Call it what you want but there will be death panels

In a bit of political comedy, the Obama administration is freaking out over a New York Times report that ObamaCare will include compensating doctors for end of life consultations with their patients. This was originally in ObamaCare, but was quickly yanked after critics — who can do math as well as any Democrat — worried it will morph into physicians refusing care for older, more feeble patients. Sarah Palin memorably coined the phrase “death panel.”

But huge bureaucracies don’t die, and “death panels,” or “end of life” consultations, will be placed into Medicare regulation; the feds will pay doctors to talk end of life care with their patients. It’s actually a good idea for patients to discuss these options with their doctors; whether or not it should be federally funded is a topic worth debate. The fear, and this is not an exaggeration, is that once voluntary end of life counseling is enshrined in ObamaCare, that will lead to choosing who gets to be treated, or in other words, live one day, regardless of a patient’s wishes. Hyper-liberal Paul Krugman understands this and uses the term “death panels” to explain one way government would reduce health care costs in the future. watch

A final note: It’s almost amusing to recall liberals lecturing us how much we would love ObamaCare once Congress just ignored us sillies and passed the bill. That was quite a political miscalculation: call it a “Pelosi.” My favorite part of the New York Times story read are these e-mails from party hack pol Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.:

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

I suspect ObamaCare will be a gift that keeps on giving through the 2012 elections.

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44 Responses to Call it what you want but there will be death panels

  1. Dale says:

    End of life consultation is not a death panel and never will be. Did you even think before you wrote this essay?

  2. Daniel Zappala says:

    Yes, Doug, it is an exaggeration. This false equivalency between voluntary consultation and “death panels” is unbecoming of someone who considers himself a journalist. A panel that decides which treatment options are effective and thus worth covering isn’t equivalent either. You give Palin and her allies far too much credit when they’re just playing a cheap political game. You can do a lot better than this.

  3. Michael Trujillo says:

    The insurance companies already have “death panels” and have had them for years. They decide whether a treatment is “worth” paying for and give it thumbs up or down. Have a unique medical condition that can only be treated by a single doctor in New York City? Eh, the insurance company will say. We’re not paying for you to go all the way over there and see this guy. Sorry.

    I’m tremendously disappointed in you for continuing to promote the “death panel” myth.

  4. Tim says:

    Seems to me, you 3 just proved the article correct. If a condition is not
    “worth” covering then it is a death panel no matter what dress you put on it. The only way to cover the extra millions of people AND keep costs down under this ObamaCare plan is by executing death panels.

    • laytonian says:

      If you’re “executing death panels”, then you have nothing to worry about, right?

      Here’s what I propose, instead:
      Make it a law that, once a person’s illness has progressed to terminal with no chance of recovery/stabilization, there are only two options:
      1 – Medicare will pay for hospice.
      OR
      2 – The family/patient will pay any continued medical costs.

      I can guarantee you that there will be no more silly discussions about “death panels”.

      Tell us again why we all paid millions to keep a woman with a liquified brain artificially alive, and why the Governor of Florida stepped in, to continue her force-feeding.

      You want ‘em alive, you take ‘em home and take care of them yourself. We, as a society, shouldn’t be keeping empty shells breathing. It’s wrong on so many levels (including true religious beliefs).

  5. Doug Gibson says:

    Can we at least agree that this procedure should be voted on by Congress and not slipped in via regulation during the holidays with its proponents hoping no one notices?

    • Ian says:

      Can you write about health care reform without including insults and exaggerations?

    • laytonian says:

      No, because it’s just an expansion of policy instituted under the Bush Administration.

      Previously, a doctor was paid ONCE during a “Welcome to Medicare” examination to mention end-of-life care. Just once. Likely while the patient was healthy.

      This revision allows your physician to be paid, once a year, to discuss ADVANCED CARE PLANNING.

      See page 238 of the Federal Docket:
      http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-27969.pdf

  6. MikeP says:

    This is whats commonly referred to as the “cracks in the foundation”, or in Marxist doctrine as “incrementalization”. Leftists and socialists love to point it out as the “slippery slope fallacy” (which it is not).

