Government Controlled Health Care Will Have Death Panels

Charlie Gard died on July 28. He was eleven months old. He is proof positive that government controlled health care will have death panels. Charlie Gard was born in Britain where government is in charge of health care. He was born with a rare genetic disorder that a panel of doctors in Britain decided was incurable. In all fairness they were probably right. The parents, however, didn’t’ want to believe it and when they had an offer for an experimental treatment from a doctor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York they wanted their Charlie to at least have a chance for a normal life. They were refused by the panel. Back in 2009 Sarah Palin said that if government controlled health care it would result in virtual death panels. She was attacked by the left and ridiculed by the media. It turns out she was right. If what happened to baby Charlie wasn’t a “death panel,” then what was it?

In 2009 Sarah Palin wrote, “[G]overnment health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. 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.” Charlie Gard was deemed too expensive to keep on life support, too expensive to be given an experimental treatment. He was deemed expendable. Truly, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was one of the main contributors to Obama Care. He is the kind of person that would make decisions about treatment. He wrote, “Covering services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic, and should not be guaranteed.” In 2009 Dr. Emmanuel and two others wrote, Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions. In it they presented something they called the “Complete Lives System” which weighed the worth of those who would receive medical resources. It was logical in its reasoning. It was also something you’d expect to read in Mein Kampf. Giving lifetime care to an infant like Charlie Gard, under their Complete Lives System would be an inefficient use of resources. Likewise, treatment for elderly patients rather than for younger adults would be less cost effective. In essence it says thanks grandma and grandpa, but you’re 75 already. Why waste resources on you. By the way, Dr. Emanuel is an advocate of end of life counseling and euthanasia. In 2104 he wrote an article for the Atlantic entitled, Why I Hope to Die at 75. After listing all the reasons that 75 was a good age to die he wrote, I have long argued that we should focus on giving all terminally ill people a good, compassionate death—not euthanasia or assisted suicide for a tiny minority.”

This is the thinking of those who want government in charge of health care. And this is what we’ll have in the United States if the Republicans can’t get their act together and repeal Obama Care. Replacing Obama Care with another government controlled health care system is equally dangerous. It’s just a slower journey to the same end. Government run anything is inefficient and giving power to bureaucrats is a bad idea. Remember the VA scandal? In 2015 an Inspector General report estimated that as many as 300,000 veterans may have died waiting for health care and roughly twice that many were still waiting. Those who support government controlled health care should be honest about what kind of care we’d get if we weren’t the upper 1%. We would get the same kind of care the VA gave veterans who couldn’t afford health care on their own.

The free market has many faults and flaws. Capitalism is predisposed for serious abuses. The problem is that socialism and government control of our lives is even worse. I’d rather take my chances making my own decisions than trust a bureaucrat to make those decisions for me. Set up health care savings accounts for citizens. Figure out a way to help those who through no fault of their own need care they can’t afford, but leave the ultimate life and death decisions to those who will live or die because them

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Nicholas Wishek

Nicholas Wishek. Retired teacher. 40 years classroom experience. Served in California National Guard 6 years. BA in history, MA in education. Married 35 years. Two sons. Many columns published in OC Register 2009-2014.

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