Obamacare = Euthanasia

I just saw one of the crafty Dick Morris’s “lunch-time” videos about Obamacare.

Pace the White House, the Catholic Healthcare Association, the Fishwrap and the Magisterium of Nuns, Obamacare will result in the rationing of health care. Calculations will be made about whose “Quality Life Years Remaining” balanced against other people’s QLYRs.  The cost of the procedures or care will be divided by your good QLYRs.  If your QLYRs suggest that you might merit the money to be spent more than another person, you might get the care you need. If you don’t have enough QLYRs… you won’t.

“Obamacare amounts to an early death.”

The video can’t be embedded so click HERE.


PS: I am reminded of the darkly hilarious book Boomsday.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wmeyer says:

    Unless the laws of economics are repealed, then Obamacare must result in rationing. The roots of its approach can be seen in OHIP, in Ontario, Canada–also the model for HillaryCare.

    Having suffered the tender ministrations of health care in Ontario, I can tell you, it’s not pretty. Among the indigent, and those under 50, you will find praise for it, from most. However, my then girlfriend tore her ACL, and could not get an MRI. We were told that “if she had a suspected brain tumor”, or if she were playing for the Maple Leafs or the Blue Jays. So we went to Michigan, and got the MRI, which the doctor in Toronto barely examined. Also, the day we received the films, she got a post card telling her an MRI had been scheduled for her, almost a month after the injury. We had told her doctor we were getting the MRI–the one scheduled in Toronto was purely political, a block against an anticipated claim for the cost of the out of country procedure.

    Understand, if a torn ACL is to be repaired, action is needed within about 72 hours, as I understand it, else the body starts removing the unused tissue.

    In the absence of an MRI, the primary tool employed by the doctor–reputedly the foremost knee man in the city–was a laying on of hands.

    Socialized medicine is horrible.

  2. Alexis says:

    I believe, like most of us here I imagine, that Obamacare is a disaster on many levels. Even aside from the alarming HHS stance on forcing Catholic institutions and even private individuals to provide for their employees’ contraception and abartifacients, the disastrous consequences cannot be calculated by mere reference to that disturbing bete noir.

    However, I think (hope!) that something when something like what is being implied here (that this will lead to the government to determine whether people live or die within a large discretionary boundary based on the QLYRs or other arbitrary and amoral factors) actually results, even those liberalized Americans who heretofore didn’t object or even supported the approach would find their loved ones’ rights being violated and quickly change their stance, for their own selfish and myopic reasons (but nevertheless a change in stance).

    In other words, I don’t think it’s likely that a large proportion of the population would ever put up with their loved ones’ rights being violated in this way and would recoil once it affected them personally, which it is bound to do.

    Therefore, while reports like these are concerning and serious, I don’t think everyone should necessarily jump to apocalyptic events and scenarios (…not just yet).

  3. Supertradmum says:

    It is already happening in Great Britain and everyone knows it. I tried to stop it once 20 years ago to no avail-was not my family member. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2678413.stm

  4. MarylandBill says:

    Ok, let me first say I am against Obama and certainly against the health care law for a variety of reasons. Now, that being said, I think this video comes off as a little shrill. No offense, but this sort of calculation has been made for years by doctors and insurance companies. For example, if you need an organ donation, they will look at your total health, your past behavior, how old you are, etc. If they determine that you will not get ‘enough’ benefit from it, well it will go to someone more worthy of the organ. Also keep in mind that before Obama-care, most insurance plans had lifetime caps of around one million dollars… if your sickness cost more than that you were out of luck. I do agree that we should be wary of the government making these decisions.. but we should also be wary of insurance companies making them.

    As far as I know, the Church does make a distinction between the legitimate rationing of resources, even if that rationing of resources results in deaths, and euthanasia (i.e., deliberate killing).

    We should oppose the Health Care law for what it is — an unacceptable intrusion into our lives — telling us that we have to buy insurance, what the insurance must cover (and likewise, that we must cover contraceptives, abortifaciants, etc.). I think we should be careful about sounding too shrill less we get written off as the “boy who cried wolf”.

