Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

August 28, 2009

How Sarah Palin Rope-a-Doped All-Too-Many Liberals

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 6:58 am

As a liberal myself, I was amazed by the obtuseness of the liberal reaction to Sarah Palin’s “death panels” quote. They fell into a trap because all too many were blinded by their class-conscious, snobbish disdain for Palin, who, whatever else you think of her, is one cagey operator.

And in doing so they allowed that one brilliantly crafted propaganda phrase to undo the chance for some necessary health care reforms (portability of coverage, no disqualification for previous conditions, eligibility to some plan for all, subsidized coverage for the impoverished uninsured).

They couldn’t believe that Sarah Palin was capable of something as canny as that deadly “death panels” phrase. They couldn’t see that it was a metaphoric shorthand for something real. Instead they thought she was too dumb, that she meant it literally (to have seen the potential for rationed end-of-life care in the bill), and instead indulged in an orgy of disdain for her “crazy,” “ignorant” “lies” and malicious misrepresentation.

No! “Death panels” was a Lenny Bruce black-humored kind of line and she proved herself far hipper than the terminally square liberals who didn’t get it. And who started an ill-conceived war on the phrase which most of the country, when the facts came out, saw as meretricious or ignorant on the liberals’ part — with good reason. And caused ordinary citizens to turn against the whole cause of health care — really it should be health insurance — reform.

Liberals should have responded the way my friend Joe Conason (and a few other non-snotty liberals) did, by pointing out that we already have death panels of a sort: the ones manned by the insurance companies who ration and deny coverage for the sake of their profit margins. Would government rationing be better? It might be less greed-motivated, but maybe not. There at least should have been a discussion of the real issue of health care rationing.

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68 Comments »

  1. When my mother, in a nursing home, was dying of breast cancer (she had advanced Alzheimer’s) ten years ago. I had to put her into the hospital in New York every two months to have her breasts drained of fluid. Even though she had both Medicare and private insurance, after awhile, the two most prominent hospitals in New York, including the one where she gave birth to me, refused her admittance, because of her chronic “unimproveable” condition. Eventually, I chose, under the terms of her living will, to let her die in the nursing home. Can you imagine what happens to middle class and poor people under these circumstances? The death panels already exist on the staffs of hospitals across our nation. The best thing the Kennedy family could do would be to release complete medical records of all EMK’s procedures in the last two years. THAT maybe would shock people towards what we really need in this country: FREE national health care paid for by taxes. The health care town meetings are fascinating, a confirmation of the glorious irrationalism of democracy remarked upon by Tocqueville, Henry Adams and Hofstadter. What these protesters are unconsciously decrying is the demise of the palliative health care of long ago: the bedside manner, the rambling country doctor, the house calls to a child. My life was saved at New York Hospital in 2003 by the brilliant technology of modern health care. Nevertheless,I have had many encounters with quacks, coldhearted medical personnel and the insurance bureaucracy which have been very demoralizing. What is needed in this country is a National Health Corps which would reorient young doctors, nurses and paramedics towards national service in the health field. Health care should once again be a non-profit, charitable and universally available service.

    Comment by charlie finch — August 28, 2009 @ 7:39 am | Reply

  2. […] Read the entire article here. […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » Underestimating Palin, Liberals Lose on ‘Death Panels’ — August 28, 2009 @ 10:44 am | Reply

  3. “Health care should once again be a non-profit, charitable and universally available service.”

    That kind of health care has never existed. The closest thing to it exists in this country right now, and it is not universally available.

    Assuring decent medical care for all who need it is a societal good, similar in my mind to universal public education and universal suffrage. We spend a lot of money on voting and public education in this country, but those expenses pale to insignificance beside the potential costs of universal medical care. Nevertheless, a lot of smart people have tried to figure out ways for our society to bring this public good into existence. I hope the current attempt at producing this good for the United States will be an intelligent effort that takes into account what we know about economics and the experience of other countries. I hope that it produces a net gain in performance of our system, one that preserves the advantages of the current system.

    Palin’s right: giving the government the right to determine who gets what care is a bad idea. I would much rather see the individuals in control. I wonder if there might not be some way to assure a lot of little insurance companies, hospitals, individual practitioners, etc., rather than trying to have, for example, a single payor for ALL insurance claims.

    The single-source housing mortgage model didn’t work so well. It got too big to fail, as did the very-few-automakers model. Meanwhile, smaller banks have managed better. Perhaps we should try a governmental policy to assure individual choice among a proliferation of health care providers and insurers?

    Comment by Valerie — August 28, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  4. ignorant right-wingers (”I don’t want the government to mess with my Medicare”)

    You know they’re right-wingers because…they disagree with you on reform? Because no left-wingers oppose this “reform”? Help me out here, how do you know they’re right wingers?

    the thuggish, lynch mob behavior at town halls (boasting of shouting others’ down and other mob tactics, Hitler mustaches etc., rather than making rational arguments and respecting other citizens)

    If you want to be the voice of reason on the left, you would do better to stop believing your own propaganda.

    including the terrorist tactic of bringing guns to town hall meetings

    Hmmm…a talk radio host stands outside with a gun as a dramatic prop while giving an interview about civil liberties becomes crazy right wingers embrace terrorist tactics. Please see above regarding your own propaganda.

    You get off to a decent start, but the real problem is your typical liberal is too mendacious to be bothered with truth and facts. They want their gold-plated feel good “yes we did!” reform. They don’t really care what’s in it or if it will improve anything, they just want it and it pisses them off that anybody would stand in their way.

    Comment by tim maguire — August 28, 2009 @ 11:56 am | Reply

  5. You have give Ron, a hat tip for acknowledging that fact, to deny that rationing is at the very core of the bill, instead of incidentally in some cases, the mindset of the ‘complete lives system’ take
    the pain pill, not the procedure, is still a mountain that he has to overcome. Seeing as ahe has become a pupil of the same Alinsky method: Rule 12, that was used to attempt to polarize and destroy her, is kind of an back handed compliment. She does show the mindset
    of those who wrote this bill, the wrong solution to a problem.

    Comment by narciso — August 28, 2009 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  6. “Hitler mustaches”

    You’re talking about the LaRouche folks. LaRouche is a nutcase leftie, not a rightie. I know everything bad is supposed to be rightwing, but it just ain’t so.

