Free Markets, Free People


Dems to Seniors: Drop Dead

And you can take that title literally, too.  Because that is where we are headed with the health care bill before Congress. As Erick Erickson points out:

I think, given that the member of Congress who drafted H.R. 3200 read and take seriously people like Klien, Yglesias, and Singer, we should be very troubled by Section 1233 of H.R. 3200. The section, titled “Advanced Care Planning Consultation” requires senior citizens to meet at least every 5 years with a doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss dying with dignity.

The section requires that they talk to their doctor, not a lawyer, about living wills, durable healthcare powers of attorney, hospice, etc. Given the progressive intelligentsia already being on the record in favor of euthanizing the elderly, it is no small leap to see where the Democrats are headed with this.

Legally forcing senior citizens to have “death with dignity schedules every few years is just another way to say the government wants to make sure seniors know it is time to commit suicide to save the system money.

If you can’t see this, then you’re just being intentionally obtuse.    Forget all the kind rhetoric about “dignity”.  Let’s call it what it is: Geriatric Euthanasia.  And let’s be very clear about why we want the old people to die:  We’ve sucked all the economic productivity we’re going to get out of them, and it’s more convenient to kill them than it is to assume the financial burden of their care.   You can pretty it up with all the flowery language you want, but at the end of the day, it comes down to, “You cost too much to keep alive. Just die.”

Frankly, it’d be far more honest just to have a “caretaker” just show up at the appropriate age, and double-tap the senior at the nape of the neck.  At least that would have the virtue of honesty, and would spare everyone the hypocritical stench of pretending to care about the “dignity” of the elderly when the real concern is to try to ensure they don’t become a drain on the public purse.

So forget any notion you have about producing wealth your whole life to save up for your golden years.  The new paradigm is to produce all the wealth you can, and when you’re done, you need to die so that those of us who remain can spend it instead.

And why should this come as a surprise?  This is the direction we’ve been going for a long time.  And it is, in fact, the logical end of the idea that health care is a “right”.  Because once the community as a whole has a “right” to the labor, property, or wealth of any individual member, then there are no rights at all.  There are only privileges that are extended at the wish of the community, and that can be withdrawn at will.

There is no liberty under any scheme of communal “rights”.  The highest value of community rights isn’t freedom, it’s democracy.  Whatever the “community” chooses is, by definition legitimate, as long as it’s democratically chosen.  No medical care for old people?  That’s fine, as long as the community decrees it.  The trouble is that democracy is value-neutral.  It is amoral.  if democracy is the highest expression of legitimacy, then it’s perfectly alright for black people to be slaves, as long as the majority thinks it’s OK.  Black people would vote against it, of course, but if they ended up in the minority, well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  Sorry, black people.  You lose.  By the way, your name is now “Toby”.

Thanks for participating in the democratic process, Toby.  Now get to work.

We see the same thing in the Honduran situation.  Mel Zelaya was elected president.  Therefore he’s legitimate, so it’s a very, very bad thing to depose him, even if he acts unconstitutionally.  Because we’ve fetishized democracy, the Obama Administration and the OAS, assume that deposing him is a way of illegitimately thwarting the people’s will, rather than preserving a legitimate constitutional order.

That kind of thinking forgets that democracy is not a value.  It is a process that is only legitimate insofar as it is animated by constitutional order that values human liberty.  Without that, it is merely a form of tyranny, different only in process, rather than kind, as compared to the tryanny of a single individual.

For the most part, we’ve abandoned the idea of individual liberty as the primary American value among the political class.  So, we see nothing wrong with counseling senior to “die with dignity”.  It’s better for everyone, really, except, perhaps in the proximate case of the individual senior.

We’re now seeing the fruits of collectivism starting to bloom fully in this country.  The country I was born in is gone.  But I’m glad I got to see it before it died.

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38 Responses to Dems to Seniors: Drop Dead

  • Damn you Dale!  Just damn you.  How dare you coast in and out of here and drop bombs like this???  Bombs that make me think.  Bombs that make me hurt.  That make me question… and worst of all (like a kangaroo hopping along…) make me see the very near future with a clarity I would rather not have…

  • This is also part of the dehumanization process that began with Roe vs. Wade.

  • Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs are going to sky rocket in coming years.  Right now we have a perverse health care ideal that says if the body can be somehow kept alive, even there is no chance of a quality life, or at best a few more years in bed in a nursing home, massive amounts of money are spent just to keep the body pumping blood and breathing.  It’s dehumanizing and demeaning to people who have lived active and vital lives.  Many elderly already choose not to have heroic efforts made just to extend the life of their body if the quality of life will be gone.   Many already choose hospice care.  My father, while not elderly, died at age 60 of pancreas cancer.   He choose not to undergo aggressive treatment with virtually no chance of success, he went with hospice care and died happily at home.
    Given the tremendous economic hardship this country is facing (again, look at budget projections), and the massive debt we’ve incurred, both public and private, we are giving the next generation a huge problem, saying “well, we partied, now you pay.”   I think they have every right to respond by saying “OK, but we’re not going to go broke giving 80 year olds expensive surgeries they don’t absolutely need, or not rationing health care.”   The reality of the debt and its inevitable impact in coming years (and I think Obama will regret the stimulus and bailouts) means we face an entirely new world of political dilemmas and interests.   The 20th century is gone, those memes (e.g.,  capitalism vs. socialism) are fading fast.  The crisis we’re facing now is huge.

    • If it is an individual’s own personal choice made without coersion, then that is their business. But how can you, or any other liberal, argue with a straight face that it is acceptable to mandate that government (which as the provider and the patron has a clear conflict of interest) interfere in the process. At its most benign, it is goading the individual towards acceptance of euthenasia through constant reminder of its viability as an option.

      At one point, liberalism was supposed to be the moralizing force in politics. They may currently have a firm grasp on power in this country at the expense of the conservatives, but there is no doubt that they have fallen equally as far from their underlying principles, whether that be rationalizations for dictators or promotion of thinly-veiled eugenical policies.

    • Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs are going to sky rocket in coming years.

      And the present administration’s answer for this is to expand government-funded medical coverage, and slowly make the government plan the only available option.  For me, the problem with the idea of planning for an early “retirement” (if I may be so morbid) is that it’s not even part of a program that would otherwise fulfill its intended role.  The bill currently being considered will not cover everyone.  And if it’s run the way every other government program is run, it will be wasteful, inefficient, and grow out of control in due time.  And we don’t even have the money to pay for it in the event that it worked as envisioned!

      By all means, blame Reagan and Bush and Republican-run congresses for the enormous debt if you must, but don’t use it as a means to dismiss the catastrophic mess that the present administration is pushing us into.

    • Erb-

      It is NOT their place to make those choices (or at least it shouldn’t be)

      You gonna be so sanguine when it’s your parents or grandparents turn to go into the suicide booth because it’s too expensive? How about when it’s YOUR turn? You gonna happily skip into the death chamber because we decided you’re not worth keeping alive? (BTW, you’re not, but we’re doing hypotheticals here) How about your kids? Maybe they get hurt or sick, how about we decide it is time for them to die?

      You. Fricking. Ghoul.

    • The clown!  Yeah clown, my dad died of the same thing, and so did my grandfather.  My grandfather made it to 60 and I’m sure the choices in 1945 for this were rather limited.  My dad WAS treated and he added another 7 years to his life.   Ultimately on discovery of a spot on his lung he chose no more treatment and died with a dignity I hope I can manage 1/10 of at age 77.  That was 12 years ago.
      Now the difference here that would be obvious to a 10 year old is the people most intimately involved in this made their OWN choices about how to deal with their demise, and it was done between themselves, their families, and the medical community they were involved with, and the F@#$ING GOVERNMENT DIDN”T MAKE IT FOR THEM.
      You are such a pompus ASS it’s just absolutely beyond comprehension.    I have no particular desire to linger on in my old age past a decent quality of life, then again I don’t think I should be a god damned copper top battery providing power to the frigging progressive matrix until I’m totally drained dry either.
      It shocks me, no, strike that, horrifies me that in the eyes of our current government my later years of expected income tax contributing productivity have gone beyond 65 where my grandparents and parents went into retirement into my 70′s and now without a by-your-leave they’re suggesting that when my cost benefit ratio has tipped over to the point where I don’t keep them in tax funding I need to be forced to make my exit in some method THEY will allege is graceful.  And I”m even willing to pay for my OWN medical coverage and not asking THEM to pay for it!
      Meanwhile,grant me patience with fools and liars oh Lord, I’m supposed to provide medical coverage, schooling, housing and  services for people who aren’t even LEGAL FREAKING CITIZENS and I’m supposed to just keep holding the door open for them, so that more and more of them show up.
       

  • It’s not your bloody choice you make, you arrogant git!  Who the hell do you think you are?

  • shorter erb: “yeah, medicare and medicaid went broke just like those ignorant reactionary republicans who fought their creation said they would. but that means we get to call it a crisis now! there are hams to be bought! so all you old people who stupidly took  us at our word when we started this scam, just piss off and die, m’kay?”

    wonder if he’ll be saying that in 25 or 30 years, when *he’s* the guy who’s sick and is supposed to crawl off somewhere and die to help the rest of us out. or will it somehow be different then?

