Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

Ralph R. Reiland “Very Scary Redistribution via Obamacare”

You’d think the central planners at the White House would go outside their small group of relatives for some top-notch expertise when they’re trying to revamp something as big and complex as one-sixth of the American economy.

When Bill Clinton sought to radically overhaul American health care, he made the mistake of putting Hillary in charge.

This time around, Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, is on the Obama team as a special advisor on health policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.

What Hillary’s months of closed-door meetings produced was a top-down, command-and-control plan that put federal bureaucrats in charge of the decision-making and conduct of doctors, patients, employers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and state governments. To fund her Rube Goldberg scheme, Mrs. Clinton, with no experience in business or medicine, advocated a federal mandate that required employers to pick up the health insurance tab for all their employees.

Asked about the jobs and small businesses that the mandate would destroy, she said, “I can’t go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America.” She didn’t acknowledge that it was precisely her mandate that would cause the undercapitalization.

Her verdict for the small businesses that couldn’t afford to give full health care coverage to 100 percent of their employees? “Where I come from, free loaders and free riders get no respect.” The message was loud and clear: Go out of business if you can’t pay for my vision.

The result was a defeat for HillaryCare and Republicans picking up 52 House seats and eight Senate seats in the 1994 election, plus five more seats in the House and two in the Senate due to party-switching, giving Republicans control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.

The promise from today’s White House is that ObamaCare will somehow provide universal coverage while simultaneously increasing quality, decreasing costs and reducing federal deficits.

The writings of Obama health advisor Ezekiel Emanuel provide some insight into how our current crop of central planners might well be intending to accomplish these seemingly conflicting goals.

Last year in Health Affairs: The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, Emanuel wrote that “Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ‘lipsick’ cost controls, more for show and public relations than for true change.”

In other words, the billions in the House and Senate health reform bills for “infrastructure” pork, i.e., “wellness” by way of jungle gyms and walking paths, are just so much “lipstick.”



In her recent “Deadly Doctors: Obama Advisors Want to Ration Care” article, former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, reports on where Emanuel sees the real savings, citing an article he wrote last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association: “Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, ‘as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others.’”

The “effects on others” is the key. He’s saying we’ve got to think more collectively and less about ourselves. “Emanuel,” writes McCaughey, “wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else.”



If “social justice” demands more spending on the young and less on the old, Emanuel explains why this isn’t a case of discrimination: “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.”



Granny, in short, should move on because she’s had her chance. “Social justice” requires that a costly individual be sacrificed for the collective.



An essay co-authored by Emanuel on the “just allocation of health care resources” in the Hasting Center Report, November-December 1996, provides some detail regarding who should be rationed out of the system, i.e., “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” 



We should die, in short, if we’re deemed by the authorities to be insufficiently participating.

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“Un-American attacks can’t derail health care debate” by Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer

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Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer wrote today in the USA today Opinion editorial column.  Here is what they wrote:

Americans have been waiting for nearly a century for quality, affordable health care.  

Health coverage for all was on the national agenda as early as 1912, thanks to Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose presidential run.  Months after World War II came to an end in 1945, President Harry Truman called on Congress to guarantee all Americans the “right to adequate medical care and protection from the economic fears of sickness.” From President Lyndon Johnson to President Bill Clinton, to President Obama’s winning campaign on the promise of reform, there hasn’t been a more debated domestic issue than the promise of affordable health care for all.

We believe it is healthy for such a historic effort to be subject to so much scrutiny and debate. The failure of past attempts is a reminder that health insurance reform is a defining moment in our nation’s history — it is well worth the time it takes to get it right. We are confident that we will get this right.

Already, three House committees have passed this critical legislation and over August, the two of us will work closely with those three committees to produce one strong piece of legislation that the House will approve in September.

In the meantime, as members of Congress spend time at home during August, they are talking with their constituents about reform. The dialogue between elected representatives and constituents is at the heart of our democracy and plays an integral role in assuring that the legislation we write reflects the genuine needs and concerns of the people we represent.

However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue. These tactics have included hanging in effigy one Democratic member of Congress in Maryland and protesters holding a sign displaying a tombstone with the name of another congressman in Texas, where protesters also shouted “Just say no!” drowning out those who wanted to hold a substantive discussion.

Let the facts be heard

These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American. Drowning out the facts is how we failed at this task for decades.

Health care is complex. It touches every American life. It drives our economy. People must be allowed to learn the facts.

The first fact is that health insurance reform will mean more patient choice. It will allow every American who likes his or her current plan to keep it. And it will free doctors and patients to make the health decisions that make the most sense, not the most profits for insurance companies.

Reform will mean stability and peace of mind for the middle class. Never again will medical bills drive Americans into bankruptcy; never again will Americans be in danger of losing coverage if they lose their jobs or if they become sick; never again will insurance companies be allowed to deny patients coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Lower costs, better care

Reform will mean affordable coverage for all Americans. Our plan’s cost-lowering measures include a public health insurance option to bring competitive pressure to bear on rapidly consolidating private insurers, research on health outcomes to better inform the decisions of patients and doctors, and electronic medical records to help doctors save money by working together. For seniors, the plan closes the notorious Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” that denies drug coverage to those with between $2,700 and $6,100 per year in prescriptions.

Reform will also mean higher-quality care by promoting preventive care so health problems can be addressed before they become crises. This, too, will save money. We’ll be a much healthier country if all patients can receive regular checkups and tests, such as mammograms and diabetes exams, without paying a dime out-of-pocket.

This month, despite the disruptions, members of Congress will listen to their constituents back home and explain reform legislation. We are confident that our principles of affordable, quality health care will stand up to any and all critics.

Now — with Americans strongly supporting health insurance reform, with Congress reaching consensus on a plan, and with a president who ran and won on this specific promise of change — America is closer than ever to this century-deferred goal.

This fall, at long last, we must reach it.

You can find the article here.