    The idea is….feed them the small, candy coated pill, then slowly increase the size over time, rather than just shoving a dry 70 gram horse pill down their throat. Its an approach that socialists have embraced for decades, and it works. Naysayers to a proposed policy point out that it can possibly lead to more extreme policy or behavior in the future, to which the proponent scoffs, claiming the naysayer is “paranoid”.

    Examples? In the 70′s there was a push to have “critical performance” government jobs be subjected to drug screening, with the argument “Do we want stoners with their fingers on the button?” (not at all unreasonable). Detractors pointed out that it could possibly lead to extremes, such as burger flippers being forced to be screened at the demand of insurance companies. At the time people making that assertion were laughed at and ridiculed. But….walk into 10 fast food places and see how many require a pre employment drug screening.

    Some other fun ones:

    “If we give gays rights soon the will be parading down the streets of San Fransisco in BDSM gear demanding acceptance in public.”

    “If we give gays civil unions soon they will say it’s not enough and demand marriage”

    “If we allow Jim Morrison to say Higher on tv or Elvis to shake his hips in a sexual manure soon we will have songs purely devoted to drugs and 16 year old girls in provocative outfits dancing on out tv”

    In some cases….who cares?? But remember: we’re dealing with LAWYERS AND CAREER POLITICIANS! Some of the slimiest, most heartless, inhuman scum to draw breath. If there’s a way to take an issue to extremes, COUNT on them to find it.

    This is a very bad idea, and paves the way for all kinds of frightening issues.

    • laytonian says:

      You just took it to extremes. So?

      I appreciate the opportunity to review my own END OF LIFE care with my doctor, annually.

      I don’t want any family interceding with my wishes, out of guilt. I don’t want anyone else making decisions for me.

  7. Ian says:

    “…especially if Republican leaders (or Doug Gibson) try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

  8. Midwinter says:

    I realize that this blog is supposed to gin up traffic, but this is just sad, Doug. Of the massive number of potential topics about Obamacare, this is what you latch onto? The claim that politifact ranked as it’s biggest lie of the year?

  9. Sven says:

    Doug,

    Great article and very true!

    I grew up thirty minutes from Windsor, Ontario, Canada where Socialized medicine is alive and well. Guess who fills many of the hospitals in metro Detroit…that’s right…Canadians! Know why? Because they have to wait a ridiculously long time to see specialists. Dittos Great Britain! I can just hear the bleeding heart Libs now: “But they get free health care!” No, they get rationed care where the government decides what treatment they’ll get, not their physician.

    I love how the Libs, in typical class envy fashion, accuse the Big Bad Insurance companies of denying folks medical care, but never seem to ask folks on Medicare how often they’re denied various treatments. Let me give you a hint…it’s OFTEN! If you want to get an idea of how well this new health care monstrosity will work, just take a look at the government run plans in Hawaii and Massachusetts. Just like Medicare, they’re going broke!

    Doug, it really is amusing watching the Libs fall silent when their favorite Keynesian Economist, Paul Krugman has said “Death Panels” will be necessary to keep costs down. I guess that only bothers them when Palin says it.

    As Doug has said, you can call these panels whatever you want; their goal is to help keep costs down by denying certain medical procedures based on a person’s condition and age. If you doubt that Obama and the Dems are worried about the costs; ask yourself why taxes for this new health care plan begin in January, but any benefits don’t begin until 2014. Just as Obama lied about Death Panels, being able to keep your plan and physician; he also lied about the cost savings. This man couldn’t tell the truth if his miserable life depended on it.

    This has nothing to do with health care, and everything to do with socializing this country. As Ronald Reagan clearly understood back in the early 1960’s; if the government controls health care, then they will control every aspect of our lives.

    Looks like Palin was right again! Way to go Sarah 

  10. Pingback: The real costs of Obamacare – Washington Times | Inflation Policy

  11. Sven says:

    You said:

    “I realize that this blog is supposed to gin up traffic, but this is just sad, Doug. Of the massive number of potential topics about Obamacare, this is what you latch onto? The claim that politifact ranked as it’s biggest lie of the year?”

