Britain’s NHS Issues Single Payer Death Sentences

British doctors who treat the terminally ill are saying that the country’s National Health Service is sending their patients to an early grave:

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

That’s the future you’re signing up for people.

Obama to address Congress on health care

President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 9th. The topic will be health care, as Democrats hope to gain back what they’ve lost in the debate over ObamaCare over the last month.

We’ll be live-blogging it here at UL as it happens. Details will come on that in the next few days.

“Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists”

The Heritage Foundation picked up on a post at a website for Barack Obama that referred to opponents of ObamaCare as “Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists.” This event is due to take place on September 11th:

Today, President Obama’s campaign organization “Organizing for America” sent out a notice to its “grassroots” supporters. It asked them to wage a coordinated phone campaign for health care by calling their U.S. Senators on September 11 – also known as Patriot Day in honor of the thousands of Americans killed by Al Qaeda terrorists eight years ago. It goes on: “All 50 States are coordinating in this – as we fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.”

The page has been removed, but you can view a screen shot here.

This most likely was not posted by someone actually employed by Organizing for America. It’s very likely it was just an activist, but it tells you where the level of debate is right now…and it’s on both sides.

“Public option” is dead

It looks like the Obama Administration is abandoning the “public option”:

Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama has no plans to insist on it himself, the officials said.
On health care, Obama’s willingness to forgo the public option is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.

“We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition,” an aide said. “There are lots of different ways to get there.”

Government doesn’t no choice or competition. It consumes competition because the government can borrow or tax to bring in more revenue. Private businesses can’t do that. What is the end result there?

It’ll be interesting to see how the left in Congress react to a bill without a “public option.” Obama needs 218 votes, so assuming all 178 Republicans vote against the bill, 40 or more “liberals” breaking with the president defeats the centerpiece of an ambitious, but economically destructive, domestic agenda.

You know, I would be fine with that.

Zogby: 48% disapprove of Obama’s performance

On the heels of Rasmussen’s latest poll comes a new survey from Zogby confirming discontent among the public. John Zogby says, “Obama is now firmly between a rock and a hard place”:

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is down to 42%, with a decline in approval from Democrats the leading factor.

The latest Zogby Interactive poll of 4,518 likely voters conducted from August 28-31 found 48% disapprove and 42% approve of the job Obama is doing. The poll found 75% of Democrats approve of Obama’s performance, a drop of 13 points among Democrats from an interactive poll done July 21-24 of this year. That same poll found 48% of all likely voters approving of Obama’s job performance, and 49% disapproving.

In the most recent poll, 8% of Republicans and 37% of Independents approve of Obama’s job performance. Both are down slightly from six weeks ago; two points among Republicans and three among Independents.

The sample is very high, but Zogby is only putting the margin of error at 1.5%, which seems low. Hey, they’re the pollsters, not me.

Zogby also notes that the disapproval from the Democrats is directly related to the the health care debate and the desire for the government option.

Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit thinks Democrats in Congress and the administration would be smart to make a push to appease the “progressives” and “liberals” in the caucus, leaving the Blue Dogs to fend for themselves. I disagree because the Blue Dogs by themselves are enough to kill the bill, though just barely. It’s a difficult move either way.

The Myth Of Preventive Health Care Savings

One of the central tenants of President Obama’s health care reform plan is the idea that increased spending on preventive care will, in the long term, reduce the overall cost of medical care by reducing the number of people suffering from debilitating diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. As it turns out, there may be very little savings at all from preventive care:

Using data from long-standing clinical trials, researchers projected the cost of caring for people with Type 2 diabetes as they progress from diagnosis to various complications and death. Enrolling federally-insured patients in a simple but aggressive program to control the disease would cost the government $1,024 per person per year — money that largely would be recovered after 25 years through lower spending on dialysis, kidney transplants, amputations and other forms of treatment, the study found.

However, except for the youngest diabetics, the additional services would add to overall health spending, not decrease it, the study shows.

“There’s no free lunch here. Prevention will not pay for everything. But it’s not as expensive as it looks at first blush,” said Michael J. O’Grady, a senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and one of four authors whose work is being published on the Web site of Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy research.

And the same appears to be true of other diseases:

Human Needs and the Social Safety Net

This article will be the third installment in a discussion on health care/insurance reform. In this first entry, I argued that insurance, in its true form, is not a public utility. Insurance businesses can become “too big to fail” and thus proper regulation is necessary. That was followed by a discussion on rights and the role of the state in protecting, preserving and granting rights. My conclusion was that health care rights are positive claim rights, and thus it would be dangerous for the state to legislate a right to health care.

Health care is a very important issue. It is full of emotion. People’s lives are at stake. This cannot be ignored when analyzing the role of the state in such an issue. While insurance should not be a public utility nor should the state sanction positive claim rights, that, in my opinion, does not close the issue. The concept of human needs must be explored.

When I first began to think about this from a human needs perspective, I asked myself how one could define human needs. My first inclination was to define these basic needs as food (including water), clothing and shelter. My second inclination was to do some research on the subject. After a quick review of the subject area of needs, I found Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to be worth a review.

Even A Funeral Isn’t Sacred: Pushing For ObamaCare At Ted Kennedy’s Funeral

Geez people……..and they’re even exploiting children to do it.

53% oppose ObamaCare

The latest Rasmussen survey shows that a majority opposes ObamaKennedyCare and a plurality believe it will make the quality of health care worse:

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey show that 43% of voters nationwide favor the plan working its way through Congress while 53% are opposed. Those figures are virtually identical to results from two weeks ago.

As has been true since the debate began, those opposed to the congressional overhaul feel more strongly about the legislation than supporters. Forty-three percent (43%) now Strongly Oppose the legislation while 23% Strongly Favor it. Those figures, too, are similar to results from earlier in August.

While supporters of the reform effort say it is needed to help reduce the cost of health care, 52% of voters believe it will have the opposite effect and lead to higher costs. Just 17% believe the plans now in Congress will reduce costs. This is a critical point at a time when voters see deficit reduction as more important than health care reform.

Additionally, by a 50% to 23% margin, voters believe the proposed reforms would make the quality of care worse rather than better.

It appears that the desire to rally around the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy isn’t swaying moderate Democrats, such as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. John Tester (D-MT).

Democrats To Try To Win Health Care Debate By Exploiting A Dead Guy

Welcome to America, where political battles are won by waving the bloody shirt:

Democrats are hoping that the memory of Sen. Ted Kennedy will revive the Democratic Party’s flagging push for health care reform.

“You’ve heard of ‘win one for the Gipper’? There is going to be an atmosphere of ‘win one for Teddy,’” Ralph G. Neas, the CEO of the liberal National Coalition on Health Care, told ABC News.

Democrats are hoping that Kennedy’s influence in death may be even stronger than it was when he was alive as they push for President Obama’s top domestic priority. Democratic officials hope that invoking Kennedy’s passion for the issue will counter slippage in support for heatlh care reform.

“Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a statement.

Pelosi’s sentiment was echoed by former vice president Al Gore who served with Kennedy in the Senate.

“Ted would want nothing more than for his colleagues to continue his life’s work and to make real his dream of quality health care for all Americans,” said Gore.

To infuse Kennedy into the health-care debate, Democrats are planning to affix the former senator’s name to the health-care legislation that emerges from Congress.

The idea of naming the legislation for Kennedy has been quietly circulating for months but was given a new push today by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the only person who served with Kennedy for all his 47 years in the Senate.

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