A Difference Without A Distinction

Written by Thomas E. Brewton


Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel has simply changed the way he proposes to ration healthcare.

Dr. Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, is Special Advisor for Health Policy to Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Sara Palin and others annoyed proponents of a National Socialist Healthcare scheme by noting the Dr. Emanuel has opined that rationing medical care is a necessity. In an effort to douse what has become a raging forest fire of disapproval, White House spinmeisters have concocted the following statement from Dr. Emanuel, quoted in the Washington Times:

"When I began working in the health policy area about 20 years ago ... I thought we would definitely have to ration care, that there was a need to make a decision and deny people care," said Dr. Emanuel...

"I think that over the last five to seven years ... I've come to the conclusion that in our system we are spending way more money than we need to, a lot of it on unnecessary care," he said. "If we got rid of that care we would have absolutely no reason to even consider rationing except in a few cases."

What is the distinction between rationing medical care and eliminating care that the Federal government's health panels regard as unnecessary? In how few cases, on what criteria, would Big Brother nonetheless ration care?

The only truly and consistently unnecessary medical care, and the costs are huge, is doctors having to order every imaginable test and procedure to forestall malpractice litigation by the tort bar. If Dr. Emanuel, the President, and other officials of the Democrat/Socialist Party really wanted to reduce medical costs, they would legislate a stop to the tort bar's extortions. They will not do so, of course, because the tort bar is one of the Democrat/Socialist Party's chief sources of campaign funding.

Another extract from the Washington Times article, which also quotes Dr. Emanuel's earlier essays advocating rationing of medical care:

The charges of rationing, or concerns about his language in journal articles, Dr. Emanuel said, is somewhat understandable given that he was "writing really for political philosophers, and for the average person it's not what they're used to reading, even if they've had a good liberal education."

[Note, by the way, that both Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini qualify as political philosophers under Dr. Emanuel's definition]

Nonetheless, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and a practicing physician, said the senator remains "concerned about the rationing provisions in the House and Senate bills."

Coburn spokesman John Hart said: "On three different occasions during the [Senate Health, Education and Labor and Pensions] committee markup, Dr. Coburn and other Republicans attempted to insert language prohibiting rationing.

"All three amendments were voted down, which suggests that Democrats do, in fact, want to preserve the ability to ration care," Mr. Hart said.


Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776 http://www.thomasbrewton.com/


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