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Liberals’ Promise of Health Care Utopia Doesn’t Fool Americans August 3, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, economy, ethics, euthanasia, family, health care, legislation, news, senior citizens.
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By Gary Palmer

Beginning with the very unpopular stimulus bill followed by an almost equally unpopular massive energy tax in the form of the cap-and-trade bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, President Obama has seen his approval rating steadily decline to the point that his rating is now lower than President Bush’s was at the same point of their presidencies.

As of this writing, the latest Rasmussen presidential index poll shows Obama with a substantial negative rating. The presidential approval index is calculated by subtracting the percentage of people who strongly disapprove of the job he is doing – 40 percent – from the percentage of people who strongly approve – 28 percent – leaving a negative approval index of 12 percent. Overall, only 48 percent say they at least somewhat approve of Obama’s performance while 51 percent say they at least somewhat disapprove.

Other polls are also reflecting the change in the public’s attitude toward Obama, and essentially toward all Democrats in Congress, especially in regard to their efforts to nationalize health care in America.

The fact that the public is solidly against the bill at this point in the debate is important because the public does not yet fully comprehend the entire impact of the legislation. Obama and the Democrats insist their bill will lower costs while still providing everyone with access to the best technology and best-trained doctors and best-equipped hospitals. They argue that nothing will change in our health system except that costs will come down and everyone, regardless of age, income or citizenship, will have access to high quality health care.

Like magic, utopia will arrive in the form of a government-run health care system and we will all be part of one big, healthy, happy family … except of course, our elderly who will be encouraged by a government counselor to help save money by simply signing an agreement to avoid life-saving medical help.

According to an analysis by Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, pages 425-430 of the current version of the health care bill contain provisions for government counseling for end-of-life planning such as Advanced Death Care Planning, government consulting on living wills and durable power of attorney, government-approved end-of-life resources, approved end-of-life treatments, approved orders for end-of-life planning and approved doctors for end-of-life orders.

If the health care reform bill passes, elderly citizens could endure long waits for treatment and access to medical equipment and be excluded from receiving some treatments and technology altogether because of their age. Elderly patients in Canada and Great Britain have been routinely put at the end of the line for expensive medical care. In the minds of the bureaucrats who control access to health care in those countries, the life expectancy and quality of life relative to younger patients does not justify the expense of treating elderly patients.

Because health care costs are extremely high for older people, Obama has targeted late-life care as an area where spending can be reduced to help cover the costs of this massive government takeover of health care. He talked about this recently in the context of his grandmother who received a hip replacement even though she was terminally ill with cancer.

Obama said this is where we get into some very difficult moral issues because late-life health care and care for the chronically ill is very expensive. He said, “… the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there.” When asked how we should deal with it, Obama explained that “… you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.” That guidance will be authorized by the mandates found in the pages of the massive health care bill.

Despite liberal promises of a health care utopia, the majority of Americans know better. Americans know from the experiences of the people of Canada and Great Britain that government-run health care will cost us trillions of dollars resulting in massive economy-crippling tax increases and lower quality service.

Four months ago, public opinion seemed to indicate this president could do no wrong. But as so often happens with politicians, Obama has overreached in his efforts to remake America as the polls show public disapproval of his agenda growing almost daily. Just over 15 months from now, the public’s opinion on socialized health care and the whole liberal agenda may very well be evident in the only poll that matters, the one that is taken on Election Day.

Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

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