Friday, August 28, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Are Death Panels in the Health Care Bill

Liberal Ron Rosenbaum makes the case that current health insurance plans have “death panels” (or treatment rationing) and that government health care will have them too:
“Because yes, there is a ‘panel’ in the bill that will ‘evaluate’ the cost effectiveness of various expensive, minimally life-extending treatment decisions — decisions that any health-care program, public or private, may have to make. No, individuals won’t have to stand before it, but individuals will be affected — and sometimes suffer — from its decisions.”

So, what’s the big deal about treatment rationing? Is there a difference between public and private treatment rationing? Rosenbaum hints that government rationing might even be nicer.
"Would government rationing be better? It might be less greed-motivated, but maybe not."

A government health treatment program certainly would be less “greed-motivated” in terms of the patient’s voluntarily paid dollars, but would that mean better care?

Not if you look at the Oregon Health Plan. It is a government entity with no built in “greed” factor. The problem is that no profit means no encouragement to give not only the best treatment but even up-to-date treatment. Oregon Health Plan policies on cancer treatment, for example, are not just years out of date, but a decade and a half out of date. From the Eugene Register-Guard:
“Dr. David Fryefield, medical director of the Willamette Valley Cancer Center in Eugene, said Oregon Health Plan policies haven't kept up with advances in oncology.

“‘The prioritization list and the definitions and tests that are applied are 15 years old and not appropriate in today's practice of oncology,’ Fryefield said. ‘There are so many more targeted therapies that specifically target the cancer and have very few side effects.’”

What Rosenbaum forgets is the punishment factor that goads private insurers to improve but will have no effect on government run health care.

Private insurers and HMO’s need to deliver at least reasonable care or people won’t pay for their service. Who is going to pay premiums for poor care?

That’s the government plan’s problem. Since government health care gets its payment via enforced taxes and public funds rather than voluntary payments, there’s no built in incentive to give top notch care. They get paid whether the care is good, bad or indifferent.

It’s the problem with all monopolies and subsidized enterprises. They don’t have to be better because they don’t have to compete for dollars.

The desire to stay in business and make a profit means that private health care providers and insurers have to please their customers. That’s a pressure to keep up on new methods and developments in treatment and give better and better care.

The punishment factor has other dimensions. Private insurers and HMO's can be sued and can be investigated by state or federal entities. There are no such resources against government itself.

Who would you rather have working on your cancer treatment? Dr. Fryefield or the Oregon Health Plan?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ott Helps Kurtz Understand Journalists' Problems

Howard Kurtz is puzzled. Journalists have clearly told people that there are no "death panels" in the proposed health care legislation. [Shepard Smith chimed in again today on FOX News.] But, the public has not listened. Death panels are still an issue. Why is no one listening to the media?
"Perhaps journalists are no more trusted than politicians these days, or many folks never saw the knockdown stories. But this was a stunning illustration of the traditional media's impotence."

"Perhaps journalists are no more trusted than politicians these days"? Ya think?

Gallup found that only 1/4th of Americans think highly or very highly of journalists, TV reporters and newspaper reporters.

Rasmussen found that less than 1/3rd of Americans listed news reporters as their most trusted political news source for the 2008 presidential campaign.
". . . 46% of voters say they most trust information about the presidential campaign from family and friends as opposed to 32% who trust the information from news reporters more."

Scott Ott provides a concise list of why the press isn't trusted on their "death panel" pronouncements:
But people like Kurtz fail to understand that Palin does not allege that the health care reform bill contains the phrase “death panel” or that it openly advocates euthanasia. Sarah Palin’s charge has legs because:

1.) The only way to save money in a government-run health system is to ration care.

2.) The majority of health care expenditures for most people come near the end of life, and thus the elderly present the greatest opportunity for cost savings.

3.) Special-needs people, like Palin’s son Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome, also require spending — another opportunity for economizing.

4.) The government, and too many in our society, believe …

a) infants in the womb to be less worthy of protection than Michael Vick’s dogs,

b) Trig Palin’s life to be Sarah’s foolish choice, and

c) the elderly to be a burden on society.

5.) Other governments which run health care operations have a track record of delaying and denying coverage based on the limited supply of medical professionals and equipment, as well as cost-containment considerations.

6.) The end-of-life counseling language appeared in a section of a bill on cost-containment.

