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Would Obama Tell Ted Kennedy to Forego Surgery for a Painkiller?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: In fact, there's a gutsy story today, I found it last night on the American Thinker by a guy named James Lewis. Talk about not pulling any punches. "Does Ted Kennedy Deserve His Extended Cancer Care?" is the headline to the piece. "Senator Ted Kennedy, who is now 76 years old and was diagnosed with brain cancer in May of last year, is telling the world that nationalized medical care is 'the cause of his life.' He wants to see it pass as soon as possible, before he departs this vale of tears. The prospect of Kennedy's passing is viewed by the liberal press with anticipatory tears and mourning. But they are not asking the proper question by their own lights: That question -- which will be asked for you and me when we reach his age and state in life --- is this: Is Senator Kennedy's life valuable enough to dedicate millions of dollars to extending it another month, another day, another year?"

This is a very brave piece by Mr. Lewis at the American Thinker because you're not supposed to write things like this about people who are terminal. But it's a pointed question because we're all going to reach this stage, or most of us will, and Obama's health care plan, by definition, will not cover people in Senator Kennedy's circumstances because the investment will not be deemed worthwhile. Senator Kennedy is available to get this because he's got a great health care plan and because he has independent wealth to augment it and to go along with it. "Consider what happens in the Netherlands to elderly people. The Netherlands legalized 'assisted suicide' in 2002, no doubt in part for compassionate reasons. But also to save money. There is only one money kitty for medical care in the socialist Netherlands. When you get old, the question is asked, either explicitly or by implication: Do you deserve to live another year compared to young refugees from Somalia, who can use the same euros to have many years of life?"

That's how they look at it in the Netherlands. This is where we are headed. By the way, grab audio sound bite 16. June 24th, 2009, just last month, on ABC's Obama reality show -- primetime questions for the president. One member of the audience, Jane Sturm, said, "My mother is now over 105. But at 100, the doctor said to her, 'I can't do anything more unless you have a pacemaker.' I said go for it, she said go for it, but the specialist said no, she's too old. When the other specialist saw her, saw her joy of life, so on, he said, 'I'm going for it,' that was over five years ago. My question to you is, outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody who's elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, a quality of life, or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?"

I can't believe somebody is actually asking this question of the president of the United States in this country, but it happened. A woman asks the president, "Would you let my mother live? Would you take into account her joy of living? Would your plan let my mother live?" Can you believe that we're even asking that question? Sadly, it was asked, and here's his answer.

OBAMA: I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people. End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're going to have to make. But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers. At least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what, maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.

RUSH: So maybe you're better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller. All right, would we have said that to Senator Kennedy under the Obama health care plan? No. Senator Kennedy is exempt from Obamacare, as are all members of Congress. And, by the way, do you know that the health care plan -- and it's a cafeteria, it's a smorgasbord of choices that congressmen and senators have, and members of the federal workforce -- do you know the government does not run those plans? Those are private plans. The government doesn't run the health care of elected officials in Washington. That's not government-run. They're not going to opt in to a government-run program. It's just not going to happen. So many things are misunderstood about health care in this country anyway.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Marla in Rockford, Illinois. Great to have you with us today in the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Listened to you for years and it's great to talk to you.

RUSH: Thank you very much, same here.

CALLER: Thank you. I'm calling because I have a grandmother who's going to be 103 in August, and this past June she had a pacemaker put in because she was getting weak and pretty lethargic and very low energy, and so they put in a pacemaker, it went very smoothly. Now my grandma is very active; she lives on her own; my uncle lives above her in an apartment; she gets her hair and her nails done every week; she loves to shop, she goes shopping every week --

RUSH: A woman's a woman, doesn't matter the age.

CALLER: Yeah. She has lunch with her daughters, her granddaughters, her great-great-granddaughters and she's just in great shape. She got her bill for the pacemaker, $26,000 this past week.

RUSH: Whoa!

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Wait a minute. Does she have insurance?

CALLER: She has a supplement to her Medicare.

RUSH: How much of the 26 grand was covered?

CALLER: You know, I don't know that. I know that my mother, the daughter, told me that it would be covered between the Medicare and her supplement.

RUSH: Now, see, this is a very interesting point here. Medicare already covers your mom. Medicare is going broke, but the promise of Medicare was that it would cover the elderly free 'til they die. That's the promise. That's going to change if Obama gets this plan because your mom, unless she had the money herself to pay for the procedure, 'cause she wouldn't be allowed to buy her own insurance policy, unless she had the money, she wouldn't get Obama's health care plan paying any of that pacemaker, because she's 103, and Obama already said about a 105-year-old woman maybe it would be better just to have her take a pain pill.

CALLER: Oh, yeah, and he wasn't listening to her because if he had listened to the woman who was describing it, he said painkiller, there is no pain. My grandma has absolutely no pain. So again another waste of money prescribing drugs --

RUSH: I know what he meant by this. He knows that there's not pain associated with a pacemaker, you're not in pain, you just die.

CALLER: Right.

RUSH: What he was saying is, if you don't have a pacemaker and just wither away, like Medicare is going to wither away, Obama is going to cause it to wither on the vine, but nevertheless, what he meant by that was, look, end of life, people have these diseases, sometimes it's just better to give 'em a pain pill, loop 'em out so they don't know what's going on and let 'em just fade away, rather than spend all the money. That's what he meant by the pain pill reference. You get into advanced stages of cancer, certain kinds and you're on so many pain medications it's the only way you can survive. The pain of cancer, everybody I know that's had it is it's just unbearable, certain kinds. But he knows there's no pain with a pacemaker business. He's just, look, sometimes it's better to zone 'em out, just loop 'em out and they won't know what's going on and eventually die and we save a lot of money.

CALLER: Yeah, well, he didn't have any problem entitling himself to a date with his wife that cost over $50,000 that meant nothing to any of us, yet the lives of our seniors who are still inputting into the economy, my grandmother still pays her property taxes every year, she's still contributing, and in that interview with the woman --

RUSH: Hell, she's getting manicures and getting her hair done, don't leave that out, and she's shopping.

CALLER: And buying lunch, yeah. But, you know, he called it end of life, instead of calling it senior care, he called end-of-life care. And really more accurately, it's end-of-life termination, and he's the caller of it. My brother-in-law's nicknamed him "the Terminator" because that's what he's going to do to them.

RUSH: Yeah. That's what the plan will do.

CALLER: Hm-hm.

RUSH: And we learned yesterday that in the House bill, there are end-of-life counselors, so in the case of your grandmother, under Obamacare, they'd tell her no on the pacemaker, and then they'd send a therapist in to help her deal with the fact that the government's just sentenced her to death.

CALLER: Well, she'd probably pray for them because she's a pretty strong woman.

RUSH: She's gotta be. My grandfather lived to 104, and he worked as a lawyer 'til he was 102.

CALLER: Good for him. My grandma shows no signs of dying. We don't have any indications that maybe a couple of months or maybe a year.

RUSH: Did you hear about the guy over there in Europe? Oldest guy died at 113.

CALLER: Good for him.

RUSH: Just last week, and he said the secret to his long life was cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women. You should ask your grandmother if she has something similar to his theory.

CALLER: Well, she puts salt on absolutely everything and she loves coffee and never turns it down.

RUSH: Does she drink adult beverages?

CALLER: No, she doesn't.

RUSH: Has she ever?

CALLER: No.

RUSH: Well.

CALLER: No, she's been a good Christian woman, raised all of her family --

RUSH: Hey, hey, hey, hey, a lot of Christians drink.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Nothing un-Christian about it, I mean wine is all over the Bible.

CALLER: Right. But in her time you didn't, and that's how she lived. She's a good woman.

RUSH: All right. Marla, I've enjoyed talking to you. We didn't get to her yesterday and we called her back. I'm glad you let us do that. Thank you much.

CALLER: Well, thank you.

RUSH: All right.

END TRANSCRIPT

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