If George Washington was the father of our country, Benjamin Franklin was its grandfather. While the former was fighting the British at home, the latter was on the other side of the Atlantic securing the money and arms that kept the revolution alive. It is no exaggeration to say that, without Franklin’s indefatigable diplomatic efforts in Europe, the American Revolution would have failed. What has this to do with Obamacare? When that conflict was officially ended by the Treaty of Paris, Franklin was 77 — well past the age when key ACA architect Ezekiel Emanuel says we should all embrace death.
Last week the Atlantic published an essay by Emanuel titled, “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” wherein he avers that “families — and you — will be better off if nature takes its course swiftly and promptly.” Note the words “you” and “families.” Its title notwithstanding, Emanuel’s article isn’t really about himself. It is actually a none-too-subtle attempt to make us feel guilty for burdening our families, and society in general, by clinging to life past what he considers the optimum age to die. In other words, it is you whom he hopes will go gentle into that good night after three-quarters of a century.
Emanuel is a notorious proponent of medical rationing, and has long advocated denying care to the elderly. In fact, just prior to his 2009 appointment to President Obama’s Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, he co-authored an article in the Lancet which promotes allocation of health care resources according to the age of the patient. In its introduction, he and his co-authors recommend a rationing system that would prioritize “people who have not yet lived a complete life” yet go on to claim, “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination.”
Good luck selling that to Granny, who may have her own ideas about the optimum point at which to shuffle off her mortal coil. But, like all progressives, Emanuel is less concerned about the needs of individuals than those of the collective. His Lancet piece is obviously a set of socialist shibboleths, and it is by no means the only such manifesto he has written. In this 2013 article for the Journal of the American Medical Association, he bemoans the hidebound attitude of a physician community that still insists on putting the health of individual patients before what he perceives to be the good of society.