7.) The American people don’t trust politicians, and would rise up in unified opposition if the federal government had a plan to take over and run little league athletics, let alone health care, which does involve life and death decisions.

8.) Americans love freedom.

The reason why the “traditional” media has failed to knock down what Kurtz, et al, see as spurious “death panel” allegations is because journalists and politicians ignore the real facts and the legitimate concerns of the American people.
. . .

These are “the facts,” Mr. Kurtz. As you marvel at the mystery of how Sarah Palin has hoodwinked America, defeating politicians and pundits alike, consider the possibility that she persuades because she’s smarter than you in ways that matter most.


H/T Conservatives4Palin

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Oregon Public "Death Panel"

UPDATE: Barbara Wagner wasn't an isolated case. The Oregon Health Plan also targeted others with its "we'll pay for you to commit suicide, but not for treatment to save your life" notice. One man, Randy Stroup, fought back, and OHP finally reversed the decision and paid for cancer treatment for him.

KATU's Susan Harding: [Barbara Wagner's] doctor offered hope in this bottle the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva.

Barbara Wagner: Like my doctor said maybe this can put the lid on it and stop it.

Harding: That hope shattered with this letter from the Oregon Health Plan telling her "we were unable to approve" the cancer treatment. It will pay for comfort care including "physician aid-in-dying" better known as assisted suicide.

Wagner: I told them. You know I said, "Who do you guys think you are? You know to say that you'll pay for my dying, but you won't pay to help me possibly live longer."

Harding: We took her concerns to Dr. Som Saha, chairman of the commission that sets policy for the Oregon Health Plan. She says to say to someone "We'll pay for you to die but not pay for you to live" is cruel.

Dr. Som Saha: I don't think anyone's saying that. I don't think anyone's saying that. That's, I think, maybe an unfortunate interpretation of the letter."

. . .

Harding: Is it cheaper to pay for somebody to die than to help them live?

Saha: That is not a question that we think about. We don't think about investing our health care dollars in that way.

Harding: Yet when thinking about patients like Barbara Wagner Dr. Saha admits they must consider the state's limited dollars.

Saha: If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person's days to weeks, yet we are taking away those dollars from someone.

Dr. David Fryefield: So you look at average; you say it's just a few weeks and that's true. It's not true for everyone. Some people have incredible responses.

. . .

Wagner: If there is a chance, if there's any kind of a chance at all, can we try it instead of just saying no you're not worth it?

Hmm. No one is saying we will pay for you to die but not to live, but the Oregon Health Plan said they wouldn't pay for treatment drugs but would pay for assisted suicide drugs.

Hmm. We don't think about whether dying is cheaper than living, but we have to consider the state's limited dollars.

Inconvenient truths?

H/T The Conservative Comeback

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It’s So Hard to Be Politically Correct in the Netherlands

The Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) was trying to be even handed. It had three separate cases involving “religious” cartoons to deal with. The Dutch news site NIS reports the following:

1. A Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2006 was cleared of wrong doing under Dutch law because the cartoons were not about “all Muslims” and they didn’t “incite discrimination or violence against Muslims, according to the OM”.

2. MP Geert Wilders put the cartoons on his website and the TV show Nova showed them on television. They also were cleared because the cartoons themselves were not illegal.

3. But, the Arabic European League (AEL) published two cartoons against Jews on its website one of which was judged illegal because it “expressed the idea that Jews deliberately make up or exaggerate the Holocaust. This is illegal because it constitutes an insult to the Jews as a group.” However, the OM decided not to prosecute AEL on the condition that the AEL not publish the cartoon again.

Sure the AEL violated the law, but since the other two groups didn’t violate the law, why not let AEL off too? Talk about being Mr. Nice Guy at the OM!

Well, the AEL is not taking that lying down. Today NIS reports that AEL spokesperson Abdou Bouzerda claims that the OM’s decision not to prosecute the AEL is a politically motivated act because the OM is afraid of Muslims. (Ya think?) So, to show up the “hypocrisy” of the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office and provoke a court case, AEL has republished the cartoon.
"'Wilders is judged right and may continue to publish cartoons that one and a half billion people perceive as offensive. While we have to remove political cartoons that could be offensive to Jews', Bouzerda sneered.

"Bouzerda claims that the OM is not prosecuting the AEL out of fear of Muslims. 'The OM merely wished to prevent angry Muslim reactions if it became evident that we were being prosecuted and Wilders was not'.

