Patterico's Pontifications

12/27/2010

A Very Special Christmas Video

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:20 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Holiday advice you really needed:

It doesn’t hurt that the women are kinda hot, too.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Return of the mythical death panels? (Bumped and Updated)

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:43 am

Update: Bumped by Aaron Worthing, because I think this does not deserve to be lost over the Christmas weekend.

[Posted by Karl]

All the news that is fit to bury on the Christmas weekend:

When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

***

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The terms of controversial section 1233 of the House version of ObamaCare are to return by regulatory fiat? And its supporters want to keep it a secret? Yeah, it is tough to see how that plays well.

Of course, Sarah Palin was not the only person who had the heebie-jeebies over this proposal. Liberals like Charles Lane and Eugene Robinson, and civil libertarians like Nat Hentoff ranged from uneasy to scared after considering the issue. As Lane wrote at the time:

Section 1233 *** addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones. Supporters protest that they’re just trying to facilitate choice — even if patients opt for expensive life-prolonging care. I think they protest too much: If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?

Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.

Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic.

What’s more, Section 1233 dictates, at some length, the content of the consultation. The doctor “shall” discuss “advanced care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to”; “an explanation of . . . living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses” (even though these are legal, not medical, instruments); and “a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families.” The doctor “shall” explain that Medicare pays for hospice care (hint, hint)…

Incidentally, as I did not write much about the “death panels” kerfuffle, I should state for the record that I always thought it a term that would have been better applied to proposals like those for the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which would become a key part of “bending the cost curve down,” just as is happening with global budgeting in Massachusetts. Obama and his minions always said those recommendations for rationing would be non-binding, but as we see today, the statists will always come back for more, even if they have to do it undemocratically and as secretly as they can.

Update: You will be shocked to learn that the unconfirmable Donald Berwick was behind this.

–Karl

Awww: Washington to Be Kennedy-Free For First Time in Sixty-Three years (Update: And Splash Dies)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:20 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: And as if the Kennedy family has not faced enough tragedy, Teddy’s dog died.  His name?  “Splash.”  Yep, they are classy people, them Kennedys.

Get out your hankies, this is a sad one:

The Kennedys have held congressional seats, the presidency and the public’s imagination for more than 60 years. That era ends when Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island vacates his U.S. House seat next month, leaving a city council post in California as Camelot’s sole remaining political holding.

Dontcha just love the way that they have to constantly use the term Camelot, when referring to the Kennedys?

The son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy said he has no qualms about walking away from politics. His departure marks the first time in 63 years there won’t be a Kennedy serving in elected office in Washington.

“In my family, the legacy was always public service, and that didn’t necessarily mean public office,” Kennedy, 43, said in a recent interview on Capitol Hill with The Associated Press.

He recited a long list of Kennedy family members who have spurned politics and chosen lives as activists promoting issues such as the environment, human rights and women’s issues.

I am sure Mary Jo Kopechne will appreciate it.

(Note: I am being sarcastic, to contrast with those who felt that Kopechne was a justified sacrifice.)

Kennedy plans to continue the tradition by championing a national effort to boost brain research. He hopes to inject the same urgency that his late uncle, President John F. Kennedy, inspired during the 1960s with his challenge to Americans to put a man on the moon.

Yeah, um, good luck with that.  Seriously can’t you go five minutes without invoking the memory of your late, great dead uncle?  Especially seeing that you seem more inclined to mimic dear old dad?

(more…)

Tom Brokaw States the Obvious

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:31 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Obama doesn’t know how to do his job and needs on the job training.  Yes, really:

Heckuva job there, Tommy, for being ahead of the curve on this one.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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