Truth is the beginning of wisdom…

Archive for August, 2009

I have read extensively and have personal experience with universal health care. The real fact is that Obamacare … in its present 1,000-plus-page H.R. 3200 form … cannot and will not provide the remedy required for health care reform.

We know this Obamacare House bill grants government the authority to come into homes and usurp parental rights over child care and development. But did you know that the underlying source that is spearheading this initiative behind the scenes, as “adviser” to the Obama administration, is Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist and breast oncologist and brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. And that his bible for health care reform is his book Healthcare, Guaranteed.

Dr. Emanuel has served as special adviser to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for health policy as far back as February, when he confessed to the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times that he was “working on (the) health care reform effort.” Was this the first draft of Obamacare?

If you want to know the future of America’s universal health care, then you must understand the health care principles and plans of Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. It is far more than a coincidence how much Emanuel’s book parallels Obamacare’s philosophy, strategy and proposed legislation.

First, Emanuel rejects any attempts at incremental change or reform to our health care system (Page 185). What is needed, he concludes in his book (Page 171), is an immediate and totally comprehensive reconstruction of health care as we know it. That, of course, describes the vision of Obamacare to a T.

Second, in the chapter “Opening the Door to Comprehensive Change,” starting on Page 171 (which reads more like a political and mass-manipulating strategy than a health care manual), Emanuel drives home “a key political lesson: the need to rush the legislation through.” (Seen this methodology being used lately?!)

Third, as Obama crusades around the country pitching Obamacare, he continues to avoid giving virtually any specific details of the program. That, too, is a strategy of Emanuel’s: “Americans need to avoid the policy weeds. Focusing on details will only distract and create tangles and traps (Page 183).” So “details” of health care reform are “weeds”? That is why we continue to hear only warm and fuzzy generalities from Obama, such as, “If you’ve already got health care, the only thing we’re going to do for you is we’re going to reform the insurance companies so that they can’t cheat you.”

Fourth, Emanuel describes a comprehensive government health care program that is run completely by a national health board and 12 regional health boards (“modeled on the Federal Reserve System” — Page 83). Critics would say, “But that is not the national board as described in Obamacare or H.R. 3200.” Not yet, anyway. D oes anyone doubt that the duties and power of the national “Health Benefits Advisory Committee” will morph and grow over time? And what power will it wield when it is like the Federal Reserve?

Fifth, Emanuel believes in the “phasing out of Medicare (and) Medicaid (pages 88-89 and 94-95).” Could their eventual termination be the reason Obama’s administration won’t merely reform those programs to accommodate its universal health care desires?

Sixth, Emanuel believes in ending employer-based health care (pages 109-112). As any businessman knows, why would a company pay the exorbitant costs for employees’ private health insurance when it can benefit big-time from a free ticket for government health care coverage? Some have even proposed that provisions in the House’s health care legislation, under the titles “Limitation on new enrollment” and “Limitation on changes in terms or conditions” (Page 16 of H.R. 3200), could essentially make individual private medical insurance illegal.

Seventh, Emanuel believes a universal health care program could be paid for by phasing out Medicare and Medicaid, adopting a value-added tax of at least 10%, etc., and then allowing Americans themselves to “pay extra with after-tax dollars” (Page 100) for additional medical benefits (beyond the government program). The truth is that whether the money comes from higher corporate taxes, taxing employer-provided health insurance, eliminating health savings accounts or flexible spending accounts, limiting the deductibility of medical expenses, increasing taxes on selective consumptives or the middle class, etc., or all the above, trust me; sooner or later, we all will pay.

Eighth, enough has been written lately about Emanuel’s end-of-life counsel and consultation, including withholding his advice from The Hastings Center Report (in 1996) that medical care should be withheld from those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens. … An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

I find it striking that Obama’s ethics similarly have allowed him already to pass more laws increasing the terminations of life in the womb than any administration since Roe v. Wade. To add insult to injury, Congress repeatedly has rejected amendments to this universal health care bill that would prevent federal funds from being used for abortions.

In short, whether in title or not, Emanuel is Obama’s health care czar. Obamacare is a junior version of Emanuelcare. Or should I say the beginning stage of Emanuelcare? What’s almost eerie is how they both could be juxtaposed to intersect in full bloom sometime in America’s future.

One last thing: Someone once said, “If two people think so much alike, you can bet that one person is not thinking.”

Think about it!

Healthcare Rationing: Real Scary

By Newt Gingrich

Concerns about government bureaucracies gaining oversight of your treatment are not misplaced. We need reforms, but the answer is not central planning.