"Due to this 'hypocrisy', the AEL republished its cartoon. In doing so it implicitly provokes the OM into taking the matter to court. 'Let the OM prosecute us by all means; we want a court verdict'."

You do something nice (well, maybe because you don’t want a political uproar from a very activist part of society that could get scary) to show how moderate and tolerant you are, and this is what you get.

Maybe the OM can find a way to convict all three groups and show its commitment to evenhanded prosecution if not evenhanded justice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

“Racist” Obama Joker Artist Saved by Being Super Politically Correct

A 20 year old Chicago college history major is the source for the Obama Joker image that has been slammed as racist by commentators like Philip Kennicott of The Washington Post.
Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life. It is another effort to establish what failed to jell in the debate about Obama's association with Chicago radical William Ayers and the controversy over the racially charged sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black.

Fortunately for the collegian, he is not just any old 20 year old history major. The Obama Joker image creator turns out to be Firas Alkhateeb, of Palestinian extraction, a Dennis Kucinich supporter. Oops! Hard to find racism there.

Even so the young Photoshop artist had a healthy fear of liberal dissent crushers. Mark Milian of the LA Times reports:
[Alkhateeb] initially had concerns about ...

... connecting his name with anything critical of the president
-- especially living in Chicago, where people are "very, very liberal," he said.

"After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," Alkhateeb said. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him."
[emphasis added]

Alkhateeb was not only fearful of his “very, very liberal” neighbors but even “hesitant” to talk to the LA Times.

With articles like Kennicott’s, I wonder why.

Imagine what would have happened to him in the LA Times interview had he not been Palestinian connected and a Kucinich supporter. Or what his current and future life prospects would be. Another Joe the Plumber to be forever pilloried by the press and pundits.

Whew! Saved by even bigger political correctness than Obama’s.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mark Steyn Gives a Little Instruction to NR Editors

Mark Steyn lays out some of the big picture NR's editors missed:
". . . I'm also with Mrs Palin on the substance. NR's editorial defines "death panel" too narrowly. What matters is the concept of a government "panel". Right now, if I want a hip replacement, it's between me and my doctor; the government does not have a seat at the table. The minute it does, my hip's needs are subordinate to national hip policy, which in turn is subordinate to macro budgetary considerations. For example:
"'Health trusts in Suffolk were among the first to announce that obese people would be denied hip and knee replacements on the NHS.

"'The ruling was part of an attempt to save money locally.

"The operative word here is "ruling". You know, like judges. You're accepting that the state has jurisdiction over your hip, and your knee, and your prostate and everything else. And once you accept that proposition the fellows who get to make the "ruling" are, ultimately, a death panel. Usually, they call it something nicer - literally, like Britain's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

"And finally I don't think this is any time for NR to be joining the Frumsters and deploring the halfwit vulgarity of déclassé immoderates like Palin. This is a big-stakes battle: If we cross this bridge, there's no going back. Being "moderate" is not a good strategy. It risks delivering the nation to the usual reach-across-the-aisle compromise that will get Democrats far enough across the bridge that the Big Government ratchet effect will do the rest."

An Open Letter to National Review

From an National Review editorial today:

“To conclude from these possibilities to the accusation that President Obama’s favored legislation will lead to “death panels” deciding whose life has sufficient value to be saved — let alone that Obama desires this outcome — is to leap across a logical canyon. It may well be that in a society as litigious as ours, government will err on the side of spending more rather than treating less. But that does not mean that there is nothing to worry about. Our response to Sarah Palin’s fans and her critics is to paraphrase Peter Viereck: We should be against hysteria — including hysteria about hysteria.”

Fortunately all the hysteria about those death panel provisions of the House bill caused them to be knocked out of the Senate’s version. Neither senators Hatch nor Grassley sounded particularly hysterical in their opposition to the provisions.

My friends at NR, I wonder how well you understand real world facts. Even without the “end of life” decision helps in these health care reform bills, the society is swinging against even regular sort of fixing-broken-bones care and hospice care for the elderly.

In the last couple of years friends of mine were asked if they wanted their mother to have hip surgery after she fell and fractured her hip . The doctor said the surgery would allow her better freedom of movement and make her life more comfortable for the rest of her days. She has Alzheimers and has slipped into dementia, but doesn’t have a terminal illness in the normal sense of the phrase. They were told she probably could withstand the surgery and that it would probably succeed. Without it she would probably be a bit more uncomfortable, not very mobile and probably her physical condition would decline more rapidly without it.

