Sarah Palin maintained her attack on the ObamaCare issue in a Facebook posting yesterday afternoon, returning to a familiar theme. When government starts making the rationing decisions instead of consumers in a marketplace, who gets left without care — and why? Bart Stupak’s allegation about Henry Waxman and the Democratic leadership position on abortion underscores the issue, Palin insists:
Republicans in Congress are holding the line, and some Democrats are standing with them. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) said he won’t vote for the Senate bill if federal funding of abortion is included. Last Friday, he told National Review Online that some Democrats have told him that if abortions aren’t covered in Obamacare then “more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more…Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America?” As I wrote in my first post on this topic, human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion. Government health care will not reduce the cost of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay it. And who will get left behind when they have to ration care to save money?
Please ask yourself: who will be left behind? And who will decide – what kind of panel will decide – who receives the health care that government will obviously have to ration?
There’s a great deal of pressure being put on Stupak’s pro-life Democrats. They’re already dwindling in number. Their party is threatening them, and so are powerful SEIU labor union bosses. The Democrats respecting the sanctity of life have every incentive to buckle under the pressure, so they need to know that we’ll support them if they do the right thing and vote no on Obamacare.
No, Palin doesn’t use the phrase “death panels,” but Stupak’s accusation makes it clear that some in government have already decided to trade life for cost considerations. How else should one read this?
What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”
It’s not that far from funding abortions for cost savings to refusing expensive treatments to the elderly for the same reason. That’s exactly what “comparative effectiveness” decisions do. They calculate where to put finite treatment resources so they will have the most impact. Everyone else gets to take a few painkillers and wait for the inevitable.
In any system, the people who control the resources make those decisions. In a completely free market, it’s the consumer himself. In a third-party payer system, it’s usually the insurance company chosen by the consumer. In a government-run system, it’s a bureaucracy that not only doesn’t answer to anyone, it doesn’t have any competition to force it to pay attention to its consumers/constituents. We need to move those decisions closer to the consumer rather than farther away from him. ObamaCare does just the opposite, and that should worry consumers of the American health-care system.