The “Special Needs Kids Tax” takes effect Jan. 1, 2011: This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14 billion)Flexible spending accounts allow families to set aside their own money, tax free, for specific purposes such as paying for education for children with special needs. So, in spite of the fact that the Obama administration is a proponent of using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, it is not allowable for families to use more than $2,500 of their own money, tax free, for their own children's education. In realms of decency and justice, such policies would not be enacted. Unfortunately, the current administration does not act in such decent and just realms. Governor Palin warned of this nearly a year ago. The Obama administration is advised by people do not value all life equally, such as White House adviser and brother to Obama's chief of staff, Ezekiel Emanuel. As Governor Palin noted in her "death panel" Facebook post:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.Rather than standing for the dignity and preciousness of all life, Dr. Emanuel is a proponent of the "complete lives system". This system takes into consideration an individual's age, prognosis, and contributions to society to determine their receipt of health care. In an article published in the medical journal, Lancet, Dr. Emanuel writes:
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.
Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.
The complete lives system also considers prognosis, since its aim is to achieve complete lives. A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognoses.42 When the worst-off can benefit only slightly while better-off people could benefit greatly,allocating to the better-off is often justifiable. (emphasis mine)Lacks the potential to live a complete life? Says who? Who has a right to determine the completeness of one's life? How can it be that third parties decide such allocations of health care resources? With such individuals advising the White House, policies that prove to be restrictive and punitive to families with children with special needs are no surprise, but they are nonetheless heart breaking. Unfortunately, this is not the only Obama administration official who looks at health care through a rationing lens. As Governor Palin tweeted a few weeks ago regarding an Obama appointee:
Press Corps-pls do your job as Obama sneaks in Berwick appt;pls cover his mission:socialized healthcare&rationing based on"quality of life"Governor Palin was referring to Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama's appointee to head up Medicare and Medicaid. Berwick was appointed by President Obama using a recess appointment, but President Obama has since re-submitted his appointment to the Senate. However, things have been slow moving to get a confirmation hearing scheduled, even too slow for the Washington Post. Aside from that issue, Berwick has made some controversial statements in support for Britain's National Health System (NHS) and National Institute for Clinical Health Excellence (NICE):
In this clip, Berwick praises the British system, trashes the American system, and calls for a healthcare system that redistributes wealth. As Investor's Business Daily highlights, this National Health System that Berwick praises is undergoing some cuts:
* Restrictions on some of the most basic and common operations,including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and orthodontic procedures.The IBD piece also notes, "[i]f that’s a portent of things to come in the U.S. under ObamaCare, then a lot of people are going to owe apologies to Sarah Palin." Governor Palin has been sounding the warning bell regarding the negative impacts that both Obama administration officials and Obama administration policies would have on the special needs community and the nation at large. Governor Palin realizes that the sanctity of life issue is not solely an abortion issue, it is one that extends to the sanctity of all life, no matter the age or circumstance.
* The closure of nursing homes for the elderly.
* A reduction in acute hospital beds, including those for the mentally ill, with targets to discourage GPs from sending patients to hospitals and reduce the number of people using accident and emergency departments.
* Tighter rationing of NHS funding for IVF treatment,and for surgery for obesity.
(H/T Jimr3, Chicago's Conservative, Pat, and Mel)
Cross posted here and here.