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Arizona’s Death Panels and the Craven Silence of the National Right to Life Committee

January 7, 2011

Tragic news out of Arizona: a second person has died after being cut from the transplant list to save money. This is a real life death panel, and yet passes almost unnoticed. The National Right to Life doesn’t seem to have anything to say about this, while spilling enormous amounts of ink trying to show that the Affordable Care Act is full of murderous health care rationing. It’s time to call out this corrupt and bloated organization for what it is – a partisan fund-raising outfit whose definition of “pro-life” is selective and relativistic. They see health care rationing as a huge issue, especially in Medicare. So where were they when the GOP sought to cut Medicare by 14 percent in 1995 and 13 percent in 1997? Where were they when the GOP voted against protecting or strengthening Medicare nearly 60 times over the past decade? Where were they when recent Republican budget proposals would practically destroy Medicare? Where were they when Paul Ryan presented his plan to cut Medicare by 76 percent?

Where were they when faced with evidence of pervasive rationing in the current system, with over 50 million uninsured and further 25 million underinsured? Where were they when faced with evidence that health costs were the leading cost of bankruptcy? Where were they when faced with evidence that rationing is far worse in the United States than in comparator countries, with 54 percent of people facing cost barriers to getting treatment for a medical problem? Where were they when presented with evidence that lack of insurance leads to 44,000 deaths a year? And where were they when people are dying because of budget cuts?

I’ll tell you where they were – cozying up to Republicans and pushing for repeal of healthcare reform. Shame on them.

  1. Kurt permalink
    January 7, 2011 4:19 pm

    It’s time to call out this corrupt and bloated organization for what it is – a partisan fund-raising outfit whose definition of “pro-life” is selective and relativistic.

    Its long past time.

  2. Bill Kurtz permalink
    January 7, 2011 6:22 pm

    You’re totally right about the NRLC, which has laundered money for a presidential campaign (Bob Dole in 1996) and served as the battering ram to fight for corporate financial contributions.
    While you’re at it, has Bishop Thomas Olmsted been heard from? Or is he as silent on this issue as he has been on persecution of (mainly Catholic) immigrants in Arizona?

  3. Cindy permalink
    January 7, 2011 7:42 pm

    It’s because they are living Minion. Pro Life groups only care about the unborn. I know, they get mad when such things are said. But it is what it is. Once you are born, you are not important any longer.

  4. January 7, 2011 8:13 pm

    In my previous blogger incarnation, I spent a lot of time trying to explain the difference between being pro-life and just anti-abortion, or still worse just pro-Republican (using abortion as an issue but not really caring about it).

    Good for you for pointing it out! It needs to be said.

  5. January 7, 2011 8:24 pm

    The NRLC has always been specifically about political opposition to the legality of abortion. It’s not and never has been intended to work for welfare policies. It’s absurd to fault them for being something they’ve never intended to be.

    • January 7, 2011 9:05 pm

      Untrue. A huge amount of their resources is taken up with what they perceive as rationing in healthcare. But they ignore rationing under their noses, and invent rationing where none exists. They lambast Medicare cuts when done by Democrats and stay quiet when done by Republicans. How does one explain this?

  6. January 7, 2011 8:26 pm

    I might as well write “Morning’s Minion still continues to blog, despite the millions that remain in poverty in the United States”

  7. Kurt permalink
    January 7, 2011 9:48 pm

    Pro Life groups only care about the unborn.

    They don’t even care about the unborn. It is a corrupt organization that acts to serve itself, not any just cause.

    • Cindy permalink
      January 7, 2011 11:14 pm

      Explain further. I want to hear it.

  8. Ronald King permalink
    January 8, 2011 8:32 am

    I watched AC360 last night with Brewer’s decision to cut healthcare costs as the subject and it sickened me. I did not see the faintest compassion for those who are victims of her decision. She gave false info about life expectancy of transplant patients in support of her decision. What I saw were classic narcissistic and sociopathic traits controlling the intellect as a means to gain power.

  9. January 9, 2011 2:48 pm

    “What I saw were classic narcissistic and sociopathic traits controlling the intellect as a means to gain power.”

    Well you were watching a politician on television, after all. ;)

  10. sortacatholic permalink
    January 9, 2011 2:49 pm

    If it were possible to have true multiparty democracy in the United States, then perhaps we could have a christianist party. However, since Congress can’t have coalition governments, the christianists must pick red, not blue or purple. We all know the bishops have sold their souls under the elephant. We have no other option but to (at least sometimes) “vote wrong” according to the Church’s “rules”.

    NRLC and similar organizations will exist so long as christianism does not have a party. The best we can do is vote according to our consciences and ignore the Church’s inevitable collusion with politics. Otherwise, our faith will be crushed by despair and manifest frustration.

  11. sortacatholic permalink
    January 9, 2011 2:57 pm

    Also, it is always important to remember Mt. 5:24 every day. There is no such thing as a sacramental life without reconciliation between brothers and sisters. One can make a million confessions and hear a million Masses, but if one has no desire to protect all forms of life, than he or she cannot approach the altar with any offering.

  12. January 23, 2011 3:28 pm

    Apparently its OK to ration healthcare for financial gain by private companies in the interest of their shareholders, but not for the federal government to do out in the interest of providing basic healthcare for everyone. In my opinion, the profit motive is a poor mix with medicine.


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