    Comment by chuck — August 28, 2009 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  7. “the thuggish, lynch mob behavior at town halls”

    I’m sure Ken Gladney appreciates your denunciations of such behavior.

    Oh, wait.

    Comment by Achillea — August 28, 2009 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  8. I have not heard any conservative say they want the government to stay out of their Medicare.

    Medicare as it exists does not have these provisions in it.

    I have heard many conservatives express alarm at the prospect of giving the government authority to require end-of-life interviews and decisions.

    Of course, these conversations are already occurring in other settings. But isn’t that just the point? …in OTHER settings. Settings in which I have the right to get up and walk out of the room (if it’s family and I don’t like what they’re saying) or tell the hospital staff person to go on coffee break and get out of my face.

    The straw man arguments being used again and again are so tiresome.

    Comment by Meryl — August 28, 2009 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  9. Thuggish behavior? Ooooo, he’s wearng a (gasp) gun! What a sociopath! Ooooo, there are more than one! It’s an armed mob! And they are shouting down their Congressional reps.

    They couldn’t be patriots, could they? They couldn’t really be shouting down the reps’ B.S. and letting them know their jobs are on the line, could they?

    Gotta give him props, however. He acknowledges Palin’s perfect shot through the heart of ObamaCare. (The taxidermist is working on the remains even now.) Before you know it, they’ll all be taking her seriously. Then, they’ll fear her. Oh, wait….

    Comment by Marc Malone — August 28, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  10. “Of course the overreaction by genuinely ignorant right-wingers (”I don’t want the government to mess with my Medicare”) and the thuggish, lynch mob behavior at town halls (boasting of shouting others’ down and other mob tactics, Hitler mustaches etc., rather than making rational arguments and respecting other citizens) including the terrorist tactic of bringing guns to town hall meetings, showed that the right could squander an advantage in legitimate debate by making an ugly spectacle of itself.”

    Do you do any fact checking at all…. AT ALL. That has been going on for years all directed by the leftwing and the democrats… and all the things you cited are being once again by the leftwing and the democrats.

    You leftwingers will smear anyone with your blatant racism and demand for communism…

    Comment by robotech master — August 28, 2009 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  11. Uh oh! The name Palin is in the headline. Expect the libs to start frothing at the mouth and overwhelm this post like crazy!

    Comment by Peter the Bubblehead — August 28, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  12. You are exactly right that the use of the phrase was metaphorical. And yes, Insurance companies right now choose to deny care.

    The real reason that the “death panels” struck so deep is that a whole lot of us are really uncomfortable with how flippant the Left has become about human life.

    For example, I am morally horrified by abortion. However, I don’t translate that into a call for a ban. I can’t imagine how we, in a free society, could possibly force women to not get them. Any mechanism or law to to so would have to be so intrusive and coercive that it would by inconsistent with our civic principles.

    That is the sort of moral dilemma that is inevitable in a free society. However, the Leftists will allow no moral dimension to enter the debate at all. To even use the word “life” in a discussion of a human life makes them apoplectic. They literally go so far as to enthuse for abortion, and view it as a positive good.

    Now, we have moved onto the the other end of life, a debate about euthanasia. Once again, the Leftists line up to thrill at this. A long list of liberal icons are veritable cheerleaders for it (the poster boy is Peter Singer, but there are others). The entire Democratic establishment, all the way to Washington itself, swung into action to make sure that Terri Shaivo was euthanized. Current advisers to our current president are promoters of euthanasia.

    They may not sit on any “death panels”, but they sure bring a scary perspective to the debate. If I had to have my family’s fate decided by Peter Singer and Dr. Emmanuel, I’d rather take my chances with an insurance company.

    Comment by Class Clown — August 28, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  13. “””””” Health care should once again be a non-profit, charitable and universally available service. “”””

    Once again? The last time the western world had that kind of medical service — if I recall correctly — was in Medieval Europe, courtesy of the Church; it was some sort of doctor-priesthood or something.

    So, do you really expect doctors as a group — actual human beings — to spend years learning a difficult and challenging profession just so they can end up making a middling salary? Get real.

    You’re not alone in entertaining this odd fantasy. My boss, very nice lady, went on a rant about how both academia and medicine should always be non-profit. I won’t contradict her, for practical reasons, but it is a risible notion.

    Comment by Roderick Reilly — August 28, 2009 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

  14. – …lynch mob behavior at town halls (boasting of shouting others’ down and other mob tactics, Hitler mustaches etc., rather than making rational arguments and respecting other citizens) including the terrorist tactic of bringing guns to town hall meetings, showed that the right could squander an advantage in legitimate debate by making an ugly spectacle of itself.

    Are you effing kidding me?

    Look.

    I know PJM is allocating space here for Rosenbaum’s deep thoughts so that they can pretend to address liberal sentiments.

    That’s fine.

    But don’t we get enough outright deceit, intentional misrepresentation and unhinged, vitriolic demonization from BHO’s entrenched, lying, Fifth Column media shills?

    Or is PJM going to support that sort of slobbering, openly insulting, hoplophobic insanity here as well?

    Being handed an audience so that the author can advertise his books is one thing. Openly encouraging the same unsupportable bullsh!t that got BHO elected, sending this Republic careening toward a brick wall at 100mph, is something else again.

    Comment by goy — August 28, 2009 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  15. #12. Class Clown:

    Bravo! Excellent. My sentiments exactly, accross the board. Holdren. Zeke Emanuel, a Dr. Pearlman (the VA “Death Book” principal author, supposedly), and the President himself have voiced disturbing opinions regarding the value (or lack thereof) of human life.

    Agree on the abortion issue as well. This begs the question: During the early days of the abortion debate, abortion rights activists had the motto “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” where they claimed a right to their own bodies. Fair enough, I agree (to a point, since the issue was really their body plus a second one growing inside them), but the same motto could apply to American citizens in general, and even more accurately and sincerely so, since a “second body” (a fetus) is not involved in the equation. It is a sentiment that plays right into the most famous founding phrase of our Nation: “The right to LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

    Comment by Roderick Reilly — August 28, 2009 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  16. #14. goy:

    yeah, well, can’t accuse PJM of NOT being fairminded 🙂

    While Rosenbaum may actually believe this nonsense, it is even more likely that he’s just tossing a sop to his left, which is not very brave of him. Apparently he’s blind to the fact that ACORN, SEIU, and International A.N.S.W.E.R. have actually and repeatedly done what he accuses the town-hall attendees of doing but didn’t.

