Revisionist History and Health Care Reform

American Life League is having a surprising effect on the health care reform debate. Media coverage of our activities has brought out a lot of good people and some people who are terribly confused. Here’s one example.

American Life League designed a placard for the September 12 taxpayer protest in Washington, D.C. that reads, “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy.”  This slogan offended some people, even though it is based on the undeniable fact that President Obama is proposing health care reform that is philosophically in tune with the late Senator Edward Kennedy ’s culture-of-death convictions. It is based on the record and the fact that Kennedy was the architect of the so-called health care reform legislation.

Many bloggers, such as Politico ’s Ben Smith , posted a picture of the sign. Comments literally flooded his blog. Many were hateful, many supportive. But in all honesty, you have to ask, why the furor?
Well, if you dig beneath the hysterical comments, such as this one I received, the true motives will surface. A woman wrote me,

You make me sick with your sponsored sign “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy.” Why would any group who proclaims to honor life want to deny health care to people? Why? Do you champion people living unhealthy lives? Having good quality-of-life? I suppose so. Who do you think paid for the care of people like Terri Schiavo for decades? Government-provided health care, that’s who [sic ]. So you oppose that which sustained life when no for-profit insurance company would have. Your stance is idiotic.

After I answered her, explaining that the proposed health care reform would authorize the immediate killing of severely disabled people such as Terri Schiavo, she replied, “And you call Schaivo’s [sic ] existence life? I suppose in the sense she was breathing, but there was no quality there. Not a life I’d choose to life [sic ], that’s for sure.”

So, now we get down to the nitty-gritty of the anger generated by the sign. People such as this woman do not want to learn the facts; they do not want their tax dollars spent to preserve lives that don’t meet their own arbitrarily defined quality-of-life standards and they don’t want us talking about such things. This woman represents a segment of the population that probably agrees with much of what we find despicable about the various health care reform proposals floating from desk to desk in Washington, D.C. right now.

This is why we persist in our efforts to expose what lurks under the surface of so-called health care reform. Just yesterday, at American Life League, we released the second part of our video report series on Obamacare. This one, entitled ”Obamacare : Ending the Elderly”  goes into great detail about what the actual legislation states. There is no overstatement of fact in this video. There is, instead, a great deal of hard evidence to support our claim that Obamacare could easily be deadly to you, if you are a preborn child, an elderly person or a seriously disabled person.

But, as one disgruntled e-mailer told us, “These right wing people [meaning American Life League] are RACISTS in disguise who cannot ACCEPT that a black man is the President of USA. This gobbledygook on this video had already been denied and clarified.”

This fellow is under the Obama spell. It seems that Obama fans have no desire to learn what any piece of legislation actually says, as long as the president assures them that everything will be just fine. But here is a portion of the American Life League Report transcript that, perhaps, the e-mailer didn’t hear:

Let’s take a look at how section 1233 works.

Entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation,” Section 1233 amends the Social Security Act to include a planning session every five years regarding “end-of-life care.”

Every five years, an “advance care planning” practitioner is going to sit Grandma down to tell her about her “end-of-life” options. He’ll tell her about things like living wills, the continuum of end-of-life services (including palliative care and hospice), and orders regarding life-sustaining treatment or “similar orders,” which all boil down to one question: “How do you want to die?”

Grandma will be told that, in the event she is without a detectable pulse or stops breathing, she can determine the intensity of medical intervention she wants, for things like CPR, ventilators, antibiotics, and even nutrition and hydration.

So, your grandma can now be dehydrated to death like Terry Schiavo was.

As you read these words, keep in mind that the relevant pages of the bill are shown on screen and the language spoken about is highlighted for the viewer. After reading this legislation, it is hardly beyond the pale to suggest that Grandma should indeed be worried, as should her children and grandchildren. We aren’t making this up.

President Obama may say whatever he will today, but the record is clear. It is easy to see where his sympathies lie, without making any assumptions or engaging in guesswork. While campaigning for president, he was asked about Oregon’s decriminalization of physician-assisted suicide. His response:

I am in favor of palliative medicine in circumstances where someone is terminally ill. … I’m mindful of the legitimate interests of states to prevent a slide from palliative treatments into euthanasia. On the other hand, I think that the people of Oregon did a service for the country in recognizing that as the population gets older we’ve got to think about issues of end-of-life care. … [emphasis added]

Excuse me? That sounds very much like an endorsement of physician-assisted suicide, and it reflects the attitude implicit in his comments at a town-hall meeting on health care reform in June:

President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don’t stand to gain from the extra care… He added: “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.”

Is he suggesting that, because surgery costs more than administering painkillers (also known as palliative care), the patient should opt for the cheaper route?

The most troubling aspect of the ongoing debate about government power, health care reform and the fate of a single human being, whether waiting to be born or living his or her last hours, is this crucially important historical fact, which was brought to my attention just recently by a fellow pro-life researcher:

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated as early as 1925 that “Obviously, direct control of medical practice in the states is beyond the power of the federal government” (Linder v. United States ). As recently as 2002, the Ninth Circuit reiterated that state lawmakers are “the primary regulators of professional [medical] conduct” (Conant v. Walters ).

Not only do state governments have primary jurisdiction over medical practice and malpractice, but individual Americans have certain rights inherent in the very fact that their health care is their business. Dr. Nino Camardese , a well-known physician who has spoken out repeatedly against government control of various health care programs, wrote in 2000,

In my testimony before the Ohio State Committee of the Legislature on April 12, 2000, as a past president of AAPS [Association of American Physicians and Surgeons]… I stated, “All patients should have the right to contract privately with the doctor of his/her or their choice, including Medicare patients [emphasis added]." I cited Section 1801 of Medicare establishing a “prohibition against any Federal interference,” Section 1802 “Free choice by Patient guarantee,” and Section 1803 “Option to Individuals to obtain other health insurance protection.”

One reason I felt private contracting should be clearly delineated is because “when patients have control over their medical spending, they become more prudent consumers of medical care thereby reducing utilization and medical care costs.”

So, what happens to patient rights and a patient’s ability to select physicians and treatment if that same patient is getting pressure from the “advance care planning” consultants, whose advice is mandated in Obama-style health care “reform” proposals? Will an entire body of law have to be eradicated with the stroke of a pen? Is Big Brother knocking on the door, even though Obama assures us that those of us raising a warning signal are full of hooey?

While our president spews forth assurances that nobody needs to worry about “death panels” and the like, the facts present a different story. Even though Obama wants Americans to believe that the only way to eliminate health care abuses is for the federal government to take control of health insurance, health care and health reform, there is clearly reason to doubt not only his sincerity and his understanding of government’s proper role, but his arrogant proposition that everyone should accept whatever he says just because he said so.

Doth the president protest too much? Methinks perchance he doth indeed!

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