  5. aquinasadmirer says:

    Does the statement from the USCCB speak to this shortcoming in the legislation? This seems like it’s major. I’ve heard and read that some flaws need to be fixed. Is this “fixable”? or is it inherently flawed? These were the only three listed in our bulletin last week:

    For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been and continue to be consistent advocates for comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable. Although the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) did not participate in these cases and took no position on the specific questions presented to the Court, USCCB’s position on health care reform generally and on ACA particularly is a matter of public record. The bishops ultimately opposed final passage of ACA for several reasons.

    First, ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy. The risk we identified in this area has already materialized, particularly in the initial approval by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of “high risk” insurance pools that would have covered abortion.

    Second, the Act fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context. We have provided extensive analyses of ACA’s defects with respect to both abortion and conscience. The lack of statutory conscience protections applicable to ACA’s new mandates has been illustrated in dramatic fashion by HHS’s “preventive services” mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs.

    Third, ACA fails to treat undocumented immigrant workers and their families fairly. ACA leaves them worse off by not allowing them to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges created under the law, even if they use their own money. This undermines the Act’s stated goal of promoting access to basic life-affirming health care for everyone, especially for those most in need.

    Following enactment of ACA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has not joined in efforts to repeal the law in its entirety, and we do not do so today. The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws described above. We therefore continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, legislation to fix those flaws.

  6. Sissy says:

    MarylandBill said: “I think we should be careful about sounding too shrill less we get written off as the “boy who cried wolf”.

    I think there would only be a danger of coming off as shrill and the “boy who cried wolf” if Morris’s assertions are untrue in some way. In fact, they are not. The IPAB is empowered to make utilitarian decision about which “units” (that’s what they call patients) are worthy of medical care. The elderly, the seriously disabled, and the very young are all considered to be inherently unworthy because they are “non-productive”. A friend who is a neurosurgeon attended a national meeting of neurology specialists last winter. They were told by an HHS official that “units” over the age of 70 will not be approved for neurosurgery procedures. Since that’s about 70% or more of the practice of neurosurgeons, that specialty will be “disfavored” in the future. According to HHS and the IPAB rules, “units” over 70 just aren’t productive enough to warrant expensive treatment for strokes and other neurological issues which occur more frequently in the elderly. To the degree that certain categories of patients will now be completely denied treatment, that does amount to euthanasia through the withholding of vital medical care.

  7. jhayes says:

    Morris’s presentation is not based on reality.

    The QALY system he describes is a real one, used by the British National institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

    But there is no provision for it in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)

    This is really a revival of the “death panels” claims of several years ago – all of which were discredited.

  8. Sissy says:

    Sorry, jhayes, you are mistaken. “Death panels” may be a colorful term for the IPAB, but the law does use a utilitarian formula to determine who gets which benefits and to what amount. President Obama himself was asked about this directly, and he said that “at some point” it would be better for an otherwise vital grandma to get pain medication rather than a pace maker, regardless of her quality of life.

  9. jhayes says:

    Sissy, please tell me where to find that formula in the law.

    Regarding, the supposed report from a neurosurgeon, that is also not factual. It was circulated so widely on the Internet that the two national associations of neurosurgeons published a letter confirming that it is not true.

    Washington, DC – On November 22, 2011, an individual claiming to be a “brain surgeon” made several statements referencing neurosurgical care on a Mark Levin radio show segment. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) reviewed this segment and found that it contained several factual inaccuracies which we wish to clarify.

    The AANS and CNS are unaware of any federal government document directing that advanced neurosurgery for patients over 70 years of age will not be indicated and only supportive care treatment will be provided. Furthermore, in conducting our own due diligence, the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon is not actually a neurosurgeon, nor was there any session at the recent Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ scientific meeting in Washington, DC at which a purported government document calling for the rationing of neurosurgical care was discussed.

