ObamaCare death panels (guest post by Funny Catholic Girl)

Funny Catholic girl emailed me, asking if I’d be interested in posting her riff on ObamaCare death panels.  I liked what I read, so here it is:

Funny Catholic Girl Complains About ObamaCare “Death Panels”

March 23rd was the third anniversary of the ObamaCare law. Regardless of what you think about Sarah Palin, she is definitely spot-on about those ObamaCare “death panels,” also known as the “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” The federal government can be pretty clueless sometimes when it comes to deciding how to spend the trillions of dollars it has, and the thing is this: The government spends more money on old people than it does on anything else, and killing old people to save money would make perfect sense to a politician who thinks that “killing babies” = “providing healthcare.”

In 2012, there were 46 million Americans who received Social Security retirement benefits, and economists forecast that number to increase an additional 40% by 2023, with a similar increase in Medicare. In 2012, the federal government spent $1.793 trillion on Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and interest on the national debt, which is 50.7% of the entire federal budget (WSJ, 3/1/13).

Anyway, before you know it, the federal government will probably help set up these “clinics” called “Planned Childhood” or something like that. There’ll be a doctor in there who can examine grandma and grandpa to see if they fit some criteria and then just give them an overdose of pain medication as a “mercy killing.” These “clinics” will probably be staffed with people who are experts at cross-selling other products and services like coffins and cemetery plots. It sounds like a profitable business model that’s perfectly designed to meet the needs of a society and culture that’s obsessed with selfishness and pleasure.

The “death panels” are basically groups of government employees who a) sit around a table, b) interpret “the data” and c) decide how much people’s lives are worth based on how sick they are. It doesn’t matter whether the person might get better or not, because “the aggregate data” can’t reveal who will get better or not. The data can only provide probabilities about who might get better and who might end up costing more money.

The “death panels” will basically produce a list of criteria that the doctors at “Planned Childhood” can use to determine whether it’s okay for your parents to kill your grandma or your grandpa. It’ll work like this: a) your parents take grandma into “the clinic,” b) the doctor examines grandma, c) the doctor compares your grandma’s data against the data produced by the death panels and then d) the doctor kills grandma if the government says it’s okay to kill grandma. It works just like when the government says it’s okay to kill babies. There’s no difference whatsoever (except that it’s easier to kill the babies because you can’t see them without a sonogram).

The things that make the government “death panels” possible are the electronic health records (EHRs) and these things called health information exchanges (HIEs)—these aren’t the “health insurance exchanges,” these are the “health information exchanges.” Obama’s 2009 “economic stimulus package” included $19 billion for a) deploying EHRs in doctors’ offices and hospitals and b) developing the HIE infrastructure. One of the purposes of the HIE is to ensure a seamless transmission of the information in your medical records a) from your doctor’s office b) to the federal government so that c) Big Brother can d) analyze “the data” and e) decide where to spend money on f) various illnesses.

Money in Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package pays doctors up to $60,000 to implement a system for electronic health records. Then, if the doctors aren’t using electronic health records and HIEs by 2015, the government will start to penalize the doctors by paying the doctors less money for treating their patients. One of the requirements for doctors to get their $60,000 payments from the federal government is to prove that their EHR system can seamlessly transmit information to the federal government via the HIE. The government’s “EHR Incentive Program” has already paid out $12 billion through January 2013.

Electronic health records can be great things if they’re used in a good way (to help the patient). But in the hands of a government that doesn’t understand the value of human life, it’s a nightmare.

And if you don’t think the government isn’t already “marginalizing human life,” just consider what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is saying now. The CDC is saying that we should consider “the number of years of productive life” left in a person when considering the downside of death. When the CDC recently looked at the number of people who died from the deadly flu virus H1N1, a doctor employed by the CDC said, “The number of deaths is not the only thing to look at in assessing the impact, but the huge loss of human potential.” Because of the many younger people who were killed by H1N1, “more than three times the number of years [of life] were lost than are lost in a seasonal flu epidemic” (WSJ, 6/25/12). In other words, an old person’s life isn’t as valuable as a young person’s life because old people don’t have as much “human potential.”

One way to help stop the society and the culture from starting to promote the idea that it’s “okay” to kill old people is to help stop the society and the culture from promoting the idea that it’s “okay” to kill babies. People have to start saying “STOP!” If you don’t, then you might as well start figuring out right now how you’re going to keep your grandma and grandpa alive when your parents don’t have the time, the money or the energy to LOVE THEIR PARENTS.

Chris T. Smith is a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in neurobiology at the University of Texas. Her recently published book, 7 THINGS, uses “street language” vernacular to address challenging topics in science (perception vs. reality), philosophy (objective truth vs. relativism) and politics (conservatism vs. liberalism). In the process, she skewers politically liberal pundits such as Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Rachel Maddow, and humorously describes the science underlying human perception to expose major flaws in the atheist mindset. Ms. Smith is on the web at know7things.com.

Chris T. Smith

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