    Care to comment on what Doug posted from the NYT’s article and what Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore said?

    Sorry, but Obama has a history of lying his butt off! This guy makes lying an art form! He did nothing but tell the country prior to this health care law being passed (that by the way, nobody read!) that it was going to save huge amounts of money. This was all we heard from the Liar -in-Cheif.

    Guess what he said this past October:

    “As a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people healthcare, at the margins that’s going to increase our costs — we knew that…We didn’t think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

    Funny, all he spoke of prior to this POS legislation passing were the massive savings. It’s like Rush says; everything Obama says has an experation date.

    Proof positive this man cannot tell the truth!

  12. D. Michael Martindale says:

    Still trying to figure out why consultation with a doctor on your options for treatment was ever called a death panel.

  13. Bob Becker says:

    Doug:

    You wrote: \Can we at least agree that this procedure should be voted on by Congress and not slipped in via regulation during the holidays with its proponents hoping no one notices?\

    What procedure? The myth that panels of doctors will be convened to tell Grandma she will not be treated because it’s too expensive to keep her alive? NO provision of the plan that passed provides for that. No provision.

    Or did you mean the \procedure\ that permits a patient to consult with a doctor at no charge to the patient about end of life care [e.g. the drafting of a living will, which I have, and I hope you do too]? Which suggestion was once supported by none other than Newt Gingrich as a needed reform that could save medicare millions by simply permitting people to leave instructions about their end of life care while they were still fully capable of making decisions about their own care? Newt didn’t become opposed to that until Ms. Palin managed to convince the gullible that giving people the chance to consult a doctor about living wills was the equivalent of granting panels of doctors power to deny treatment.

    You usually ground your opinion posts more solidly on fact and evidence than you did this time, Doug. This one slipped over into demagoguery when you equated voluntary consultations about drafting living wills with \death panels.\

  14. Beagle says:

    Voluntary advance planning for how one would like to live the end of their life is in no way or shape a ‘death panel;. There’s no panel, and it’s voluntary and self-decided and it’s advice. If I were 98 with little chance to survive treatments with a good quality of life, I wouldn’t want my family to spend 2 million dollars on me. “Voluntary” advance planning for how one would like to live the end of their life is in no way or shape a “death panel”. There’s no panel, and it’s voluntary and self-decided. I’d love to have my personal doctor explain to me the odds and treatments and risks. I also wouldn’t want my country (i.e. Medicare) to bankrupt themselves for me for no good reason. That’s not a “death panel”. It’s me choosing how I want to live and die, and it is me being a patriot and loving my country. Labeling the possibility of making advanced rational thoughtful decisions about one’s death a “death panel” is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. A “death panel” might be somene else who decides I die; it’s not something *I* decide. I love my family. I love my country. There’s not enough money for everything; pretending there is and pretending there is not death ahead for us all – is not patriotic. Calling this a death panel is just rabble-rousing idiocy.if I were 98 years old and my kids to be bankrupt and homeless if there was a tiny chance for me to have low quality of life. I’d love to have my personal doctor explain to me the odds and treatments and risks. I also wouldn’t want my country (i.e. Medicare) to bankrupt themselves for me for no good reason. That’s not a \death panel\. It’s me choosing how I want to live and die, and it is me being a patriot and loving my country. Labeling the possibility of making advanced rational thoughtful decisions a \death panel\ is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. A \death panel\ might be somene else who decides I die; it’s not something *I* decide. I love my family. I love my country. There’s not enough money for everything; pretending there is and pretending there is not death ahead for us all – is not patriotic. Calling this a death panel is just rabble-rousing idiocy.

  15. kathrynmuniz says:

    I have posted this already here before You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check search online for “Wise Health Insurance” If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and believe me you are not going to loose anything!

  16. Nicol says:

    Excellent column, Doug … that email is damning.

    Three points:

    1) I think I’m in love with Sven.

