If the Senate passes Healthcare Reform, will elderly patients be given the same appeals process as convicted murderers?
The execution of Beltway Sniper John Allen Muhammed on Tuesday brought to mind a disturbing thought that should trouble anyone regardless of your position on the death penalty. It exposes yet another absurdity of Barack Obama’s Healthcare Reform.
In Raiford, Florida, 47 year-old Michael Rivera sits on death row, convicted of the murder of 11 year-old Staci Jazvac in a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale… in 1986. At the time, I was working with John Walsh (now host of “America’s Most Wanted”) at the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. Staci lived about a mile from me. I became close friends with Staci’s mom as we assisted her through the search, recovery and after-effects of this tragedy. Rivera was convicted the following year. It left an impression that still haunts me today.
Twenty-three years have passed and Rivera is still sitting on death row.
According to a 2004 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it costs an average of $22,650 per prisoner, nationally, to maintain our prison systems (the report is available on-line at the above link).
Allowing for the fact that the figures in 1986 were undoubtedly lower, it’s still safe to say, Michael Rivera has been housed and fed for nearly a quarter of a century at the cost of about a half-million dollars of taxpayers money alone. Never mind the fact that Staci’s family never got to see her grow up, but have to deal with the fact that her killer has been able to live on. Rivera has his own web page where he solicits money for his various appeals and even advertised on a social page, looking to get married… all at our expense, of course.
Now, add to the above, that if the Healthcare Reform Bill passes in the Senate (the House of Representatives already passed it in the still of the night last week-end), it will mean that strict cost cutting measures will need to be enforced, left up to panels consisting of bureaucrats who, contrary to the lies of the Obama administration, will decide who gets care and who doesn’t. Liberals object when we refer to these review boards as “Death Panels” but, in point of fact, that’s exactly what they will be, at times.
Only the naive would believe otherwise, but the cold hard facts are that there will be people in their senior years who will be told, “Sorry, but you’re too old to get a liver transplant. You no longer contribute to Society. You eat up precious resources that could be used to save younger members of our society that have many years to contribute. You’ve had a long life compared to them, so we’ll have to decline your request.”
It may not be those exact words, but the sentiment will be the same.
We have our priorities seriously skewed when we can spend a half million dollars to warehouse a convicted murderer for 23 years, yet we have to tell senior citizens who may well have never broken a law in their lives they are being sentenced to a hasty “death by healthcare denial.”
Welcome to the world of “Change You Can Die With,” courtesy of our Democratic Congress and, your host, “Mmm-Mmm-Mmm, Barack Hussein Obama.”