Thursday, August 6, 2009

Obamacare seen as death sentence for the elderly

by Paul Perry

As I write this, it appears that our Congress is speeding down a highway to hell, as per usual. It is, of course, paved with good intentions. Congress is about to add even more money to the so-called cash for clunkers program.

OK, there is some benefit. The citizenry gets to take some of their tax money back in return for trading in a used car to purchase a new one. Cars will be sold. Smoke-ring-blowing jalopies will be taken off the road, thus saving the planet, supposedly. In the auto business, commissions will be generated and money will be made, temporarily. Remember, all we are doing is recycling money that you will be taxed to replace. In the long run you will pay for it.

I am all for money being made, and unlike many, I have no particular dislike of car dealers. I do have an intense dislike of debt and higher taxes. Congress is burning up the financial highway to provide another 2 billion (that used to be a lot of money) in order to sell more environmentally friendly cars. I guess the only way this would be more satisfactory for most elected officials is if these new cars cut out the middle man and burned cash instead of gasoline, but then Congress and the administration would have nothing to do. Well, I guess they could figure out ways to hasten the demise of our elder citizens.

I think the new proposed health care program will do just that. In fact, I think it is going to be a windfall for funeral homes. You see, we have a lot of aging baby boomers in our society right now. They are the children born to the U.S. generation that prevailed in World War 2 –– if they hadn’t, those of us who are now alive would be speaking German or maybe Japanese. The veterans were a hardy lot; in truth the whole generation was pretty tough. Many nearly starved as a business cycle downturn worsened into a depression made worse by government mismanagement in the 1930’s. The whole country sacrificed mightily during WW 2, and many lost their lives in combat in the 1940s.

After they won the war, the survivors returned home to various and sundry government benefits earned during their service in the conflict. Opportunities for higher education were expanded. Home ownership was made easier through government programs. There were surplus calories. Family formation increased, thus the baby boomers came into being. Evidently the government doesn’t like baby boomers.

Additionally, this bill contains enough taxes that small businesses and many, if not most, middle-class folks will pay more in new taxes than they will save in insurance premiums.

Baby boomers are starting to retire in droves –– that is, if they have any money left. Demographically they are the largest generation in America. Their medical care will be expensive. Some of us have had to help our elders make what are called end-of-life decisions. In other words, just how much effort do you want there to be –– especially at an advanced age –– if you have a terminal medical condition. This should be a personal and private discussion and only with those who have earned your trust.

A few years ago, a relative who was very close to me wanted very little care in the event that he reached a terminal condition. It was his choice. I didn’t have any influence. I followed instructions. He was 85, after all, and old enough to make his own decisions without my badgering and certainly without federal government input. He had all of that he ever wanted in the war. He visited with an attorney and had all the appropriate paperwork taken care of. It was his doing; there were no federal mandates.

The current so-called health care bill in the House of Representatives, on the other hand, is a health care rationing bill. The section on cancer hospitals sets that tone pretty well. Rationing and limiting care is the agenda. On page 425, the bill states that the government will mandate so-
called advance-care planning, including instructing and consulting in regard to living wills and durable powers of attorney.

Will old folks be encouraged to pull the plug? Over time, I am betting they will. This is not a private discussion initiated by the elderly and their loved ones and their attorney. This is inserting impersonal government involvement into determining when you will die. Potentially, this is a federally mandated discussion which will reoccur every several years past a certain age. That could get just a little depressing, perhaps by design.

On page 427, the federal government requires a program for orders for the end of life. On page 429, the government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order, and on page 430, the government will specify your level of treatment. The way the bill reads now, almost all decisions will be reviewed by the federal government. These are just a few of my concerns. In summary, I think I know what George Washington would have thought of the bill.

If you don’t believe that any good provisions in this monstrosity will be totally corrupted by some faceless, nameless and godless federal bureaucrat in a cubicle somewhere, I have a diamond mine you need to buy. Please buy it, because I want to be able to afford to get me and mine the heck out of here, in style, if this bill passes. Where will this federal program end? I suspect mandatory euthanasia, eventually. By the way, Congress, active and retired, will be exempt from this entire program.

Shouldn’t we just call this the Funeral Home Stimulus Act? It would be more honest. If we don’t stand up, we will lose our Republic. As our lawmakers consider mandating “end-of-life” issues, I even fear judgment, divine judgment against our nation. Call your senators and your congressman. Demand that all efforts are employed to stop this predation.


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