Remember Those Death Panels David Brooks Said Were “Crazy?” Well…

….this time, the New York Times “conservative” (ha, ha) dancing monkey, David Brooks is talking up saving health care money by cutting back on end-of-life care.

This fiscal crisis is about many things, but one of them is our inability to face death – our willingness to spend our nation into bankruptcy to extend life for a few more sickly months.

The fiscal crisis is driven largely by health care costs. We have the illusion that in spending so much on health care we are radically improving the quality of our lives. We have the illusion that through advances in medical research we are in the process of eradicating deadly diseases. We have the barely suppressed hope that someday all this spending and innovation will produce something close to immortality.

…Others disagree with this pessimistic view of medical progress. But that phrase, “marginally extend the lives of the very sick,” should ring in the ears. Many of our budget problems spring from our quest to do that.

The fiscal implications are all around. A large share of our health care spending is devoted to ill patients in the last phases of life. This sort of spending is growing fast. Americans spent $91 billion caring for Alzheimer’s patients in 2005. By 2015, according to Callahan and Nuland, the cost of Alzheimer’s will rise to $189 billion and by 2050 it is projected to rise to $1 trillion annually – double what Medicare costs right now.

Obviously, we are never going to cut off Alzheimer’s patients and leave them out on a hillside. We are never coercively going to give up on the old and ailing. But it is hard to see us reducing health care inflation seriously unless people and their families are willing to do what Clendinen is doing – confront death and their obligations to the living.

…My only point today is that we think the budget mess is a squabble between partisans in Washington. But in large measure it’s about our inability to face death and our willingness as a nation to spend whatever it takes to push it just slightly over the horizon.

Of course, it’s true that end-of-life costs are a major cost-driver. Yet, when Obamacare hit the scene, conservatives — real conservatives, not guys like David Brooks — warned people that this is coming. You put Obamacare in place and they’re going to deny life-saving treatments and drugs to save money. They’re going to set up “death panels” that’ll do it (and they have, it’s in there) so they can take the heat off of politicians.

Ironically, Brooks was one of the people out there telling people Palin’s claims were “crazy.”

On Meet the Press today David Brooks called Palin’s claims crazy, “Yeah. Again, that’s crazy. If—the, the, the crazies are attacking the plan because it’ll cut off granny, and that—that’s simply not true. That simply is not going to happen.”

Now Brooks, like a lot of lefties and their agents, is preparing the ground for it. People need to “confront death and their obligations to the living,” which in practice, means a “death panel” full of unelected bureacrats arbitrarily denying treatments to save money. Even when the “death panels” are in practice, sending people to the grave to save a few bucks, guys like Brooks will still be denying that it exists, while they simultaneously talk about how important it is.

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