Stopping Nazi Health Care Is An Existential Question
May 9, 2009 • 10:14AM

Lyndon LaRouche today launched an all-out campaign against the Nazi health-care proposals which are being put forward by members of the Obama Administration. "This is not an ordinary political campaign," LaRouche said. "This is an existential question for the United States, and the state of humanity demands that this evil be defeated. Anything in the direction of these budget-cutting proposals, which measure human lives in dollars and cents, and declare whole sections of the old and the sick to be 'useless eaters,' is a violation of human rights."

The Obama camp is displeased with me at present, LaRouche commented, because of my attacks. But they are mistaken. They should be grateful. But, such is life.

LaRouche was responding to a series of proposals coming out of OMB Chief Peter Orszag, in particular, which aim to apply a new measurement of "cost-effectiveness" to health care, in order to cut $700 billion from U.S. health-care costs. In sync with this drive, leading sections of the Democratic Party, and even the President himself, are floating the idea of setting up an "independent commission" to decide on means of cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs—in the name of fiscal responsibility and paying for only "effective" care.

Such an approach to health was denounced most clearly by the late Dr. Leo Alexander, a psychiatrist who was a key medical advisor to the U.S. Prosecution team at the Nazi Doctors trial at the Nuremberg Tribunal. Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1949, Alexander identified the "small beginnings" of the monstrous crimes against the sick in Nazi Germany as "a subtle shift in emphasis," ... "the acceptance of the attitude ... that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived." A "utilitarian philosophy," he continued, "puts you on the path to monstrous crimes."

Such a "utilitarian" approach has been increasingly pervading U.S. medical practice for decades, especially since the introduction of Health Maintenance Organizations in 1973. But now, under cover of the need to "save money" in the midst of the economic and financial breakdown crisis, this approach is taking off. What else can you call an analysis which measures life in "Quality-Adjusted Life Years," estimated at $100,000 a year?

In fact, LaRouche argued, the basic problem with medical care in the United States is the cost of regulating and manipulating doctors and medical facilities. Administrative costs, imposed by insurance companies, and particularly the HMOs, conservatively comprise more than 25% of health care costs. Yet, the Obama Administration plans do almost nothing to cut those costs.

"It's time to eliminate all HMOs, and return to the Hill-Burton standard of providing medical facilities adequate to provide for the population," LaRouche insisted. "We can save money by eliminating the HMOs, who are nothing but parasites, fattening themselves off the system."

"If we set up a system of Medicare for all, we can provide for our people," LaRouche added. "Nazi medicine cannot be tolerated."