Sunday, August 30, 2009

Obama-Care for Dummies

Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News who identifies himself as “The Factor,” recently made a most unusual (and for him, humble) admission. He said that although he was a graduate of Harvard, he could not understand Obama’s Health Care bill. So, with a subtle tinge of intellectual snobbery, O’Reilly in effect asks how could the “dummies” of the nation possibly grasp what the President had in mind! If the top 1.2% of intellectuals in our midst are confused, especially the cognitive giant we have at Fox News, what must it be like for intellectual pygmies? Like me. How could I ever read a House Bill of over 1,000 pages or a Senate Bill of over 600 pages when most of Congress, who have been pressured by the President to sign these Bills unread, don’t even know what is in the Bill? Am I just one of the many Americans burdened with naiveté? I want reform in Health care. I want every American to have access to medical and pharmaceutical help. But I suspect Obama’s way is the wrong route.

Somebody Help!

Even though I am a political dummy[1] it seems to me that we have a quantum or space/time problem. Presently, we wait in a Doctor’s office to be seen --- for hours after our appointment time. Emergency rooms all complain about the glut of patients to be seen. Nurses are frazzled. The whole system is groaning under the weight of health care need. And our Omniscient President Messiah plans to add up to 47 million more persons for Health care with the same number of Health care professionals or possibly less. Is there some kind of misfit here? Doesn’t it seem that the numbers do not add up? How does one squeeze so many into so limited a “space”?

As a consequence of this misfit, the time spent on patients simply has to be more limited than at present. It means longer waits for appointments, for MRIs, Ct scans and all the items of health care. In effect it is time which cannot co-exist with the problem raised in #1. This probably means worse care for all than we now have. It necessarily means the implementation of the frightening horror: Rationing! I can make an analogy to priests hearing confessions. When there are long, long lines of Catholics waiting to make their personal confession, the confessor becomes stressed and is inclined to rush the penitents in order to serve all. The quality of his spiritual care necessarily becomes minimal as he attempts to serve everyone. There is no way that care can improve under that restriction. It can only slump. And who declares who needs care the most? It isn’t even physicians. It is, probably, a Board of “almost clerks” who make decisions without ever seeing the patient but who work from protocols in some office far from the scene. What openings this leaves for corruption as well as political nepotism!

The panels of death: It is alleged that persons of advanced age with serious medical problems will be seen by a physician (paid “adequately” by the Government) who will assist them in arranging for their final hours with “dignity.” In plain language this means ending the life of the senior by pill or injection. This makes great sense if one shares the slant of the Speaker of the House who explains away funding abortions as “cost effective”. A significant amount of health care costs does center on care for the elderly. So why not cut down on elderly care and save huge amounts of money which then would be available for younger and more productive members of society? This is excellent thinking if one espouses the Communist, Socialist secularist ideal. But for people who believe that life is sacred from conception to natural death, this is the acme of immorality. The lame defense by “Mug wump”[2] Catholics that Catholicism already allows such dialogue with the seriously ill, is absurd in that we strongly prohibit any active move to hasten death. To any experienced therapist it is plain that by carefully chosen words one can influence a vulnerable person to one direction or another. Such skill used for “dignified death” is seriously immoral. Who is more vulnerable than the sick, confused, weakened, frightened senior person before the calculated approach of a professional who might be at that bedside to influence a quicker solution than a drawn out illness which is costing the Government more money? I don’t think Barack has this in mind, but once we open legislative doors it is difficult to stop excesses.

My conscience as a health care person: There is very strong pressure to remove all conscience clauses from the Bill. In effect, if I refuse, as a physician, to perform or assist in something I find utterly unconscionable (e.g. abortion) I will be chastised or fired or blackballed. Nurses, aides, and others who find the dismemberment of a child monstrous will have no protection. (This is already happening. N.B. Nurse at Mt. Sinai in NYC)

Hospitals and other health care centers which do not abide by mandatory abortion requirements will be refused funding. This clearly points to Catholic institutions. To my simple mind this means closure of these centers to the detriment of the public which is heavily served by Catholic run institutions. Is this true? If the President signs the FOCA act (which he promised to do when addressing the NARAL group prior to his election) does this not mean the end of Catholic health care as we know it?

The assertion that it is better to go along with the immoral dimensions of the Bill in the hope that “common ground” might be found eventually, not only limps but is a fantasy wheelchair. It is obvious that the Administration with deep obligation to the extreme Left of this country has every intention of implementing forced abortion, assisted suicide, and experimentation with human embryo stem cell research. It is oxymoronic to speak of a “common ground” when one discusses abortion. How does one dialogue in this case? Is it like being “half pregnant”? Does the King have any clothes on? Or are hordes of us, including well meaning Catholics, even nuns and priests, well intentioned but seduced by high flown rhetoric and the ever elusive carrot at the end of a stick?

The question of real cost: I am staggered when I hear of the 12 zero figure called “a trillion.” It is beyond my capacity to grasp the unbelievable financial burden to be placed on the shoulders of ordinary (?) hard working Americans of two generations who follow us. When we are experiencing economic strictures of a major sort it seems totally irresponsible to raise serious financial prisons the like of which we have never seen! Is it because of the 10 million illegals we have that we re-design the American system of Life? A solution is needed there but not the one which cripples the Country for generations!

Finally, I am aghast at the thought that this highly skilled American medical establishment is about to face demolition and about to be reduced to the level of Sweden, Canada, or England which groan against the bureaucratic limitations shown by history to be unable to serve everyone as they had hoped. The statistics of waiting time in Canada (for example, for a knee replacement) are unbelievable - 12 months on the average!

Conclusion: It has been noted that the Bill 3200 is not basically about health care. It is about Power. It is the strange drive of some extreme “leftists” to control our lives. I am now becoming alarmed. Our Founders believed that when Government fears the people, it is democracy. When the people fear the Government, it is tyranny. No wonder there are Tea Parties and outraged Town Halls!

[1] Even though like O’Reilly I am educated (perhaps beyond my capacity) with a PhD in Psych from NYU and a license from New York state to practice, I don’t get it either!
[2] In the early American political scene the term “Mug wump” was coined to describe those who refused to take a stand. Their face (mug) was on one side of the fence and the rest (wump) on the other. Their studied non-position was supposed to protect them no matter who won the election. Like Senators who vote “present”—(not yea or nay) lest they be tied to a specific position.

No comments: