What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 16, 2009

Jack Kelly Sunday Part II

But the real news of this week's column is how Jack Kelly uses this whole set-up to plant the idea that it's possible that the "death panel" stories might be true just because he's "proven" that Obama lied about the health care plan. He begins with a dangerous statement (for Jack, that is - it's sentences like these that usually come back to haunt):
People who lie about some provisions in the health-care bill will lie about others.
This, of course, is true. But then Jack defends as possible Sarah Palin's "death panel" lie.
"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," former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said in a post on Facebook.

Hyperbole? You betcha! But wrong? Maybe not. [emphasis added]

Now you gotta watch carefully. He quotes Washington Post columnist Charles Lane:
"The measure would have an interested party -- the government -- recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations," Mr. Lane wrote. "You don't have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach."
But Jack omits from that same column this part:
Enter Section 1233 of the health-care bill drafted in the Democratic-led House, which would pay doctors to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every five years -- or sooner if the patient gets a terminal diagnosis.

On the far right, this is being portrayed as a plan to force everyone over 65 to sign his or her own death warrant. That's rubbish. Federal law already bars Medicare from paying for services "the purpose of which is to cause, or assist in causing," suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. Nothing in Section 1233 would change that. [emphasis added.]
There's more rubbish. Remember someone who lies about some provisions will lie about others. Here's Jack caught in an egregious smear:
In a 1998 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Ezekiel Emanuel, President Obama's health-care adviser, touted the fiscal benefits of physician-assisted suicide. In January, Dr. Emanuel outlined his "principles of allocation of scarce medical interventions:"

"When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated," Dr. Emanuel said.

Here is the article Jack references. It's from the British Medical Journal, The Lancet (free subscription req to see the full text). Who'd'a thought The Lancet would publish an article advocating killing old people because it's too expensive to keep them alive?

Of course they didn't.

Jack wants you to believe that when Dr. Emanuel (who is also Rahm Emanuel's brother, by the way) wrote that the "principles of allocation of scare medical interventions", it had something to do with physician-assisted suicide. But take a look at the first sentence of the article as found in the Lancet:
Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge.[emphasis added]
They're (remember, there's three authors of this article) writing about the ethical issues surrouding how to allocate a limited number of organs or vaccines - not euthanasia. And it's an outright lie to say otherwise.

But don't take my word for it, here's Dr Emanuel himself (by way of Jake Tapper at ABC):
In another article used as grist for his critics, in Lancet in January 2009, Emanuel and two co-authors discussed rationing care. But Emanuel cautions the goal of the article was not to apply his views of rationing onto providing health care in general.

We were examining a very particular situation,” he said.

The situation: “we don’t have enough organs for everybody who needs a transplant. You have one liver, you have three people who need the liver - who gets it? The solution isn’t ‘We get more livers.’ You can’t. It’s a tragic choice.” It’s a decision made in the story in the context of “absolute scarcity.”

It doesn’t apply generally to health care services more broadly,” Emanuel underlines. “Only by ignoring what we say there could anyone come to a different conclusion. Only by taking two sentences out of their complete context.” [emphasis added]

To take that one sentence from Emanuel et al and spin it somehow into support for assisted suicide (which, by the way Dr Emanuel has already renounced) is just wrong.

Simply factually wrong. No, it's not a matter of it being a different interpretation of the facts where Jack somehow just comes up to the line separating spin from falsehood.

This is a falsehood. It's an outright lie.

Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?


thegoogle said...

The term "death panel" is just rhetoric. You probably know that. Or maybe you don't --you both seem a bit politically naive and certainly myopic.

You must know at this point that a public option is dead and only so because of the history of Ms. Clinton's foray into this area of entitlement. And not for its alleged public good, but for the dramatic shifts it has engendered in poll numbers. MOCs are running away from a public option in droves having seen the numbers. Beware the lessons of the '94 mid-terms.

Without question, you possess a fantastic tunnel vision and an unrelenting denial of any opposing viewpoint. It really is quite remarkable. But then you did support Mike Veon with the stunning platform, and I paraphrase here, that "he's a criminal, but he's our criminal."

This is a really shitty blog. Its whole basis seems to rely on parsing the meaning of a few words here or there, or dissecting a phrase. There's no there there. Congratulations --you're the Las Vegas of shitty, irrelevant, local political blogs.

Lisa said...

And yet you took the time to comment...

EdHeath said...

@thegoogle, the term "death panel" is indeed just rhetoric, and yet conservatives like Jack Kelly and Sarah Palin are trying to suggest that they are in fact in a Congressional bill or bills. Therefore, refuting that charge might be a worthwhile enterprise. I gather you disagree, you would rather leave lies out there to confuse people.

Meanwhile, no where in the second post on Kelly's column does Davoe mention the Public option, although he does mention it in the first post. He mentions it in the context of dispelling additional misinformation. Although, as you mention, it appears Congress may have decided it can not stand up to the conservative lying about health insurance reform, and the public option may not survive to the final compromise bill, if there is one. Whether there will be non-profit insurance collectives is not clear, we may simply consign the uninsured to bankruptcy, death, or both.

The fact that this time (as opposed to 1993) Congress has the option of dropping the public option (or any part of health insurance reform) is due to Obama not working on the proposal in secret and simply dropping it on Congress for an up or down vote. The Congressional bills are being subjected to public scrutiny, and members of Congress are getting input from their constituents. It would be nice if the input was informed, but you would apparently prefer to shut this blog down and leave Jack Kelly’s misinformation out there, to whip up and inflame local residents.

This blog might well be myopic, but that hardly makes it shitty or irrelevant. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but unless your opinion makes some sense you are also likely to be criticized for it.

Vegas is shitty and irrelevant?

jaywillie said...

And yet, thegoogle, you wasted your time to insult a blog and its writers who are "shitty" and "irrelevant."

You certainly seem to care an awful lot.

Thanks for letting them know they get under your skin.