Dr. Emanuel says that health reform will not be pain free, and that the usual recommendations for cutting medical spending (often urged by the president) are mere window dressing. As he wrote in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change."
Emanuel wants to spend the bulk of our health care dollars not on the sick or injured -- the people most in need of health care. He wants to spend the bulk of our health care dollars on people in the prime of life. He justifies this with a cold utilitarianism. In a Juanuary 31, 2009 piece in The Lancet, Emanuel and his co-authors present a "complete lives system" for allocating health care resources.
Kids in particular earn Emanuel's scorn as a total waste of health care dollars, a philosophy he justifies by saying, "Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. . . . As the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, 'It is terrible when an infant dies, but worse, most people think, when a three-year-old dies and worse still when an adolescent does,' this argument is supported by empirical surveys."
So don't come to Dr. Emanuel with your sick baby, any more than you'd come to him with your sick grandmother or your disabled brother.
This man is a key advisor on Obamacare. And those of us who fear rationing are "ignorant" and "angry".
Damned right we're angry. Because we're not ignorant.