUFEventually everyone comes by your place.  No need to rush them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This item from The Daily Caller starts with a short paragraph on Ms Malia Obama getting a new car.  Cute, but irrelevant.

The real issue is "death panels".  This was brought up by an article in Politico, by Harold Pollock, titled "Let’s Talk About ‘Death Panels’".  The sub-headline is "It’s time to revisit a good idea that was distorted by demagoguery."  From The Daily Caller we have this lede and then a quoted paragraph:

Death Panels Live! In his Politico piece calling for a revival of Obamacare’s original end-of-life-counseling provisions, Harold Pollack blames “Palin, Bachmann and McCaughey” for having “dragged comparative effectiveness research (CER) into the broader partisan knife-fight over health reform.”  But of course the main person who dragged comparative effectiveness into the knife-fight was Barack Obama, expounding on red pills vs. blue pills to David Leonhardt in the NYT months before Palin’s “death panel” gibe (and doing it again in subsequent speeches and statements).  … Obama also put cost saving through “comparative effectiveness’ squarely in the context of end-of-life decisions when he questioned whether his terminally ill grandmother should have been given a hip operation.  (While Pollack says end-of-life treatment is not one of the top targets for savings, Obama says it’s a “huge driver of costs.”)  And Obama made it clear he favored a centralized effort to at least nudge doctors into dropping some treatments — and not such a democratic effort either:
Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists.  And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.  It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.  And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. [President Obama quoted in the post]
My wife says the quote above is a little convoluted. : She is correct.  Basically, it says that all of us in the US need to be talking about how we, as individuals, deal with "end of life issues".  However, the President says that in the end we aren't smart enough to think it through and thus we have to have "some independent group" that can give us guidance. I think the writer from The Daily Caller makes a point about President Obama and the Red Pill v Blue Pill presentations.  The President brought his up.  I think that Governor Palin and Representative Bachmann and Ms McGaughey show that they have some understanding of recent history.  It was only back in the Fall of 1939 that the Germans started killing Germans who were mentally or physically disabled and thus were not active participants in German economic life.  The Germans killed some 70,000 human beings before the program was shut down in September 1941.  Then the program went underground and an additional 200,000 (none Jewish) Germans were killed by the end of the war. What concerns me most is the line "And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance."  Shades of Brussels.  We are going to have "the experts" tell us what to do?  Shades of Nazi Germany.

We should not avoid the discussion of end of life, but we should all be concerned about bureaucrats telling us how to live, and end, our lives, and the lives of loved ones.  Provide advice but not make decisions.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Demagoguery.  I bet that was a line used in 1940 Germany, when the Bishops blew the lid off the T-4 Program.  Remember the T-4 Program?  That was the program to free the German Taxpayers of the burden of "useless eaters".

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