Death panels...coming to your town

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Death panels...coming to your town
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 5:31pm

Obama's Nominee to Run Medicare: 'The Decision is Not Whether or Not We Will Ration Care--The Decision is Whether We Will Ration Care With Our Eyes Open'

( – President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, is a strong supporter of the government-run health care system in Britain, who said in a 2009 interview about Comparative Effectiveness Research: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care--the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

The $787-billion stimulus law signed by President Obama created a Federal Coordinating Coucil for Comparative Effectivieness research in health care that some critics argue was a step toward rationing of heatlh care in the United States.

Donald Berwick, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the head of the non-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, was nominated by Obama on April 19, 2010.

In choosing Berwick, the Obama administration is implicitly admitting that the health care law passed by the Democrats in March will lead to the rationing of health care, said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) in a May 19 press release.

Concerning Berwick’s 2009 comment about the rationing of health care, the White House released a statement to several news organizations in which spokesman Reid Cherlin said the following:

“No one is surprised that Republicans plan to use this confirmation process to trot out the same arguments and scare tactics they hoped would block health insurance reform. The fact is, rationing is rampant in the system today, as insurers make arbitrary decisions about who can get the care they need. Don Berwick wants to see a system in which those decisions are transparent– and that the people who make them are held accountable.”

The White House statement, according to Roberts, seemed to acknowledge that the new health care law would simply ration care in a transparent way.

“This is really a fascinating response. Instead of flat out denials of government rationing we have excuses,” Roberts said on the Senate floor on May 19.

“And if you read between the lines you will notice that for the first time ever in this debate the Obama White House is admitting that their health care plan will ration health care,” the senator said.

Roberts made it clear that he does not accept health care rationing “transparent or otherwise.”

“I am opposed to rationing whether it is done by the government or by an insurance company,” said Roberts. “I am not defending any of the practices of insurance companies who have unjustly denied claims. But the Obama Administration’s response does nothing to address my concerns that our government will ration care. Instead, we finally have an admission from the White House that this is what they plan to do.”

In a June 2009 interview in Biotechnology Healthcare, Berwick was asked: "Critics of CER (Comparative Effectiveness Research) have said that it will lead to rationing of health care."

He answered: "We can make a sensible social decision and say, 'Well, at this point, to have access to a particular additional benefit is so expensive that our taxpayers have better use for those funds.' We make those decisio all the tim. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care--the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."

In the same interview, he also said, “The social budget is limited—we have a limited resource pool. It makes terribly good sense to at least know the price of an added benefit, and at some point we might say nationally, regionally, or locally that we wish we could afford it, but we can’t.”

Berwick also talked about his romantic view of Britain’s socialized health care system on page 213 of a report he wrote entitled, “A Transatlantic Review of the NHS at 60,” published on July 26, 2008.

“Cynics beware: I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it,” Berwick wrote. “All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”

In the same article, he wrote, “The NHS is one of the astounding human endeavors of modern times. … It’s easier in the United States because we do not promise health care as a human right.”

He further wrote, “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.”

Roberts said he personally did not understand this romantic view of socialized medicine.

“With cancer survival rates for women 10 percentage points higher in the U.S. than in England, and over 20 points higher for men, why does he think that their government-run system is superior to our system?” said Roberts.

“Limited resources require decisions about who will have access to care and the extent of their coverage,” Berwick wrote in the Jan. 27, 1999 edition of Nursing Standard.

“The complexity and cost of healthcare delivery systems may set up a tension between what is good for the society as a whole and what is best for an individual patient,” Berwick wrote in an article entitled, “A Shared Statement of Ethical Principle.”

“Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues.”


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 4:57pm

<< Would you consider Medicare to be an example of single-payer? Do you see a difference between single-payer and 'socialized medicine'? <>
Well then, would Tricare also be an example of a single-payer system? <>

>>> That explains a lot. Single payer and socialized are not exactly the same thing. A single-payer system refers to the funding where as a truly socialized system would mean that hospitals are owned and operated by, and doctors are employed by, the government. If you consider Medicare to be an example of single-payer than the VA system would be an example of socialized.

Well, first of all, you never mentioned Tricare, until now, so you can't paste my answer to another question onto your "tricare" question just to suit your argument. As for your definition of "socialized medicine...

"Exact definitions vary, but the term can refer to any system of medical care that is publicly financed, government administered, or both.

The original meaning was confined to systems in which the government operates health care facilities and employs health care professionals. This narrower usage would apply to the British National Health Service hospital trusts and health systems that operate in other countries as diverse as Finland, Spain, Israel, and Cuba. The United States' Veterans Health Administration, and the medical departments of the US Army, Navy, and Air Force would also fall under this narrow definition. When used in this way, the narrow definition permits a clear distinction from single payer health insurance systems, in which the government finances health care but is not involved in care delivery.

