Obama’s Health Care Guru

Many people have heard of Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff. He is called Rahmbo “Dead Fish” Emanuel by Sean Hannity because once when a pollster angered him, he sent that pollster a dead fish in the mail. Mark Levin, the very successful conservative radio talk show host refers to Emanuel as Al Capone because of his political strong arm tactics and also because he hails from the Chicago political machine. But there is another Emanuel brother that is working behind the scenes at the White House. This Emanuel brother is no stranger to the White House; he served on President Clinton’s Health Care Task Force and is now enjoying a very powerful role in the latest push to get socialized medicine finalized. His name is Ezekiel Emanuel and he received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. He was a fellow in the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. And after finishing his internship in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and his oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, he was asked to join the faculty there. Before he joined the National Institutes of Health, he was an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Further, Dr. Emanuel is responsible for The Medical Directive, which is a comprehensive living will. It was endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Health Letter, to name a few. He has been published on the ethics of clinical research, international research ethics, end of life issues, physician-patient relationships and of course health care reform in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, JAMA and others. On paper, he seems to be a highly credentialed, successful person and an obvious choice to help Obama tackle the health care issue.

Let’s dig a bit deeper, shall we? On January 31st of this year, Dr. Emanuel co-authored a paper that was published in The Lancet. It was titled, “Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions.” The summary of the article talks about ethical dilemmas surrounding the allocation of medical resources, the main way that costs are contained in socialized medicine. “Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge. We evaluate eight simple allocation principles that can be classified into four categories: treating people equally, favoring the worst-off, maximizing total benefits, and promoting and rewarding social usefulness.” The summary to the article goes on to say, “How can scarce medical interventions be allocated justly? This paper identifies and evaluates eight simple principles that have been suggested. Although some are better than others, no single principle allocates interventions justly. Rather, morally relevant simple principles must be combined into multi-principle allocation systems. We evaluate three existing systems and then recommend a new one: the complete lives system.”


The complete lives system? What exactly does that mean? Well, by reading the article, it is basically saying that young people in their 20s or 30s should receive more health care than someone in their 60s, 70s or 80s and more than an infant. Why? Because the infant has not had the “expense” of schooling, teaching, feeding – all considered “investments” (where have we heard that word before? Oh yeah, Obama uses it all the time) by the parents. The elderly person has benefited from all these “investments,” but has fewer productive years left to contribute to society. That is the mantra of the Marxist. What can an individual contribute? When the philosophy is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” you begin to see why each potential patient is evaluated by what he can contribute. The Marxist needs as many productive people as possible to contribute so that they can provide their “free” services.

But wait, if you don’t take my word for this, let’s look at what Dr. Emanuel says. I will take it right from his article: “Because none of the currently used systems satisfy all ethical requirements for just allocation, we propose an alternative: the complete lives system. This system incorporates five principles: youngest-first, prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value. As such, it prioritizes younger people who have not yet lived a complete life and will be unlikely to do so without aid. Consideration of the importance of complete lives also supports modifying the youngest-first principle by prioritizing adolescents and young adults over infants. Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments. Similarly, adolescence brings with it a developed personality capable of forming and valuing long-term plans whose fulfillment requires a complete life.”

This is the same Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel that said most Physicians take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously. The New York Post quotes Dr. Emanuel in a July 24th, 2009 story, “Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients: Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).”


From The Lancet article which I cite above, here is how Dr. Emanuel defends giving more medical care to young people as opposed to the elderly. “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years.” So since you have been 25 once, it is okay to deny health care to you when you are 65. No, that isn’t discrimination at all. This is the man that has a direct line to Obama. Has his ear, if you will on the health care issue (insert big ear joke here.) But this is no laughing matter. If we fail to fight this, then we will all be subject to this type of totalitarian medical rationing.

Right now Obama is scrambling. He more than likely isn’t getting his health care-destroying legislation through before the summer break in Congress. He now has to really ratchet up the pressure on the House and Senate to get what he wants. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, your Congressman and Senator are going home for their summer break. Many will be having town hall meetings, and other public functions. We must all be aware of these and show up, telling them that we DO NOT WANT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! This is the time to act and we need to make sure we spread the word. Health care reform is needed. But socialized medicine is not health care reform.