  • Very, very depressing, Dale.  And I agree with every darn bit of it.  And like “me again” in comment #1, it forces you to think about what we have become.  Ugh!

  • Scott Erb does not really exist.  The posts  attributed to him are penned by one of the regulars to stimulate reaction.  No one could actually be as obtuse and antagonistic toward freedom.  He cannot be real.

  • No one could actually be as obtuse and antagonistic toward freedom.  He cannot be real.

    Off course he can or should I say “Yes he can”. When I worked in Santa Clara, a lot of my liberal coworkers said exactly the same rote beliefs.  I could never talk to them about politics unless I wanted to smash someone in the face :)

  • Rather than having Seniors conduct a death with dignity review we should require them to read the collective postings of Scott Erb.

    That’ll kill ‘em quick enough.

  • Obama seems to be doing his best to euthanize the Democratic Party.
    Brooks seem to agree today in the NYT (no link provided).

  • We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  • With the economy in the crapper, its every seniors duty to submit themselves to the AARP sponsored center of loving recycling and be turned into soylent green to feed the masses.
    GH

  • I’m not going along with anything that my Congress critter has exempted himself from. It’s not good enough for him, and it’s not good enough for me.

  • …and where is AARP on this ??

  • It seems to me that there’s a good political cartoon in all of this, though perhaps it might only make sense to us old fogeys who remember the ’70s:
    The Annointed One and SanFran Nan as “sandmen” from the movie Logan’s Run, chasing a pack of terrified seniors.  Their laser guns are labeled “Cost Savings”, and they’re shouting that they only want to discuss “death with dignity”.
    Mal GustoNo one could actually be as obtuse and antagonistic toward freedom.

    Listen to our president’s speeches.  Listen to the speeches and remarks of many (if not most) of the members of Congress.  The country is chock-full of people who are antagonistic toward freedom.  They would indignantly deny this, of course, and even be “honest” when they do so in the sense that they are not deliberately lying; they actually believe that they love freedom as much as anybody.  The problem is that there is an insoluble conflict between freedom and the needs of society.  Since we’ve all sort of agreed that Peter must pay for Paul’s “rights”, then it follows that Peter has a say on how far Paul’s rights go.  If Peter can’t or won’t pay for everything that Paul wants, then Paul is SOL.  It’s not that Peter is antagonistic to Paul’s freedoms per se; rather, it’s that Peter has a reasonable right to demand that Paul doesn’t waste Peter’s money by making poor lifestyle choices (like living too long, apparently).

    In all fairness to libs, they don’t really want Peter to have any say in what Paul’s rights are; this would somehow be unfair (and probably racist / homophobic / mean to children).  However, since we live in a democracy, they know that they’ve got to try to win Peter’s vote, or at the very least keep him from becoming so angry over being robbed that he’ll vote for the other guy (this is what happened in the early ’90s when too many Peters, seeing that Slick Willie and the Hilldabeast were getting ready to pick their pockets for Hillarycare, voted in the GOP majority in ’94).  So, they throw a few bones to Peter with claims of “cost savings” and “efficiency” and “eliminating waste” in an effort to convince him that the money they steal from him will be well-spent.  The biggest bone is that Peter won’t have to pay for Paul forever; when Paul gets to be too old or it’s otherwise not “cost effective” to keep him alive, Peter will get to tell him (literally) to drop dead.

    I’m not real sure that Peter especially wants that, and I’m pretty sure Paul ain’t happy about it, either.  That’s why the dems are in such a rush to get this through before Peter and Paul get together and decide that neither one of them wants it, and frankly have no use for the sort of thieving ghouls who would suggest such a monstrosity in the first place.

    • sandmen…chasing a pack of terrified seniors

      That is a great visual — excellent idea for a cartoon

  • I’m still shocked. But now I’m also angry.

    Ted Kennedy, YOU be the 1st to die “with dignity” under this plan. No expensive brain-tumor treatments for you.

  • And let’s be very clear about why we want the old people to die:  We’ve sucked all the economic productivity we’re going to get out of them, and it’s more convenient to kill them than it is to assume the financial burden of their care.

    i.e. The pigs are walking on their hind legs.
    I do not like being thought of as chattel.  No sir, don’t like it at all.

  • You forget, we have a living Constitution, and the founders never anticipated the dire financial situation we find ourselves in. Obviously the ‘right to life’, like free speech, is subject to limitations.

  • Looker –

    “a god damned copper top battery providing power to the frigging progressive matrix”

    Nice.

