Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jeffrey Lord: Berwick Sets Up Death Panels By Fiat

"Governor Palin has been vindicated"
It's about much more than just death panels, as if they aren't dangerous enough, explains Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator. The more disturbing issue -- and a threat to the American idea of freedom and liberty -- is the manner in which the Obama Administration intends to implement death panels. They will be forced on an unwilling citizenry by "a central government of rule-making un-elected bureaucrats":
Sarah Palin was right.

John Boehner -- make that Speaker-elect of the House John Boehner -- was right.


In other words, the 2009 charge leveled by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the then-House Minority Leader Boehner that Obama fully intended to set up what Palin termed government "death panels" -- panels that Boehner said would set the government on the road to euthanasia -- is no longer a charge.

It's reality. By executive fiat -- in this case a new Medicare rule issued by Obama Medicare chief Dr. Donald Berwick.

Palin, who made the charge on her Facebook page on August 7, 2009 during the health care debates, came under a fusillade of scornful and demeaning political attacks from political opponents after pointedly saying this about the prospect of death panels:
And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Her famous sharp criticism was enough for the plan to be quickly dropped by Congress.

Now, with Americans absorbed in a festive holiday and ignoring Washington momentarily, the Obama administration has found a way to achieve its death panel goal anyway...


Governor Palin has been vindicated. Speaker Boehner has been vindicated.

And Palin's critics in particular now have more than holiday eggnog all over their faces. Obama's Dr. Berwick has re-ignited one of the most hotly controversial issues of the entire health care debate just as a conservative ascendancy prepares to take power in the next Congress. With no less than Boehner himself taking the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as the new Speaker of the House.

What does this new rule say and do, exactly?

It inserts the federal government in end-of-life planning, precisely as Palin said was Obama's intention. Not, as was true of its original legislative formulation, every five years. But annually. No one of any sense objects to an individual and doctor having end-of-life discussions about living wills and such whenever they wish. Only the Obama administration and its obsession for control wants the government to incentivize the issue so that doctors must raise it annually, a system that on its face pressures the most deeply vulnerable of Americans in the most Orwellian of terms to end their lives.

Control and pressure. Pressure and control. This is the only two-step philosophical/political dance liberals know. It is, as it were, primal. And the Berwick Medicare rule, constructed in secret and released on Christmas Day when it no one is looking, is a perfect example -- if hardly the only example -- of how the Obama Administration views its role. Control and pressure. Pressure… and control.

Versus the conservative concept (shorthand version) of liberty and freedom.

And Palin's critics in particular now have more than holiday eggnog all over their faces.

This Orwellian nightmare serves to remind us, Lord points out, that Governor Palin took almost all of the heat for taking this issue, buried deep as it was in thousands of pages of obscure legislative doublespeak, and raising it to the national consciousness. Her critics have been proven wrong by Berwick, Reich and other authoritarian leftists. Knowing the Palinophobes as we do, no one expects them to own up and give her due credit for being right.

But nothing they say or do can change the fact that Gov. Palin clearly has demonstrated real leadership on this issue -- leadership which Lord suggests is of presidential caliber -- by sticking to her guns on a matter which "is now coming back to bite the American people in the form of a new Medicare rule on death panels -- reported of all days on Christmas day."

Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

- JP

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