Imagine asking me if I fractured my hip or arm or knee if I wanted it fixed. How many of NR’s editors would keep their doctors after receiving personal medical advice like that? How many of you would choose (have chosen?) for yourselves the much less expensive no fix but almost no mobility and some pain option?

Just recently my friends' mother's condition has started to decline. They talked to the hospice people who said that under the current federal policies which are geared to cost savings her condition does not yet allow for hospice–though it did under 2008 rules. The federal government is already tightening spending on true “end of life” care. They are cutting back there too.

Neither of these examples is a “leap across a logical canyon.” They are facts. Fears that federal administrators seeking to cut costs might withhold needed care from the aged and those with less than rosy physical futures in a way leading to a quicker and more painful death is more likely than not (like happened with my state’s Oregon Health Plan).

NR’s editors don’t live in Oregon where assisted suicide is both legal and societally sanctioned. Apparently none of you think it telling that the state plan offered $50 for suicide drugs though sadly denying the $4,000 per month in treatment drugs (which the kindly drug manufacturer ended up supplying). All this was done by nice Oregon Health Plan people who were just trying to make the Oregon system cost effective. Why shouldn’t federal employees be similarly nice and similarly concerned?

I just shake my head in wonder that your judgment is so distant from real world experience–or at least the real world experience I know here in Oregon. And all of this under the current system. No major changes have yet been made.

Maybe a little healthy fear is not hysteria but is really the clear view.

As for Sarah Palin, she got provisions that might be “misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly” (Sen. Grassley) removed in a week’s time and forced the President and his surrogates to address clearly (if not accurately) the question of federal administrators deciding about health care for the elderly ("grandma") rather than patients themselves in consultation with their doctors. Has NR had any similar sort of success in either the House or Senate bills in a week or even a month? What change in the national discussion has NR clearly introduced?

Those who believe in the free market lean toward the idea that short of the word of the Lord success is the best validator of ideas and actions.

Could it be that NR’s understanding of what is and is not hysteria is a bit clouded? My experience in Oregon leads me to believe so, and Governor Palin's stunning success should lead you to examine the possibility.

UPDATE: Andy McCarthy has a terrific dissent against NR's editorial stance on the Palin/hysteria issue at NRO.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Philip Elliott Continues AP's Reporting Difficulties

Here is Associated Press writer Philip Elliott's contradictory description of leading Republican views on "death panels" in the Senate bill:
"Congress' proposals, however, seemed likely to strike end-of-life counseling sessions. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has called the session 'death panels,' a label that has drawn rebuke from her fellow Republicans as well as Democrats.

"Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, declined to criticize Palin's comments and said Obama wants to create a government-run panel to advise what types of care would be available to citizens.

"'In all honesty, I don't want a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats setting health care for my aged citizens in Utah,' Hatch said."

Huh? After asserting that Palin's label has drawn rebuke from fellow Republicans, Elliott quotes a Republican senator who not only "declined to criticize Palin's comments" but in fact said something quite similar to Palin's critique: ". . . I don't want a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats setting health care for my aged citizens in Utah . . . ."

All this in three consecutive paragraphs. Maybe Elliott doesn't read his own stuff. Just writes stream of consciousness. Certainly he doesn't follow his own logic.

But at least Elliott did back off from AP colleague Matthew Daly's contradictory assertion in similar back-to-back paragraphs that Palin's criticism of the panels had been "debunked" but the panels had still been removed from the Senate version of the bill after her criticism because they might be incorrectly "implemented". Elliott did withdraw the previous AP assertion that Palin's criticism was "debunked" and downsized it to had "drawn rebuke".

Poor AP. Its deep budget and personnel cuts continue to impact the quality of its reporting.

UPDATE: To compare AP's version with how competent reporters handle the story see the Reuters' account.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Palin: More Troubling Questions on Obama's Health Care Plan

Sarah Palin starts by noting that paid end-of-life consultations have just been stripped from the senate version of the health care bill (because of possible improper implementation). Palin goes on to raise other troubling issues with current versions of the health care bill.

1. If keeping costs down is a major goal, rationing of health care is inevitable.

2. Since the public option is intended to compete with private insurers, how is it possible to say that if you like your current plan the public option won’t be a competitor forcing your current plan to either change or go out of business?

