December 30, 2010 by Ben Crystal
From our “statements we never want to see in an email from a U.S. Representative” file:
“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’… Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it… The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.” — Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.)
This cryptic missive issued by the gentleman from Oregon refers to the reintroduction — by Medicare regulation — of an Obamacare proposal to pay “practitioners” — §1233 (2(a)) doesn’t require “practitioner” to mean “medical school graduate” — to annually push people to consider shuffling off the final steps of their mortal coil. While end-of-life counseling became a part of Medicare during the Bush Administration, the Obamacare regulation to which Blumenauer referred in that spooky email introduces the grading and payment of “practitioners” who even the Democrat-controlled New York Times acknowledges must:
“…advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forego aggressive life-sustaining treatment.”
The same “pay-for-slay” plan was actually a part of the original version of Obamacare. After Republicans discovered the planned introduction of “death panels,” the proposal was dropped to facilitate passage of the largest government intrusion into the private sector since William Howard Taft went to the grocery store.
Now, thanks to some Blumenauer staffer’s electronic indiscretion, we learn the Democrats are planning to circumvent the legislative process and return section 1233′s allowance of annual “ready to die yet?” consultations to legal status through the regulation-writing process.
The revelation of said email raises a couple of noteworthy questions, foremost among them:
“…if this is such a grand idea, then why are Democrats trying to hide it?”
In the interests of full disclosure, I am entirely comfortable with the idea of a sound-minded human being making an informed decision to end their own suffering, as long as that decision doesn’t require me to steam-clean the drapes afterwards. But Blumenauer’s secretly-celebrated regulation doesn’t introduce the idea of paying doctors to annually press “end-of-life-planning” to alleviate the suffering of people, it introduces the idea of paying doctors to annually press Kevorkian-esque logic to alleviate the suffering of government.
Section 936 of the ObamaCare legislation actually calls for governmentally-constructed brochures and videos which will essentially serve as scripts for teaching practitioners to convince people to pull the plug.
“Hi, I’m President Barack Obama. Like members of Congress, I am never going to be subjected to the tenets of Obamacare. But, if you’re watching this, you know someone who is. Here are some tips on the best ways to talk old people into assuming room temperature…”
What worries me is the likelihood of Federally-prompted bureaucrat “practitioners” talking people into making rash decisions because Kathleen Sebelius has a budget line to meet. If someone is being eaten alive by bone cancer, they ought to have the option to ask someone to turn off their lights. But if some Department of Health and Human Services functionary is pushing them to hit the switch not to alleviate incredible pain, but because they need the bed, that’s seriously macabre.
We don’t generally means-test the viability of civilized people in a civilized nation. Once we do — and Obamacare clearly raises that possibility — then we will find ourselves living in a nation in which a Federal bureaucracy is making determinations on the value of individuals. We can’t even successfully accomplish that task when dealing with convicted criminals on death row. Though it is interesting how the same ideological mélange which declaims the death penalty for mass-murderers warms to the idea of smothering Grandma with a proverbial pillow.
Liberals often whine about the supposed evils of corporate culture, but they’re evidently backing a regulatory addition to Obamacare which entails the ultimate in sinister anonymity:
“Well, Mrs. Patient 423-06-4487, we COULD begin a regimen of financially burdensome treatments which may or may not cure your… let me check… hmm… 4485, 4486, AH — cancer; OR, you can take this pill, feel a little sleepy, and see your mother in the afterlife.”
In addition to the zombie-like return of the “pay-for-slay” provision, a perusal of H.R. 3200 also reveals:
“…the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization.”
Terrific. Global warming cultists are “a consensus-based organization,” and I wouldn’t ask them for a weather forecast. My potential end-of-life decision will be made in consultation with my physician — sorry — “practitioner” and my loved ones (in my case, my dog). I neither need nor want advice from any “consensus-based” anything.
“Mr. Crystal, we’ve arrived at a consensus. You suck. We bribed your dog with bacon. Have fun being dead.”