When Sarah Palin said that the emerging healthcare reform legislation would lead to “death panels” and government rationing of care, her language was explosive, but her premise about rationing was not.

The most critical test of any reform proposal is whether it will empower individuals or impose on them. It is a fact that the leading bills in Congress would increase the power of government and decrease individual freedom. You cannot spend an additional $1 trillion of taxpayer money and reduce the role of government. You will get new bureaucracies, more regulation, more complexity. That means you will have less control of your healthcare.

Disagree? Just read the versions of healthcare legislation:H.R.3200 in the House. One key proposal is to mandate an “essential benefit package” for every private insurance policy sold in the United States. Currently, individuals and employers usually make these coverage decisions. This legislation creates a new federal Health Benefits Advisory Committee that would decide instead. For example, if you are a single male with no children, the legislation still requires you to have maternity benefits and well-baby and well-child care coverage. You don’t want or don’t need that coverage? Sorry, you have to pay for it anyway.

Other planned agencies would give the federal government unprecedented and unaccountable control over your healthcare. The so-called Health Choices Administration and the National Health Insurance Exchange would set various standards for all health insurance policies. The president is also pushing for another new agency called the Independent Medicare Advisory Council. Described as a cost-control initiative, it would be made up of five government appointees who would, by determining Medicare reimbursement amounts, in essence decide what would be covered and what would not. The fear of government rationing is based on the premise that once government has such power, especially the ability to control what is covered by your private insurance policy, it also has the power to deny and restrict.

Those defending the House legislation claim rationing is not in any of its versions, and though that is technically true – no one wants rationing – the unprecedented power this legislation would grant to virtually unaccountable government agencies is all but certain to lead to rationing.

Consider Medicare, which is projected to go broke within the decade. As the baby-boom generation ages, it will put only more stress on the system. With more than 25% of all Medicare costs generated in the last two months of life, government already has the motive to ration care to the elderly. If the House legislation were to become law, these new government bureaucracies would then also potentially have the power. Are we supposed to trust that they won’t use it?

If such rationing occurs, rules will be needed to determine whether to spend federal healthcare dollars on a given individual. What might those rules look like? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is a key healthcare advisor to President Obama and the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He co-wrote an academic article 09)60137- in January exploring the ethical challenges of valuing an individual’s life in the context of allocating medical resources that are very scarce, such as organs or vaccines.

As an example, he and his coauthors proposed a system of valuation that could take into account that “[a] young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses.”

In a 1996 article in another journal, Dr. Emanuel similarly hypothesized that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

Dr. Emanuel contends that he was exploring what rules might be used to ration care, not specifically prescribing policy. But isn’t that the point? What we see at town hall meetings are Americans who legitimately believe it would be fundamentally unjust for government panels to make these kind of ethical decisions instead of individuals, loved ones and doctors.

To be clear, the healthcare system is in need of reform, particularly health insurance. But the answer is not central planning. The answer is more market competition – giving consumers more choices, more information and more control.

Here is one example. There are more than 1,300 health insurance companies in this country, but currently, consumers can buy only a product licensed in each individual state. Creating a nationwide health insurance market where any individual or group can shop for less expensive coverage from another state would provide more choices, forcing private plans to create better products, improve services and lower prices.

We must also equip individuals with information on healthcare cost and quality. Releasing the Medicare-claims history of doctors and hospitals (with patients’ personal information removed) would give Americans more knowledge to choose the most efficient institutions, practitioners and the most effective treatments. Inexplicably, this taxpayer-funded data remain locked away.

Of course, some Americans also need financial resources to pay for their healthcare choices. Tax credits are one way to help consumers purchase private healthcare coverage, or we could allow individuals to deduct the cost of insurance they purchase, just as employers do now. These are just some solutions to create competition to drive down costs while increasing quality.

There is no doubt that we badly need to improve our healthcare system. I welcome the comprehensive debate now taking place across the country on how to accomplish this goal. But reform must empower individuals, not government.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is founder of the Center for Health Transformation.

Keeping End-Of-Life Decisions, Our Decision

by Newt Gingrich

Emotions are high in the debate over the future of our health care, and for good reason. What we are discussing are deeply personal, often deeply emotional issues.

Americans are troubled by what we’re hearing from Washington because we don’t want government to dictate these deeply personal, deeply emotional decisions. Especially those decisions that come near the end of life.

Like so many Americans, I know this from personal experience.

