Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pulling The Plug On Grandma

I wish that Sarah Palin hadn’t used the term “Death Panels”. It’s got a nice loud attention getting ring to it, but it’s hard to back up. No one has written “death panel” into a health reform bill. Part of the problem as I see it is that no one knows WHAT the heck is in there. It’s a thousand pages that reads like stereo instructions. The bill as it came out of the House of Representatives wasn’t written by our representatives, but by their “advisors”, and it appears as though no single person has complete knowledge of the whole thing.

The “devil is in the details” we have all heard said, and since we can’t know the details of the 1000 + page monstrosity, let’s take a look at the circumstances. H. R. 3200, as it is known, was reported out of committee on July 30, just one week before the House of Representatives was to adjourn for the summer break. The intention of the majority party had been to have it approved, voted on, and signed into law before the summer recess. Thank goodness that didn’t happen, but what was the rush? It was said that it was “critical” to the economic recovery that the bill be passed. This was the same technique used for the $800 Billion stimulus package that has only been 10% spent at this writing. The economy shows signs of recovery, so why not take back about 75% of the total. That would save us $600 Billion right there. I know the real reason that there was such a rush to pass the legislation and so does everyone else who has raised kids through their teen years, or been a teen ager themselves. The reason is that the more the parents or the people with the money or the responsibility know about a request the less likely they are to agree to it. The President’s chief of staff, Rham Emanuel, has said that “you should never let a crisis go to waste”. That during a crisis “you can do things that you never thought you could do”. And so, during difficult times it behooves those in power to either generate a crisis, similar to the way Hugo Chavez does when he warns the people of Venezuela of an impending attack by U. S. forces, or you just shout “FIRE” at the top of your lungs and expect people to give you whatever you need to fight the “fire”.

What’s in a 1000 page bill? Most of us can’t know. We trust our legislators to know, but now it’s become evident that they don’t know, and that some if not many of them don’t care. We can know that they (the administration) have tried to rush this legislation through before it could be analyzed and we can know the philosophy of the President and his advisors. This we can know from their previous words. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother to the President’s chief of staff Rham Emanuel and a healthcare advisor to the President wrote in an article published in the Hastings Center Report, “Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed.” Not guaranteed. Health services. So. Here are Sarah Palin’s “Death Panels”. Who decides what prevents an individual from “being or becoming participating citizens”. Who decides who lives or dies if it isn’t a “death panel”?

That’s just what an average guy thinks.

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