Blogs > Liberty and Power > Just the First of Many Attempts

Nov 26, 2009 5:15 pm


Just the First of Many Attempts



An article found on The Huffington Post, by UC Berkeley Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff, thanks Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for saving the lives of 47, 000 women. While it is true that she has said that people should ignore the government group’s recommendation that women postpone getting yearly mammograms until they are fifty years old instead of beginning at age forty and that continuing to follow the earlier advice will save lives, would her position be the same if the public reaction to the idea had not been so overwhelmingly negative?

Lakoff absolves the Obama administration of any bad intentions never considering the possibility that the money saving suggestion might have been made in order to test reaction to state cost benefit analysis applied to health care. Rather he argues this idea is nothing to worry about, even joking that “as expected, the most radical conservatives have seen this not only as an Obama move, but have likened it to mythical ‘death panels.’” Yet, how could one call the Preventive Task Force anything other than a death panel, it recommended that 47,000 women die. The members of the team claim that cost did not enter their deliberations but as Lakoff points out the different reasons put forth are spurious. Besides expense what other motive could explain a policy that would result in so many extra fatalities?

We should not be too optimistic about the seeming defeat of this noticeably ham handed attempt to trade lives for funds. There will be further efforts because the government will have no choice as there will not be enough resources to pay for everyone’s health care. Why any rational being would want a single payer medical system when the single payer has 40 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities is beyond me.




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