    Comment by Roderick Reilly — August 28, 2009 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  17. Oh, and as for the rest of this article…

    It’s great that you have such a keen grasp of the obvious, Ron. Now go tell the cow-eyed O-bots in the left-o-sphere. Everyone that frequents this site ALREADY GETS IT.

    Comment by goy — August 28, 2009 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  18. When Richard Nixon proposed universal health care in 1972, and Ted Kennedy rejected it, Nixon could do so because, health care, in the tradition of Schweitzer, Pasteur, Barton and Nightingale was regarded as a charitable, non-profit pursuit. The privatization of health care, which those above seem to think has existed forever, only began with Reagan. The best system would be one in which no health insurance existed at all. This would slash costs, for starters, over night, because much of the costs of health care are bureaucratic. Those that could afford to pay would, all else would be paid for through tax revenues and charitable giving. Those on the right who claim to support the free market in health care are really defending a buraucratic leviathan that is the envy of the socilists!

    Comment by charlie finch — August 28, 2009 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  19. @16. Roderick Reilly: – Apparently he’s blind to the fact that ACORN, SEIU, and International A.N.S.W.E.R. have actually and repeatedly done what he accuses the town-hall attendees of doing but didn’t.

    This was, of course, part of the point with respect to deceit, misrepresentation, etc. Video of a certain Minute Man presentation springs to mind. The left’s history on this score goes all the way back to the armed invasion and seizure of Cornell in 1969, which has been all but completely airbrushed from history.

    I just forgot to add “unrepentant reliance on Double Standard” to the list.

    I always forget that one. 😉

    Comment by goy — August 28, 2009 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  20. How in the world is dialogue possible when Agent
    Zero’s zombies shriek like banshees whenever someone introduces, or proposes, something different than what they are proposing?

    They accuse others of being closed minded. Well, once again we have yet another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Comment by David W. Lincoln — August 28, 2009 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  21. “12. Class Clown:

    For example, I am morally horrified by abortion. However, I don’t translate that into a call for a ban. I can’t imagine how we, in a free society, could possibly force women to not get them. Any mechanism or law to to so would have to be so intrusive and coercive that it would by inconsistent with our civic principles.”

    I have to disagree with you that banning abortion(setting aside for now rape) would, in any circumstance but the life of the mother in danger, be in disregard of our “civic principles”.

    We have precedence to work with,. It is called slavery. Once you could own a slave, but Liberty prevailed. Coercive and intrusive law mandated Liberty for all. Now comes an even greater consideration. There is no Liberty without LIfe. …. First and foremost is the right to life. Such a right may only be lost upon the actions of the individual life we are discusing.

    The State has every right.. no a compelling duty, to ban abortion except for very strict reason. As surely as slavery is banned.

    Comment by Fantom — August 28, 2009 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  22. #1 charlie finch:
    “What these protesters are unconsciously decrying is the demise of the palliative health care of long ago: the bedside manner, the rambling country doctor, the house calls to a child.”

    Those were the hallmarks of health care before it became a system, and then an industry.

    There wasn’t any subsidies. Doctors had to charge what their patients could afford, and had to deliver to the best of their ability, because it was the patients and their families that paid the fees directly.

    If they were quacks, they got run out of town on a rail.

    An under that business model, we increased American longevity by how much? 20 years? 30?

    Now, you’re a widget being processed on an assembly line, the doctor doesn’t know you, doesn’t live where you do, and your insurance or government subsidy is paying, (or not, as the case may be).

    There was something else about that time…people died, and it wasn’t necessarily anyone’s “fault”.

    The worst thing that ever happened was government getting involved with individual health care, rather than it’s more commonsense duty, public health.

    Had AIDS and HIV sufferers been quarantined back in the early and mid 1980’s, how many lives would have been saved by such an action?

    But as with so much with what the government SHOULD be do, it fails to, and then it goes looking for new areas to arrogate to it’s authority so it can eventually eventually screw that up, too.

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 28, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  23. Mr. Rosenbaum:
    “Because yes, there is a “panel” in the bill that will “evaluate” the cost effectiveness of various expensive, minimally life-extending treatment decisions — decisions that any health-care program, public or private, may have to make. No, individuals won’t have to stand before it, but individuals will be affected — and sometimes suffer — from its decisions.”

    I have read of other such “panels” in other lands and in other times.

    Of a medical doctor who decided who was fit to live and who was not,(from an economic standpoint), and was paid to do this by his government.

    I believe he had the the last name of Mengele.

    A privately employed doctor doesn’t get paid anymore when you, his customer, dies.

    A bureaucrat doctor gets paid regardless of what becomes of you.

    Think about it.

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 28, 2009 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

  24. Really, I’m just highlighting the moral dilemma. I’m horrified by abortion, but can you imagine how intrusive laws would have to be to actually ban it?

    My abortion point is simply that the Left, by their enthusiasm for their own “rights”, have absolved themselves of any moral qualms on the ending of human life (and don’t anyone even start the “when does life begin?” con job… humans are born of pregnancies, and unless interrupted in its growth, a fetus most certainly does become human… we were all one once).

    My larger point is that the far-Left enthusiasm for death in all forms is seriously creepy. That includes abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the vicarious thrills too many derive from terrorists.

    And I’m feeling like the far-Left is getting a lot closer to the mainstream left.

    Comment by Class Clown — August 28, 2009 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  25. “What is needed in this country is a National Health Corps which would reorient young doctors, nurses and paramedics towards national service in the health field.”

    I’m sure you’ll be just as open to volunteering whatever it is you do for a living as a ‘national service’.

    “Health care should once again be a non-profit, charitable and universally available service.”

    It never was. You are asserting a Socialist/Utopian nonsense vision to try to get us back to the glory that was healthcare in this nation when it was an open, free market.

    This is common ignorance. The problem is that you allow emotion to overwhelm your reasoning – this is evidenced by the fact that you use your mother to emotionally skew your story. The emotional approach is to assert the end goal, and then try anything – even disproven ideas such as ‘central planning’, ‘socialized medicine’, et cetera – to get it. The logical approach is to look not at the end result, but at the motivator. What is most likely to bring about low-cost, high-quality health care? What is most likely to make health care more widely available? The answer is the free market.

