Death Panels Without the Panels

Here’s a great post by Robert Wright over at the Daily Dish. It’s a worthwhile response to the GOP’s hysteria and hypocrisy regarding health care reform. Money quote:

Any government health care plan will bring some new form of “rationing,” since no government can afford to guarantee everyone all possible medical treatment. But let’s be clear: the people who are trying to sabotage reform by telling mind-boggling lies about its hidden rationing agenda seem, in fact, pretty content with rationing; they seem happy with a system in which the least “productive” members of society get bad health care, including, occasionally, health care so bad that it leads to death.

And if these opponents of health-care reform are going to conjure up images of fascism to caricature the pro-reform side, it seems fair to conjure up a comparably hyperbolic symbol of their side of the argument—social Darwinism. As Herbert Spencer put the social Darwinist credo, “The poverty of the incapable, the distresses that come upon the imprudent, the starvation of the idle, and those shoulderings aside of the weak by the strong, which leave so many ‘in shallows and in miseries,’ are the decrees of a large, far-seeing benevolence.” But I guess a picture of Herbert Spencer on a placard doesn’t pack quite as much punch as a picture of Hitler.


2 thoughts on “Death Panels Without the Panels

  1. This has started making our news since everyone seems to be ripping our NHS! I don’t understand the vitriol here.

    I’ve heard Rudi Gulliani and Ted Kennedy be named as examples of people who would have died over here cos the NHS wouldn’t treat them.

    I’m not sure that is true anyway, but it certainly wouldn’t be true for them. Their absolutely minted. They’d have private cover anyway just like in the US.

    Our tax is a fair bit higher here, but not crushingly higher, a lot of the funding gap is soaked up by your collossal military expenditure.

    Also the suggestion that people are forced to carry out more operations here cos of waiting lists is bizarre. I have an American relative with a weird looking tattoo from where he sewed his arm back together cos he didn’t have health cover and couldn’t afford the stitches. That doesn’t happen here. As for talk of a pensioner supergluing his teeth back in, amazingly dental cover is generally paid for privately!

    I’ve worked for a private health insurer briefly as a temp putting letters in envelopes and the number that go out explaining that they will pay for no more than x number of cancer treatments on their plan is horrifying. Just essentially a note saying prepare to die. Michael Moore once had a sketch that showed a guy handing out invites to his funeral at a health insurance firm cos they wouldn’t pay for is operation on the cover plan he was on. That is WAY more common than with the NHS.

    The NHS has plenty of problems, but bear in mind it operates in parallel to a private sector just like the US. Take the NHS away and it would feel like a peculiar medieval society where there are land (insurance) owners and the peasants.

    Please tell me its just the intellectually and morally challenged kids from the right like Rush Limbaugh etc who are upset about this, its not normal people is it?

  2. Thanks for keeping the debate in the hands of the folks whom it will effect anyways: the less well-off. The wealthy will be able to afford healthcare no matter what, so the debate really rests in the hands of those who do not have well-paid lobbyists, namely, the lower middle class to working poor.

    If you have inclination/time, here is an expanded take on things I recently did

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