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January 21, 2012
What We're Learning about Obamacare isn't Good -- Especially for Seniors
While I taught at the University of Virginia, I served for a while as associate dean. My dean at the time, Bill Shenkir, used a phrase that I thought was particularly helpful when we were contemplating major decisions: "Let's reduce the fog factor." By that he meant that we should always examine the ramifications of our decisions on our students' classroom experience since teaching them was our primary mission.
Obamacare is an example of a federal government program that would not have been enacted if the fog factor test had been applied. While Congress debated Obamacare, talk about death panels and rationing of healthcare services abounded, but the warnings came from Republicans who were in the minority in the House and the Senate. Their objections were dismissed out of hand. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid rounded up Democrat votes and shoved Obamacare down our throats with the blessing of President Obama. The jury is still out on the legality of Obamacare, but while we wait for the courts to rule on the constitutional issues involved, the Obama administration is rapidly implementing the program. By the time the courts finally reach a decision, our healthcare system won't resemble what we had prior to March 2010 when Nancy Pelosi used her oversized gavel to pound Obamacare through the House over strenuous objections from most Americans.
Our senior citizens are most at risk under Obamacare -- especially those over 70. Rationing of services and death panels (only they're called "ethics panels" under Obamacare instead of death panels for obvious reasons) are now the rule, not the exception. I have a friend who is a loyal Democrat and a strong Obama supporter. In 2008 when she voted for Obama, she couldn't imagine that in 2012 she would have a massive heart attack and need a pacemaker. Prior to 2010 and the passage of Obamacare, that would have been a routine procedure, but not anymore. She's over 70, and under Obamacare people who are over 70 routinely receive "comfort care." That's a euphemism. It means that a panel of experts has determined that your life isn't worth saving beyond 70, so they will try to make you feel good while you die.
Where Obamacare is concerned, we're beginning to be able to see through the fog, and what we're learning isn't good, especially for seniors, and it's just the tip of the iceberg. If Obama is re-elected and Democrats retain their majority in the Senate, those "ethics panels" will busily go about doing their job and senior citizens will die prematurely from maladies that are easily treatable, and for one reason: they are over 70. That's it in a nutshell. I'm not trying to frighten anyone. I'm simply presenting a fact.
If you're a senior citizen and you want to take advantage of the medical technologies that your tax dollars paid to help develop over the years, you should think long and hard before casting a vote for Obama in 2012. For that matter, you should carefully consider the wisdom of voting for Democrats period. I'm not a Republican. In fact, I was a Democrat until 1985, but I saw what the Democratic Party stands for while I served as Virginia Governor Chuck Robb's Policy Advisor for Regulatory Reform and realized that I can't support the things that they hold most dear -- chief among them being the right of a woman to kill her unborn child without penalty or even criticism and handouts to every group imaginable without regard for morality, our nation's security, or our ability to pay.
The Republican Party isn't perfect by a long shot and neither are its candidates, but the party is trying to undo the damage done by Obamacare; it's the party that supports the right to life; and it's the party that is attempting to reduce needless spending and trying to solve our deficit and debt problems. President Obama and like-minded Democrats in the House and Senate are principally responsible for creating and exacerbating those problems. Trusting them to solve those problems is ridiculous.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily. His latest book is titled If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You're Not a Racist, You Need to V
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