Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rahm Emanuels Brother is Ezekiel Emanuel: Peter Orszags Medicare Plan

Rahm Emanuel is the brother of Ezekiel Emanuel, a physician. Rahm and Ezekiel share some hard-hearted outlooks on life and how you and I are owed some social justice. Peter Orszag, Obama's budget director wants Congress to give up control of Medicare and grant it to the President.

Ezekiel Emanuel
The intrepid Betsy McCaughey, who has uncovered many of the dark details of President Obama's health care plan, and tied the birth to former Senator Tom Daschle, now tells us about Ezekiel Emanuel and Peter Orszag. As brother to Barack Obama's close friend and adviser, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Dr. Emanuel is is a health policy adivser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He has the President's ear, all 4 of them.
Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others" (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).
McCaughey responds that "Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else."
Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96). He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years" (Lancet, Jan. 31).
McCaughey points out that your child with cerebral palsy or your mother with Parkinson's will be not high on the list for care. This is the most astonishing news to me. Peter Orszag, Obama's budget director has asked Congress to give up its own authority over Medicare and gift it to a new "Presidentially-appointed bureaucracy" with no accountability to anyone but the President. Think about it. This may appeal to Congress because this is one less very difficult issue, pushed by a hardline Socialist President, they would have to deal with at their hometown Townhall meetings. They have their hands full right now. No doubt some are growing weary. But not all. After all, we are talking about power:
Peter Orszag
At a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee in late June, several senators objected to the loss of congressional power under the plan. "We're elected to make the hard decisions," Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe told her colleagues, according to people at the meeting.

Similar objections have cropped up in the House this week. Mr. Orszag's proposal last Friday ignited a heated debate among House Democrats. Hospitals and doctor groups are already lobbying against the proposal.

You've heard this one before:
One idea is to change incentives so doctors focus more on delivering better care, not more treatments. The administration has proposed financial penalties for hospitals that frequently readmit patients, a sign they weren't properly treated in the first place. Mr. Orszag calls such ideas game-changers.
So now we have to worry that our own Senators will have no say in Medicare. It may be left up to Obama and those whom he may choose. Poor Kathleen Sebelius. Does she have any power left in this administration? Thank you to Holger Awakens who got the conversation started. See the video, Deadly Doctor at Holger's.

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