Thursday, November 29, 2012

On That Whole 'Death Panels' Thing:
What Exactly Did Sarah Palin
Have Wrong Here Again? 

They're not only deliberately targeting older patients for euthanasia in Brit hospitals.  They've also been doing it for infants as well.

One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.

The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an independent inquiry ordered by ministers. 
The investigation, which will include child patients, will look at whether cash payments to hospitals to hit death pathway targets have influenced doctors’ decisions. 
Medical critics of the LCP insist it is impossible to say when a patient will die and as a result the LCP death becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They say it is a form of euthanasia, used to clear hospital beds and save the NHS money.

But the 'cool' thing to do 4 years ago was laugh when Palin pointed out limited financial resources means rationing.  Which means decisions being made on who get's care and who's marked for death based on $.  

They can 'now reveal' that they've been doing this for years.  Awesome.  Why do you suppose they never 'reveal' this is the kind of sh*t they'll be doing from the start?  Maybe because if they told everybody the truth about what they'd be doing, selling one-payer health systems would be harder to do?  

UPDATE: Now that whistleblowers have come forward and some of Englands's ministers are asking the right questions, all kinds of troubling things about the one-payer NHS are coming out.  

Half the patients placed on the Liverpool Death Pathway are never told life-sustaining treatment has been stopped:
The study suggests that in total, around 57,000 patients a year are dying in NHS hospitals without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped. 
It also reveals that thousands of dying patients have been left to suffer in pain, with no attempt to keep them comfortable while drugs were administered. 
Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, last night described the disclosures from records held by 178 NHS hospitals as "totally unacceptable".
He said the failure to consult patients would now be examined by an independent inquiry, which will also look at payments made to hospitals for meeting targets to place people on the pathway.
How can they get away with that?  Simple: It's the State.  Who are you gonna turn to if you don't like how they do their 'business'? 

Leave us not forget that when you end up in a one-payer system, there are several key features to it: 

1. The Gov't has no competition.  It sets it's own prices and has no market out there to make them lower their prices, improve their services or innovate to stay ahead.  No competition = only game in town.  This is sort of self-evident yet the Left is constantly trying to sell the idea that a one payer system lowers costs and improves service.   They claim it'll have the EFFECTS of a free market with competition without actually HAVING any free market.  This is so stupid only an academic could believe it.  Or a Liberal.   Find one Gov't run monopoly that is done better than the private sector could do it.  Public schools? The post office?  Veteran's health care?  

2.  It's not any better if a evil health insurance company balks at paying it's own money to treat you  than if the benevolent caring State decides to let you die rather than spend tax dollars on you.   Health insurance isn't a charity.  They are in business to make a profit.  But some people have this idea single payer systems ARE a charity that is looking to give away tax dollars.  Far from it.  In single-payer systems what you end up with is ever-expanding numbers of people needing care and a static or even declining pool of revenue to spend on them.  At least in a free market you can quit one health insurance company if you find a better a deal elsewhere.  When state-run health care is your ONLY option, and they decide you're a bad investment for more tax dollars, you're pretty much screwed.  But we're constantly told it'd be better to have benevolent Gov't bureaucrats denying us care than those greedy bastard insurance companies in the private sector.  

3.  When the State takes a seat at the table with you & your Dr. over your health care, the State's interest comes first, not yours.    Private health insurance is providing a service to meet YOUR interests.  If you don't like the service you're getting, you can take your money  elsewhere.  Private insurance companies can't mandate 'X' number of customers buying their services every year to turn a profit.  Therefore because they are competing in a free market it behooves them to get up off their asses and provide better service than their competition so as to keep their customers from leaving.  When the Gov't is  the single health care provider, they don't have this 'problem'  There is no competitor down the street you could take your money to.  And let's note: you'd be making a VOLUNTARY decision to hand over your money to a private insurer.  Taxes are MANDATED and you have to pay them.  You don't go to jail or get fined if you fail to give your money to a private insurer in a free market.  So you'll be forced to participate in this single-payer system whether you want to  or not, and the State WILL be sitting at the table whenever your health care is discussed, whether you want them there or not, and the State's interests will precede your own.  

And as the latest investigation is revealing, when the State think it's in IT'S best interests NOT to tell you  or your family they're kissing your ass goodbye, they'll stick you on this death pathway without telling you that's what they're doing.  

Hey, at least these people effectively being euthanized in England these days aren't being the victims of a greedy private insurance company out to increase it's PROFITS.  Nope - it's FAR BETTER that they are instead the victims of a State engaging in rationing to preserve a declining pool of tax revenue, isn't it?  

The free market isn't perfect, which is why it needs some regulation.  But anybody trying to sell you the idea of a State monopoly producing better care, lower prices and improved service is going against history, experience and common sense. 

UPDATE II: As if to underscore that last sentence in the previous update:
The Obama administration said Friday that it would charge insurance companies for the privilege of sellinghealth insurance to millions of Americans in new online markets run by the federal government.
The cost of these “user fees” can be passed on to consumers. The proposed fees could add 3.5 percent to premiums for private health plans sold in insurance exchanges operated by the federal government.
In a way, you have to admire the chutzpah that they waited until now to let everybody know this.  Costs for consumers going down?  Sure.  Sure they will.  

People thinking we've entered a Golden Age of Free Government Giveaways are in for a rude shock next year.  The Brokest Nation On Earth is cash-strapped and over $16 trillion in debt, but watch people that thought this healthcare stuff was 'free' react when they realize they have to purchase a policy out of their own pocket.  


  1. Is it still a death panel if you can opt out? Because it's not mandatory, you know. - JF

    1. That's true. If you're rich enough you can opt out of the single-payer system in Britain. But it is troubling that an investigation is underway by ministers to determine if hospitals paid $ by the State have been using a financial incentive to meet death pathway quotas to free up resources.

  2. The article makes it sound a bit like doctors are going around murdering babies, which is to be expected from the Mail but is still rather difficult to incorporate into intelligent discourse. The process being described here is where the parent or next of kin, legally entitled to make medical choices for the terminally ill minor, chooses not to rely on artificial methods to sustain the life of the patient.

    From what I understand of the legal processes behind such directives, they're surprisingly similar to the processes in the United States where if a directive written by the patient specifying the level of care they would require while incapacitated, the person designated as responsible for making medical decisions for them is able to choose the level of intervention permitted to continue their lives.

    This is really more about the horrible legal ways in which to end life vs. still illegal euthanasia. It has nothing to do with death panels. It's a sensationalized version of a real problem.

    1. The difference in a single payer system like England's - which many would like to see in the US as well - is that it's not just you and your Dr making these decisions any longer. Since the State has a financial interest in the outcome of the case, any influence they have in determining a result according to it's own financial interests must be questioned.

      This is exactly what ministers in England are now doing since it's been revealed that hospitals have been receiving cash incentives to meet death pathway quotas to free up resources.

  3. It should be self-evident the conflict of interest if the Gov't does indeed get caught making the following arrangement with hospitals:

    "If you free up X numbers of beds by a certain date, we'll pay $Y amount of pounds to you for doing so. If not, you don't get the $."

    The best interests of the PATIENT are then not in view if Dr.'s and Hospitals are trying to meet a quota to get their share of that promised cash.

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