Emanuelcare 5

Chuck Norris writes:

Obama is not the leader of Obamacare. And neither is Congress. The one who has been spearheading the initiative behind the scenes is one who goes under the misnomer “adviser” to the Obama administration, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist and breast oncologist and brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. And 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.” 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. I find it 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’s 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. Does 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 percent, 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.

  • roger in florida

    Ms Becker;
    Your comparison between British military capability and the US Navy is meaningless.
    I am in favor of maintaining a military force capable of defending the US and safeguarding US interests around the world. Bear in mind that aside from being many times more capable and powerful than all other navies on earth combined, the US Navy is currently the third largest air force in the world, behind the Chinese PAAF and the USAF. Whatever additional air defence capability would be required if the USAF was disbanded could easily be picked up by the USN. Also the Navy maintains a ground force of approx. 5 divisions; the USMC, again whatever additional ground force capability required by disbanding the US Army could easily be handled by the USN. I am against large standing armies on philosophical grounds, there never was a tyranny in the history of mankind that did not have a large standing army. Militaries are typically idle during peace time and you know the old saying “The devil makes work etc.”
    Any part of meaningful spending restraint in the US has to include major cuts in military spending, I would guess that the ideas I present would save approx. 1/3, or $200Bn in spending. It is not going to happen of course.
    I am also against the militirisation of police and other govt. law enforcement agencies. The replacement of police ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector, etc. with trooper, leutenant, major, colonel, etc. is indicative to me of a shift from a public service agency to a govt. owned occupying force.
    Your statement that the threat of imposed socialism needs to be removed in 2012 is admirable but I think misplaced; do you see any possibility of a Margaret Thatcher type politician coming to power in the US? I certainly don't. The disruptions at the “Health Care Townhall Meetings” seem to be largely people who are already receiving govt. medical care via medicare and medicaid and who don't want their privileges reduced. They are certainly not going to vote for any return to free enterprise and individual responsibility.
    As you point out above, one of Dr Emanuels plans is to phase out these programs, which of course they would be as part of a single payer universal system.

  • roger in florida

    Ms Becker,
    Re: Dr Emanuel P 109-112 above:
    The issue I raise as a particular problem of the US healthcare system is the employer paid coverage. I realise that most employees pay a part of the premium but that does not detract from the problem. This system was introduced during the very rapid industrial ramp up that occurred in the US during WW2. There were major disruptions of civilian life particularly for women who were essentially drafted into factories to produce armaments. Health care was provided but was intended as a short term remedy (!). The situation now is that US companies are trying to compete in the international market place against foreign competition that does not bear these costs. Bear in mind that most larger Cos. are self insured through SISCO (The Self Insurance Service Co.) This means that they have to maintain large benefit depts. to administer the system. Now you may say: “the hell with them, they should pay benefits”, but if that is the way we wish to go then we have to erect tarriff walls to ensure that US Cos. are cost competitive.
    I should say that I believe that the US has a huge problem with disappearing industry. We are going to be impoverished if this continues, as of now we are living as a nation on borrowed money; if the US could no longer borrow there would be an immediate and devastating collapse in the US standard of living, at least comparable to the Great Depression. But it is as bad if we continue to borrow, particularly at the current rate. When we consider the appalling “Investments” that are being made with this borrowed money. We have to revitalise our productive, wealth producing (that is: Private) sector and we have to do it quickly. Ending employer provided health care would help tremendously.
    Although as I have said on previous comments, I have no confidence that the necessary decisions will be made. Let me give you an example of what I consider to be a necessary decision. Both the US Army and the US Air Force should be essentially disbanded, each reduced to no more than a thousand men each. The Navy has an air force and an army. The US navy is perfectly capable of defending the US.
    Now how likely is that?

    • Interesting information, roger in florida, much that I for one didn't know.

      I agree about the private sector being the only hope of real recovery – but first the threat of imposed socialism must be removed, and the soonest that can happen is the presidential election of 2012.

      I am puzzled by your suggestion that severe reduction of the armed forces would be good for America. Should the country rely only on its nuclear capabilities for defense – nuclear weapons fired from submarines, as per the the British strategy of 'deterrence'?

  • Roger in florida –

    It's always interesting to hear your views.

    Please tell us the ideas of Dr Emanuel that you feel would be worth discussing. I should like to discuss them, and others may too.

  • roger in florida

    A couple of issues:
    First: Employer provided health insurance has been a tremendous cost on US businesses. It is one of the major reasons why US businesses are uncompetitive internationally. In many manufacturing enterprises I have visited the benefits administration dept. is far larger than engineering, product development, marketing, etc. To take an example; GM self insures and provides health care benefits to 2 million people, approx. 2% of all health care transactions in the US are paid for by GM, no wonder they are in trouble!
    Employer based health insurance coverage has to end, my preference would be to go back to privately purchased coverage by individuals, but compulsory, like car insurance or property insurance on property owned with borrowed money. This option however is politically impossible so a solution may be a Govt. scheme with compulsorily deducted premiums similar to social security contributions.
    Second: VAT is in wide use throughout the developed world and has been very effectively used as a subsidy for exports. Germany, for example has a VAT of approx. 20%, but a vehicle exported to the US pays no VAT, however a vehicle imported from the US would be immediately surcharged 20%.
    Personally I favor the introduction of a VAT, provided that other taxes; ie corporate or personal income taxes were very much reduced or eliminated. VAT is progressive, the more you spend the more you pay, it is paid by everybody provided it is levied on all goods and services. However as the other taxes will never be eliminated or even significantly reduced VAT should be rejected.
    This may sound like heresy but perhaps Dr Emanuel has some ideas that do need to be discussed.