Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Palin Upstages President Again on Death Panels: "Obama and the Bureaucratization of Health Care" [UPDATED]

Sarah Palin writes in The Wall Street Journal that the president's health care proposals would give unelected officials life-and-death rationing powers:
... Some 45 years ago Ronald Reagan said that "no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds." Each of us knows that we have an obligation to care for the old, the young and the sick. We stand strongest when we stand with the weakest among us.

We also know that our current health-care system too often burdens individuals and businesses—particularly small businesses—with crippling expenses. And we know that allowing government health-care spending to continue at current rates will only add to our ever-expanding deficit.

How can we ensure that those who need medical care receive it while also reducing health-care costs? The answers offered by Democrats in Washington all rest on one principle: that increased government involvement can solve the problem. I fundamentally disagree.

First, ask yourself whether the government that brought us such "waste and inefficiency" and "unwarranted subsidies" in the first place can be believed when it says that this time it will get things right. The nonpartistan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn't think so: Its director, Douglas Elmendorf, told the Senate Budget Committee in July that "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."

Now look at one way Mr. Obama wants to eliminate inefficiency and waste: He's asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council—an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs. In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of "normal political channels," should guide decisions regarding that "huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives . . . ."

Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels? Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through "normal political channels," they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration.

Instead of poll-driven "solutions," let's talk about real health-care reform: market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven. As the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon and others have argued, such policies include giving all individuals the same tax benefits received by those who get coverage through their employers; providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage; reforming tort laws to potentially save billions each year in wasteful spending; and changing costly state regulations to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. Rather than another top-down government plan, let's give Americans control over their own health care.

Democrats have never seriously considered such ideas, instead rushing through their own controversial proposals. After all, they don't need Republicans to sign on: Democrats control the House, the Senate and the presidency. But if passed, the Democrats' proposals will significantly alter a large sector of our economy. They will not improve our health care. They will not save us money. And, despite what the president says, they will not "provide more stability and security to every American."

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
Posted tonight just so you'll know ahead of time what everyone will be talking about tomorrow. Far from "leaving the room" whenever health care is being discussed (as suggested by certain self-satisfied beltway elitists), the lady has taken her place at the at the head of the table. And when the lady at the head of the table speaks, people listen.

(I'm interested in seeing how many more hits and how much more attention Palin's column in the WSJ will receive vs. Margaret Noonan's weekly pap that the WSJ prints every Friday. It'll only serve to make Margaret even more Sarah Palin jealous than she already is.)

UPDATE (9 September)
From Jack Fowler, writing at Critical Condition, the health care blog on National Review Online:
"Death-Panel Encore: Sarah Palin’s Testimony"

Sarah Palin couldn’t attend today’s New York State Senate public hearing of the Aging Committee — chaired by pro-life Democrat Ruben Diaz — but she submitted testimony which has been provided to NRO...

And writing at The Corner, Fowler also comments on Palin's WSJ piece:
Palin Sending O-Care to Political Death Panel

The relentless former governor of Alaska drops her second health care blast this Obama Speech Eve, via a Wall Street Journal Online piece. By the way, she's not relenting on blasting "death panels" (and good for her). Here's a nice hunk (you can also read the whole enchilada on her Facebook Notes page.

Good to know that there are others besides Andy McCarthy and Mark Steyn bucking the hand-wringing posture of the girly boys in charge at National Review.

Expect much more buzz throughout the day on Wednesday.

UPDATE #2 (9 September)
And here's some of the afore-mentioned predicted buzz.

Love her, hate her, or indifferent, at least they're all talking about her.

UPDATE #3 (9 September)
Even the White House is forced to take notice when the head of the table speaks: "White House talking points blast Palin".

And the lefties don't seem too pleased to see the President give Palin's argument any attention, knowing full well how she played his ass the last time it happened. Here's a sampling:
Idiots. They took her bait AGAIN.
Posted By: September 09, 2009 at 02:21 PM

Agreed, she is going to play them for a fool again. Sheesh, Rahm, wake up!
Posted By: P*ssed Liberal September 09, 2009 at 02:22 PM

Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
More Evidence that Palin Right on "Death Panels"

At the Head of the Table: Churchill, Kennedy, & Palin

Obama's Health Rationer-in-Chief: Hippocratic Oath Responsible for "Too Much" Medical Care

Andy McCarthy and Mark Stein Slap the Handwringing Girly Boys in Charge Over at National Review: Palin Was Right On the "Death Panels" [UPDATED]

Sarah Palin Right About Obama "Death Panels"

Health-Care Rationing Violates Catholic Teaching

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