David Catron | Go Ration Yourself, Ezekiel Emanuel

David Catron, American Spectator:

One reason your insurance premiums have skyrocketed during the past year is that Obamacare requires all health plans to provide “free” annual wellness visits and 15 associated preventive services for which they cannot charge the patient a copayment. According to a key architect of PPACA, however, “the annual physical exam is basically worthless.” Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, last heard from claiming that he wants to die at 75 in order to avoid becoming a burden on society, writes in the New York Times that “screening healthy people who have no complaints is a pretty ineffective way to improve people’s health.”

The good doctor says he’ll forego his annual exam pursuant to a desire to “make the world a better place.” But, as with his professed willingness to depart this vale of tears after three-quarters of a century, he makes it clear that all men and women of good will should follow his example “to ensure there is no doctor shortage as more Americans get health insurance.” This is where the rubber glove hits the road. Emanuel wants you to voluntarily give up a much-ballyhooed feature of Obamacare for which the “reform” law itself compels you to pay via new taxes and inflated health insurance premiums.

This is entirely consistent with Dr. Emanuel’s unique code of ethics. He is, for example, a long-time proponent of medical rationing for the elderly. Consequently, he probably doesn’t experience much cognitive dissonance when suggesting that, in order to forestall the physician shortage caused by a program he helped design, right-minded people should forego a “benefit” they were coerced to purchase. For him, this call for you to restrict your consumption of medical care is just another expression of his passion for rationing. The only thing new here is the exhortation for you to impose it on yourself.

All of which raises a question: If annual physicals are worthless, why did Dr. Emanuel and his accomplices build them into PPACA? Their clinical limitations have long been known, and the President was called out as early as 2008 on his claim that such preventive care would reduce health care expenditures. Nine months before he was elected, the New England Journal of Medicine reported, “Barack Obama has argued that ‘too little is spent on prevention and public health.’… Our findings suggest that the broad generalizations [about preventive care] made by many presidential candidates can be misleading.”

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