And That Makes Me A Fear Monger

Yeah.  I realize this is one long post.  But since I didn’t write most of it, I promise it really is worth the read.  ;D

Even in Kindergarten I wasn’t all that great at coloring in between the lines.

I mean what if that poor tree wanted to expand it’s reach?  Who was I to confine it within someone else’s mimeographed lines?

And while I don’t do much coloring these days, my aversion for living within somebody else’s lines is still strong.

Which is one of the reasons that when somebody tells me that they want to totally overhaul health care I tend to be cautious. Cause we are talking some pretty bold lines drawn for me to keep my toes behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I think there are lots of ways that health care could be improved. But I’ve yet to hear any of those ideas pop up in regards to Obama’s brand of health care reform.

And because I choose to question these new ideas on health care reform, I’ve been labeled a (gasp!) Fear Monger.

Which makes me laugh, because when I voice my concerns to those doing the labeling, the only reply they have to give is along the lines of, “Well, that would just never happen.”

Oh. Good comeback.

TWO cases in point. One from our local Daily Herald: You really can’t make this up

“A government-run health care system would never treat people callously, would it?

It’s inconvenient for Democrats right now that British doctors are raising the alarm about nationalized health care there. Under the innocuous-sounding “Liverpool Care Pathway,” doctors can choose to withdraw assistance from the very ill and sedate them continuously until they die. Up to 16 percent of all deaths in the U.K. come after such “terminal sedation.” That’s 20,000 people a year.

Sadly, some British physicians have said, many of those people could recover if they were allowed to. But the system won’t allow them to. That’s because, in a government-run system, sick, old people become statistics that run up the costs. A drugged death is cheaper.

How callous and furtive is this system? An audit found that in 28 percent of the cases, relatives weren’t even informed that their loved ones had been placed on this pathway to death.

Of course, government never announces at beginning all the consequences of a program. That would be too obvious and awkward.

Instead what happens is that year after year the bureaucracies spew out regulations. Year after year bureaucrats accumulate power. There’s no big announcement. Just thousands of pages of regulation, and government officials following orders. A casual comment here, some whispers there and maybe a few nods and meaningful glances. With all that, a program’s goals slowly and subtly evolve.

Sometimes there is only waste and incompetence. Sometimes, sadly, there’s something more ominous, and even deadly.

We wish we were making all this up. But we are not.

Oh? That’s just ONE point of view?

Okay. I get that. How about this article. (Hat tip to my sweet friends Michelle and Elliot.)

Goverment-Run Health Care World Ration Care for Disabled Children, Parents and Lawmakers Warn.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday shared a personal story that shows why he is passionate about protecting the most vulnerable in society — and why a government-run health care program would not only fail to offer that protection, but could end up rationing care for some people, including children with disabilities.

At a Capitol Hill press conference, Franks said the parents who brought their special needs children to Washington, D.C., had the most compelling stories to share.

“But I would cite just one (story) that has a personal connection to me,” Franks said. The story involved an “old man” and his firstborn son, who was born with deformities of the mouth – a “missing pallet” and other issues, Franks said.

“And the doctors at that time in the small hospital said, ‘Well you can’t breast feed this child, you can’t feed him. So the best thing to do is to do away with him in a merciful manner.’

“Well, the man said ‘No, this is my first child, we’re going to take him home and do the best we can. We’ll make a machine to feed him.’

“The machine turned out to be an eyedropper and a pill cup,” Franks said. “And the child grew up to be big and strong. And of course I’m thankful to that old man, because he was my dad.”

Franks said he had 11 surgeries before he was 9 years old.

Franks was flanked by more than a dozen parents, some with their disabled children in tow and others carrying photographs of their children, including children who died from complications related to their disability.

“I don’t want to draw attention to myself,” Franks said. “I want to draw attention to all these people and remind each of us, no matter who we are – I’ll quote a Democrat. He said that a society is measured by how it treats those in the dawn of life, those in the shadows of life and those in the twilight of life,” Franks said, referring to Hubert Humphrey.

Kristan Hawkins, whose son Gunner was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at two months old, said her research on her son’s condition led her to discover that government health insurance in Canada and some European countries don’t cover the special medication he needs.

