Posted on: July 24, 2009 12:30 pm

One way to free up Packer's seats....


Borrowing from another Blogger I thought some of you might like to read this....

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Monday, July 20th at 2:31PM EDT

H.R. 3200 is the Democrat healthcare bill.

Let’s back up for a minute. I noted some time ago Jay Rockefeller went on record to say that at some point the government has to decide whether or not you are allowed to receive any more medical benefits if the cost outweighs the potential benefits.

As Mickey Kaus has noted, both Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias are on record agreeing. Kaus writes:

Democratic blogger Ezra Klein appears to be positioning Dem health care reforms as a way to cut costs, on the grounds that a reformed system will be able to make “hard choices” and “rational” coverage decisions, by which Klein seems to mean “not providing” treatments that are unproven or too expensive–when “a person’s life, or health, is not worth the price.” Matthew Yglesias’ recent post seems to be saying the same thing, though clarity isn’t its strong suit.

Weirdo intellectual Peter Singer, a man who favors post-birth abortions of disabled children, took to the New York Times to write

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?

If you can afford it, you probably would pay that much, or more, to live longer, even if your quality of life wasn’t going to be good. But suppose it’s not you with the cancer but a stranger covered by your health-insurance fund. If the insurer provides this man - and everyone else like him - with Sutent, your premiums will increase. Do you still think the drug is a good value? Suppose the treatment cost a million dollars. Would it be worth it then? Ten million? Is there any limit to how much you would want your insurer to pay for a drug that adds six months to someone’s life? If there is any point at which you say, “No, an extra six months isn’t worth that much,” then you think that health care should be rationed.

In his article, he argues that, in effect, we should euthanize the elderly.

I think, given that the member of Congress who drafted H.R. 3200 read and take seriously people like Klien, Yglesias, and Singer, we should be very troubled by Section 1233 of H.R. 3200. The section, titled “Advanced Care Planning Consultation” requires senior citizens to meet at least every 5 years with a doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss dying with dignity.

The section requires that they talk to their doctor, not a lawyer, about living wills, durable healthcare powers of attorney, hospice, etc. Given the progressive intelligentsia already being on the record in favor of euthanizing the elderly, it is no small leap to see where the Democrats are headed with this.

Legally forcing senior citizens to have “death with dignity schedules every few years is just another way to say the government wants to make sure seniors know it is time to commit suicide to save the system money.

And saving any medical system through encouraged deaths of the elderly or unborn is not a medical system worth having. The Hippocratic Oath requires doctors to “do no harm.” That’s meant toward the patient, not the costs to the government.

Posted on: May 6, 2009 10:52 am

Another day in the jar

Arlen Specter pronounced that his former party's priorities killed Jack Kemp this past weekend. Arlen was quoted on CBS Sunday that (with regards to medical research), "...if we had pursued Nixon's call to war on cancer in the 1970's, Jack Kemp would be alive today." The presumption was he was talking about the funding for the National Institutes for Health. What is interesting is under the Republicans (Congress, White House or both) from 1994 to 2006 is the NIH budget more than doubled to around 25 billion annually. Wow! I suppose he is suggesting it should have been higher?

What is really interesting is the advances in medical techology , treatment and research are the result of even more private money through venture capitalists. In fact, in the same period of time, the US venture capitalist machine invested four times more heavily than the whole of the European Union. The reason given is the EU is more centralized and intolerant of risk whereas the Americans can offset the risk of the investment by making huge profits on the back end. To a large extent patients in the EU, Canada and Japan - where strict caps on spending for medical research exist - are free loading off the more open US Heathcare system.

Now that Democrats are looking to bring the same models of healthcare to the US shores the result will likely be more bureaucracies that try to contain costs by restricting access to new therapies by limiting or denying payment or even restricting what doctors are allowed to prescribe. The tragedy of the Universal Healthcare system is the lifesaving medicines that are never developed.

See Wall Street Journal for more.

Another interesting article in yesterday's WSJ was in regards to ethanol production in the US and the subsidies that are given to bait farmers into production. The pollution abatement from ethanol is real when you compare just the fuel to gasoline in a side by side test. However, when you include the environmental impact of farming to meet the needs (think volume) the pollution is double that of gasoline. Ooops!

And yet we proceed with more ethanol production. The chosen one has been deceived by his envirobuddies and he is pandering to the farmers. At least he is as transparent as he said he would be.

Obama's approval rating is still up around 70% or so we are told by the big media outlets. Typically these polls are 1000 people and have an error of +/- 4%. Last week MSNBC had a poll that asked respondents to grade Obama's first 100 days A-F. Incomplete was not an option even though it is the only correct answer. When last I checked the results, 350,000 folks had weighed in and the results were not 70% approval. Only 32% of voters graded him as an A with another 6% giving him a B. 39% gave him an F with 10% giving him a D. What is interesting is the bathtub shape to the distribution. If Obama seeks to make good on his promise to unite America he has sorely failed in his first 100 days. Clearly he needs to do more to reach across the aisle instead of proclaiming, "We won. Get over it!" or using reconciliation to avoid debate on tough issues like spending trillions on healthcare.

Another day in the jar.

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