By Seth Richardson
In 1984, Democrat Governor Dick Lamm made his Orwellian “we have a duty to die” comment. His actual statement was “We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.”
Lamm’s philosophy has been resurrected today in the Obamacare debate. There is substantial truth in the claim that Obamacare will at the very least create de facto, if not de jure “death panels.” This is because any socialized medical care system must perforce ration medical care, because with government-controlled and funded medical care there is simply never enough to go around at any sort of reasonable cost to the economy.
The calculus of who lives and who dies is a cruel one, because the non-productive always, inevitably, lose out. Under Obamacare this will occur through expedients of government-run medical panels recommending things like “women under 40 don’t need mammograms” and other policy-enabling medical decisions by Progressive lap-dog government experts about what comprises “reasonable and necessary” medical care. These decisions will, and indeed are right now being made by Progressive government lackeys in the Obama administration.
If some government-run medical panel says that regular colonoscopies for men aren’t “medically necessary” until men reach age 65, rather than the current recommendation that men over 50 get them, this medical recommendation will become public policy for government-run health care, including Medicare and Medicaid…and Obamacare. And since the ultimate goal of Obamacare, as stated by Obama himself before the election, is transition to a single-payer, government-run, mandatory, socialized universal health care that, like Canada’s did, prohibits private practitioners from providing out-of-network care to those who can afford it, public policy will dictate who gets and does not get “medically necessary” health care.
And what happens if you delay such medical screening for another 15 years? More men will die of colon cancer that was not detected early enough, which, like the recent guidance on mammograms, is the actual cost-cutting goal. This is what makes government-run medical recommendation panels into Obama Death Panels. They don’t decide on a case-by-case basis. Grandma will not have to stand before them and plead for her life. Instead, as faceless, inaccessible government bureaucrats, they will set broad government policy about the provision of medical services that are deemed to be “medically necessary” and they will allow people to die wholesale because diagnosis and treatment are delayed beyond the point of no return. And as faceless Progressive bureaucrats looking at balance sheets, they will never have to see the effects of their handiwork.
In Socialism, like Progressivism, because the individual and his rights are devalued and the system places greater value on the collective will and good, each person is necessarily forced into involuntary servitude to the State and is compelled to produce according to his ability. This system prohibits suicide because the individual is but a tool of the collective, and the tool must not be allowed to dull its own edge or impair its own usefulness to the needs of the collective. On the other hand, Socialism has no problem with destroying damaged tools once they have outlived their usefulness. This is why all socialized health care systems in existence ration medical care to the elderly, either overtly or covertly.
Socialists and Progressives use a cruel calculation of one’s economic value to the collective, based in how much work can be extracted. When the costs of supporting the worker unit exceed the costs of keeping it alive, they cuts their losses and find a way to dispose of the useless trash. How quickly or brutally slowly this happens depends on how close to full State Socialism the particular culture is. Under Stalinism, where data was kept on individual worker production, and when an individual worker’s productivity fell beneath an established standard, no mercy was shown and they were shipped off to the Gulags of Siberia to work on projects like the Road of Bones until they died, whereupon their corpses were buried where they fell.
Under Democratic Socialism such as the UK, France, or Canada, it’s more subtle, and the State allows the person to die slowly, and sometimes painfully, by reluctantly denying life-saving medical treatments on the excuse that it’s too expensive for society to provide, while simultaneously denying the sick the right to pay for their own medical care because that would be unfair to the other slaves. Government then laments their loss and exhorts the rest of its slaves to work harder, so that even more of the gross national product of the nation can be sucked down the socialized medicine toilet that still lines them up to wait for days, weeks or years for the inadequate treatment they might or might not receive.
That is precisely where we are headed under Progressivism and Obamacare.
No person should ever surrender themselves to involuntary servitude, and while death is the ultimate expression of liberty, as Patrick Henry said, it’s not for the government to decide when one must die. Nor should anyone submit to government murder through bureaucratic regulation or an infringement of the individual right to obtain the very best health care one can afford merely because the government deems your ability to obtain it to be unfair to others.
Don’t think for a moment that Barak Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their minions are not making these calculations right now, however abstractly or covertly, because they are, and if they succeed, you too will one day exceed the cost/benefit calculus, and the bell will toll for you, whether you’re ready or not.
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