    Neurosurgeons are committed to providing timely, compassionate, and state of the art treatment for all patients — regardless of age — who have neurosurgical conditions. As such, we have requested numerous times that this podcast be removed from Mark Levin’s website as it portrays inaccurate information which could potentially be harmful to the patients that we serve.


  10. Sissy says:

    jhayes, thank you for the link to the aans statement. I am happy to be corrected on inaccurate, second-hand information. However, HHS has been given billions for CER (comparative effectiveness research) which has been pushed for years by Donald Berwick. Just because they aren’t using the exact same acronym doesn’t mean they aren’t following NHS practices. In the US, we don’t use the term “Liverpool pathway for end of life care” either (to my knowledge), but my brother was subjected to it just the same. The ACA is not just as bad as people think, it is much worse.

  11. SKAY says:

    Summery of study of IPAB by Diane Cohen–
    The more we find out the worse it gets.

    “When the unelected government officials on this board submit a legislative proposal to Congress, it automatically becomes law: PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement it. Blocking an IPAB “proposal” requires at a minimum that the House and the Senate and the president agree on a substitute. The Board’s edicts therefore can become law without congressional action, congressional approval, meaningful congressional oversight, or being subject to a presidential veto. Citizens will have no power to challenge IPAB’s edicts in court.

    Worse, PPACA forbids Congress from repealing IPAB outside of a seven-month window in the year 2017, and even then requires a three-fifths majority in both chambers…

    IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.

    The creation of IPAB is an admission that the federal government’s efforts to plan America’s health care sector have failed. It is proof of the axiom that government control of the economy threatens democracy.

    Importantly, this study reveals a heretofore unreported feature that makes this super-legislature even more authoritarian and unconstitutional:

    [I]f Congress misses that repeal window, PPACA prohibits Congress from ever altering an IPAB “proposal.”

  12. AnnAsher says:

    Yep. And who is deciding what “quality” amounts to? What about my kid with Autism? Or other kids with other atypical development? Who gets to say what quality amounts to? Probably not me or him I’m guessing.

  13. jamie r says:

    To build off wmeyer’s point, unless the laws of economics are repealed, healthcare is going to be rationed. It doesn’t matter whether we have Obamacare or any other system. There are finite health care resources, and these resources must be allocated amongst claimants. There’s literally no possible way to avoid rationing of healthcare. We can either ration rationally, by taking into account QLYRs, or we could irrationally allocate our finite healthcare resources without regard to what we’re spending our money on. Unless we’re willing to spend more than all of our GDP on healthcare, we’re going to have to make these choices. If the choice is between keeping a 90 year old alive for 6 months or keeping a 9 year old alive until adulthood, we’re going to have to pick one or the other. These choices are going to happen with private or public insurance.

  14. Dies Irae says:

    wmeyer is right. Socialized medicine is horrible. My brother-in-law’s sister lives in Alberta, and her father-in-law had some serious heart problem that required surgery, and it took him a year to get it, all the while he could have easily just slipped away. I recently had a surgery where if I had waited a year to do it, I could have had a permanent ulnar nerve damage, losing the feeling, and ultimately use, of my arm. So much for making everybody’s lives better.

  15. robtbrown says:

    I’ll repeat what I wrote a few days ago.

    1. The problems of rising health care (thus health insurance) costs are a consequence of demographic changes and increased use of resources because of all the new diagnostic and treatment procedures (cf technology).

    They are not a consequence of greed. They are simply a matter of the end of an era when a large, younger, healthy generation supported the claims of a small, older, sick generation. The respective size of those two generations has reversed. This inversion has been accompanied by an influx of new medical procedures, most of them costly. And the truth is that a substantial amount of resources are being used for end of life procedures. It is due to the advancements in cardiovascular medicine that few Americans now die a quick death.

    2. These problems cannot be remedied by dreamy notions of centralization (govt) or by the marketplace.

    3. It is doubtful that anyone would be denied care under a national system. On the other hand, it is likely that criteria will be used to determine priority of treatment. Any national health care criteria that will determine priority is not likely to be found in law. Rather, it will be a matter of agency regs determined by the Executive Branch. Thus, it is silly and naive to say that they won’t exist because they’re not to be found in the law.