    And before I’m incorrectly portrayed as a heartless Conservative profiteer, let me emotionally weigh my position: my mother has been a nurse in the ‘heartless, for-profit’ health industry for 20 years. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer her employer arranged her work hours and leave time so she could receive treatment. Her medical coverage paid for every doctor visit, every test. She spent about $10,000 of her own money to receive the full course of treatment and follow-up. She has repeatedly told me of how grateful she is to her company for their compassion and willingness to work through her illness.

    Her story is far more common in our society than yours. Your story is an outlier. This is why the vast majority of Americans like their health care and do not want to lose it – even with the federal government doing everything in their power to destroy it through excessive regulation.

    Every problem you see in the system is because of government regulation, just as government intervention (the ‘war on poverty’) created the welfare state and made poverty epidemic.

    Central planning does not work. The free market does. And you will not browbeat people into submission with sad stories.

    Comment by AtheistConservative — August 28, 2009 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  26. The sight of long lines of patients of all incomes and identities waiting for free care at the Staples Center a week ago from an international health delivery service was especially chilling, because it demonstrated that many people are so intimidated by the health care system that they cannot deal with both the bureaucratic complexity and the anonymity of the doctor experience. Our elites are so pampered and spoiled that they project their entitledness on to everyone else, so that they assume that the rest of us can function as smoothly in the system as they do.

    Comment by charlie finch — August 28, 2009 @ 6:49 pm | Reply

  27. There is no such thing as a “free market”. That is the biggest lie of all. There is not a single business transaction that is free of regulation, taxation, selfish interest, cronyism, favoritism, nepotism, etc. The “free market” lie propogated by the Reaganites was a fixed game from the get-go to turn debt creation into nonproductive wealth for the elites and crippling debt for the rest of us.

    Comment by charlie finch — August 28, 2009 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

  28. You’re right, let’s turn it over to someone who thinks Hippocrates, the guiding light of
    medicine for 2500 years is wrong, that’s some
    five hundred years before Christianity.That’s
    the vision of Ezekiel Emmanuel’s “Complete Lives System, That’s also the view of John Holdren science czar, who says there is no right to procreation, and suggested that sterilizing agents be put in the drinking water.

    Comment by narciso — August 28, 2009 @ 7:23 pm | Reply

  29. […] ROSENBAUM: Fellow liberals, we’ve been rope-a-doped by Sarah Palin. “They fell into a trap because all too many were blinded by their class-conscious, snobbish […]

    Pingback by Instapundit » Blog Archive » RON ROSENBAUM: Fellow liberals, we’ve been rope-a-doped by Sarah Palin. “They fell into a trap bec… — August 28, 2009 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

  30. Ronnie, We all know there are death panels. If we are comatose our children will be the death panel, especially if it will staunch the flow of money that they would rather have for themselves. If it is an insurance company they’ll stop paying. You fall in to your own trap of thinking we rubes are clueless.

    The problem with the direction of healthcare is that we will not be able to spend our own money even if we want to if the government says “no”. Yes we know that it doesn’t say that today but we also know where this train is headed and there is a smokestack at the end point.

    We also want reform. Insurance reform and tort reform but the reforms we want are not inj any bill that the Dems are pushing through congress. Get a clue or go pour yourself a stiff one.

    Comment by aloysiusmiller — August 28, 2009 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

  31. I wouldn’t say Sarah Palin is an operator; she’s a natural. She didn’t lie awake at night calculating “death panels.” It just seemed right to her and she put it on FaceBook.

    Nor did she rope-a-dope liberals. They did that to themselves.

    Comment by huxley — August 28, 2009 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  32. The funniest thing about this health care debate is the argument that, if conservatives oppose government rationing of health care, we are contradicting ourselves or hypocrites, because the current system rations health care based on wealth. When you think about it for a minute, though, the argument becomes silly: we ration almost *everything* based on wealth. You could argue that all of those things (housing, food, clothing, transportation, etc.) should be rationed instead by the government, based not on wealth but worthiness. Anyone have any problem with that? Anyone care to guess what that sort of system’s called?

    The other dumb thing about the idea of “universal” government health care is that it will somehow be better when the government announces that some sort of care you need isn’t covered. When an insurance company does it, it’s for reasons of profit, so it’s evil. When the government does it, it’ll be for the public good, for efficiency, because of a shortage of doctors or hospitals, and that will make it OK, right? The difference is that when the insurance company denies you coverage, you can mortgage your house, hold a bake sale, hit your number in the lottery, whatever, and pay for it another way. When Uncle Sam tells you your coverage is a waste, that’s probably that. No appeals, no bake sale, no nothing…you’re done.

    So we have people advocating a “public option” for health care reform. It’ll insure 40 million people, be more efficient than private sector insurance companies, and deny no one coverage. It would make as much sense if someone told me that flying monkeys were taking me to see the green lady with the long nose. Then we’re going to cut $300 million from Medicare by cutting administrative costs (why didn’t we Republicans think of this???? How stupid can we be!?!) and by cutting insurance company profits (they’ll take this lying down, of course). At some point someone is going to have to stop admiring the Emperor’s new clothes…this is ridiculous.

    Comment by DavidN — August 28, 2009 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

  33. Rationing = Providing X amount of a good or service, regardless of demand.

    In Canada, they decide how many appendectomies and bypass surgeries will be performed according to their limited resources, not according to what is needed.

    That is rationing.

    What insurance companies do is place limits on what they will pay for, not on how may surgeries or lab tests can be performed in the country.

    No system has unlimited resources, but the free market (if we had one for health care) is the best way to mete out those resources.

    Otherwise, it’s bean counters who say how many procedures can be performed. If they run out before you get to the head of the line, sux to be you.

    Comment by dicentra — August 28, 2009 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

  34. To follow up on what dicentar wrote:

    … we already have death panels of a sort: the ones manned by the insurance companies who ration and deny coverage for the sake of their profit margins. Would government rationing be better? It might be less greed-motivated, but maybe not.

    If an insurance company refuses to pay, you can mortgage the house, cash in life insurance, appeal to your friends, or make a public appeal. If you can get the money legally, you can get the treatment.

    If a government decides you can’t get the treatment then you can’t get the treatment no matter how much you can pay. The supply of doctors and hospitals shrinks and all medicines have to be bought by and approved by that government. Your only option is to go somewhere that still has free-as-in-speech medicine instead of free-as-in-beer medicine. Right now, Canada is actually subcontracting medicine out to providers in the USA, where anyone who can meet the standards can enter the profession(s). The UK isn’t even doing that. If the USA goes this route, the only recourse may be Thailand, which will get a new boutique industry.