18 comments on “Obama’s Health Care Guru

  1. This guy is a piece of work, isn’t he? This is yet another part of the health care debate the MSM is refusing to cover. If a conservative was even contemplating 1/10th of this, there would be an outrage the likes of which we’ve never seen.

  2. Dr. Mengele, I presume?

    If there was ever any doubt in anyone’s mind that the Democrats don’t like people, don’t want the “unproductive” (such as unwanted babies, sick people, and old people) “burdening society,” and are the closest thing to Hitler we’ve ever seen in America, this guy should help clear their conscience.

  3. Great one sided writing, but where is your evidence that any of this is included in any healthcare bill? The article fails to make a direct connection to present healthcare bills being considered. While excluding certain groups seems to be your focus, the article mentions nothing about this guy shaping policy in any equitable way. You also have failed to mention the bipartisan proposals being agreed upon by your party. People are tired of the word “socialized” medicine. When in fact, people are losing healthcare and jobs everyday. The scare tactics are no longer working or applicable.

    • I’m with NDEFENCE on this one. Actually; what you have done is provide further information that supports the need for a health care overhaul. Thank you. Add that to the fact that you hail from the party that had the likes of Karl Rove pulling the strings and your indictment of Rahm Emanuel and his brother loses any merit it might have had.

    • Okay ndfence and Dean. Let me educate you. You missed the entire point of my article, which was to illustrate the man who has immense influence over Obama and the White House team that is working on the health care bills.

      Does it not bother you when he talks about infants not deserving as much health care “allocated” to them as adolescents? Does it not bother you when he talks about the elderly not deserving as much health care “allocated” to them as someone in their 20s?

      I guess if you just want to defend Obama and defend what they want to do, then you don’t really care that Zeke makes those statements. Or that he is in a position of power in Washington.

      And Dean…when did I ever say that I was a Republican? I “hail” from the majority of Americans. I am a Conservative and damn proud of it.

  4. For these Marxists, “the system” comes first. Each new life is a burden on the system. That’s why conservative look at new lives as possibilities–especially the kind that can free us from those Marxists.

  5. Supposition is a myopic tool for the ignorant. Are people, other than the individuals politically aligned with you, actually growing tired of the term “socialized medicine?” Where is your evidence? As with the bulk of your posts you have none. And what relevance does your statement, “When in fact, people are losing healthcare and jobs everyday,” have to the entirety of the author’s article? You and Dean Connor continually fail to purvey substantive responses to his posts, perhaps you should quantify your position by providing counter-information constructed in fact. Comments are filtered with “your party” juvenility and it really reflects evidence of verbal stupidity. Perhaps it is not your fault, I visited your websites and not one of your posts significantly reconstructs elements of any particular policy to assert itself as an advocation to your readers. Actually, your closer to zoilism. Poor, poor Republicans ruined us so now it is our chance. And I agree, it’s just your finishing the job and not reversing it. Congratulations.

  6. Are these gentlemen suggesting that what government officials say and believe have no impact on how they govern?

    I think the important thing to remember is that the left moves to implement things incrementally. If they suggest their entire plan, it would be universally rejected. They say that their plan is NOT single payer, yet there are videos out that show both Obama and Barney Frank saying that the “public option” WILL lead to single payer. What they are talking about may not happen tomorrow, but their short term goals are the first step towards getting there. History teaches us that ignoring these ideas is potential suicide. Especially since this is so reminiscent of the Nazi’s T4 program.

  7. LibertyPen, I really dont care what you think about my website, my writing, or my comments on articles such as these. The bottom line remains that some Americans who arent well off or rich need reform to take place to live halfway decent lives. The republicans and conservatives are out of touch with mainstream America and have no leadership to prove it. I am glad we have a president that is willing to try something different. Sure, maybe not all of it will work, but in 6 months, he has probably done more than any other sitting president before him. Whenever people stick up for poor people, they are always looked down upon by rich welathy conservatives who fear losing power and money. The term “socialism” means rich people having to share some of their ill gotten wealth to help out those they stepped on while ascending the ladder of success.

    • Spoken like a true bitter poor person. I am not a rich person by any stretch of the imagination. I am a disabled American. Now really, do you think that because I am a conservative that means that I am against people getting ahead? I am in FAVOR of people being as successful as they are able to be. All persons being equal, means CREATED equal, not made equal by socialism.

      Secondly, I do agree with one point you made, though. Obama has done more in his first 6 months in office than any sitting President. He has done more damage to America. So much so, that it will take years, maybe decades to unravel this damage. Obama once said of the four years he studied Saul Alinsky’s teachings that it was the best education he had ever gotten. If you look at the way he governs as President, he has never really stopped campaigning. He still agitates to create an environment to get his agenda advanced.

      Thirdly, do we need health care reform? Yes and no. No, in the sense that we needn’t destroy the entire system to help those who need it. Yes in the sense that the Government needs to fix Medicare and Medicaid first. If Obama really wanted to extend health care coverage to the 10 – 15 million Americans that don’t have coverage, then he could just have made them eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. What Obama wants has more to do with expanding the power of the Federal Government than helping people.

      Lastly, you say that Republicans are more for the rich than the poor. Let’s look at that. Tell me, haven’t the unions and special interests thrived under Obama? Isn’t he a Democrat? Aren’t the Conservatives (Republicans) in favor of helping everyday Americans? The Republicans authored an amendment to the health care bill in the House that said we will not extend health care to non-citizens. It was voted down by the Democrats. Illegal aliens are clogging the Emergency Rooms and that alone drives up the costs of health care. Someone has to pay for those services. Who does? You and me and all the American taxpayers. Yet the Democrats want you to continue to pay for them.

      So tell me Ndfence, why would the Democrats do that? I thought they were for the poor like you and me.

    • So we have an accord, nobody cares about your website. You do not, however, purvey a cogent refutation that warrants a cause for our current administration’s efforts at socio-political reconstruction. For the most part you regurgitate party rhetoric and pass it off as substantial justification. Your usage of the term socialism is also overly simplified, to posit that people of means are specifically targeting the poor for subjugation is trite. The vast majority are small business owners who will get taxed to pay for your redistributive justice. I am such a business owner who falls into the taxable category, and it’s a funny thing; I have felt the urge to step on the neck of the less fortunate on my “way up the ladder.” And what is the percentage of those who procured wealth by way of ill-gotten measures? You provide no such clarification, you simply “ball park it.” How remarkably trite.

      By your limited explication of your position I gather you stand in the affirmative for the following;

      1. The reconstruction of a Republic into a coercive state of collectivism.

      2. The expansion of a leviathanistic government that supersedes its bounds as prescribed by the Constitution. It is tantamount to invasive paternalism.

      3. The usage of Keynesian economics, which is an utter failure.

      If you would like to debate on; Constitutionality, empirical economics with sub-models in government vs. non-government intrusion (with effects on market stability), and as a corollary the justification of massive Democratic entitlement programs – I would be happy to engage you.

      I only ask this question because I hope to see you provide more intellectual substance. Your explanation of the insurance companies is the closest thing so far. I have studied economics, foreign policy, the Constitution, and political philosophies. Therefore any response I submit will not mimic the media contrivances that permeate into every pro-government article or blog. Bear no illusions that I predicate my position on party affiliation, but if you must rely upon such a determinant please feel free.

  8. As if resourses are unlimited. Oh, its soo wrong to assess alocation of medical resourses on an age demographic, it should be done on an income basis. RIIIGHT! How classist. Come into the real world, medical resourses are being rationed right now and doing it on the basis of economic entitlement is hardly an ethical position. Sure, might makes Right. Just ask anyone in power.

    • But the point you miss, Dsent is that the rationing or allocating that is going on now is not system wide. If you are denied something by an insurance company, you have several options. You can switch insurance companies – although that is not always and easy option, I will admit. You can sue the insurance company. Under a single payer Government run health care system, you have no options when you are denied meds or services. You cannot switch coverage, there is only one source, the Government. You cannot sue the Government. You are screwed.