    Thus: No one will be directly denied care under a national system. Delayed care, however, is another matter (cf the mention of MRI delays in Canada).

    4. The British system is good at delivering basic care, but it doesn’t approach the American system for timely, sophisticated, high quality medicine. I already told the stories of John Burns and his family.

    The Germans have a dual system.

    5. The so-called Cadillac health insurance plans if the US are not just reserved for the upper class. In fact, despite certain recent concessions, UAW health insurance is still very comprehensive.

    BTW, when I started in computers in 1978, it was with Met Life. We administered the GM vision care component–the amount GM paid in premiums was so great that it used more than one Insurance Company. Anyway, the irony is that I worked for Met Life–and we didn’t get vision care.

    6. I go the VA for medical care. My needs are slight, so they are satisfied there. The medicine practiced at VA hospitals, however, is not the same as private practice. There are regs upon regs limiting what physicians can do, incl prescribing meds. Treatments are done via steps, beginning with the least expensive. And my guess is that VA medicine is probably going to be better funded than any federal system. For highly specialized treatment, e.g., neurosurgery, the VA contracts with private physicians.

  16. Gratias says:

    Thank you for posting this video. ObamaCare follows in a long line of American Eugenics. Government Death Panels is what the President brings.

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s amazing to me how some people manage to maintain such faith in humanity, and then there is me. I just don’t have the faith in people that some apparently have been able to hold onto, despite all evidence to the contrary. It seems obvious, has always seemed so, that ultimately we will have rationing of health care such that we “units” are going to be culled according to some criteria, and likely not utilizing a Judeo-Christian ethic. I can’t see how any surgeon sat still for human beings being called “units”. We must be dehumanized in order to go about discussing how we will be culled. I would have found that extremely distressing and would have said so, but me and my big mouth.
    Dick Morris does not have a crystal ball, and I’ve seen him err, but I doubt he is wrong on this one. There is just too much evidence to support him. We know where we are headed, if Obama is elected for another term. Please God, don’t let him be.

    I disagree with the Bishops on this one, and have. They let us down with this aspect of liberal giveaways, also called social justice. We cannot sustain a nation of free health care for people who are not citizens, or are here illegally. We will probably continue to do it, but we cannot afford to do it. When I need to figure out if something is ridiculous, I take it to a ridiculous point, then see how it looks. What if the whole world showed up at our national door. Could we sustain the whole world? Of course not.
    In addition, after reading the recent column by Pat Buchanan, regarding American demographics, it is clear that the GOP may be dying, and there is little hope for conservative politics in the future, because immigrants and virtually everybody who receives free goodies in the U.S. is much more likely to vote for Obama than Romney. It makes perfect sense, however politically incorrect. We’ve got some hard truths to handle. We’d better come to the right conclusions because it is late in the game.

  18. SKAY says:

    ” What if the whole world showed up at our national door. Could we sustain the whole world? Of course not.”
    That is exactly right–and we will see that happen if Obama is re-elected. He has an agenda.
    They(Democrats) took 500 billion out of medicare and put it in medicaid in order to manipulate the numbers before passing this monstrosity. Working people -through taxes-have paid and are paying into medicare–not medicaid. Now they want to pay the physicians less for medicare patients. How long will it be before there will be less and less physicians willing to take medicare patients? I saw a GP talking about this on a discussion panel of physicians.
    Also–interestingly there was no tort reform in this bill. The Democrats get a lot of money from trial lawyers.

  19. Johnno says:

    Whether Obama gets reelected or not is largely irrelevant… Both parties are keen on wanting this to happen. Obama losing the election will only slow the process down, and/or have it revive under a new disguise. The world as a whole is heading in this direction becasue immoral governments and people see it as necessary to help cushio the financial collapse that is coming, so they want to consolidate power and control the country’s infrastructure when things go from bad to worse for the sake of sustainable development and to further build their communist utopia… They are getting desperate.

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