Barack The Rationer
posted at 3:30 pm on April 29, 2009 by Kid from Brooklyn
Ah, yes. L.I. called it. If we learned nothing else from Joe The Plumber, we learned that The One is prone to the potentially catastrophic unforced error (a la Ricardo Arona v. Rampage Jackson). Our Orator-In-Chief let this little nugget slip towards the end of a NYT Magazine interview, regarding end-of-life care.
Q: And it’s going to be hard for people who don’t have the option of paying for it.
THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?
I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.
Q: So how do you — how do we deal with it?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.
Let’s set aside, for one second, the galling ghoulishness of a President who does not hesitate to use his deceased grandmother as an empathy beard. Allow me to cut through the sales pitch and translate: We’re gonna ration. Dude, if end-of-life and chronic care is 80% of the bill, and you’re looking to cut costs, isn’t that the first place you’d look to cut? I don’t see any other possible justification for a “difficult democratic conversation”, and I don’t think Obama’s vision of “guidance” is similar to mine. His kind of “guidance” is currently on display with TARP, GM, and Chrysler. Congressional Democrats aren’t looking to cram socialized healthcare through budget reconciliation just to give themselves “not-determinative guidance”. This is where the personal approval polls meet the job approval polls. This is the first shot in the 2010 midterms. I knew all along that L.I. was right, I just didn’t expect The One to screw up so soon.