  • Everyone talks about seniors but there is another group that will be vastly affected as well.

    Infants

    Think along the lines of infants born handicapped, with down syndrome, etc.
    Infants born with birth defects, heart defects, born deaf, etc.
    Infants born with issues due to stupidity of their parents, ie Crack babies, or babies addicted to other drugs.

    The govt run medical board decides that it isnt worth spending x dollars to help baby Y live after being born with an issue. Therefore the baby is denied care and dies. Thereby reducing what could be a lifeong expense on society by a child that may have issues all their live. The more serious the issue the child is born with the less chance the baby will recieve lifesaving treatment.

    Look for infant mortality rates to skyrocket through denial of care. Parents will be told “Sorry nothing we can do, your baby is going to die.”
    Some of them will fight but some will just not have the resources or knowledge to fight to try to overturn the decision.

  • Thanks.  Too bad that there’s a creepy reality behind the satirical humor of the potential cartoon.

  • Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs are going to sky rocket in coming years.”

    Funny, just four short years ago when the Bush Administration made this very point, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and the rest of the lying idiots on the left said that there was no Social Security or Medicare crisis.  Which is it?

    “Right now we have a perverse health care ideal that says if the body can be somehow kept alive, even there is no chance of a quality life, or at best a few more years in bed in a nursing home, massive amounts of money are spent just to keep the body pumping blood and breathing.  It’s dehumanizing and demeaning to people who have lived active and vital lives.”

    Sometimes I wonder if Erb is really a conservative who wants to lampoon liberalism.  This is the most obtuse and arrogant statement you have ever made; and that is saying something.  As has been repeatedly stated here and elsewhere, neither Erb nor Obama nor Nancy Pelosi nor any nameless, faceless bureaucrat has the right to determine the “quality” of anyone else’s life.  If I or Dale or McQ or anyone else want to pay for chemotherapy or a hip replacement when we are 95 years old, even for one more year of life, that is our decision to make not yours.  Erb, you don’t pay for my health care.  I do.  Butt out.  End of life care is a matter to be determined by each individual. 

    That is a simple point but the fact that Erb, Obama and the rest consistently refuse to respond to it shows how dishonest they are.  The fact that the government should have some say regarding the quantity and quality of health care that it pays for is precisely the reason why government should not provide health care for anyone other than the truly indigent.  The fact that the government wants to ration car should be one of the disincentives to being on the dole.  The overwhelming majority of Americans are satisfied with the quality of their health care.  The cost is the problem.  The 47 million figure from the Census Bureau survey has been so thoroughly debunked that there is no need to go back into it.

    It is also laughable when liberals respond to the rationing criticism by saying that insurance companies already ration care.  This flies in the face of the number one liberal criticism which is that we spend too much on health care for unnecessary procedures.  Which is it?  Are insurance companies rationing care or are they paying for too much care?  The liberal proposal is to have the government ration care even more than the insurance companies.  It is kind of like liberals, after complaining for eight years about deficits that were 2-3% of GDP, electing this ignoramus for a president who has now given us deficits of 14% of GDP.  Let’s replace insurance company “rationing” with a monopoly HMO run by the federal government that will ration care ten times more than it is rationed now.  I would much rather go up against an insurance company trying to deny coverage than the federal government.

  • Great idea, shark, except that hideous ghoul looks like he died ten years ago and is currently animated by some kind of body-invading demon.  And as far as DIGNITY goes, that fat red-faced drunk lost THAT about fifty years ago.

  • How stupid do the morons who put BO in office have to be to see that he has no ideas palatable to the American public.  He has no substance and never has.  What has he done to qualify him to be President of the US?  NOTHING!  What life experience has he had to learn the things we need help on?  Good ideas, he has NONE!  Never had NONE!  Won’t get NONE!  Doesn’t want NONE!  HE IS A FOOL! We need to get him out of there before he ruins everything and I mean everything!
    He is not vested in America and doesn’t want to be, he is not interested in fixing America only in tearing it down.  I only hope that the misled voters can get him out soon enough.  We didn’t and haven’t had much to pick from in the last few years but he is the greater of two evils and now he has power.  God save us from people who have no ability to discern good form bad and ability from charisma.  The change they voted for is biting us all in the ass.  Just tell them not to vote next time!
     

  • I’ll tell ya why medicare  is going broke. I had a bump on my lip a couple years ago, and went to a Dr . to have it removed. He wouldn’t do it, he sent me to a plastic surgeon who had me go to the hospital and had me in the operating room, put under while he removed it. It only cost medicare $6000.00 for this little escapade. 50 years ago I could have found a vet to do it for 25 bucks.

