Policing deadly doctors
The battle over health care reform is making monkeys out of people on both sides of the political fence. There are thugs who make it their business to scream, bluster and whine in the most bellicose way possible so that people interested in intelligent debate are drowned out. There are others (even those in support of change) who resort to physical violence in order to make sure that opposing ideas are suppressed. There is no debate here; there is no practice of democracy. It does not embrace the ideals that America was founded upon.
I am not in the minority of Americans when I say that America should welcome change in the health care system; however, the minority of belligerents who scream at town hall meetings just happen to be the squeaky wheels. And you know what they say about squeaky wheels. Perhaps they’ll drown in the grease. Or at least use payday loans and cash advances to buy a boat to float above the muck.
Yes, it’s time to get tough
I will pay higher taxes if it means a public option for healthcare. I will also pay higher taxes to cover college education the way Scandinavian countries do it, but that’s another story for another time. The point I would impress upon your minds here is that the current system isn’t working, and little changes here or there won’t bridge the massive divide. Difficult changes must be made.
Betsy McCaughey writes in an op-ed piece for the New York Post entitled “Deadly Doctors: O Advisers Want to Ration Care” that the decisions about who will receive care would be placed “in the hands of presidential appointees” under Obamacare. They would be in charge of determining what individual plans cover, what your doctor can decide and what seniors will get from Medicare.
Medicare… part of the problem?
The last point regarding Medicare seems to have riled the most people. I’ll discuss McCaughey’s position on that more in a moment, but I have to say that America is facing a real problem. The Baby Boomer generation is living longer because of advances in health care. We now have more people aged 55 and up than ever before in the history of this nation, and that number only increases. If we aren’t already there, the time will come soon when there are more over-55s in America than there are those under 30 or 35. In some cases, it’s true that wisdom comes with age, but it’s also true that from an evolutionary standpoint, the glut of those middle-aged and older create a possible ticking time bomb.
Clearly, it is a biological imperative that if a species is to survive, it must reproduce. People with a lessened ability to perform sexually – generally those of age – decrease the odds that the human species will survive. Furthermore, for those women who do become pregnant over the age of 40, the known risk of children being born with birth defects also increases. For instance, take a look here and you’ll notice an interesting chart that illustrates just how much the odds of Downs Syndrome or chromosomal abnormality increase the older the birth mother is. And offspring who are born with such birth defects require more resources from either the individual or the state (frequently the latter, in terms of disability money). Thus, a system is created where it is much more difficult for the biologically vigorous to ensure the biodiversity of the human race.
Yes, the aged and those with birth defects are people. Yes, they deserve to live with dignity. Yet are they a drain on a system that is overtaxed unless serious change is enacted? Yes.
Hippocratic Oath? Outdated.
McCaughey expresses fear that people like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s brother) and Dr. David Blumenthal are going to slay old people and those with mental illness or birth defects while they sleep. This is ridiculous, of course. These two key health advisers for the Obama administration recognize that we aren’t going to get through health care reform without getting our hair mussed, but they aren’t Nazi murderers the way the uneducated would have you believe. Emanuel put it succinctly when he told Health Affairs that
Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely “lipstick” cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change…
Savings on health care, writes Emanuel in the AMA Journal, will require that doctors begin to view their patients in a different light. That Hippocratic Oath has been taken “too seriously, as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others.”
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