Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin sent liberal heads spinning with the charge that Obamacare paved the way for "death panels" deciding who was worth the cost of keeping alive.
Yet, she was right. Maybe not Obamacare, but about her larger point that government should not be in the business of deciding who was worthy of receiving health care.
The evidence came, again, from Great Britain, where 23-month-old Alfie Evans was not only denied care from the nation's health care system. His parents also were ordered not to take him out of the country to receive care elsewhere. If government bureaucrats and judges can order that someone cannot receive life-saving treatment, and that's not a death panel, then I don't know what is.
The government rules had decided that Alfie should denied life-saving help because he was going to die anyway (sound familiar?), and that keeping him alive would violate his human rights.
The applicable law states that parents cannot "demand a particular treatment to be continued where the burdens of treatment clearly outweigh the benefits for the child."
Whose burdens? Clearly the state's because keeping the child alive would not have been "cost effective."
It was a burden that Alfie's parents, Kate James and Thomas Evans, were ready and willing to accept. And it was a burden that compassionate people--medical providers, Pope Francis and others--were willing to accept. Alfie could have been flown out of Britain on a private plane to Italy where he would have received medical care. It wouldn't have cost the British health care system a damn thing, not a damn thing.
But it would have set a precedent against the rule that parents are no longer in charge of their children's health, or anything else I dare say. Administrators, teachers, social workers, bureaucrats, lawmakers have all decided that they know best. Especially when it comes to deciding who has the civil and human right to life.
What the British system did was exactly what Palin had in mind when she said:
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.
In Britain, it's not just a question of government refusing to pay the cost, but refusing to let parents take their infant elsewhere to get treatment. If the parents had decided that they were going to leave the country with Alfie anyway, what was the government going to do? Send the police out to stop them physically? Arrest them and throw them in prison for refusing to abide by a court order?
Yes, such a system is downright evil. And despite the ridicule and hatred that was heaped on Palin (e.g. PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year") she was right to raise this alarm. To you progressives who claim to be the guardians of compassion, where the hell were you? Your standard slander is that pro-lifers only care about a fetus in the womb, but once he or she is born they don't care anymore. You mean like progressives who didn't give a damn about Alfie and his parents?
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