More recently, a few have used the term more broadly to any publicly funded system. Canada's Medicare system, most of the UK's NHS general practitioner and dental services, which are all systems where health care is delivered by private business with partial or total government funding, fit this broader definition, as do the health care systems of most of Western Europe. In the United States, Medicare, Medicaid, and the US military's TRICARE fall under this definition.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 5:06pm

>>> Nope. My insurance is funded by the government but they do not control my care. Medical decisions are between me and my doctor and I am able to appeal and even sue if I feel a claim has been wrongfully denied.

It's likely that all procedures and medications your doctor prescribes are authorized by your insurance in that sense, the "funding" does, indeed, control your care. In Britain, the NHS does not authorize the use of many drugs that are widely prescribed outside the UK. Their lack of funding directly impacts the care British people get.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 5:19pm

"I am certainly able to sue if all other appeals have been exhausted."

That's just great for you. What about the person actually serving their country?


A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the “Feres doctrine” forbids active-duty members who suffer personal injury through the fault of another service member from suing the government for damages. This includes medical malpractice or negligence by military health care providers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 5:29pm
"Nope. My insurance is funded by the government but they do not control my care. Medical decisions are between me and my doctor and I am able to appeal and even sue if I feel a claim has been wrongfully denied."

What you do not know CAN hurt you. The government determines which services they will and will not cover. If the government will not cover a procedure, your Tricare doctor will not even discuss that treatment option with you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 5:34pm

>>> Well, if you're not interested in backing up your claims, then don't make them.

Well, first of all, I'll make whatever claims I feel are relevant to the discussion...and if they are as topical and widely reported as "the sky is blue" then I'm afraid that you not knowing about them says a lot more about you, than not holding your hand and spoon-feeding them to you does about me.

>>> I'm curious as to what sources you used of the nearly 4 million that came up during the search you suggested.

If "4 million" came up during your search, don't you think you'd know the source you were looking at at the time?


>>> Yes but if we're unable to deport all 12 million illegals now, how would we do it in order to have them start from scratch? And what about the economic repercussions of a mass exodus of millions of people?

So you're conceding that the whole "go to the back of the line" thing is a lie? And that what liberals are actually shooting for is amnesty? Glad we cleared that up. And where do liberals get the idea that there would, or could, be a "mass exodus?" And while you're musing over the "economic repercussions" of that mythical "mass exodus," also factor in the "economic repercussions" of lower taxes, more jobs, better schools, better healthcare, less crime, etc because the people leaching our country aren't there to leach off it anymore.


>>> Good luck deporting 12 million people. How long do you think that would take? And at what expense?

Lessee...let me do a little math here...ten thousand catapults, each holding 100 illegals, firing a new load every 10 minutes...

>>> And free health insurance, really? Who's offering free health insurance?


<<< Proof please.

<Again, this is all recent news and well least on Fox, if not other lame-street media outlets. Google a bit...get informed.>>

>>> And AGAIN, proof please.

It's a new invention called television.

>>> You claimed that Obama is offering free health insurance for illegals. Back that claim up. If it's been reported as you claim then it should be easy to prove it. I did a search and was unable to find proof of free insurance for illegal immigrants and I even did a search on and did not come across it. Apparently it's not as well reported as you think

Of course you wouldn't find it under "free health insurance for illegals"...duh. Americans wouldn't stand for that...which is why liberals have to disguise they do with their ambitions for a single-payer system. But a little reading will tell you that when Obama was making his claims of the 30 million people who would be covered under Obamacare, that number INCLUDED the illegals. When he was caught, the number mysteriously decreased and Obama specifically said that illegals would not be covered under Obamacare. Which exposed his true immigration reform...that would magically make those same illegals eligible for free, or subsidized, health insurance.

If you really want an education, then do a little research on Obama and his "comprehensive immigration reform"'s a call for amnesty...but he distracts some folks with his rhetoric about "a path to citizenship," "fines" and "paying back taxes"...which we both know are just lies.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 5:43pm

Exactly correct.

I've had Tricare and many of the medications they prescribe they do so for cost reasons. I was told I had to settle for a drug that was less effective because the more effective drug was too expensive.

Fortunately I've danced a few dances with the government

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 6:13pm
Of course it does.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 8:22pm

I was asking you a question about Tricare and then I moved on to address your answer to another question. I was not trying to imply that you replied "and no" to my question about Tricare. KWIM? It was a follow-up question to your "Yes..." regarding Medicare. The "and no" was your response to my question about single payer vs socialized medicine. I'm sorry if my cut and paste caused confusion.

So you would consider a system in which all doctors are employed by the government and hospitals are owned and ran by the government to be socialized. And a


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 8:38pm


So if that's the case then insurance companies (who only exist in order to make a profit) are in control of your care, correct? Assuming of course that you have private insurance.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 8:45pm

<<That's just great for you. What about the person actually serving their country?>>

Your forgetting that in that situation those doctors are also serving. My husband is currently deployed so he has no choice but to see a military doctor if need be, but when he is home he can choose to see civilian doctors and he certainly has the right to sue them for malpractice.