The New York Times, Obamacare and the war on the elderly

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
By Paul Martin

By Kate Randall
3 December 2013

“We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.”

The above passage concludes an opinion piece appearing Sunday in the New York Times. “On Dying After Your Time” by Daniel Callahan advances the notion that the burning issue vexing the US health care system is that people are living too long. The cost of keeping them alive, Callahan argues, is threatening a social catastrophe.

This misanthropic attack on human progress is published in the same newspaper that for five years has campaigned relentlessly for reducing access to cancer screenings and medications, agitated against “overtreatment” of cardiovascular disease, and promoted a series of slanted studies supposedly proving that rationing health care will not only reduce government and corporate costs, but also improve public health.

Callahan’s column zeroes in on the next logical target: the undesirable phenomenon of people living longer in retirement.

From the outset, the ostensibly “liberal” Times has been a champion of Barack Obama‘s drive to slash health care spending for the vast majority of ordinary Americans through an overhaul of the health care system. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the embodiment of this cost-cutting scheme.

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