Betsy McCaughey introduces us to some of President Obama’s main advisors on health care.
There’s Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the Chief of Staff’s brother, who is not much of a saviour for certain classes of people:
Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely ’lipstick’ cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008). . . .
Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. ’96). . . .
He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years" (Lancet, Jan. 31).
And there’s Dr. David Blumenthal:
Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they’re "associated with longer waits" and "reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices" (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001). But he calls it "debatable" whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost.
It seems that the Progressives are returning to their roots. Although historians have covered for them, eugenics was the quintessential Progressive science. William Jennings Bryan attacked Darwin because of how Darwin was being used to attack the idea that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. More broadly, the Progressives thought that social science (recall that the social science PhD was a new invention then, and inspired great hopes in many) could manage society more calmly, rationally, and justly than could the American political system as it had previously been known.