death panels


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Sam M says:

    But this happens whenever the government gets involved in any industry. Think in terms of education. People generally agree that “we” should pay to teach people to read and write and understand basic science, etc. But then we have kids who have special needs, and cost upwards of $100,000 a year to educate. Which is why the average spending per students if often so high. Think about it. If you were to REALLY address many of our educational issues, you would have to send a lot of kids home with a full time nanny and a body guard to protect them from abuse. But… that costs. And so do all kinds of ACTUAL special ed issues.

    So you know what we do? We basically pay for them all. Because no politician is going to be seen turning Junior away from the classroom. Especially when junior is in a wheelchair and had debilitating metal issues.

    So we pay for it. We pay billions. And still, the schools are a disaster.

    In a sense, the big fear is not that government health bureaucrats will have death panels. The big fear is that they won’t. And we will pay for everything for everybody.Report

  2. Avatar cb says:

    Medicare costs too much according to conservatives. But trying to cut medicare spending is, apparently, inhumane.

    If I say that poor people shouldn’t have their medical procedures paid for by the govt, that’s good. If I say old people shouldn’t have some certain procedure paid for the government, that’s bad. If I say that someone should study the effectiveness of research and that medicare payments should be based on those findings, that is also bad.

    It all leaves me terribly confusedReport

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Keep in mind that Nat Hentoff is exceptionally principled when it comes to being pro-life. What he sees here is a camel’s nose.

    Now, of course, we all know that something analagous to a Roe v. Wade for euthania would never and could never turn into something analagous to “abortion on demand”. That would be absurd.

    But keep in mind that such are his principles.

    Full Disclosure: I think Nat Hentoff is the bomb.Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    What’s odd (and I think you’ve pointed this out) is to pretend that this is something that Obama came up with as part of his plan (well, okay it is — he does mean to get savings out of Medicare), but not that costs in mEdicare wouldn’t have to be dealt with sooner than later in any case. Grandma, we’re comin’ after you one way or t’other, doesn’t matter who ya vote for!Report

  5. Avatar Roque Nuevo says:

    It’s odd to both oppose government spending on health care but also oppose government “rationing” which is at least ostensibly one way for the government to spend less on health care. It just doesn’t quite add up.

    Isn’t this just what Hentoff’s libertarianism implies? He will oppose government spending and government rationing, even if it’s supposed to moderate spending, just because he will oppose the expansion of government as a general principle.

    Hentoff’s point is not about forced euthansia. This is a red herring in my opinion anyway. His point is about the destruction of the free market.

    From the Hentoff piece:

    Here is what Obama said in an April 28 New York Times interview (quoted in Washington Times July 9 editorial) in which he describes a government end-of-life services guide for the citizenry as we get to a certain age, or are in a certain grave condition. Our government will undertake, he says, a “very difficult democratic conversation” about how “the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care” costs.

    What’s scary for Hentoff is not that some people will be denied some health care by “rationing.” That’s going to happen anyway, even if the rationing is just by cost in the marketplace (like everything else). Obama is proposing that government make these decisions. Once that happens, then people will expect fairness. They won’t ever get it unless they are favored by the government decisions–which is unlikely.

    Does this make any sense to you?Report