The Inescapability of Death Panels

Q: Will ObamaCare use a death panel to decide who lives and who dies?

A: There are no death panels.

Q: It’s true that they do not exist, currently.  That is how we’d like to keep it.  Does ObamaCare contain them?

A: The bills before Congress to reform our health care system do not create death panels.

Q: I’m not sure that is the case, given the Porcine creation of one.  But for the sake of argument, I will grant that no such thing as a death panel is envisioned in ObamaCare.  How does it save money?

A: Well, we have to save money where it is spent, I suppose.

Q: And where is health care money spent?

A: In the first few hours of life, and in the last few months of it.

Q: And it’s cheaper to abort a child than to bring it to term?

A: Yes, I suppose.  But we don’t talk about it in those terms.

Q: Of course.  But at the end of life, that is where the money is?

A: Yes.

Q: So will Congress pass a law saying which medical procedure can apply to whom?

A: Of course not.  That would be too cumbersome.

Q: And would it expose Congress to politically radioactive decisions?

A: Yes.  Congress does not like to say “no”.

Q: So they would appoint a commission of some sort.

A: Yes, I suppose that’s right.  It’s the typical approach.

Q: Now, would such a commission or panel decide which set of symptoms require which kinds of treatment?

A: Yes, that would be a great innovation, saving trillions of dollars over the next thirty years.

Q: And so they would decide that a broken bone required a cast, but a twisted ankle did not?

A: Yes, that would probably be the case.

Q: And if someone contracted pneumonia, they would give the correct treatment, and bar the incorrect one?

A: Yes, of course.

Q: If someone had a certain type of cancer, the panel would have a standard treatment for it?

A: Yes, efficiency and mercy would demand it.

Q: So no other type of treatment would be allowed?

A: Yes, I suppose that would have to be so.

Q: And if a person had multiple conditions, such as cancer and heart disease — would those treatments be the same, or different?

A: They might be different, if the treatments conflicted with one another.

Q: Conflicted?

A: Yes, if the treatment for the cancer would create the risk of heart failure, we might not treat the cancer.

Q: Or if the treatment were only extending the painful conditions of life, would the treatment differ?

A: The authorized treatment might be palliative.

Q: I see.  I am glad you have instructed me.