Daschle Through The Snow

P-E Obama's cabinet picks are putting me in the Christmas spirit. Here, for example, is our incoming HHS Secretary's nationalized health care plan.

It would also raise quality, Daschle argues. He points to the British system as a role model for quality and cost control.

"In Great Britain, the National Institute on Clinical Excellence (NICE) develops guidelines for the National Health Service (NHS). It spends less than 1 percent a year of total health spending."

He uses Britain's NICE as a model: the service where they keep costs down with a duty to die. And it's policy to let premature babies die. And the "rule of rescue" is rejected. And they won't import the medicines that could save you. And there's always a bed for you...if you wait in the ambulance long enough. And doctor morale is terrible. And a third of doctors have private medical insurance, with even more saying they'd go that route in the event of a long waiting list. (The dirty little secret of socialized medicine is that the rich opt out of it.)

And just scroll around at NHS Blog Doctor (here, for example) to read about the damage to self-esteem and individuality created in a populace by socialized medicine. "The benefits trap," he calls it. Or you'll love this one on how they slash waiting times in government service. Or how "choice" works.

Let's have a rule that Congressmen and Cabinet Secretaries must participate in any program they foist on the rest of us.

Update: Got myself in such high dudgeon I forgot I was leading to this, which is the most important part: Revolution of the Soul.

Many years ago a friend of mine said she made sure all her doctors were pro-life. Pro-life ob/gyn I understood, but what was the big deal in the case of physicians who don't deal with babies? (I thought to myself.) She went on to point out that what people think about abortion is an indicator of their attitude about your life, too --and how hard they will fight for you in a worst-case scenario. I found that convincing.

The result of FOCA with its threat to conscience protections for pro-life doctors and hospitals (even if Bush just made that a bit harder) will be the turning over of the medical field to people who don't appreciate life. People like the ones Dr. Bob describes in the link. Not "bad" people, just chillingly unthinking ones produced by our coarsened culture. He starts with a couple of horrifying vignettes from his profession and draws some conclusions about where we are and where we need to go.

These vignettes in modern medicine are really not about medicine at all. They are in truth about a culture which has lost its compassion. Our calloused and cynical society has become a raging river fed by a thousand foul and fetid streams. We have, by turns, taught our children that ethics are situational and values neutral; taught our women that compassion and service are signs of weakness, that they must become hard and heartless like the men they hate; taught our men that success and the respect of others comes not through character and integrity but through callousness, cynicism, and greed; and taught ourselves that we are a law unto ourselves, the sole and final arbiter of what is right and what is good.

We have, in our post-modern and post-Christian culture, inexorably and irrevocably turned from our roots in Christian morality and worldview, which was the foundation and font of that which we now know — or used to know — as Western Civilization. Yes, we have preserved the tinsel and the trappings, the gilded and glittering exterior of a decaying sarcophagus, where we speak self-righteously of rights while denying their origin in the divine spark within the human spirit, made in the image of God; where we bray about liberty, but are enslaved to its bejeweled impostor, the damsel of decadence and libertinism; where compassion is naught but another government program to address the consequences of our own aberrant and irresponsible behavior, duly justified, rationalized, and denied. Others must pay so that I may play, you know.

This toxic stew of self-centered callousness has percolated into every pore of our society. In health care, the effects are universal and pernicious.
But it's hardly limited to health care:

This utter self-obsession and cynical callousness is by no means limited to health care. We long for “bipartisanship” in government (by which we hope for reasoned men of principle to come together for the good of those they represent), but get instead the blood-lust of modern politics, where power trumps principle, money is king, and votes are bought and sold like chattel. Lawyers sue everything that breathes — and much that doesn’t — raking in billions while their “victimized clients” get pocket change they can believe in. Airlines pack in passengers like cattle, lose your bags, and toss you a bag of peanuts for your trouble. Road rage is rampant, rudeness rules, rip-offs too common to count. The coarseness in culture is extraordinary — in language, art, media, fashion, and behavior. It is revealing how shocked we find ourselves when encounter someone — regardless of the venue — who is actually pleasant, helpful, courteous, and kind; we have come to expect and tolerate far worse as a matter of course.

The revolution which started in the 60s with the “me” generation is bearing its bitter fruit — though its aging proponents will never admit it. And sadly, there’s no going back: the changes which have infiltrated and infected the culture, inoculated through education, media, entertainment, scientific rationalism, and a relentless and highly successful assault on reason and tradition, are permanent, and their consequences will only grow in magnitude.

So it’s time for a counter-revolution.

Read the whole thing.