    Comment by njcommuter — August 29, 2009 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  35. 1. charlie finch: “what we really need in this country: FREE national health care paid for by taxes”

    Who will have the “FREE” care? Who will pay those taxes?

    I will have the “FREE” care, that guy behind the tree will pay those taxes.

    How about “FREE” college education? “FREE” housing? “FREE” transportation? “FREE” lunch? What else should be “FREE”? Just wondering.

    In case you don’t know, a French person making $3000 per month has to pay $350 per month towards his “FREE” healthcare. That, by the way, is the premium, not taxes. The Canadians have to pay their premiums too, on top of their taxes.

    We pay less than $2000 a year to our greedy private insurance for our HMO which entitles us to a yearly physical with no deductions or copays. I prefer the greedy private insurance anyday better than any “FREE” care.

    By the way, Charlie Finch, how long do you think the FREE care would pay for your mother’s treatments?

    Comment by ic — August 29, 2009 @ 12:27 am | Reply

  36. OK I admit error on this one. I fell into the same trap as ‘most liberals’ on this.

    On sober second thought, as twitchy as I am about public policy being conducted by sound-bytes, Palin’s analysis was very astute. I have to give her credit for a stunning strategy.
    I just hope it was a strategy and not a simplistic belief. As the article so clearly points out, RATIONING is occurring under ANY system. The very least we should do is attempt to have a FULL debate on the pros and cons of each type of ‘limit’.

    That said the more I witness the actions of the crew now running Washington, the less I want any of them to have a say in determining who gets what, where, and why. The don’t exactly inspire confidence, do they?

    Comment by dougf — August 29, 2009 @ 2:32 am | Reply

  37. “genuinely ignorant right-wingers (”I don’t want the government to mess with my Medicare”)”

    This is just another facet of the same mistake you so accurately describe. You are, in fact, calling ignorant and looking down on people who are in fact only voicing their belief in what the liberals have told them for so many years. They actually believe that although Medicare is government run, it is a separate pool of money that will somehow be diverted into this new proposal. You don’t realize that many of those now up in arms are for the very first time paying attention to something the government is doing instead of listening to the bland assurances the democrat party has so long relied on.

    The fact that Medicare is not an insurance program is news to a lot of older people who have spent the past few decades ignoring all things political. Calling them ignorant for believing what the democrat party and liberal media have told them is adding fuel to the fire. You correctly diagnosed a large part of the liberal attitude in this country, but you haven’t gone quite far enough in your thinking yet.

    It’s going to be really tough for the democrat party to face those it has relied on to remain ignorant for so long now that they’re starting to wake up. Liberals need to understand the effects their own misrepresentations to the public have had over the past four decades. The democrat party and liberals who support it need to come clean with the public and fess up to the exaggerations and misrepresentations they’ve successfully used for so long, or be nailed to a cross of their own construction. Having for decades relied on large numbers of people to be both gullible and uninvolved, they’ve gained and retained elected office by fostering ignorance like the belief that Medicare is a separate pool of money protected from other uses. Only when they’re ready to admit to their past misrepresentations and exaggerations will they are able to even stop digging much less climb out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves.

    Close, but no cigar. Sarah is not only a lot smarter than a great many liberals think, she’s realized how many of those who have been sleepwalking are now awake and either she’ll point out that liberals have been relying on their ignorance or the liberal democrat party will beat her to it by coming clean with the public rather than calling them, “genuinely ignorant right-wingers” simply because they believed what democrat elected officials told their constituents. What are the odds that the liberal medial will beat Sarah to the punch?

    Regards

    Comment by Rashputin — August 29, 2009 @ 3:19 am | Reply

  38. “thuggish, lynch mob behavior at town halls (boasting of shouting others’ down and other mob tactics, Hitler mustaches etc., rather than making rational arguments and respecting other citizens)”

    Oh for goodness sakes Mr Rosenbaum, perhaps pictures will help you understand how obscenely distorted is your own perception towards your own political family and friends:

    http://www.lookingattheleft.com/

    After 9/11/2001 when I converted from brain-dead Liberal (trademarked by David Mamet) to Conservatism I discovered how challenging it is for Liberals to face themselves; this is why Liberals are either always moving the goalposts or they’re always lying about the truth presented right in front of their faces.

    Comment by syn — August 29, 2009 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  39. #30. aloysiusmiller:

    My thoughts exactly. The rationing that goes on today in, say, the UK is done by some board deciding whether or not a person’s life is worth the expense of continuing it. In our system, your insurance company makes those decisions based on their economic models and if they won’t pay, you always have the option of paying out of your own pocket.

    I think Americans prefer these decisions to be made by something akin to Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” rather than the very visible hand of a bureaucrat.

    The problem with healthcare in this country is that government is too involved in it. They started sticking their fingers in it in 1943 and then plunged their arm into it up to the elbow in the 1960’s with Medicare and Medicaid. These programs are going broke and somehow we’re supposed to believe that letting the government get into healthcare with both legs is going to make it better?

    If you want to lower costs and expand access, then start by letting insurance companies be insurance companies by not forcing them to pay for routine medical procedures. How expensive would your car insurance be if they had to pay for new tires when the old ones wore out? Catastrophic care policies are quite affordable. Couple one of those with a medical savings account and you have people making most of the healthcare decisions in this country based on how it’s going to affect the balance in their MSA. Once real competition is introduced, the prices will fall, it always does. Next, give people below a certain income level a refundable tax credit for contributions to the MSA.

    The bottom line is that the instance of a government agency controlling costs is rare if it exists at all. If you want to see costs controlled and prices reduced, you have to let capitalism do its thing.

    The problem is that the left is all about the central planning. They’re aghast at the thought that people can make their own decisions. They keep thinking of capitalists as Snidley Whiplash characters, always plotting ways to bilk the poor and ignorant.

    Now for some housekeeping. First, the people showing up with pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache are the crazy left-wingers of the Lyndon Larouche variety. Second, the people who brought guns to the townhall were in Arizona where it is legal to openly pack a gun. Not saying that it was a smart idea, but it was legal.

    Comment by Odysseus — August 29, 2009 @ 5:16 am | Reply

  40. Various commenters have made the point, but it’s worth underlining again, as njcommuter @ 32 said:

    If an insurance company refuses to pay, you can mortgage the house, cash in life insurance, appeal to your friends, or make a public appeal. If you can get the money legally, you can get the treatment.

    If a government decides you can’t get the treatment then you can’t get the treatment no matter how much you can pay.

    Comment by huxley — August 29, 2009 @ 5:54 am | Reply

  41. This is what it’s come down to: the rightwing populists are reduced to defending a wealthy oligarchy in deep debt to Communist China which enslaves its people to put junk on the shelves of WalMart. The joke is on you, folks.

    Comment by charlie finch — August 29, 2009 @ 6:00 am | Reply

  42. It’s good to see some cogent articles from the left Ron and you do make some good points. As well it is good to see a lot of good comments in the posts without a lot of name calling. This is what we need in this country and why the whole process of reform needs to be slowed down, studied and thought through thoroughly so we, as a society can come to a consensus what ever that consensus might be. It may be a wrong consensus but at least there will be some commonality of thought. The mistake the leftists in the current administration are making is that they are trying to ram something down the public’s throat that the public doesn’t understand nor want. Most disturbing are the pro euthanasia statements made by those the president has chosen to surround himself with. Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia may be history but their memory is still fresh enough that the general public recoils from anything that smacks of those odious systems and the public is right to mistrust the current administration in this regard.

    Now, on to Medicare and let’s add in Social Security for it is part and parcel of all this. The reason that people don’t want someone “messing with their Medicare” is that they have been forced to pay into these systems for a long time. The key word is “forced”. A social contract has been made, like it or not, and one cannot blame those that insist that the contract be carried out. Now one of the basic tenets of contract law in this country is that one party to the contract cannot unilaterally decide to break the terms of the contract. The dissolution of the contract must be agreeable to both parties. So, those “ignorant right wingers” have both law and custom on their side and calling them names won’t change that.

    Now, on to “altruism”. The practice of medicine in this country has never been altruistic. There have always been altruistic individuals and organizations involved in medicine as well as there have been those that are entirely self-seeking. There is nothing wrong with either position as long as the bottom line of “cause no harm” is rigidly held to. After all, those involved in the health professions have to eat too. One of the greatest tragedies in the modern practice of medicine is the demise of the great hospitals founded by the various religious organizations along altruistic lines.

    In closing, yes, those of us of a certain age remember the good doctors that that provided the best and most ethical medical care they could and charged only what they thought the patient could afford. These days doctors have to practice lawsuit prevention first and medicine second. We all know this but tort reform is not even mentioned in any of the bills before Congress that I am aware of. Turning our medical care over to the government is wrong in the whole but turning it over to the trial lawyers is even worse.

    Comment by Mike2 — August 29, 2009 @ 6:02 am | Reply

  43. Teddy Kennedy was one of abortion’s stoutest supporters and had a hand in drawing up the plan for government to take over health care with death panels implied if not directed. I think these considerations, along with the debauched life he led, figured in the Pope’s silence at his death. One assumes Teddy asked for absolution in the letter he had Obama deliver to Benedict. Seems he didn’t get it.

    Comment by Banjo — August 29, 2009 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  44. This is what it’s come down to: the rightwing populists are reduced to defending a wealthy oligarchy in deep debt to Communist China which enslaves its people to put junk on the shelves of WalMart. The joke is on you, folks.

    charlie finch — I take it that you do not have a substantive response.

    Comment by huxley — August 29, 2009 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  45. Wow, Ron Rosen.blahblah will have major need to reassert his lefty creds AFTER SAYING THE UNSPEAKABLe epiphany, Sarah Palin is smarter than the Limo Libs by a factor of 10!So how much smarter are the folks @ the TeaParties?

    Comment by WestWright — August 29, 2009 @ 6:43 am | Reply

  46. And National health care is going to solve that problem, right. Give the Chinese gerontocrats and the Silovoki credit, they’ve seen Marxism they want no part of it.
    They’re pushing forward, on massive oil, gas,
    powerline expansion. While we kneecap
    ourselves, in a way the IRA would approve, with cap n trade and single payer, sorry the public option.

    Comment by narciso — August 29, 2009 @ 6:46 am | Reply

  47. In closing, yes, those of us of a certain age remember the good doctors that that provided the best and most ethical medical care they could and charged only what they thought the patient could afford.

    What is almost never mentioned in the current discussion of health care is how much astonishing progress medical science has made and how many more conditions can be treated.

    Catch: All these wonderful medical treatments cost money. Sometimes lots and lots of money.

    If the government were only trying to provide 1950-level health care: aspirin, penicillin, the occasional X-ray, splint and appendectomy (I exaggerate but you get the point), we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Comment by huxley — August 29, 2009 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  48. charlie finch:

    “This is what it’s come down to: the rightwing populists are reduced to defending a wealthy oligarchy in deep debt to Communist China which enslaves its people to put junk on the shelves of WalMart.”

    It’s our government which owes its continuing operations to Communist China. If Walmart had gone as deep into the red as Washington has, they’d have been out of business years ago. Most of the folks who oppose ramping up new government spending were the ones who opposed business bailouts too. We could tax the wealthy out of existence, and it would be a drop in the federal bucket. Do you seriously think you wouldn’t be next in line, paying dearly for government run healthcare — including your “National Health Corps” and all the other the federal entities and regulators created in HR 3200?

    When you pay $1 to an insurance company, they invest most of it in other businesses (creating jobs!) and pay for your treatments out of the money they make. When you pay $1 to the government, nearly half of it will ultimately go to maintaining the bureaucracies which administer your healthcare without generating another dime to cover you.

    If you think you’ll get more benefits that way, think again. No one is more ruthless about self-preservation than a government agency. Putting them out of business, no matter how badly they manage your money is almost impossible. They have one and only one way to cut costs, and that’s by cutting what they pay out for your care. You won’t be able to get anyone on the phone with the authority to rectify problems or correct malfeasance, because the one thing the government never creates is a customer service department.

    If nothing else, it’s worth contemplating the fact that the folks you despise will not be out of power forever. You’d better prepare yourself for the day they’ll be managing your care too, because you won’t be able to opt out when they hold the reins either.

