The reaction of some liberals and all of the media to Obama’s plan to ration health care for the elderly shows once and for all what conservatives have suspected for a quite some time: that given the choice of abandoning their liberal dogma or saving their lives, far too many Democrat supporters would risk their health and that of their countrymen than so much as reassess the nonsensical, foolish and downright harmful rhetoric that is the Democrat Party’s far-left creed.
In the column “Just How Low Have Democrats Sunk – Is Killing Seniors Now Not Beyond Limits?” I expressed contempt for how Democrats had covertly snuck health care legislation into their so-called economic “stimulus” bill (a reckless collection of payoffs and wishful hopes that will do little other than further endanger this nation’s international credit rating). That, in turn, raised the ire of Democrats not against the outlandish measures, but against those who point them out instead.
Burying sweeping health care proposals in the middle of a huge economic bill, a bill that was passed before a single member of the House or Senate had a chance to even read it, is not only wrong. It smacks of a cover up. And in this case, it clearly was hiding something notorious, as former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey painstakingly pointed out in her commentary “Ruin Your Health With the Obama Stimulus Plan.”
McCaughey, a leading advocate for health care reform for the past 15-20 years who served as Lieutenant Governor in a Republican administration but was later a Democratic candidate for Governor, brought to light how Obama’s healthcare plan would allow the government to track the cost effectiveness of treatments and penalize doctors who take measures deemed to be overly costly. In short, the bill would allow government employees to dictate to doctors what they can and cannot do in the treatment of their patients.
Liberals, instead of decrying the outrageous idea of government paper pushers giving medical orders to doctors, chose instead to turn their wrath on McCaughey, myself and anyone else who challenged the Obama Democrats’ covert health care “reform” legislation.
The Washington Post attacked McCaughey, accusing her of distortions. To them, because the government had merely said that the measures would “guide doctors’ decisions”, instead of “dictate to doctors” they saw the bill as entirely unrelated to cost. But the specification of penalties to be levied against doctors by the Secretary of Health and Human Services renders their claims that the bill proposes nothing more than a benign tracking measure false, not McCaughey’s.
Others claimed that McCaughey was quoting Tom Daschle’s book, not the stimulus bill, in asserting that government would regulate doctors. Well, the fact that she cited page numbers of the stimulus bill, not Daschle’s book, lays that claim to rest.
Yes, after citing the punitive measures in the bill for doctors who do not comply with cost-cutting recommendations, McCaughey then went on to quote from Daschle’s book (as Daschle had taken a large part in crafting the bill prior to his withdrawal), but only to provide additional information and context. What she quoted from the bill was, well…., what was in the bill.
According to a report by Newsmax.com that also cited research from Politico, McCaughey was even targeted by the Center for American Progress. In conference calls to bloggers and “progressive” groups, the word went out to attack McCaughey for sitting on the board of a medical device maker.
Their line of attack, that McCaughey stood to gain from the medical industry, was as ludicrous as are the groups that launched it. Yes, as a leading voice on health care reform, McCaughey has been invited to join the boards of several companies. But whether heath care is government or privately run has nothing to do with whether medical equipment will be purchased. In fact, the positions she holds make her even more careful about what information she puts out in public. The company she advises has little to gain or lose by the governmental micromanagement of health care. Her credibility, however, is important to them.
Individual bloggers went farther still in their attacks and in their unwarranted indignation. Two people wrote how they were “outraged” by my article (giving McCaughey a momentary, albeit well deserved, break). “How dare a Republican stand up to Democrats on behalf of seniors?” they asked. After all, it’s Democrats who care about seniors, not those eevil Republicans.
Perhaps these people should be introduced to the last president to have enacted sweeping prescription health coverage for seniors, a “Democrat” by the name of George W. Bush. The bill was championed by other “Democrats,” like then-Speaker Hastert, “Democratic” Senator Bill Frist, “Democratic” Rep. Nancy Johnson and whole slew of other “Democrats,” but I digress. The fact that one party promotes the culture of life while the other one tends to go to extreme lengths to cheapen it may also be responsible for this trend.
Some bloggers even suggested that rationing health was a good thing. One poster in their early 60s wrote how having good teeth is far more important to him or her than is receiving a heart to prolong their quantity of life. I replied to this person that their attitude is truly sad, especially since 60-something is now relatively young (a fact that even a 31 year old like myself recognizes today).