    2) Even liberal columnists at the time pointed out the danger of gov’t poking its nose in end-of-life counseling in a bill \to reduce healthcare costs\ (That was why the language was stripped from the bill and why even now the Oregon representative you quoted wants to HIDE what they’re doing). Why do we need to financially incentivize DOCTORS for this discussion? Can you say \unintended consequences?\ Just as welfare weakened family bonds, this new incentive created by executive fiat will erode relationships between doctors and elderly patients.

    3) Get the government OUT of healthcare. We should be moving toward privatizing Medicare and Medicaid with vouchers, and taking measures to increase the number of private insurance companies that can COMPETE for our business. More competition means lower costs, better service, and less government dependence. We need to get back to market-based principles where people take more personal responsibility for their healthcare. People shouldn’t expect free lunches. We should return to the days when people purchased affordable major medical plans, and paid largely out of pocket for routine stuff. Are we learning NOTHING from what we’re seeing in Europe with their bloated entitlement crisis?

    • Al says:

      Nicole asks, “Why do we need to financially incentivize DOCTORS for this discussion?”

      Um, because doctors should be paid for their work.

      Just as welfare weakened family bonds, this new incentive created by executive fiat will erode relationships between doctors and elderly patients.

      Let’s leave aside the throwaway welfare trope, since simply saying it doesn’t make it true. The research on this issue — there is actual research that one could read, some of which is even discussed in the article cited by Doug — indicates that patients who have a discussion about their end-of-life wishes with their doctors feel more confident in both their preferences (regardless of what they are) and that they will be effectively carried out. Unsurprisingly, it also makes doctors more confident that they are acting in accord with their patients’ wishes. There’s nothing whatsoever on which to base the claim that this undermines the doctor-patient relationship.

  17. midwinter says:

    Gah! Forget this stupid discussion! The real problem is that I made an it’s vs its error! GRR!!

  18. Michael Trujillo says:

    Doug, I’m starting to think that you don’t actually believe a lot of the stuff that you write (or, more precisely, don’t consider it thoughtfully). I think you merely try to come up with provocative things to say in order to generate responses and increase the traffic to the S.E. website.

    You write something and then sit back and watch the resonses. “Darn. Only seven responses. OK. I’ll try this.” Then you sit back. “Mmmm. Only three responses, and they all agree with me. That will never do. I’ll try this.” Then, “Eureka! 20 responses! Three of them calling other people idiots. One we need to delete. Bob Becker got so mad he misspelled “received” and Mike’s so angry he’s buying a plane ticket to Utah to punch me in the nose. Yessiree, bob. This topic’s a winner!”

    There’s no way you really think that “death panels” will actually spring into existance. You’re not that stoopid.

  19. TV says:

    Sven says: “I love how the Libs, in typical class envy fashion, accuse the Big Bad Insurance companies of denying folks medical care, but never seem to ask folks on Medicare how often they’re denied various treatments.”

    So, answer me this, Sven (and lovers of Sven): If insurance companies now can deny folks medical care based, I assume, on cost, do “Big Bad” insurance companies NOW not have “death panels,” since they can deny care? And, since Medicare NOW denies various treatments (these are your arguments, my friend), does Medicare now not have “death panels”?

    That is to say that anyone can use the term “death panels” whenver they wish when talking about what is and is not covered under insurance, private or government-mandated. Of course, fair-minded humans without an agenda to fan flames wouldn’t consider using that term — either now about private insurance companies or about current Medicare practices. Nope, it’s a Sarah Palin (or is that a “pelosi”), she dependant on the gullibility of us who are so, so willing to swallow ugly at the price of fair.

    ALL consultations with your doctor are visits to “death panels.” Of course, they also could be called “life panels,” given that one goes to the doctor to discuss all options for care. But what is political rhetoric these days if not negative and lacking factual depth.