My father-in-law recently passed a few years ago. It was a tragic, grief-filled event. But in the end, my father-in-law, his doctors and his family controlled the care he received. Not a bureaucrat. Not an impersonal panel of government “experts.”

That’s why this debate is so emotional.

The Model For End Of Life Care.

I think every American should have the opportunity my father-in-law had to have a conversation with their doctor about end of life care that is totally private, in which there are no standards set by the government and no fear of the bureaucracy.

We had that kind of an experience at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, where my father-in-law died.

At Gunderson – without any mandates from government – 92 percent of patients have advanced directives setting out what kind of care they want at the end of life.

Patients are treated with compassion, dignity and humanity. Families are engaged. Doctors are allowed to do what they think is best for patients, without fearing that the federal government is looking over their shoulders.

Health Care Isn’t Politics. It’s Personal.

End-of-life care is becoming a political football – and that’s precisely why so many Americans are fearful for the future of their health care.

Because it’s not politics. It’s personal.

And the test of any health care reform proposal is whether it gives us more power to control deeply personal decisions, or whether it takes that power away.

What follows is an article I wrote for the Los Angeles Times this weekend that explains how health care reform in Washington threatens to take us down the road to government control, and what we can do to stop it.

Further reading: Healthcare Rationing: Real Scary


Posted by straight shooter on August 17, 2009 under Abortion, Economy, Health Care, Political, Social Concerns

Abortion Is Included

The number of proofs that abortion is included in the health care overhaul officially was affirmed once again at a townhall meeting in San Jose, California where House Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) did a fine job of that confirmation after a member of the audience specifically asked about the abortion mandate. The text of the exchange is as follows.

QUESTION: “[This is a] health care plan that is covering abortion, which we know that over 90% of abortions are purely elective, not medically necessary. Why is this being covered when abortion is clearly not health care?” (Applause).

REP. LOFGREN: “[This is a] basic benefit plan developed by, um, health professionals … Abortion will be covered as a benefit by one or more of the health care plans available to Americans, and I think it should be.”

Questions To Ask Your Senators And Representative About ObamaCare

Here are some proposed questions for you to ask your Senators and Representative about ObamaCare. Get a group together and go to your Senators and Representative offices and ask these questions. Most Senators and Representatives have Townhall meetings in their district during their August break. Get the schedule and attend the meetings. Urge others to do the same. Have different groups at different locations to ask these questions to make sure the Congressman is consistent.

Yesterday, President Obama conceded that there probably won’t be a vote on healthcare reform until “the end of September or the middle of October.” That means you have August to attend town hall meetings with your representative and senators, stop by their congressional offices, write letters to the editor and educate your friends and family members about the dangers of socialized medicine. To help you in that effort, we’ve produced a short list of key concerns and questions, which are copied below. Please share this report with like-minded folks and those who may be undecided and willing to listen. Thank you for everything you do to defend our shared values in your community!


Pro-choice groups, like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, are demanding that abortion be covered in any healthcare reform bill. In a recent interview with Politico, Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood, defends this demand by saying, “the alternative would be slashing benefits for millions of women who currently have [private] coverage for abortions…” In addition, key administration officials refuse to rule out abortion coverage. When asked on Fox News Sunday whether taxpayer money would go to pay for abortions, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag replied, “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”

Pro-life senators on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee forced a roll call vote on the issue when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) attempted to add an amendment to the healthcare bill that would, in her words, “include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services…deemed medically necessary or appropriate.” She admitted that such “health clinics” would include Planned Parenthood. The pro-life amendment to prohibit funding of abortion lost 11-to-12.

Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that uses my tax dollars to pay for abortions?


In a recent New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and health care expert, wrote:

“One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’ This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”

Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way promotes euthanasia?


The United States faces a debt crisis. According to many analysts, including Senator Judd Gregg (who is so respected by President Obama that he offered Gregg the post of Secretary of Commerce), the Obama budget will give us $11 trillion of debt at the end of five years and $17 trillion of debt at the end of ten years. (Source:

Question for your Congressmen: Why is Congress and the president pushing through a healthcare bill that would cost another trillion dollars over the next ten years? Shouldn’t we concentrate on getting the debt under control first?


According to a July 15th report by The Hill, “The House bill would be paid for by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts…” These “cuts” would come as millions of Americans are retiring. Logic suggests that if we are “cutting” hundreds of billions of dollars healthcare would have to be limited or rationed in some way to accommodate more people. And seniors would be most affected by Medicare cuts.