While suggesting that the poster not only consider themselves, but also the plight of their fellow citizens, I also suggested that since they personally valued good teeth over a good heart, they might want to make an exchange with any one of the many candidates currently waiting for a heart transplant. Surely anyone on a waiting list would readily agree to pay for some bridge work in exchange for an arterial organ that this poster so clearly did not use. Even this poster did not need the Obama plan, he or she could readily exchange their cold heart for some fresh teeth all on their own.
Face it liberals, Republicans are (largely) the party that supports individual rights. Democrats believe in a collectivism that, if taken to extreme, is not unsimilar to other ideologies that have met with ruin every time they’d been enacted throughout history. And many Democrats, especially those who attack all who oppose micromanagement of health care at the hands of government workers, certainly are taking things to the extreme.
Yes, it’s true. Unfortunate as it is, some people would rather endanger their lives or those of their fellow citizens (most notably those of the most frail) than think ill of their Democratic Party. And top prize in this category of mindless political shills goes to Sharon Begley, Senior Editor at Newsweek.
In a hate filled rant against those who she refers to as “hysterical” conservatives, Begley lashed out at McCaughey (who, as noted above, was a competitive candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York in 1998). Begley starts off by saying that governmental reform is needed, but that conservatives are overly afraid that the type of reforms suggested would take health care away from the elderly and the frail. Yet through all of her scorn-laden rant, Begley gives no reason to believe that elderly patients would not be targeted for the cost cutting measures referenced in the bill.
Begley actually spends most of her column (after she’s done maligning conservatives) making the case for governmental intervention in every procedure practiced by modern medicine. The downside of such intervention is of no concern to her. After all, if you can’t trust a reshuffled DMV office clerk (inevitably the people who would likely be given the task of oversight) with your health and wellbeing, just who can you trust?
Sharon Begley is long known for her sophomoric writings on pseudoscience (or what Newsweek simply refers to as “science”). In recent years, Newsweek readers have been treated to a whole slew of Begley gems, including an article on how global warming is the cause of flooding throughout the Midwest. Begley starts off that Pulitzer-worthy piece by stating how climatologists overwhelmingly disagree with her, before going on to say that she’s right anyway. In return for her decades of overt pandering to the left on every issue imaginable, Begley was first promoted by Newsweek to Senior Science Editor, and eventually became their Senior Editor, a position she holds today.
Were anyone else to engage in the level of name-calling, ideology baiting and outright insults as does Begley, it’s hard to believe that their words would not be the cause of a major outcry. Had she used equally offensive words against any group other than conservatives, she’d likely have been fired. But calling conservatives “hysterical” for being against government rationed health care, while saying nothing to disprove their point, is just doing what Newsweek is there to do in the first place; attack conservatives and promote a far left agenda no matter what the costs.
And where is the woefully inept GOP PR machine on any of this? Like the false ad about the GOP’s alternatives to the budget, one can actually hear the crickets chirp.
There are, however, a few notable exceptions. Sen. Tom Coburn, a strong conservative and a medical doctor, is sounding all of the alarms that need to be sounded. And one candidate for US Senate is especially worth mentioning.
Marion Thorpe is the former Chief Medical Officer for the State of Florida. Thorpe was among a select few Republican voices to oppose TARP 1, the prelude to the economic stimulus. He’s now emerging as the GOP’s strongest voice against socialized medicine. His message is not only that government run health care is government rationed health care, as is the case in Canada (where, in addition to lower quality of care overall, even procedures such as childbirths have been outsourced to US hospitals), the UK and everywhere else where socialized medicine has been enacted. His detailed specifics go to the route of the problem, expose socialized medicine as agenda driven instead of health driven and his alternative solutions stand in stark contrast to the insanity that is the standard Democratic refrain.
Aside from being an African-American conservative who’s brought thousands of minority votes to the GOP by articulating a clear conservative vision, as former Chief Medical Officer for the 4th largest state in the Union, Thorpe is uniquely qualified to take on the Democrats on health care, an issue that the Democrats want to use to frame the tax debate. But all that’s for another column (or one can check out his website, www.MarionThorpe.com). What’s important is that the GOP give a platform to voices that will take on the outrageous Obama health care proposals and that will finally begin the task of setting the record straight.
Yomin Postelnik is the Publisher of www.BusinessGrowthTrends.com. His blog is href="http://www.mythdebunker.blogspot.com/">www.MythDebunker.blogspot.com. He can be contacted at href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com.