    Hey, Doug: in your haste to love the part about the email that suggest someone has something to hide (they do, it seems), perhaps you failed to read the rest of the figgin’ N.Y.Times article you quote where it pointedly counter your very claim in this column of your. For the record, and FYI:

    “… A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that the idea of death panels persists. In the September poll, 30 percent of Americans 65 and older said the new health care law allowed a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care for people on Medicare. [BOLDFACE] The law has no such provision. [BOLDFACE]

    The new policy is included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of services including arthroscopy, mastectomy and X-rays.

    The rule was issued by Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a longtime advocate for better end-of-life care.

    “Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” Dr. Berwick has said. “In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care.”

    Ellen B. Griffith, a spokeswoman for the Medicare agency, said, “The final health care reform law has no provision for voluntary advance care planning.” But Ms. Griffith added, under the new rule, such planning “may be included as an element in both the first and subsequent annual wellness visits, providing an opportunity to periodically review and update the beneficiary’s wishes and preferences for his or her medical care.”

    Mr. Blumenauer and Mr. Rockefeller said that advance directives would help doctors and nurses provide care in keeping with patients’ wishes.

    “Early advance care planning is important because a person’s ability to make decisions may diminish over time, and he or she may suddenly lose the capability to participate in health care decisions,” the lawmakers said in a letter to Dr. Berwick in August.

    In a recent study of 3,700 people near the end of life, Dr. Maria J. Silveira of the University of Michigan found that many had “treatable, life-threatening conditions” but lacked decision-making capacity in their final days. With the new Medicare coverage, doctors can learn a patient’s wishes before a crisis occurs.

    • Sven says:

      Thank you for touching on the main problem with the government run health care program. As it stands now, if a person doesn’t like their insurance company (i.e., the specifics of the care it covers, and its costs), THE CONSUMER CAN FIND ANOTHER COMPANY, or they can pay more for the care they desire. You know…the Free Market? This is what’s so insidious about the way the government plan is set up. It will be so expensive for employers to cover their employees, they’ll opt out and sign onto the government plan (Oh yes, and let’s not forget, there will be a fine for not having coverage). This will eventually lead to the federal government being the sole insurance provider for the country. Basically, the federal government told the health insurance companies: “You have to insure everybody…even with pre-existing conditions.” This will force the insurance companies out of business, and this my friend is by design. Say hello to the “single payer”, government run health care. Health Insurance is like any other product, if you don’t like what one company offers, you can find another. It will be the consumer making the choice…not the federal government. If this horrible law is not repealed, you’ll have NO choices about your health care…NONE! Under the government run plan, it will be the policies set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will dictate what care you receive, or don’t receive. Sound like a good deal to you? If Obama can demand by edict that the health insurance companies must insure pre-existing conditions, why doesn’t GOVERNMENT RUN Medicare allow any and all procedures?

      If liars like Obama and Reid were serious about driving down health care costs, they would implement policies that help create competition (which is what really drives costs down) like letting people purchase health insurance across state lines and various health exchanges, etc.

      It amazes me how liberals like yourself think this is a great idea, when you’ve seen how badly the government messes everything else up. Again, how different do you think Obamacare will be from the dismal failure that is Medicare? How different do you think Obamacare will be from the State run programs in Massachusetts and Hawaii? The costs for these two state’s socialized programs were grossly underestimated and they are now going broke! Care to explain why Obama is now backtracking on the “massive savings” that he said would happen under his Obamacare. See my previous post with the liar’s new and updated version of the facts on the cost of his pet project.

      Sorry, but for you deniers, the writing is on the wall with regards to these Death Panels. These panels will be a reality, and will come in the form of the HHS bureaucracy. They will effectively be making your medical decisions in the future. But there’s another reason that Death Panels will be a necessity: Physicians will be leaving the field in droves! Doubt me? Ask a physician how much money they lose on every Medicare patient they see. I’m not talking about the physician’s profit margin being cut into…I’m talking about losing money! If physicians are dropping Medicare patients because of this problem, what makes you think Obamacare will be any different? Sorry, it’s going to be far worse. Being good Liberals, I’m sure many of you probably believe those greedy, evil physicians are making too much money already. I can hear you now: “Yeah, they deserve to have their wages cut…they make too much money…greedy b**tards!” Well, here’s something to consider; if Obamacare does come to fruition (single payer), physicians will be leaving the field in droves, and many who had previously thought about a career will opt out. These people don’t go to school for 8-10 years to take it in the shorts by the federal government. Can you say shortages? These are the unintended consequences that always follow liberal utopia. Make no mistake; the Death Panels are part of Obamacare. Don’t get sick!

  20. TV says:

    But Sven, look at my paragraph #2. There is a question there. A question you didn’t answer. In other words, at what stage in the insurance company “denial process” can one begin to fairly call those denials “death panel” decisions? Answer that. Without so many words; I’m not very smart.

    • Sven says:

      Why don’t you quit changing the subject, and deal with the fact that Obama and the Dems lied about there being NO death panels in this new health care law.

      Unlike the governmet, there are many different insurance options a person can choose. Under Obamacare, there’s only one option…the government option. And under this option, there will be Death Panels deciding what care you receive and don’t receive.

      So please stop trying to change the subject to the insurnce companies, and deal with the issue of the death panels in the federal health care law.

      The fact that you want to focus on the insurance companies instead of the issue at hand tells me you cannot refute it. It really is sad there’s enough people like you who buy this impossible utopia.

      • Al says:

        Why don’t you quit changing the subject, and deal with the fact that Obama and the Dems lied about there being NO death panels in this new health care law.

        Because there’s no such thing, because “death panel” is an imaginary bogeyman dreamed up by the law’s opponents to dishonestly and misleadingly describe behavior they want their followers to believe is novel, when in fact every insurance plan including Medicare and your (imaginary) goods basket of affordable privately-purchased plans makes decisions about what and who to cover. This is not a complicated or difficult point but you seem unwilling to grasp the way that actual insurance markets work.

        Unlike the governmet, there are many different insurance options a person can choose.

        This is simply not true on at least two fronts. Have you tried obtaining private coverage not offered through your employer? I have, on several occasions. When obtainable, it is extremely expensive, limited in its coverage, and offers none of the benefits of a true group plan. The idea that this diverse market of affordable private care exists without this legislation to create it is like believing in unicorns. Furthermore, your belief that “Obamacare” offers only one “government” option is made demonstrably false by reading — and understanding — the actual legislation: There is no “single government option” to be hated, reviled and feared, but an exchange of many private insurer-offered plans.

        [This, you may recall, was one of the reasons that liberals were disappointed by the legislation: Instead of creating a strong public option, it relies on the existing insurance market -- by offering incentives and regulation -- to provide coverage to a vastly expanded pool. It's also the reason for the insurance mandate.]

        You are arguing with imaginary legislation using a vocabulary invented for you by its opponents.

  21. Justy says:

    If I schedule an appointment to sit down with my physician to discuss my end of life care. Whether it be discussing my terminal disease and whether or not I want life saving care (ventilator care, feeding tube, medications, resuscitation/CPR, etc) or just sitting down to get advice on setting up a living will/advanced directives is NOT a death panel. Shouldn’t your physician be paid for his valuable time?

  22. TV says:

    Thanks, Al. Well stated. And clear.

    Sven asks: “… why don’t you quit changin the subject and deal with the fact that Obama and the Dems lied about there being NO death panels in this new health care law.”

    OK, I’ll see if I can “deal” exclusively with that comment. Put on your logic cap, Sven; that is, “a” leads to “b” leads to “c” … etc. So:

    – (a) there is no such thing as a “death panel” in Obamacare. (Read: Al’s comments)
    – (b) see (a)
    – (c) see (b)
    – (d) See at all.

  23. Just me says:

    “If we give gays rights soon the will be parading down the streets of San Fransisco in BDSM gear demanding acceptance in public.”

    “If we give gays civil unions soon they will say it’s not enough and demand marriage”

    “If we allow Jim Morrison to say Higher on tv or Elvis to shake his hips in a sexual manure soon we will have songs purely devoted to drugs and 16 year old girls in provocative outfits dancing on out tv”

    I’m not sure just what the reasoning was behind this post, but all those things HAVE come to pass — and is our society better for any of them? No! But we sure to have a lot of “sexual MANURE” on TV and movies these days.

