Leslie Cook

Sarah, I Think I Love You!

In Healthcare, In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Sarah Palin on August 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm

sarahYes, I have an unnatural attraction to Sarah Palin. Try as I might, she’s a bit like a car crash; I don’t want to look, but I can’t help myself. I was hoping that she’d disappear after she “passed” the governorship to her Lt. Governor in order to save the State of Alaska. What was I thinking? Even if she wanted to stay out of the spotlight I don’t think she could. The press loves her. America loves her. And, dare I admit it, I love her!

I know, I know, I’m a bit of a liberal democrat. I really was in physical pain watching the Bush administration for eight years. And during the final days of the 2008 elections, I burst several veins yelling at the TV when Sarah or John spoke or were “interviewed.” But over the past few months, I’ve been fascinated by the spectacle that is Sarah Palin. She’s like a drug. I listen to her speeches or read her Facebook/Twitter entries and wonder what goes on in her head. Does she really mean what she’s saying? Does she even understand what she’s staying? Does she write this stuff or is someone holding her brain hostage?

Her most recent gift to America was issued last Friday (8/9/09). Here’s my favorite part:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government 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. Such a system is downright evil.

Death Panel? Really? If I wasn’t a curious soul, I’d take what she said at face value. I’d be just as angry as the “Townhall Shouters” around the country. My government is planning on convening Death Panels? Yikes, that is evil.

Of course it’s not true.

I actually pulled up a copy of the proposed legislation. Keep in mind that this is not law, is not complete and hasn’t been hashed out in Committee. The version I found was dated July 14, 2009, so there may be newer versions. But I did read the offending text. On page 426, clear as day it says “end-of-life”. Of course that section actually begins on page 424, “Sec. 1233. Advance Care Planning Consultation”. Here’s what the first part says:

Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following…

The section goes on to describe the type of counseling the individual can receive, including advance directive (living wills, etc.), national and state-specific resources available to the individual, and yes, end-of-life services (hospice, palliative care, etc.).

Ohhhhhh how scary. The Federal Government wants to give people information on their healthcare options. How could they? It’s inhuman! You’d think Sarah would be jumping for joy that there’s someone out there who can help us navigate through the system and help with the decisions that must be made as we all get older.

Having been a party to trying to find assisted living facilities for my grandparents, I know how difficult it can be to find out what’s available. Having watched my father die of cancer, I appreciated what the VA did to help him die more comfortably, which included in-house hospice care. Gee, the VA is a government agency, they can’t possibly be helpful. Go figure.

Sarah, I hope that you don’t really think that your government wants to kill your Downs Syndrome baby or your parents. As far as I can tell in the legislation I read, there’s nothing that indicates that our government will cut off service if you’re old, sick, or disabled. You know who actually does that? The insurance companies we’re currently using to administer our healthcare.

For those individuals out there who are lucky enough to have never argued about coverage for a medical procedure or who are healthy enough to not have butted heads with the insurance bureaucracy, I have only this to say. Just wait. You will at some point in your life, especially if we keep our current system. As for the advantages/disadvantages of a government option, I have no opinion. I reserve my opinion for a time when the House and Senate actually have something to show me. Right now, they’re still working it out. All I can say is that it can’t be any worse than what we have now.

I’m lucky. I have good insurance through my employer. I feel sorry for anyone who has to use Emergency Room care as a way to access doctors. We need to ensure everyone. We need healthcare that isn’t tied to employers. We need a simplified system that doesn’t require 5000 different forms for reimbursement. And we need our leaders (yes, Sarah, that’s you) to talk about our available options without spewing terms like “Death Panal”, and “Socialist Healthcare”. I just heard one “shouter” say that Obama wanted us to be socialist, like Russia. Mmmm I don’t think Russia is Socialist. Just a note.

One more thing. The last paragraph of Sarah’s Facebook message was this:

We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.

On this we can agree. We do need to step up and engage in a debate. But a real debate, not a shouting match. We also need to get our facts straight. No one is seriously proposing nationalized health care. What they are proposing is competition. We’re all for competition right? The government would just provide another option for Americans. So yes, let’s stop and think and make our voices heard.

And I’ll keep watching Sarah.

Sarah’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=113851103434
Health Care Bill Text: http://docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

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  1. There has been a great deal of talk in the media — print, radio, tv — just about everywhere about the behavior and tactics being employed by various organizations. There have been comments about well behaved and polite citizenry attending meetings to voice their opinions. There have been stories of those who haven’t conducted themselves well. I suspect these stories will go on throughout the month of August and perhaps beyond. For one, I hope they do go on well beyond.

    I think both sides have taken essentially the same tactics. Labeling each other with invectives, giving their supporters a ‘playbook’, and attempting to use the media to their advantage. All of this is okay. It is okay because in America we have the right to freedom of speech, assembly and freedom of the press. These are rights that thousands have given their lives to protect. The debate on health care which consumes nearly a fifth of the national economy and involves everyone is something that we should openly debate and understand the intended and unintended consequences of before we change an entire system.

    It is important to provide better access, bend the cost curve so that health care is affordable (and not just through shifting costs by taxing) as well as sustainable, and improving the quality of the care delivered.

    We are a country that leads the world in health care innovation. We have to zealously protect that aspect. No other country in the world is positioned to take our place if we take our eye off this important work.

    But above all democracy demands that citizens get involved and voice their opinions. To follow the health care debate and other important facts about he health care system visit http://www.ilovebenefits.wordpress.com

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