3. Since 80% of all health care costs are paid for end of life treatment, how can significant cuts be made without limiting health services to the elderly?

4. The Congressional Budget Office reports that “this health care legislation would increase spending at an unsustainable rate.”

Governor Palin quotes Arthur Laffer on ways to keep current quality and availability of U.S. health care but bring costs down:

1. have individual ownership of insurance policies

2. promote a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged health savings account

3. allow people to purchase insurance policies across state lines

4. reallocate most Medicaid spending into a simple voucher so that low-income people can purchase their own insurance

5. reduce the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws

Palin sums up:
Those are real reforms that we can live with and afford. Once again, I warn my fellow Americans that if we go down the path of nationalized health care, there will be no turning back. We must stop and think or we may find ourselves losing even more of our freedoms.

Here’s Governor Palin’s full statement with reference notes:
I join millions of Americans in expressing appreciation for the Senate Finance Committee’s decision to remove the provision in the pending health care bill that authorizes end-of-life consultations (Section 1233 of HR 3200). It’s gratifying that the voice of the people is getting through to Congress; however, that provision was not the only disturbing detail in this legislation; it was just one of the more obvious ones.

As I noted in my statement last week, nationalized health care inevitably leads to rationing. There is simply no way to cover everyone and hold down the costs at the same time. The rationing system proposed by one of President Obama’s key health care advisors is particularly disturbing. I’m speaking of the “Complete Lives System” advocated by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the president’s chief of staff. President Obama has not yet stated any opposition to the “Complete Lives System,” a system which, if enacted, would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential. [1] Why the silence from the president on this aspect of his nationalization of health care? Does he agree with the “Complete Lives System”? If not, then why is Dr. Emanuel his policy advisor? What is he advising the president on? I just learned that Dr. Emanuel is now distancing himself from his own work and claiming that his “thinking has evolved” on the question of rationing care to benefit the strong and deny the weak. [2] How convenient that he disavowed his own work only after the nature of his scholarship was revealed to the public at large.

The president is busy assuring us that we can keep our private insurance plans, but common sense (and basic economics) tells us otherwise. The public option in the Democratic health care plan will crowd out private insurers, and that’s what it’s intended to do. A single payer health care plan has been President Obama’s agenda all along, though he is now claiming otherwise. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what he said back in 2003:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan.... A single payer health care plan – universal health care plan – that’s what I would like to see.” [3]

A single-payer health care plan might be what Obama would like to see, but is it what the rest of us would like to see? What does a single payer health care plan look like? We need look no further than other countries who have adopted such a plan. The picture isn’t pretty. [4] The only way they can control costs is to ration care. As I noted in my earlier statement quoting Thomas Sowell, government run health care won’t reduce the price of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay the price. The expensive innovative procedures that people from all over the world come to the United States for will not be available under a government plan that seeks to cover everyone by capping costs.

Our senior citizens are right to be wary of this health care bill. Medical care at the end of life accounts for 80 percent of all health care. When care is rationed, that is naturally where the cuts will be felt first. The “end-of-life” consultations authorized in Section 1233 of HR 3200 were an obvious and heavy handed attempt at pressuring people to reduce the financial burden on the system by minimizing their own care. Worst still, it actually provided a financial incentive to doctors to initiate these consultations. People are right to point out that such a provision doesn’t sound “purely voluntary.”

In an article I noted yesterday, Charles Lane wrote:

“Ideally, the delicate decisions about how to manage life’s end would be made in a setting that is neutral in both appearance and fact. Yes, it’s good to have a doctor’s perspective. But Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it. Indeed, the measure would have an interested party -- the government -- recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.” [5]

I agree. Last year, I issued a proclamation for “Healthcare Decisions Day.” [6] The proclamation sought to increase the public’s knowledge about creating living wills and establishing powers of attorney. There was no incentive to choose one option over another. There was certainly no financial incentive for physicians to push anything. In fact, the proclamation explicitly called on medical professionals and lawyers “to volunteer their time and efforts” to provide information to the public.

Comparing the “Healthcare Decisions Day” proclamation to Section 1233 of HR 3200 is ridiculous. The two are like apples and oranges. The attempt to link the two shows how desperate the proponents of nationalized health care are to shift the debate away from the disturbing details of their bill.

There is one aspect of this bill which I have not addressed yet, but it’s a very obvious one. It’s the simple fact that we can’t afford it. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Doug Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He told the Senate Budget Committee last month:

“In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.” [7]

Dr. Elmendorf went on to note that this health care legislation would increase spending at an unsustainable rate.

Our nation is already $11.5 trillion in debt. Where will the money come from? Taxes, of course. And will a burdensome new tax help our economy recover? Of course not. The best way to encourage more health care coverage is to foster a strong economy where people can afford to purchase their own coverage if they choose to do so. The current administration’s economic policies have done nothing to help in this regard.

Health care is without a doubt a complex and contentious issue, but health care reform should be a market oriented solution. There are many ways we can reform the system and lower costs without nationalizing it.

The economist Arthur Laffer has taken the lead in pushing for a patient-center health care reform policy. He noted in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month:

“A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws.” [8]

Those are real reforms that we can live with and afford. Once again, I warn my fellow Americans that if we go down the path of nationalized health care, there will be no turning back. We must stop and think or we may find ourselves losing even more of our freedoms.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See
[2] See
[4] See
[5] See
[6] See
[7] See
[8] See

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AP's Matthew Daly Debunks Himself

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly debunks himself in an article released today. Daly claims Sarah Palin's criticism of "death panels" in the health reform bill was "debunked". But strangely, the debunked criticism was so powerful that it caused the offending part of the senate bill to be removed to avoid being "implemented incorrectly".

"Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin refused to retreat from her debunked claim that a proposed health care overhaul would create 'death panels,' as the growing furor over end-of-life consultations forced a key group of senators to abandon the idea in their bill.

"Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, one of six lawmakers negotiating on a Senate bill, said Thursday they had dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration 'entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.'"

The end-of-life provisions were stripped from the bill precisely because they could be implemented "incorrectly". That sounds like verification that the bill's provisions were highly problematic and affirm Palin's claim rather than debunking it.

Apparently Daly has trouble following the logic of the facts he reports.

But U.S. News and World Report's Peter Roff got the connection.
"In what can fairly be described as an admission that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin knew what she was talking about, the Senate Finance Committee Thursday dropped language from its bipartisan healthcare reform package that Palin and others had suggested would eventually lead to mandated end-of-life counseling sessions for seniors."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Obama: "Shut up" Wins Out Over "Argue"

First there was "argue" and "get in their face":

Now there is "just get out of the way" and "don't do a lot of talking".

President Obama wasn't clear about who it is that created the mess and therefore should get out of the way and not do a lot of talking. Members of Congress? Voters? Who else "created the mess" and is now out there talking?

Andrew Klavan puts "shut up" in perspective:

Saturday, August 08, 2009

$12.1 Trillion Debt Is Not Enough

$12.1 trillion of US debt is not enough. Not for the long term. Not even for the short term--say the next three months.

Reuters reports that U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has asked Congress to raise the $12.1 trillion debt limit which was increased by Congress earlier this year. But that raise was not enough.
"Treasury officials earlier this week said that the debt limit, last raised in February when the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation was passed, would be hit sometime in the October-December quarter. Geithner's letter said the breach could be two weeks into that period, just as the 2010 fiscal year is getting underway.

"The latest request comes as the Treasury is ramping up borrowing to unprecedented levels to fund stimulus and financial bailout programs and cope with a deep recession that has devastated tax revenues.

"It is expected to issue net new debt of as much as $2 trillion in the 2009 fiscal year ended September 30 and up to $1.6 trillion in the 2010 fiscal year, according to bond dealer forecasts."

60 Plus Association Stands Up for Seniors

Now that AARP has put itself on the side of reducing medical care for seniors, another organization has stepped up to defend seniors and quality medical care.

Amanda Carpenter of The Washington Times reports:
60 Plus, the conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons, will begin airing a national ad on cable networks Friday evening that applauds seniors for surviving the Great Depression and World War II and warns Congress against making cuts to Medicare to pay for health care reform.

"Congress plans to pay for health care reform by cutting $500 billion from Medicare,” the narrator in the ad cautions. “For seniors that will mean long waits for care, cuts to MRI’s, CAT scans and other vital tests. Seniors may lose their own doctors. The government, not doctors will decide if older patients are worth the costs."

The group is spending $1.6 million to put the spot [on the air].

You can sign up or make a contribution at: