Quote of the Night

Quitter Sarah Palin:

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.

25 Comments

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  2. http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/08/inconvenient-truth-about-death-panel.html

    “These critics, however, didn’t take the time to find out to what Palin was referring when she used the term “level of productivity in society” as being the basis for determining access to medical care.

    If the critics, who hold themselves in the highest of intellectual esteem, had bothered to do something other than react, they would have realized that the approach to health care to which Palin was referring was

    **none other than that espoused by key Obama health care adviser Dr. Ezekial Emanuel (brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).**”

    — Dr. William A. Jacobson
    Associate Clinical Professor of Law,
    Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY

  3. So access to health care for ALL equals, um evil death squads that determine whether you deserve said accessible health care for all??? Uh, what? Do wingnuts actually think they can blurt out the most atrocious lie possible and no one will call them out?
    And speaking from experience, we already judge who can and can’t readily receive health care. Try having a pre-existing condition, Sarah, and then tell me how easy it is to get covered on America’s current system.
    I’ve had it with this bitch…. I try to refrain from using that term to describe other women because it can be unnecessary, demeaning name calling, but she really deserves the title.

  4. What she means is she has federal health insurance, so she doesn’t have to worry whether or not a life-saving treatment is covered by her insurance company.

  5. “What she means is she has federal health insurance, so she doesn’t have to worry whether or not a life-saving treatment is covered by her insurance company.”

    Oh that socialized medicine (abortion)! The only right socialized medicine (abortion) is the one I’m allowed to have!

  6. No McGee, she’s insinuating that although baby Trig shouldn’t stand in front of the Death Panel, it’s apparently ok for the rest of her kids to face judgement.

    Stay “productive”, Willow.

  7. West, that column by Jacobsen is one of the most egregiously disingenuous pieces of crap I have ever read.

    It’s being charitable even to assume that Palin was alluding to Dr Kahn’s paper at all and not to some freaked out conservative paranoid fantasy. Enen if she was, though, there are several problems remaining:

    a) This paper is no part of Democratic policy.

    b) It is an exploration only of the allocation of scarce resources – not something applicable to Down Syndrome.

    c) ‘Protecting and promoting social usefulness’ is only one of several criteria recommended, and it is recommended ‘only in some public health emergencies’. An example would be prioritizing the vaccination of heath workers and researchers during a pandemic if supplies of the vaccine were limited.

    Of course, there will always be a dilemma over the use of scarce medical resources, and perhaps the most egregious deception in Jaconson’s article is the failure to acknowledge that. It is not an artifact of public health; public funding merely shifts the emphasis of the debate somewhat by removing the free market solution: scarce resources should go to whoever can afford them.

    I’ve scarcely scratched the surface of what is wrong with Jacobson’s ‘analysis’, btw.

  8. The comments on the Legal Insurrection post are quite enlightening…

    “Democrats are The Party of Death.”

    “Intellectual dishonesty in defense of Sarah Palin is just an embarrassment. There is (by definition) no relation between Emmanuel’s ethical reflections and non-existent legislation.”

    “Perhaps, instead, we should have held a lottery, the winners getting dialysis.”

    … proof positive that to have an “average intelligence quotient” of 100 you must have an equal distribution above and below (though for every person with an IQ of 150 there may be two with respective quotients of 75 apiece).

    Granted, the intelligence quotient business is generally known to be flawed, but seeing the way people argue and judging by the amount of reason applied to their arguments it wouldn’t be hard to come to the conclusion that our species is doomed to eventually drown by the weight of its majority’s aversion to reason.

  9. This makes me giggle. I have transcended beyond irritation or distress (now that she’s no longer in the running to govern ANYTHING aside from her own family’s entire life) and now I can simply sit back and enjoy her for the amusement she provides.

  10. “[S]ervices provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed.

    An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

    Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel

  11. I would be amused if it weren’t 1993 all over again. You win support by shouting your talking points in little words like “death squad” and “cut Medicare” without context. The insurance companies are going to win, again.

  12. West

    As a matter of politeness, it is recommendable to (a) actually read the papers from which you cite (rather than merely copipasting out-of-context, unsourced quotes from partisan commentators) and (b) cite and preferably link to said paper when you do. Do not be surprised to be dismissed as a troll if you segue straight from citing an apallingly misrepresentative analysis of one paper straight to an out-of-context quote from still another unreferenced paper which you have not read. That’s either malicious, incompetent, or disingenuous behaviour.

    For the record – and for anyone else who’s interested – the very selective quote above is from ‘Is justice enough? Ends and means in bioethics’, Daniels et al, The Hastings Center Report, Nov-Dec 1996 (which can be found here – see how easy that is, West?).

    This paper is a discussion of whether the failure of the US to implement univeral health care derives in part from ‘a failure to provide a philosophically defensible and practical mechanism to distinguish basic from discretionary health care services’ – a pragmatic necessity. The authors very tentatively suggest a principle upon which to base such a mechanism.

    Daniels et al clearly advocate a somewhat utilitarian approach, and any utilitarian approach can seem heartless as it inevitably feels rather calculating and we have a cultural preference for pretending to believe that life is de facto beyond such calculation. Nonetheless, their tentatively suggested principle is intreaguing – and far from the kind of thing that Jacobson has been pretending it is. ‘[Services that] ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberation are to be socially guaranteed as basic’.

    Personally, I disagree with their ‘obvious’ negative example of dementia – but Palin should like their positive example, since they suggest their criteria would earmark as ‘basic’ ‘neuropsychological services to ensure children with learning disabilities can read and learn to reason.’ (No death panels eh.)

    Read it: it’s thought-provoking and interesting. And bear in mind this is a philosophical discussion written 13 years ago, not a contribution to the current healthcare debate.

  13. the paper is certainly easy to find (obviously).

    As to the quote, it speaks for itself, its up to the reader to interpret what it means. I see it differently than you, simple as that.

    And i do it politely. I wont say what papers you have or haven’t read, because i simply don’t know you. I won’t describe your (or anyone’s) “behaviour” in negative terms so readily, either.

    Finally, I think a quote from someone so well placed to the center of this debate quite certainly *is* relevant.

    My family mortgage is directly related to this debate, and what the big players have said in the past certainly matters.

    YMMV.

  14. Well, yes, I was able to google your cherrypicked quote, then search through the hundreds of rightwing noiseblogs that coincidentally all had exactly the same quote (I assume by chance, since surely all those writers had independently read the whole paper like yourself) to find one that actually mentioned the source, then google that, then find a copy of the paper that wasn’t behind a firewall… but still, it would have been gentlemanly to cite and link to the paper yourself. Or was I not mistaken in my assumption that in fact you had read only the quote exerpted somewhere else?

    As to the quote ‘speaking for itself’, that really is rubbish. Viewed in the context of everything else Kahn and his colleagues wrote, it is clearly not the bombshell you and your conservative fellows claim to think it is – at least unless you insist on reading all the rest of it through some kind of conspiracy-focused lens that takes these few sentences as the revalatory truth and the rest as lies and deceit (in which case, why bother reading it at all? You can just make it up!).

    If what the major players in this debate have said matters, then look at what they actually said – without filtering it through either your own prejudices or those of bullshitters shuch as Jacobson.

    I make no apology for my rudeness since it seems to me well deserved – your failure to provide sources being an egregious rudeness of one kind, your implicit claim to have read papers which you clearly have not being another.

    Go thou and troll no more.

  15. posting simple quotes, offering polite discourse, with potential disagreement (i’m by no means conservative)

    … all this = trolling.

    Well, that’s a heck of a standard. Sorry then.

  16. Uncritically relaying the ill-informed comments of a hack commentator + selectively quoting out-of-context and unsourced in place of entering into substantive debate when callenged + implying that you had read papers you clearly had not?

    Meets my standard for trolling, yes.

    Sorry bout that (well – obviously not really), but my patience has worn thin with those who are picking a fight with the proposed healthcare reforms on the basis of well poisoning, ad homs, and disinformation.

    I’m not denying there may be substantive arguments out there, but all I’m hearing is noise.

  17. Why are you all knocking Sarah? She’s telling the truth:

    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… (etc.)”

    That’s correct, the America she is describing is NOT the America she (supposedly) knows and loves (her husband’s political affiliations not withstanding). And, as she pointed out, it has NO “Obama’s death squad.”

    Such a system is downright evil.

    I agree, such a system IS downright evil. Good thing there’s no chance of ours becoming one. It sounds to me like she agrees with Obama’s policy. Let’s all hold hands and sing Kum-ba-ya!

  18. Well said, mike. I concur that Palin’s numbskull, in every way.

    That said, is it a corollary that every piece of legislation (particularly every *massive* one) can’t be critiqued, without being labeled a Wingnut, or troll, or somesuch? Is the Emanuel staff really that good?

    How can we critique the legislation itself, when its been so briefly in the public view — while being pushed/rushed to a vote all the while?

    Can we assume that there are no problems in the bill? That no special interests influence this white house?

    ..Or have “we” have finally thrown the right rascals out?

  19. Where do I sign up to be on the Death Squad?

    Is there a Death Squad Union? Or is a Civil Service Job?

    And, i will assume since it is a government job, I can put in my 30 years and then retire on an nice fat pension…..

  20. I *loved* when Jon Stewart responded to this by playing her own “quit making stuff up” clip back at her.

    I’m starting to think the only possible response to this sort of claim is “That’s simply not in the legislation. If you believe it is, then find it in the proposed legislation and tell me the page it’s on and I’ll go look at it.”

    Of course, that won’t actually stop them from making stuff up, but how can you argue with people who slide between their dystopic fantasies whenever you start to challenge the one they’re cherishing?

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