At one time, it would have been none of Dr. Emanuel's business if your physician prescribed the latest medications for you, rather than the cheaper and obsolete medications they replaced. It would have been none of his business if you preferred to have a nice hospital room with "amenities" rather than being in an unsanitary ward with inadequate nursing care, as under the National Health Service in Britain.
The involvement of government gives Dr. Emanuel the leverage to condemn other Americans' choices-- and a larger involvement of government will give him the power to force both doctors and patients to change their choices.
As for a "death panel," no politician would ever use that phrase when trying to get a piece of legislation passed. "End of life" care under the "guidance" of "some independent group" sounds so much nicer-- and these are the terms President Obama used in an interview with the New York Times back on April 14th.
He said, "the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out there." He added: "It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. That is why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance."
But when you select people like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to give "independent" guidance, you have already chosen a policy through your choice of advisors, who simply provide political cover. The net result can be exactly the same as if those providing that guidance were openly called "death panels."