"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama Economic Adviser Robert Reich Gives Glimpse into Coming Health Care Reform

Here's a little quote from former Labor Secretary and current Obama economic adviser Robert Reich. "We're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die [emphasis mine]."

This quote (h/t P.J. Gladnick at NewsBusters.org) was said during a speech given at UC Berkeley in 2007. Here's another gem from the same speech. "Also I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid---we already have a lot of bargaining leverage---to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents. Thank you [emphasis mine]."

Even more chilling is this is what Reich believes an honest liberal candidate would say if he had no thought of actually getting elected. Clearly an dishonest liberal politician would say something completely different-- probably prefaced with the the phrase "Let me be clear."

The audio of this speech (available here) has been making the rounds in the blogosphere and seems to have been ignored by the MSM.

Here is the entire portion of the speech which the snippets came from for context.

"I'll actually give you a speech made up entirely, almost on the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. In other words, this is what the truth is and a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say if we were in the kind of democracy where citizens were honored in terms of their practice of citizenship and they were educated in terms of what the issues were and they could separate myth from reality in terms of what candidates would tell them:

'Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I'm so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that's true and what I'm going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you, particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy people...you're going to have to pay more.'

'Thank you. And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die.'

'Also I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid---we already have a lot of bargaining leverage---to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents. Thank you.'"

So according to Reich, what does an honest liberal say about health care? Pay more, live sicker and die early. Real nice, huh? That doesn't sound make it sound like I can keep my doctor and insurance if I'm happy with it, does it?

UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Reich is claiming his words were taken out of context. Amusingly, his own explanation basically proves the assertions that have been made about his own words taken "out of context."

Gladnick has a good summation here at NewsBusters.org and a link to the entire speech. It's 47 minutes long, but it'll put everything in perfect context.

And what is the context? Well, in Reich's own words: "The whole point of the mock exercise was to show that presidential candidates can't state what everyone knows to be the truth because they'll be taken apart by the Right or the Left. I slew many other sacred cows in that mock exercise, some of which are held dearly by the Left. Nonetheless, two years later the Right has exhumed the lecture and taken my words completely out of context purportedly to show that Obama and the Democrats plan death panels [emphasis mine]."

So these quotes that I and others have mentioned were indeed "what everyone knows to be truth."

Hey, everyone knows that "if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die."

We also all know that we should "force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents."

Reich also says in his lecture "I just gave you the kind of speech that politicians will not give. And I've said a couple of things that, although they seem entirely reasonable to me, are sacred cows and are therefore politically untouchable [emphasis mine]."

Apparently these are just simple truths for Reich, truths that can't be uttered without uproar.

Cute. And thanks for the explanation Reich.

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