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Saturday, June 30, 2012

In his own words, Obama's thoughts on healthcare decisions.


Barack Obama, from a Town Hall meeting, June 24, 2009. From the official White House transcript

Q: ... President Obama, if your wife or your daughter became seriously ill and things were not going well, and the plan physicians told you they were doing everything that reasonably could be done, and you sought out opinions from some medical leaders in major centers and they said there's another option that you should pursue, but it was not covered in the plan, would you potentially sacrifice the health of your family for the greater good of insuring millions, or would you do everything you possibly could as a father and husband to get the best health care and outcome for your family? 

A. Well, first of all, Doctor, I think it's a terrific question, and it's something that touches us all personally, especially when you start talking about end-of-life care.  Some of you know my grandmother recently passed away, which was a very painful thing for me.  She's somebody who helped raise me.  But she's somebody who contracted what was diagnosed as terminal cancer; there was unanimity about that.  They expected that she'd have six to nine months to life.  She fell and broke her hip.  And then the question was, does she get hip replacement surgery, even though she was fragile enough that they weren't sure how long she would last, whether she could get through the surgery.

And the President continued...

But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that's not making anybody's mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help, maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

And this sums it up. Read that last part again: "...at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help, maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller."

And you know who decides that you are better off taking the painkiller and not getting the surgery? 

Well, it ain't you.

Spot the statist theme!

Facebook can be a great place for the exchange of ideas and challenging debate. In between playing online poker and that killing-zombies game, I'll even sometimes stumble onto one of those debates between libertarian ideas and statist ideas. I just did.

Certain statist ideas recur in every one of these debates. They are as predictable as a Lindsey Lohan car wreck. I found the following, verbatim, moments ago:

Quit paying taxes, using the post office, close all the public schools, and cut your own grandma's off Medicare, and then you might at least be consistent with the illogical ranting about government involvement. Cheers.

This sums up the statist belief. Every pro-freedom idea is always, in the end, trumped with "you just want to kill your grandmom!" Then the statist walks off, smug in his love of your grandma and, indeed, all old people.

But let's address these assertions and see if we can find a theme:


"Quit paying taxes." Many would, but government agents with guns will take them away and put them in cages.

"Quit using the post office." Many would be glad to do so, but government agents have declared that only the USPS can deliver first class letters. If they set up a competing business to do that, government agents with guns will take them away and put them in cages.

"Close all the public schools." How about letting parents use their education tax money on attending any school they wish? Lots of people would keep that money and make their own decisions, but government agents with guns would take them away and put them in cages.

"Cut grandma off Medicare." How about letting grandma keep all that money that was taken away from her while she worked her entire life? Lots of people would keep that money and make their own decisions, but government agents with guns would take them away and put them in cages.

Did you spot the theme?

The statist philosophy is simple: The government knows best. The government is compassionate. Comply with its good intentions for your own well-being. And if you don't, government agents with guns will take you away and put you in a cage.

It's compassion at bayonet point. Cheers!