    Comment by JM Hanes — August 29, 2009 @ 7:14 am | Reply

  49. I have spent a lifetime dealing with the healthcare system in this country. I began life spending 47 days in an incubator. I had severe allergies which required me to have a weekly shot for 22 years. One relative was in a government sponsored methadone program for 25 years. Another has received experimental care at a federal governement facility for a rare genetic condition since 1990. I hae a genetic condition that was misdiagnosed for a decade and that untimately required me to have a liver biopsy and weekly phlebotomies for months. My parents both went through many significant surgical procedures. My mother spent four years in a nursing home. My father spent a lifetime running a foundation solely devoted to improving the interaction between doctors and patients and was a close friend of Dr. Lewis Thomas, author of “Lives of the Cell” and other bestsellers. I am a close friend of two of the most prominent doctors in New York. Through these experiences I have found that governement health care is often superior to private health care, that specialization often leads to treatment redundancies and miscommuniction between medical personnel, that the best medical care is in the emergency rooms, that the actuarial necessities of the health insurance industry make it basically a rip off for the average person, that people without insurance are discriminated against by higher payments and inferior care, that some of the most prominent and celebrated doctors are often the worst doctors, that personal attention in hospitals has deteriorated but that, in general, testing procedures are fantastic in saving lives, that, if you have a loved one in the hospital, you have to watch the actions of staff like a hawk because small mistakes are routine, that a patient who asserts his or her rights is often villified, that many distinctions in medicine are merely ones of terminology (such as the different kinds of cancers, which are terminized to specific parts of the body, when cancer should be conceived of more holistically), that many of the drugs produced by Big Pharma are more dangerous than the conditions they are designed to treat, that hospital administrators often put unnecessary restrictions on doctors because of fear of lawsuits, that medical personnel are incapable of talking in plain language to patients and family, that many drugs which are useful in pain management are denied patients because of the ridiculous narcotics policies of our governements, that, however much we might desire tort reform, that the court system is still generally stacked against the patient, that we really ought to buy up the entire opium crop of Afghanistan and convert it to medical use, that there is a societal prejudice against old people which would welcomde euthanasia, that God is the number one abortionist, although it is peculiar that abortion emerged at the same point when safe birth was made possible making one feel that the whole abortion debate is a repressed fear of the terrors that pregnancy has justifiably visited on women throughout history, that people are as ignorant about the consequences of sex as ever, and that HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT THAT SHOULD NOT BE PROFIT ORIENTED

    Comment by charlie finch — August 29, 2009 @ 7:18 am | Reply

  50. charlie finch

    Wow, Mr. Finch you really have problems; I feel sorry for you, your life is so sad.

    Comment by syn — August 29, 2009 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  51. Ron:

    “And caused ordinary citizens to turn against the whole cause of health care — really it should be health insurance — reform.”

    This stopped being about insurance a long time ago. This is not about safety nets, it’s about turning what used to be insurance into cradle to grave healthcare. Calling it health “insurance” reform is a rhetorical device to gather political support for government regulated and managed care by conjuring up the usual “evil doers.” It’s the same sort of defensive maneuver which quickly turned “creating jobs” into “creating or saving jobs” — a device which allows the current administration to claim all sorts of successes which simply cannot be statistically substantiated.

    I applaud your recognition of Sarah Palin’s skilz. I only hope you may come to realize that most of the people protesting at town halls know considerably more about what’s in the current healthcare bill, and the stimulus bill, and the cap & trade bill, than their representatives do. The only people in Congress who do understand them are the folks who sequester themselves to write them. They are the same people who are going to rewrite the legislation to suit their own purposes in conference, and who’s newest m.o. is putting copiously reworked bills to a vote before anybody gets a chance to read them. That’s the obvious elephant in the back room here, and if it’s not legislative corruption of the highest order, I’d hate to imagine what is.

    Comment by JM Hanes — August 29, 2009 @ 7:46 am | Reply

  52. charlie finch:

    If you think you and your family would have been better off under the national healthcare system being shaped in the current legislation currently, I’d just refer you to the Comparative Effectiveness Commission. Experimental treatments for a rare genetic condition would be among the first procedures to go.

    Comment by JM Hanes — August 29, 2009 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  53. Shouts charlie finch:
    “HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT THAT SHOULD NOT BE PROFIT ORIENTED”

    Ahhh, mr, finch, you have the right to freedom of expression, but that doesn’t give you the power to buy you a teevee network.

    You have the right to keep and bear arms, but that places no obligations on anyone else to prvide you with a handgun or shoulder weapon.

    You have the right to peaceably assemble, but that doesn’t mean I am at your beck and call to join you in whatever assembly you think I should.

    You gettin’ my drift here, ace?

    This is where Liberals always get unmasked as the essentially spoiled perpetual adolescents they all too often are.

    They shout:

    “It’s my RIGHT!”

    …as though that should end all argument and justify their over-developed sense of self-entitlement.

    By his own admission, Mr. finch and his family have already taken a FAR larger portion of our governemnt’s limited resources than the average person should ever expect to be accorded, but he wants MORE!

    For shame, Mr. finch. Haven’t you and yours used ENOUGH?

    We have children who could use the care your junkie relative availed himself of for a quarter-century.

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 29, 2009 @ 8:25 am | Reply

  54. Liberals say, “It is YOUR right”, Conservatives say, “It is MY privilege”.

    Comment by charlie finch — August 29, 2009 @ 8:34 am | Reply

  55. It is true that some people bet the ranch on a therapy that turns out to bankrupt them and they die anyway. But no one can say that it was for naught. It may have contributed to knowledge and experience of a physician that will help some other patient. We all know that unless we are paying out ofr our own pockets that someone else is part of the decision. This sin’t news. But we all like to think that we can have power to the extent of our resources to make the last big gamble. When no one gambles any more on a new life saving procedure there will be no new life saving procedures for anyone.

    Even the Senators, bureaucrats and others elites will be up the creek without a paddle. There won’t be any therapies that their gold plated plans can purchase that will make a difference.

    Comment by aloysiusmiller — August 29, 2009 @ 8:42 am | Reply

  56. #54 charlie finch:
    “Liberals say, “It is YOUR right”, Conservatives say, “It is MY privilege”.”

    Again, part of the inner confusion of the Liberal mind:

    They say:

    “It’s YOUR right”

    when they MEAN:

    “It’s MY right”.

    How is it my “right” when I’m compelled at gunpoint, (by force of law), into paying for 25 years of methadone treatment for a junkie?

    You are truly confused, sir.

    Thankfully, I am not.