    By the way, I just filled out my Official Utah Advance Directive end of life care instruction form and will be giving copies to my family and doctor.

    • laytonian says:

      If we give religious freedom to people, they’ll clamp down on anyone who doesn’t believe in their religion.

      We’ve seen that happen here, too.

  24. laytonian says:

    Of course!

    And then, we get our periodic appearances by Nicol and Sven (with similar syntax and mutually-congratulatory patois).

    Sven claims that \right now\ people can easily change insurance companies! Sven must be employed by government, because I know of NO private company which offers insurance \choice\.

    Sure, if someone has enough money, they can find someone to insure they will continue in perfect health — but I can guarantee you that no insurance company (without being regulated to do so) will cover anyone with diabetes, kidney issues or any other pre-existing condition.

    What do I hope?

    That people like Nicol and Sven find out what most already have: once you need health insurance, you’re not going to get it.

    AND I hope that Nicol and Sven NEVER take Medicare, Medicaid, any military retirement, government retirement, FEHBP (civilian) government health insurance, unemployment or any other government \socialist\ payouts.

    And get off my roads, you two.

    • Sven says:

      “And then, we get our periodic appearances by Nicol and Sven (with similar syntax and mutually-congratulatory patois).”

      Going after syntax on a blog posting; are you serious?

      You can really sit here and lecture me about using non-standard dialect, when you use a word like “patois?” Are you serious? Either you’re attempting to be humorous, or trying much too hard to impress us by using words that most people don’t. Since you’re going after my syntax, I’ll assume you’re trying to impress us. I’m not impressed.

      Instead of trying to impress others by using words that most people do not use; you should instead work on reading comprehension skills. Care to point out to myself (or Nicol) where we were “mutually-congratulatory” towards one another? Nicol, in jest, was simply indicating that she agreed with my position. Since I never responded to her post, there was no “mutually-congratulatory patois” that took place? Hard to be congratulatory of another when you don’t respond to them. Maybe you’re just pi$$ed that she didn’t say she “loved” you? What can I say; Nicol has great taste in men. Can I give you some advice (assuming you’re a man)? If you want to impress Nicol, or any lady for that matter, don’t use words like “patois.” Words like this just don’t sound very masculine coming from a man. Just sayin’

      “AND I hope that Nicol and Sven NEVER take Medicare, Medicaid, any military retirement, government retirement, FEHBP (civilian) government health insurance, unemployment or any other government \socialist\ payouts.”

      Yawn, not this red-herring…sheesh! Seems I’ve had this same conversation before. Ok, I’ll bite. Both myself and my wife work. I pay Social Security, but will never receive any benefits. We pay taxes for public schools, but have no children. I’m retired military and collect my retirement. Since we both work, at least part of my retirement comes from our incomes. My wife and I get milked every year because of how much we make. We both work and have no children. The government sees us as regular cash cows.

      Going after my syntax and using a red-herring argument. How utterly sophomoric! See, I can use snobby words too ;-)

  25. Dodge says:

    As far as I can determine, nothing associated with the federal implementation of healthcare is covered by the Constitution, meaning the feds have no authority to do anything in this regard. Funding, consulting or anything close to it. States on the other hand do have authority to implement such things, but as far as I can tell, the states have nearly split on suits against the feds regarding Constitutionality. I can tell you this, if I lived in a state that required me to buy health insurance, taxed me to pay for someone elses and discussed my death each and every time I visited the doctor, I’d be leaving that state for a different one. As it stands, the feds have overplayed their Consitutional mandate in all sorts of ways, and this is the cherry on top of their pile of trespass against the people and their laws. It is my opinion that anyone that voted for such an unConstitutional obligation to be borne by the people should be impeached summarily and have their rights to vote removed permanently. They all swear to uphold and defend the Consitution, and voting for this as well as many other things is a direct violation of the oath the swear to when inaugurated. Pretty simple and straightforward.

