Sunday, July 28, 2013
Death Panels 'R' Us
About twenty years ago I wrote a column called The Armchair Commando in which I addressed numerous political topics, among them, issues concerning life and death. In one installment I warned my readers about the not-too-distant possibility of the institutional genocide of the elderly by government bureaucrats challenged by the health care needs of the aging baby boom generation. The recent developments of Obamacare and the possibility of government "death panels" to determine how best to allocate limited health care resources to an aging population have done absolutely nothing to alter my prognostications.
With the federal government virtually taking over the health care industry, how long does anyone think it will take for Washington bureaucrats to start addressing the high cost of health care by rationing it to those it deems worthy of better health, namely young and middle-aged adults with enough productive years ahead to continue contributing to the tax base? Does a New York minute come to mind? This is the price we pay for turning more of the responsibility for ourselves over to the government. As for the so-called death panels, Secretary Sebilius made it abundantly clear, in that recent case involving the little girl who needed a new lung, that the federal government considers itself THE authority in deciding who is qualified to receive life-saving medical treatment. Thus, whatever group of bureaucratic appointees are selected to evaluate these cases and make a determination who lives and who dies is, in effect, a death panel. Uncle Sam was once a symbol of the benevolence of the U.S. government looking after the interests of the American people. But now that he's gone from "uncle" to "big brother," that relationship is looking more and more dubious.