Overheated and intellectually dishonest statements this weekend revolving around the impending government shutdown have not been limited to politicians in Washington, or even to pundits and commentators.
Saturday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Josh Lederman, in a "Spin Meter" story, falsely claimed that Obamacare opponents believe that the law will mandate the government's killing of patients. See how he does it after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
SPIN METER: WHAT'S BEHIND ALL THE BUDGET BOMBAST?
Even for a town accustomed to hyperbole, the political sparring over spending, borrowing and health care has produced more than its share of over-the-top rhetoric.
Yes, most people may tune it out. But it's a good bet the nastiness won't make it any easier for the two sides to come together on critical issues.
Consider the words used by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., when she suggested what could happen if Republicans didn't overturn "Obamacare," President Barack Obama's health care law.
"Let's repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens," Bachmann said.
Republican opponents of the law claim it will drive up costs, making it harder for people to access health care. Obama and other Democrats disagree.
There's nothing in the law that would require the government to kill its citizens.
That was a really "clever" exercise in semantics, Josh. Nobody, anywhere, including Congresswoman Bachmann, has said that the government will be required to kill its citizens. The government is far more circumspect about how it will do things, and you know it, which is why you had to falsely frame one of Obamacare opponents' core arguments.
Obamacare will be a regime for rationing care. Even people on the left like Robert Reich ("we’re going to let you die") and Paul Krugman (Obamacare will be able to impose "more or less binding judgments" refusing care) have admitted as much. These judgments will incorporate utilitarian "principles" (e.g., is it worth it to treat the patient because of their age?), and will deny treatment even if the outcome is likely to be successful. So utilitarian rationing is a given, Josh, and it's not arguable.
Thus, as Sarah Palin wrote in 2009, in a post named the "Lie of the Year" by the discussion-poisoners at PolitiFact — meaning that in Realville it was the "Truth of the Year":
... who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.
Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.
More on "Zeke the Bleak" Emanuel is here.
Will Obamacare "literally kill" women, children, and senior citizens? Well it's not "required" in the law, because statists aren't that stupid. But the answer to the question is still "yes."
It is a fact that outfits like the Independent Payment Advisory Board will, under Obamacare's design, make decisions on what treatments and procedures will and won't be reimbursed to hospitals and other medical providers. If the government won't pay for certain life-saving and life-extending treatments, then the providers will with rare exceptions not provide those treatments to people who would ordinarily would have received them under the current certainly imperfect but far from routinely sinister system we have.
Barring miracles, atients not provided life-saving life-extending treatments will die, or die sooner. Thus, Obamacare will "literally kill" people who would have lived under the current system, even though the government won't technically sign off on each individual denial of treatment.
Josh Lederman deliberately abused his position as a reporter for a widely-read wire service to make a blatantly dishonest statement. An honorable editor would have prevented its publication or at the very least have pulled it shortly after it appeared. That neither has happened says all you need to know about the Administration's Press.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.