    All this entire debate really boils down to is:

    “Give me your money!”

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 29, 2009 @ 8:52 am | Reply

  57. charlie finch: Sorry you’ve had a tough life. Lots of people have.

    However, this argument based on your suffering doesn’t give you the authority to make the grand pronouncement: HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT THAT SHOULD NOT BE PROFIT ORIENTED.

    Nor does your Caps Lock key. And while we are on the subject, the Carriage Return is your friend. Try paragraphs now and then.

    Comment by huxley — August 29, 2009 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  58. I think nearly everyone can agree that there needs to be an examination and reform of certain aspects of health care in this country, and that would begin with a serious discussion of opposing viewpoints about how it’s to be accomplished (and which would include tort reform, IMO). But that cause was badly served by trying to ram through an amorphous piece of legislation that wasn’t read by anyone, or even in final written form, and that would give the government unprecedented power to interfere in individuals’ privacy and choice. The real fight here is not about health care. It’s about beating back massive government power in the hands of an elite (and largely unelected) few attempting to control all aspects of our lives. Liberals like Mr. Rosenbaum should either be honest and recognize this up front, or admit that they’re on the side of the power-grabbers.

    Comment by RebeccaH — August 29, 2009 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  59. “HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT THAT SHOULD NOT BE PROFIT ORIENTED”

    No, it is not. If you will not shoot yourself to make available the funds it takes to care for you so that other humans can avoid starvation, don’t claim it is a human right. Their right to the bare minimum is greater than your right to elaborate care so you make make yourself out to be a liar or a nitwit by claimng something is a human right when it is not. You may think it is your birthright as an American citizen, or that you think it is your right by virtue of your great value to society, but it is not a human right. Freedom from ensavement would be a “human right” as well, wouldn’t it? Then give up the money your care costs so that Muslim slave traders who to this very day enslave Africans and sell them in the Near East can have their “human right” to not be enslaved. I’m sure that a fair and just panel of people would think that your problems are minor compared to starvation and enslavement, so, when can we expect you to give up your care as your service to humanity?

    If you really want only your, “human rights”, I suggest you leave the country at once and go to Bangkok. Your organs may be worthwile to a human or two over there, otherwise you’ll just slowly starve unless you find some way to make a living. Those folks are human, and those folks are a hell of a lot more civil than many another places I could have recommended to you. So, if you want to incorporate some right into our Constitution and claim it as your Civil Right under our Constitution, just get an amendment added to that Constitution and you’re all set. Otherwise, stop with the lie about it being a “human” right, history and reality both prove that to be pure bull.

    have a day

    Comment by Rashputin — August 29, 2009 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  60. 47. huxley: “What is almost never mentioned in the current discussion of health care is how much astonishing progress medical science has made and how many more conditions can be treated.

    Catch: All these wonderful medical treatments cost money. Sometimes lots and lots of money.

    If the government were only trying to provide 1950-level health care: aspirin, penicillin, the occasional X-ray, splint and appendectomy (I exaggerate but you get the point), we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

    I agree 100%. I wanted to make this point as well but decided my rambling went on far enough!

    Comment by Mike2 — August 29, 2009 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  61. Charlie, in Canada and the UK, where they already have “FREE national health care paid for by taxes”, the results are just the opposite of what you infer. Ted Kennedy, with his terminal glioma, would be given steroids and told to settle his affairs; your mom wouldn’t get the repeated pallative treatments at all, and at least in the UK, if you paid for them the NHS would then bill you for all her other treatment.

    Comment by Charlie (Colorado) — August 29, 2009 @ 10:17 am | Reply

  62. 49. charlie finch:

    I don’t agree with your premise that health care is a human right that should not be profit orientated but at least you made your points without ad hominem attacks and snide remarks this time. And yes, in my experience you are right about the fact that the patient and/or their family has to keep an eye out when they are in the hospital, even in the best of them. We are living in the day of patient managed health care much of which has been foisted on us by the legal profession, judges and mindless juries all using the system as a giant lottery.

    Comment by Mike2 — August 29, 2009 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  63. Patient managed health care…how about criminal managed crime? or fan managed sports? or blogger managed journalism? or passenger managed planes? or animal managed zoos? or clown managed circuses?

    Comment by charlie finch — August 29, 2009 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  64. charlie finch: More sputtering and ranting.

    Modern medicine is enormously complex, hard work. I don’t get your idea about how removing profits makes mistakes go away.

    We recently passed the fifth anniversary of the 2003 heat wave that killed about 15,000 French people, most of them elderly:

    he French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly.

    Comment by huxley — August 29, 2009 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  65. I just cannot take anyone seriously who whines that we need FREE anything. We should be FREE to buy whatever healthcare we want and can afford. We should be FREE to keep the vast majority of our private property (our wages from our labors). This free healthcare line is only spouted by the terminally stupid. You want 80% tax rates? That’s what idiocy like this spread through the populace will get you. THIS is why we are throwing fits in town halls and at tea parties and will continue to do so.

    Comment by Peg C. — August 29, 2009 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  66. #64 Huxley:
    “charlie finch: More sputtering and ranting”

    Y’know, I thought the exact same thing when i read his latest.

    Amazing, when you consider the medium we’re communicating in, how the indignant outrage of a denied pan-handler with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement came through so clearly, isn’t it?

    No (more) money for you, charlie, hit the bricks.

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 29, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  67. #64 Huxley:
    “We recently passed the fifth anniversary of the 2003 heat wave that killed about 15,000 French people, most of them elderly:

    he French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly”

    Huh.

    Maybe if they weren’t taxed so highly to afford the “insufficient level” of care they receive, they could have been able to buy air-conditioners…

    But this report is a harbinger of what socialized medicine will be like.

    The impoverishment of people so that they must forego such mundane and basic necessities to continued health like hot and cold running water,(necessary for kitchen sanitation and food hygiene, to say nothing of personal cleanliness), along with air-conditioning and heating, will be cast as a “fault” of “insufficient medical care” due, (naturally), to “insufficient funding”, which will cause taxational theft of even greater amounts of money from the people who least can afford it…leading to further astounding preventable mass deaths like the one in France.

    Comment by Bilgeman — August 29, 2009 @ 1:05 pm | Reply

  68. 63. charlie finch:

    Seems you missed my whole point.

    Comment by Mike2 — August 29, 2009 @ 3:18 pm | Reply


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