This is why we’re screwed as a society.
From Anthony Mirhaydari, writing for MSN Money, in a piece entitled “Why we need ‘death panels’”
The fact is, 25% of all Medicare spending goes to the 5% of recipients who die each year –with 80% of that in the last two months of life. This is aggressive spending on things like stays in intensive care and critical care units, which research has shown do not meet the needs and preferences of terminal patients despite its increasing use.
Especially when combined with the growing evidence supporting the benefits of less-expensive, palliative hospice care that allows people to enjoy their last days on this earth in peace at home, not poked, prodded and intubated, floating in and out of consciousness under the fluorescent lights of a $30,000-a-night hospital room.
The popular backlash against death panels gave politicians in Washington reason to fear the topic in general.
I don’t know what makes me angrier. The concern over the cost and the debt being left for the future being applied to the subject of the medical care of individuals, or the diagnosis that says if you’re too old, or too sick, you aren’t worth it, rather than re-examining the premise that it was ever something for government to be making decisions about in the first place.
The willingness of the “smart people” to give government such an awesome responsibility when its ability to conduct any duty outside of those specifically assigned to it is such a train wreck. I think that there is every reason to have a discussion about the dignity of life, and what is worth maintaining at any cost, but government has NO place in that conversation, let alone dictating the result to us. When we let government decide when or if we are worth saving, we belong to the government. There is no dignity in the person, save what government allows you to have. Individuals are valued based on their worth to the state; and they will be granted privileges are rights are revoked.
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
-Thomas Jefferson, his First Inaugural Address
I think Tommy will soon have his answer, as this intentionally defective behemoth comes into its full glory, and the body count skyrockets as government lets us know what it thinks each of us is worth. I only hope we can be forgiven for the complete abdication of the gift of the personal sovereignty that his generation risked everything to give us.