Which celebrities should we stop treating first; ObamaCare as celebrity survivor.
“If they would rather die they had better do it, and decrease
the surplus population.”
— Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
Should Michael J. Fox be put to death?
Celebrities and death. Now there’s a potent cocktail.
Several parts fame, a few jiggers of Hollywood and a splash each for sports, business and journalism. Did I mention politics and government bureaucracy? Sorry. Without that essential element the mixture has no wallop. And a wallop this concoction surely will have, particularly if you believe actor Michael J. Fox has overstayed his welcome on the planet.
Let’s pour the dry ingredients of politics and government bureaucracy into the pitcher first, beginning with the politics of death and dying.
Laws in America come into being because someone somewhere saw a problem, devised a would-be answer and then persuaded politicians to pass the law based on the philosophy and politics one group or another saw as underlying that answer. Need revenue? Raise taxes. Global warming? Shut down the coal plants. Dopey kids? Pay more to teachers. Everyone knows how this works.
So what is the driving philosophy underpinning the Obama health care plans for all of us? Let’s begin with a few short quotes and one definition that outlines the idea succinctly.
• President Obama; “There is a whole bunch of care that’s being provided that every study, every bit of evidence that we have indicates may not be making us healthier.”
• Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University: “Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gasses; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose.”
• America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 as introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.3200) by Congressmen Dingell, Waxman, Rangel, Stark and others: “The Secretary shall establish within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research…with respect to the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures.”
• QALY: Quality-Adjusted Life Year. A formula devised by left-wing policy wonks that purports, as David Catron has so ably illuminated on these pages, to measure the worth of your life by assigning a numerical value to each year of your existence. In Catron’s words: “A year of perfect health, for example, is given a value of 1.0 while a year of sub-optimum health is rated between 0 and 1. If you are confined to a wheelchair, a year of your life might be valued at half that of your ambulatory neighbor. If you are blind or deaf, you also score low. All that remains is to assign a specific dollar value to the QALY and, voilà, your life has a price tag.”
This is all a bit dry to the taste, isn’t it? QALY, Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, HR 3200. Blah blah blah. Let’s add the fizz to this baby.
So. Who will tell Michael J. Fox he needs to die?
Which health care mouse out there will have the guts to bell the cat who is one of the most famous Parkinson’s Disease sufferers in America? Who is going to tell him that the treatments that are associated with Parkinson’s — drugs like Sinemet, Symmetrel, Eldepryl, Parlodel, Permax, Mirapex, Requip, and surgery with the quaint name “deep brain stimulation” — are just no longer possible for Fox because, well, Mike, your QALY just isn’t up to snuff, babe. You have Parkinson’s. You boozed (according to you). As a result, the government has decided treatment for you, Mike, lacks “appropriateness.” The “outcome and effectiveness” of treating you — which is to say the worth of your 47-year old life — just isn’t worth it for the rest of us.
Sorry Mike. Say Goodbye to Hollywood. Close your Parkinson’s Foundation (waste of scarce resources, to wax Singeresque). Just go home to the wife and kids, cut off these expensive meds and please die. Quietly. And for heaven’s sake, get yourself buried in private. We don’t want any of this Michael Jackson type-hoopla disrupting our favorite programs. We have lives to get on with.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?