  26. Michael Trujillo says:

    Where the heck are all these Health Insurance companies I currently get to choose from “any time I”m not satisfied with my coverage” that these people are talking about?

    Man, who’d-a-thought: I can change health insurance like some people change cars – getting a new one every year. How have I lived 52 years without knowing this? There are so many choices that I can choose, any time I want, whether to get Toyota Tercel health insurance or Lexus health insurance. And I can choose the extra medication cup-holders and leather seats, too. And, best of all, it’s affordable.

    Seriously, you anti-universal health care folks are living in a fantasy world.

  27. Sven says:

    It’s amazing to watch you folks deny reality. You have many examples of why Obamacare is destined to fail, and why, out of necessity, Death Panels will be a reality, but you refuse to see what’s happening! It will be the costs of this monstrosity that will make these death panels an absolute must. Remember Tom Daschle? He was on one of Barry’s Health Care study groups, and he very adamantly pushed the concept that older people had a duty to die…even when a viable (but expensive) treatment option was available. Hmmm, now I wonder why Barry included him on this study group? If you guys think Obamacare is going to save all this money, then you are denying reality. Consider the following:

    1) Government Run Medicare. It’s broke, and it denies care to its “members.”

    2) Hawaii and Massachusetts; both state programs are going broke and deny benefits

    3) Obamacare: taxes begin January 2011; actual “healthcare” benefits don’t begin until 2014.

    Seems I remember that “Dear Leader” said just prior to this passing that Obamacare would provide immediate savings, and was key to getting our economy working again. Well golly gee, shouldn’t this plan start immediately then? If it was so important that they had to ram it through congress in the middle of the night before anybody even read it, why the three year delay? Oh wait, I forgot, Barry came out several weeks ago and said:

    “As a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people healthcare, at the margins that’s going to increase our costs — we knew that…We didn’t think that we were going to cover 30 million people for free.”

    No Sh*t Barry! I guess this is why you have to start taxing people three years before they get any benefits!

    As I mentioned, I grew up thirty minutes from Canada, and can tell you that Canadians regularly come over the border to pay for healthcare here in the United States. Ask a Canadian woman who finds a lump on her breast how long she has to wait for medical care. Even more dismal than Canada’s socialized health care system, is the British system. Let me give you an example of how the British Death Panel works. Their system is called the National Health Service (NHS). Their Panel that makes life and death decisions for those lucky beneficiaries of this misery is called the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). This panel (call it whatever you want) has denied the drug Nexavor to the British people because IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE! This particular drug can prolong the life of a cancer patient, and is quite common around the world. This panel denies a drug that prolongs life! I call this a death panel! England calls their Death Panel NICE; we call our Death Panel HHS.

    Every decision that is made when the government takes over our healthcare will be the cost. Just as England denies life prolonging drugs to their people in the name of keeping costs down; the United States will do the same. Remember, it could be you or your loved one who gets denied care. If you think this isn’t part of the Obamacare, then you’re the one living in “fantasy world.”

    • Ian says:

      We already pay for people without insurance! Why not make them pay into the system. You live in a “fantasy world.” Why is this concept so hard for so many of you?

  28. Ian says:

    We already have socialized medicine. The fact that this escapes so many of you is perplexing. When people need care they go to the emergency room costing all of us. Obama wants to make everyone pay into the system, as they should.

  29. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Doug, you’re confusing me again. When you guys are ready for your death panels, just find the doctors of your choice and pay for the dread meetings out of your pockets. I hope you will be alive long after you repeal Obamacare and get the government out of your health care and your insurance. So you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes time for your panel. Sure, nooo problem, you’ll be able to afford that and everything else — you and your benevolent private insurance company.

    Picking up the tabloidesque “death panels” side show today is just a good way to drum up rabid histrionics against Obama and Democrat haters. You should just admit it.

  30. Doug Gibson says:

    The administration has backed down on this issue: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/health/policy/05health.html?_r=1

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