A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of heath services under Obamacare is “inevitable.”
Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.”
Rattner serves on the board the New America Foundation, or NAF, a George Soros-funded think tank that was instrumental in supporting Obamacare in 2010. Soros’ son, financier Jonathan Soros, is also a member of the foundation’s board.
Rattner was the so-called “car czar,” the lead auto adviser to the Treasury Department under Obama.
Last month, Rattner penned an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Beyond Obamacare” in which he proclaimed “We need death panels” and argued rationing must be instructed to sustain Obama’s health-care plan. His comments have been virtually ignored by traditional media as the president campaigns for a second term.
“We need death panels,” began Rattner. “Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health-care resources more prudently – rationing, by its proper name – the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”
Continued Rattner: “But in the pantheon of toxic issues – the famous ‘third rail’ of American politics – none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.”
Rattner lamented how Obama’s Affordable Care Act “regrettably includes severe restrictions on any reduction in Medicare services or increase in fees to beneficiaries.”
Rattner said the numbers don’t add up unless Obamacare utilizes rationing.
“If his Independent Payment Advisory Board comes up with savings, Congress must accept either them or vote for an equivalent package,” stated Rattner. “The problem is, the advisory board can’t propose reducing benefits (a k a rationing) or raising fees (another form of rationing), without which the spending target looms impossibly large.”
Rattner singled out elderly patients for benefit cuts.
He wrote: “No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled – including Canada, Australia and New Zealand – have systems for rationing care.”
He concluded, “At the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs.”
“We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable.”
Rattner serves on the NAF’s 22-person board of directors alongside Jonathan Soros, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and Google’s Eric Schmidt.
Soros’ Open Society Foundation is a primary donor to the NAF.
Other major donors include the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Inc. and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Another donor is Free Press, a group that advocates for more government control of the airwaves and Internet.
Free Press is also funded by Soros. Free Press was founded by Robert W. McChesney, an avowed Marxist who has recommended capitalism be dismantled “brick by brick.”
The NAF, meanwhile, bills itself as bipartisan and “the radical center.”
NAF fellow Michael Lind wrote, “Our goal [is] not to repeal the New Deal [of Franklin Roosevelt] but to adapt it to the circumstances of the 21st century.”
Discover The Networks notes how the NAF approved of Obamacare because it would “offer a new image” of how Americans view dying; and it would help “patients and their families to recognize” that, “[S]ometimes ‘doing everything’ results in more burden than benefit. High-tech medicine can prolong life, but for some patients, it merely draws out the process of dying.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.