Obama Questions Grandmother's Hip Replacement; Attacks Glass Steagall
May 1, 2009 • 11:04AM

In an interview with the New York Times magazine, published on April 29, President Barack Obama questioned whether his own grandmother's hip replacement before her death was justified. In the same interview, he cited the banking system of Canada, in opposition to Franklin Roosevelt's Glass Steagall Act. Both statements reflect what Lyndon LaRouche characterized as his reckless babbling.

In the April 14 interview, Obama questioned whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a "sustainable model" for health care. "You just get into some very difficult moral issues" when considering whether "to give my grandmother, or everybody else's aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they're terminally ill. That's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health-care bill out here." Although Obama claimed that he would have paid out of pocket for his grandmother's hip replacement "just because she's my grandmother," the message was unmistakable. Obama is willing to cut costs by letting the terminally ill die.

This attitude is not unrelated to his endorsement of "ruthless pragmatism" with regard to economic policy, and his rejection of Franklin Roosevelt's Glass Steagall Act, which had the effect of protecting legitimate commercial banking from the predator practices of investment bankers. In the same issue of the New York Times magazine, Obama said his economic advisers aren't constrained by ideology, nor by connections to former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. "What I've been constantly searching for is a ruthless pragmatism when it comes to economic policy," he told the Times. He pointed to Canada as a country that has effectively regulated commercial and investment banking without requiring legal separation as in Glass Steagall. "When it comes to something like investment banking versus commercial banking, the experience in a country like Canada would indicate that good, strong regulation that focuses less on the legal form of the institution and more on the functions that they're carrying out is probably the right approach to take."