Hawkins started a Web site, healthcareforgunner.com, and coordinated a group of parents from around the country who share her concerns. She said she came to Washington to lobby against government-run health care.

“I want my family and my doctor to control my son’s health-care decisions, not a government-appointed committee,” Hawkins said.

Barb Farlow said her daughter, who had a devastating genetic condition, died 80 days after she was born and 24 hours after she was taken to a Canadian hospital for surgery.

“We later discovered that no diagnostic tests had been done and a ‘do not resuscitate order’ was written before we had provided consent,” Farlow said. “The discovery that our fundamental parental rights had been violated in such a manner without cause left us shocked and devastated.

“Sadly, we believe that to our (Canadian) medical system, Annie was not a child but a label with associated statistics and a price tag,” Farlow said. “We will never know Annie’s potential, and so we grieve her death and the life she might have had.”

Mary Kellett said she was glad she could fight for treatment for her 4-year-old son, Peter, who was born with a chromosomal abnormality.

“We were told to wrap him in a blanket and let him die,” Kellett said. “We were told there were no survivors with Trisomy 18 beyond two weeks.

“We fought to give Peter the ordinary care our other children would be given, and we thank God every day this precious little boy is here blessing our family,” Kellett said.

Marty McCaffrey, a neonatologist and the father of a 9-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome, said he sees problems with Democrats’ vision of health care reform:

“We have been assured that government restructuring of health care will not require rationing, affect current services, create distribution panels, nor subsidize abortion,” McCaffrey said. “Even a neonatologist knows that if you increase demand for services, the cost will rise. If the health services budget is drastically cut while larger numbers of patients are added to the roles, rationing is unavoidable.”

McCaffrey said 90 percent of women who are diagnosed as carrying a baby with Down syndrome terminate the pregnancy – a number he said could grow even larger under currently proposed health care reform.

“Many will never meet a child with Down Syndrome,” McCaffrey said as he held his daughter Shea’s hand.

Erica Kelley’s two-year-old son also has cystic fibrosis. She said he is doing well because of the outstanding care he receives through her husband’s employer-provided insurance.

“The people of the U.S. have access to the best medical care in the world,” Kelley said.

Eileen Benthal’s daughter, Johanna, has congenital brain malformations. Johanna has had 70 surgeries, mostly on her brain, in her 13 years of life. Her condition causes stroke-like symptoms, cognitive and motor delays and seizures.

Benthal said Medicare is her daughter’s secondary insurance and that treatments and medications are regularly denied. “I shudder to think of how we would fare with (Medicaid) as primary (insurance),” Benthal said. (Tammy adds: Oh, I know THIS all too well.)

Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.) also attended the conference and said she shares the parents’ concerns about a government-run health care program.

“We wanted to just give you a perspective of a community of people who are watching health care reform very closely and want to make sure that the reform that ultimately passes Congress doesn’t leave a very important population behind,” McMorris-Rodgers said. “These are people that are dealing with health care on a daily, if not an hourly basis — and I know this because of my own experience.

“I have a son who is two years old,” McMorris-Rodgers said. “He has Down Syndrome and it means we are in the doctor’s office a lot.”

Franks said the community would be harmed by a government-run health care plan.

“I truly believe with all my heart that government-run health care will diminish all of those people, those in the dawn of life, the unborn,” Franks said. “This will be the largest expansion of abortion since Roe versus Wade.

“Regardless of the debate that has occurred, we’re taking the lives of 4,000 children every day, and if that’s the administration’s health care plan for the unborn, I don’t think that’s a good one,” Franks said.

The parents distributed a white paper at the press conference detailing the effects of health care rationing. They also sent a letter to President Barack Obama and leadership in the House and Senate expressing their opposition to a government-run health care plan.

There’s a lot more where this came from.  Lots more unanswered questions.  Questions that get asked, but never really answered.

For example, what if Reed’s school district that provides our private insurance decides to dump the private insurance and go with the government run health care plan because it would be cheaper.  Doesn’t that pretty much negate the promise that you will not lose your current health care plan?

13 Comments

  1. Lacey and Jax Sep 20, 09
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