Pat Buchanan

Now if a primary purpose of Obamacare is to "bend the curve" of soaring health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and the number of seniors will grow by scores of millions, how do you cut costs without rationing care? And how do you ration care without denying millions of elderly and aged the prescriptions, procedures and operations they need to stay alive?

Consider two beloved Americans: Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Since he was diagnosed with brain cancer more than a year ago, Sen. Kennedy has had excellent care, including surgery and chemotherapy, which have kept him alive and, until very recently, active.

For a decade, President Reagan, because of round-the-clock care, lived with an Alzheimer's that had robbed him of his memory and left him unable to recognize his own family and close friends.

In the future, will a man of Kennedy's age, with brain cancer but without the means of offsetting his own health care costs, be kept alive, operated on, given chemotherapy -- by a government obsessed with cutting health care costs?

Will a bureaucracy desperate to cut costs keep alive for years the tens of thousands of destitute 80- and 90-year-old patients with Alzheimer's, as was done with Ronald Reagan?

What if, in 2050, Palin and her husband are not here. And 42-year-old Trig, with Down syndrome, has been in an institution for years, and the cost of his care and that of hundreds of thousands like him with Down syndrome is draining the resources of the health care system?

Will there not be voices softly suggesting a quiet and merciful end?

In Oregon, the law permits doctors to assist in the suicide of terminal patients who wish to end their lives. Let us assume numerous patients have Alzheimer's and, so, cannot be part of the decision to end their lives. Who then makes the decision to continue or end life? Would it be unfair to call the decision-makers in those cases a death panel?

Almost a third of all unborn babies in America have their lives terminated each year with the consent of their mothers. Fifty million since Roe v. Wade have never seen the light of day. For many, the quality of life now supersedes in value the sanctity of life. That is who we are.

Between 2012 and 2030, 74 million baby boomers will retire, cease to be the major contributors to Medicare and become the major drain on Medicare. How long will an overtaxed labor force in a de-Christianized America be wiling to pay the bill to keep all those aging boomers alive?

Rationed care is coming, and the death panels will not be far behind.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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