In addition, advisors to President Obama, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have suggested that healthcare should be rationed to certain individuals. Dr. Emanuel once wrote that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens…should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”


Question for your Congressmen: How can government promise to do more with less? Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way limits my access to healthcare or medicines recommended by my doctor?


Despite a 9.5% (and rising) unemployment rate, the healthcare bill in the House imposes a new 8% payroll tax on small businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or more that don’t provide health insurance for their employees. This is in addition to the current 15% payroll tax. What this means is that any employer with a payroll of $400,000 dollars or higher will have to pay at least 25% above the salary just to hire someone. Common sense tells you that any struggling small business will likely lay off workers to avoid this additional tax. On the other hand, if the tax is cheaper than the cost of health insurance, larger businesses may opt to cancel their health insurance, forcing employees into the government’s “public option,” and simply pay the 8% fine. (Source: Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2009)

Question for your Congressmen: Why are you imposing additional mandates and taxes on small businesses, which create the overwhelming majority of new jobs, in the middle of a severe recession?


American healthcare is better than that in European countries with socialized medicine. The German breast cancer mortality rate is 52% higher than in the United States. Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in the United Kingdom and 457% higher in Norway than in the United States. Canadian healthcare lags behind the United States too. Canadian patients wait twice as long to see a specialist for hip surgery or cancer than we do in the United States. Most Americans say they are satisfied with the U.S. health care system, but more than 70% of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Britons say that their systems need “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” (Source: National Center for Policy Analysis.)

In an editorial on July 26th, the Washington Post criticized President Obama for not “leveling about the consequences of change” when it comes to healthcare costs versus quality. Here’s what the Post wrote: “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new technology accounts for about half the increase in health-care costs over the past several decades. This, for the most part, is a good thing. Adjusted for inflation, health-care spending per person is six times what it was 40 years ago. But no one today would settle for 1960s-style medicine.”

Question for your Congressmen: Why are you trying to force us in the direction of more government involvement in healthcare when everywhere government-run healthcare has been tried, quality declines and care is rationed?


According to a recent poll, just 23% of voters believe healthcare reform legislation will lower costs, while 53% believe it will lead to more expensive care. By a margin of 50% to 23%, voters believe that “reform” legislation will make the quality of care decline. And while voters believe they will get worse care at higher costs, 78% also believe that healthcare reform will result in middle class tax hikes. In addition, a recent Fox News poll found that 91% of those surveyed have health insurance, 84% said that the quality of their health insurance was either excellent or good and 83% said the quality of health care they receive from their private insurance is either good or excellent. And only 12% of those surveyed said reforming health care was the most important issue Congress should be working on right now. (Source: Rasmussen Reports, July 28, 2009 and Fox News poll July 23, 2009.)

Question for your Congressmen: Why are you and the White House rushing this bill through Congress and ignoring the concerns of the American people?


The healthcare reform legislation under consideration in the House will eventually force all Americans into a government-approved plan. After a five-year grace period, every new insurance policy will have to comply with government mandates, and any policy changes – “altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug” – invalidates your previous coverage and forces you to choose a government “qualified” plan. In addition, the House plan mandates coverage for every individual. If you are self-employed or choose not buy insurance for whatever reason, the bill imposes a “healthcare tax” of 2.5% of your income. (Source:, July 24, 2009 and, July 15, 2009)

Question for your Congressmen: Why do you believe bureaucrats can make better decisions than me about what kind of health insurance I should have? And will you guarantee that any healthcare reform bill passed by Congress will always allow me to choose my own doctor?


Do you care about the race of a doctor who is getting ready to operate on you? Of course not. Most Americans want their doctor to be the best professional available regardless of race or ethnic background. But congressional liberals have a different idea. On page 909 of the House bill, grants to medical schools will be awarded “to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following…training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.” (Source: Investors Business Daily, July 27, 2009)

Question for your Congressmen: Why are you throwing affirmative action/racial set-asides into a healthcare reform bill that are discriminatory against whites…that is racism?


President Obama has repeatedly said that “no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.” That sounds wonderful until you apply common sense, which is in short supply in Washington. What if we made a law that allowed you to buy car insurance after you got into an accident and that required the insurance company to pay for the damage? Wouldn’t many people just wait for an accident before buying insurance? Why wouldn’t many Americans wait until they were sick to buy health insurance?

Question for your Congressmen: Isn’t it clear that this provision would drive up the cost of health insurance for everyone?

This is a start. Please feel free to add your own questions.