If you lump all the mad scientists that have been put on the big screen by Hollywood, you are still not going to come up with the mad, totally insane ideas of Ezekiel Emanuel.
To support my contentions, I bring to your attention an Op-Ed written in today's WSJ by Betsy McCaughey. She is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former lieutenant governor of New York state.
Is Ezekiel against doctors doing their damnedest to help the patient in front of him? You bet he is. Here's McCaughey:
Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs. Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.Does Ezekiel want to be the decider of what your healthcare will consist of, instead of you? You bet he does. McCaughey, again:
The health bills being pushed through Congress put important decisions in the hands of presidential appointees like Dr. Emanuel. They will decide what insurance plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have, and what seniors get under Medicare.Is Ezekiel tight with Obama? Oh yeah. McCaughey:
Dr. Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He clearly will play a role guiding the White House's health initiative.Is all this stuff about "savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care" just a scam propagated by Obama to get Ezekiel in as the decider? You bet is is. Ezekiel has pretty much said so himself. McCaughey:
Dr. Emanuel says that health reform will not be pain free, and that the usual recommendations for cutting medical spending (often urged by the president) are mere window dressing. As he wrote in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change."Does Ezekiel believe that doctors thinking only about their patients is a problem? Oh yeah. McCaughey:
True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors' ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the "overuse" of medical care...
In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs. He describes it as an intractable problem: "Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost. Reasoning based on cost has been strenuously resisted; it violated the Hippocratic Oath, was associated with rationing, and derided as putting a price on life. . . . Indeed, many physicians were willing to lie to get patients what they needed from insurance companies that were trying to hold down costs." (JAMA, May 16, 2007).Does Ezekiel propose designing mad equations to decide who lives and who dies? You bet he does. McCaughey:
In the Lancet, Jan. 31, 2009, Dr. Emanuel and co-authors presented a "complete lives system" for the allocation of very scarce resources, such as kidneys, vaccines, dialysis machines, intensive care beds, and others. "One maximizing strategy involves saving the most individual lives, and it has motivated policies on allocation of influenza vaccines and responses to bioterrorism. . . . Other things being equal, we should always save five lives rather than one.Does Ezekiel want to cut down on the use of new treatments? Oh yeah. McCaughey:
"However, other things are rarely equal—whether to save one 20-year-old, who might live another 60 years, if saved, or three 70-year-olds, who could only live for another 10 years each—is unclear." In fact, Dr. Emanuel makes a clear choice: "When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get changes that are attenuated.
Dr. Emanuel concedes that his plan appears to discriminate against older people, but he explains: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination. . . . Treating 65 year olds differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist; treating them differently because they have already had more life-years is not."
The youngest are also put at the back of the line: "Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. . . . As the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, 'It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old dies and worse still when an adolescent does,' this argument is supported by empirical surveys." (thelancet.com, Jan. 31, 2009
To reduce health-insurance costs, Dr. Emanuel argues that insurance companies should pay for new treatments only when the evidence demonstrates that the drug will work for most patients. He says the "major contributor" to rapid increases in health spending is "the constant introduction of new medical technologies, including new drugs, devices, and procedures. . . . With very few exceptions, both public and private insurers in the United States cover and pay for any beneficial new technology without considering its cost. . . ."Ezekiel is one sick mother fucker, who wants to mess with all of us. And the president is conning the American people to get his madness as the law of the land.
Bottom line, Ezekiel looks at the world as though there is just one lump sum of money to be divvied up for healthcare, instead of the potential for individuals to make individual choices based on individual circumstances as to how much healthcare to buy. No one decides how to divide up a lump some amount for the purchase of designer jeans, ice cream or high definition televisions. Markets for things in demand tend to expand over time. Ezekiel wants to destroy this expansion in the world of healthcare.
The rich are most often the ones that spend the most for new technologies. Once a new technology enters the market via spending by the rich, others work on improving it, prices drop dramatically, quality improves dramatically and the masses enjoy the benefits of a product that was once only designed for the very rich. I offer as proof the dramatic decline in prices and the dramatic improvement in quality of calculators, cell phones, televisions and personal computers.
I want every rich fart, with six days to live, to spend every last penny he has on on new medical technologies to keep him breathing even for an extra day. The money he spends for a few extra breaths, will eventually mean new sleek cheap products that will improve the health for the rest of us. That's what America is about, unless, of course, Ezekiel becomes America's Evil Decider. Then it's over, we will then be headed into the Dark Death Age of healthcare.