The first paragraph is an incredible example of audacity and cluelessness:
The stubborn yet false rumor that President Obama’s health care proposals would create government-sponsored “death panels” to decide which patients were worthy of living seemed to arise from nowhere in recent weeks.Duh! Out of nowhere?
NYT Magazine just weeks ago ran an article by Peter Singer,Why We Must Ration Health Care.
In that article, Singer wrote
Governments implicitly place a dollar value on a human life when they decide how much is to be spent on health care programs and how much on other public goods that are not directed toward saving lives. The task of health care bureaucrats is then to get the best value for the resources they have been allocated. It is the familiar comparative exercise of getting the most bang for your buck... As a first take, we might say that the good achieved by health care is the number of lives saved. But that is too crude. The death of a teenager is a greater tragedy than the death of an 85-year-old, and this should be reflected in our priorities. We can accommodate that difference by calculating the number of life-years saved, rather than simply the number of lives saved. If a teenager can be expected to live another 70 years, saving her life counts as a gain of 70 life-years, whereas if a person of 85 can be expected to live another 5 years,then saving the 85-year-old will count as a gain of only 5 life-years. That suggests that saving one teenager is equivalent to saving 14 85-year-oldsSounds to me like he wants a Death Panel.
Now, it is not clear how much direct input Singer had into the writing of the healthcare bill. Who actually wrote it and who had input seems to be something of a state secret. But, Singer thinking is all over the bill. Read Singer's scary article and compare it with the bill. Does NYT not see a connection?
Thus, is it any wonder that talk of death panels surfaces when the bill prohibits hospital re-admissions in some cases, there is a restriction on enrollment by special needs people into programs, the government mandates advanced care planning consultants, and the government provides an approved list of end of life resources?
Laughably, NYT points to the editorial board of The Washington Times and the American Spectator magazine as early promoters of the Death Panel notion.
No way, baby. The Death Panel talk started because of two documents, the New York Times Magazine article written by wannabe death decider Peter Singer and a Healthcare Bill that appears to not in any way stop death deciders from entering the picture--and, in fact, reading through the legalese appears to encourage them.