  • All terrific stuff except that it’s not true. Even the Republicans who most want it to be true have to stretch the language to fit their ideology: i.e Boehner: “”Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration’ and other end of life treatments,’” the pair say. PLEASE notice the word “encourages,” not “makes mandatory.” All this provision does is to FUND information and counseling on end of life care if desired by the PATIENT, not the Democrats or anybody else in Congress.

  • 50 years ago $25 WAS $6,000

  • 29 posts, so far and it’s not until that 28th one that there is any focus on what the “Discussion Draft” actually says; instead, the twisted mis-statement from FL Rep. Ginny Browne-Waite receives a thunderous: echo, echo, echo, ditto, echo, echo, ditto, ditto, ditto….
    If there’s something else about this matter in this or some more current version of the subject discussion draft, please point me to it. But I think this is all there is: Here! Read Section 1235 (so you can verify it for yourself, first I’ll provide the 9 steps along the path to the actual language in that section):
    1. http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090630/healthcarereform_sectionsummary.pdf
    2. House Tri-Committee Health Reform Discussion Draft
    Section-by-Section Analysis
    June 30, 2009
    3. DIVISION B MEDICARE AND MEDICAID IMPROVEMENTS
    4. TITLE I – IMPROVING HEALTH CARE VALUE
    5. Part 3 OTHER PROVISIONS
    6. Subtitle D Medicare and Advantage Reforms
    7. PART 3 – TREATMENT OF SPECIAL NEEDS INDIVIDUALS; MEDICAID INTEGRATION
    8. Title II – Medicare Beneficiary Improvements
    9. Subtitle C Miscellaneous Improvements
    Sec. 1235. – Consultation and information regarding end-of-life planning. Provides coverage for consultation between enrollee and practitioners to discuss orders for life-sustaining treatment. Instructs CMS to modify Medicare & You handbook to incorporate information on end-of-life planning resources.

    It does not say, as advertised, “Seniors: Drop Dead;” if you believed that’s what it said, next time, perhaps you’ll verify for yourself before you accept and react again to the words of whoever it was that told you that “Democrats say: Seniors: Drop Dead.” If you’re angrily decrying “liberal-obtuse-progressive intelligentsia-Ghoul-arrogance-more-convenient-to-kill-them” so badly that “I-want-to-smash-someone-in-the-face,” chill out! take a breath! We’ve been living our way into this crisis together for at least a half a century and we’re going to have to make some changes. Is your anger focusing your understanding or is it disrupting your analytical powers? Simply put, we can no longer afford to ignore the fact that a very large fraction of American health care dollars are spent on end-of-life care.

    Death is a natural part of life. Throughout human history, there is a clear and continuous connection between spirit and death. The social fray witnessed through most of these other 28 fearful posts bear witness to the impoverishment of our existing social norms in this regard. It is likely that, in general, we have too little information upon which to thoughtfully contemplate the end of each of our lives. Allow me, please, to “encourage” (the actual word in the draft) the value of being accurately informed and forming a thoughtful that is not mangled by fear and/or anger.

    What I read in section 1235 appears very pertinent to this discussion draft and to be a wise step in the correct direction of the changes we’re going to have to consider making.

  • is it possible to alter the last sentence in the second to last paragraph:
    “…forming a thoughtful response that is not mangled by fear and/or anger.”

    thanks

  • If anyone is not yet convinced that the so-called “Health Reform Bill” (a better, more accurate name is the “Murder by Bureaucrat Denials” bill), check out all the “OMFG!” provisions that are in the bill <a href=”http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/whats-in-healthacre-bill.html”>here</a>.

    • Robert,

      The topic of this page is end of life provisions in the draft legislation and, as far as I can tell, that’s section 1235 (as noted in post #30). There’s nothing in that section about condemning anyone either to live or to die against their wishes. Once again, if I’m wrong, someone please show me otherwise.

      Where are you reading “Murder by Bureaucrat Denials” that’s any different than what we already have from insurance companies? Following your address provided for the EconomicPolicyJournal, I checked through the post by Robert Wenzel (is that you, Robert?) which, thankfully, provides a link that does indeed seem to link to some version of “the full health care bill that sits in the House.” I don’t see anything in there that can be taken or even be twisted to be taken to empower bureaucrats or nurses or doctors or anybody else to make life or death decisions opposed to the choices made by any particular patient. If I’m wrong, will you please point me to that place in the legislation?

      Once again, it is worth examining the possibility that better information and understanding will lessen the very large fraction of the American health care budget that is directed to end of life care. Unjustifiably leveling charges of “murder by bureaucrats” is not helpful.

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