      The liberals favorite response to the idea of Government rationing of health care is that it is already happening now. So what?

      That is like saying that gang violence is already a problem in our inner cities. So more gang violence is okay since it is already happening.

      The bottom line is this. Do you have any problem with the things that Dr. Emanuel is proposing? Do you want your Father or Grandfather denied services or meds because of age? Would that be okay with you?

  9. Are U kidding? when an insurance compnay drops you Go try to get other insurance with a preexisting condition. Further more have you heard of the democratic process? It doesnt appy to insurance companies but it does to your government. Listen to this http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/16/former_insurance_exec_wendell_porter
    and then tell me you trust insurance companies. The point is with Single Payer we have democratic oversight and with corporate insurance we do not, we have no control over how they ration care thats why more than 62% of bankruptsys in the country are medical, and of those 3/4s had insurnace when they fell ill. You are not protected because you have insurance. What value does a 3rd party payer who is in it for profit help our system? They make money by denying care. You really dont see a problem with that?

    • I never said I trust insurance companies. As with anything, there are good ones and bad ones. The smart consumer picks the good ones. I know it is not always easy to try and switch insurance coverage.

      You cite statistics on foreclosures, can you provide a link to the study you are quoting from? If you can, I will be happy to talk about that point further.

      You further say, “The point is with Single Payer we have democratic oversight and with corporate insurance we do not, we have no control over how they ration care…”

      You mean that we are not allowed to sue an insurance company for denial of service? We are not allowed to sue physicians for malpractice? I think you are wrong on that. But tell me, how far do you think you will get trying to sue Uncle Sam? If you really believe that the present administration and present congress is doing this for your best interest, think again. This is merely a way for them to expand the powers of the Government and stay in power longer. Wake up my friend, or you will be saying, “What the hell happened to my freedom??”

      The problem I have with the 3rd party payer system we now have is this. Put the power back into the hands of the consumer. Let me educate you about our health care system. Here is some background on the history of where are and how we got here. I will also provide the links.

      ” In 1942 Congress gave employers tax deductions for heath insurance plans, and in 1943 made employer-provided health benefits tax exempt for employees. Due to these tax breaks enrollment in these plans soon jumped from 7 million to 26 million, or 20% of the population.

      By 1950, now that 20% of the population had health insurance, the cost of insurance began to rise. As Gomer Pyle would say, “SURPRISE. SURPRISE. SURPRISE!!!!!” National health care expenditures that year were $12.7 billion, or 4.5% of the Gross National Product (GNP.) That very same year, and under pressure from the American Medical Association, most states agreed to bar prepaid monthly group fees and replace them with fee-for-service provider plans. The fee for service model has been with us ever since and is one of the big reasons medical costs are so high in America.”


      “While the rest of the world moved toward state-sponsored universal insurance coverage after World War I, the movement never gained acceptance in the U.S. Instead, prepayment plans for hospital expenses (the precursor of today’s Blue Cross) originated with the Baylor University Hospital Plan. In 1929, a group of Dallas schoolteachers approached the hospital with the idea of establishing a “Sick Benefit Fund” that provided 21 days of hospitalization in a semiprivate room for a monthly premium of 50 cents. The American Hospital Association soon approved of the principle of prepaid hospital expenses and commissioned a study to examine the concept. Subsequently, standards were established and in 1937 Blue Cross was born. Prepaid plans covering physicians’ services were slower to develop. The popularity of Blue Cross created a demand for coverage of physicians’ charges, but it was not until 1942 that the American Medical Association approved the idea. Standards were established over the next few years and Blue Shield was formally started in 1946.”


      So you can see that Government involvement is what contributed heavily to the jump in cost of medical services. By getting back to the consumer the power to choose their health care, one can see that it is truly the only path to true health care reform. I argue that instead of the Cash for Clunkers program, which is now costing taxpayers $3 Billion, if Congress had made a Cash for Health Insurance program think how many of the estimated 10-15 million uninsured Americans that could have covered?

      Honestly, Government run, single payer health care is not the way to go. Please show me one country that has that sytem and is running it successfully.

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