AEI: Let the Poor Die of Treatable Diseases

    The thesis of resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Michael Strain. It's Okay to deny life saving treatment to the poor, let them die. Strain compares death from lack of life saving health care to death from working in a petroleum refinery, highway fatalities, or shipyard worker accidents.....and he says in his WaPo Op-Ed "End Obamacare and People could Die, That's Okay" because it's just a normal thing to let people die, we do it all the time, it even has an acronym: “value of a statistical life” (VSL)

    You might remember the AEI was a big supporter of Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the Iraq War. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) "applauds" their work in his new book, American Dreams.  The AEI seems to constantly be scheming of new ways and justifications to get people dead.

    Michael Strain, Resident scholar, AEI:

    From his WaPo article :

    ... socially optimal number of traffic fatalities is not zero. Some poor souls die.......Repealing Obamacare could — although wouldn’t necessarily — result in more people dying. But it clearly would not be immoral........Liberals and conservatives agree that in a world of finite resources, some people are going to die of potentially treatable illness and injury.

    I don't think "liberals" or anyone with a brain bigger than a walnut would agree. Strain's thesis about the "statistical value of life" and shipyard workers, petroleum workers, traffic accidents and death due to denying "treatable illness and injury" is absurd and grotesque.

    Shipyard workers know the risks of their job better than anyone at the AEI, as do dock workers. We all know the risks of car accidents, we can drive less or not at all, take a bus or work from home. In all three instances there is a choice made, where to work, when and what car to drive, what speed, or whether to drive at all. A child or adult needing "treatable life saving care" did not get into that condition due to a choice. 

    If the nation cannot afford to pay for saving a poor child's life from a treatable cancer or accident, then rich people's kids shouldn't be saved from the same condition.

    The "statistical value of life" doesn't depend on the size of your or your parent's bank account. If the rich not only have the money to "save themselves" but also spend thousands or millions buying off politicians or giving meal tickets for AEI shills like Michael Strain perhaps the nation needs to tax them more. The "value of their bank account" may need to be drastically reduced to even things out.

    State policy on what lives are worth, who lives and who dies, has been tried before, it didn't end well. There are reasons other than your health that can be used to rationalize your demise. (Maybe the AEI is working on some more.)

    Strain's logic, that not giving life saving medical care is like car accidents, is reminiscent of the 1950's Civil Defense propaganda film "Duck and Cover" which compared nuclear war with natural disasters.

    "Duck and Cover" portrayed nuclear war as normal, inevitable, going to happen, and as beyond the ability to prevent as an earthquake. So just shut up and live with it.

    Strain does the same with life saving health care.  It's beyond our financial ability to provide, we can't afford it for the poor, their lives aren't worth it, so let 'em die. It's AEI Okay......


    The problem with his theses right out of the gate is,"finite resources."   Health care is only a scarce resource if we choose it to be.  Building a healthcare system only takes the will to help each other and some investment of education and money.  

    These people think that their money will save them from a pandemic.  Just take a look at what happened in West Africa with Ebola.  The lack of a healthcare system allowed that virus to get out of control. Avian flu is a bigger threat because it is always reinventing it's self. 

    I have friends from other countries that I interact with on the internet and they read this stuff and think this country has gone insane.  This article is on the same level as Mein Kampf reasoning. We should call it what it is, Fascism. Only it is directed to the poor and people of color. 

    They are afraid Obama is letting Ebola zombies across the border to kill them, and don't get their kids vaccines for potentially life threatening diseases like measles.

    It's called ideology, it isn't changed by facts, science, or observations and does not involve objective reasoning.

    Ideology is generally NOT self correcting. GOP/AEI: Even after 2 failed wars and the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.

    It may take General Zhukov and the Red Army burning your home, your town and your capitol city to the ground before an ideology falls out of favor. Unlikely to happen here so the crazy goes on.

    So this is new national policy.

    First assume that people will die needlessly. Then do what you can. Why don't we just emblazon this motto on every goddamed ambulance and EMT crew T-shirt in the country and then go watch American Sniper.

    I notice this "scholar" 1% shill didn't mention the freedumb antivaxers.

    He might not want to take his kids to Disney World cause he's ginning up some real bad karma with that 19th century philosophy of his.  


    Idea for an AEI flag, skull with electrodes attached over crossed shovels and gravestone between on money green field.



    Hell, that has always been the slogan of the GOP at least over the last century.

    But that's OK......if shite wasn't their fault you see....just say Kenyan Usurper Benghazi three times fast and click your heels...u gotta believe it will work next time, or next time, or next time....

    There's a significant numbers of right wingers who hold these views. But one could write a similar article about repealing government subsidies for employer based insurance. Sure some people would lose their insurance and some would likely die as a result. But the government can only do so much you know. Watch people howl if that was proposed.

    It always gets down to subsidies for me but not for thee.

    The glee over the death of the uninsured is nothing new. The audience yelled out "Let him die" when Ron Paul was presented with a hypothetical uninsured man with a lethal illness at a Tea Party GOP debate in September 2011. The Libertarians have no problem with others dying because of a lack of health care.

    The ideological space between the death cheering "rabble" in the Rand Paul audience, the death approving "scholars" at the American Enterprise Institute, and the apparatchiks of some of the most criminal regimes in modern history appears non-existent. Not surprising of course as they all supported The Decider.

    Arthur C. Brooks, AEI President

    Latest Comments