In our Liberty Update commentary last week, we noted the many failures of Barack Obama as president…
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Stat of the Day: Terrible Deterioration of Race Relations Under Obama

In our Liberty Update commentary last week, we noted the many failures of Barack Obama as president over the past eight years.  Today, as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a Washington Post-ABC News survey shows just how disastrously race relations have declined under his watch:

In a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 63 percent of Americans think race relations are 'generally bad.' Shortly after Obama took office, that number was 22 percent. In the same time period, those who think race relations are 'generally good' plummeted from 66 percent to 32 percent." Of his failures and disastrous legacy, this may be the most depressing.…[more]

January 16, 2017 • 02:13 pm

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Deadly 'End-of-Life' Myths Print
By Betsy McCaughey
Wednesday, January 04 2017
Too often, Congress treats Medicare as a piggy bank - raiding it when money is needed elsewhere.

As the new Congress convenes, budget cutters are eyeing Medicare, citing predictions that the program for seniors is running out of money. But federal bean counters have erroneously predicted Medicare's bankruptcy for decades, largely because they ignore the impact of medical breakthroughs.

Worse, medical ethicists like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, 59, insist the elderly are unfairly hoarding resources better spent on the young.

Don't believe it. New medical findings show how misguided this thinking is. Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. Living to a ripe old age isn't a problem. It's a bargain. Someone who lives to 97 needs only about half as much end-of-life care as someone who dies at 68.

Surprised? Myth has it that the older people get, the sicker they are and the more costly their care. But in truth, disability and chronic illness are declining among the elderly.

Dementia, an especially costly condition for seniors, is down a staggering 24 percent over the last 12 years.

Octogenarians, and even centenarians, are staying active instead of languishing crippled in wheelchairs. How? Medical advances such as carotid artery stenting and thrombolysis prevent stroke damage, something some seniors fear more than death.

Scientists call this overall improvement in aging "compression of morbidity." The elderly live longer, stay healthier and have shorter illnesses at the end of their lives.

All the more reason for seniors to resist making politically correct end-of-life medical plans or advance directives that forgo medical interventions long before they're actually facing a terminal illness. They shouldn't rule out the use of tools like respirators and feeding tubes that could keep them going during a bout of flu or an accident, allowing them to recover and resume active lives.

Many people mistakenly assume ventilators and feeding tubes are permanent. But most patients recover after these interventions. Few ever remember being on a ventilator after it's removed because they were sedated while on it.

Why should we emulate Emanuel, who swears that at 75 he will forego all medical care and let death come quickly? "Our older years are not of high quality," he insists. He'll skip them. In the Atlantic magazine, he dismisses compression of morbidity as "quintessentially American" wishful thinking and mocks seniors for trying to "cheat death."

Sorry, Doc. It's not a pipe dream. Science proves old age is getting better. It's worth living.

Like Emanuel, the federal government ignores this fact and writes off seniors. Take cancer screenings. Currently the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine colon cancer screenings after age 75. Even though patients over 75 have the highest risk.

The Task Force also recommends routine mammograms only until age 74. But Dr. Judith Malmgren of the University of Washington explains that "a 75 year old woman today has a 13-year life expectancy" and should get screened.

The Task Force's guidelines alarmingly resemble those of Britain, where patients over 75 are routinely denied knee replacements, mastectomies and other surgeries. It's a slippery slope.

Too often, Congress treats Medicare as a piggy bank  raiding it when money is needed elsewhere. In 2010, Democrats in Congress paid for over half of Obamacare's spending by cutting future Medicare expenditures. This year, Republican lawmakers eager to control federal health spending should avoid that error and instead focus on fixing Medicaid, the money pit program for the poor, where spending per capita is growing twice as fast as for Medicare.

Medicaid spending now tops $8,000 per recipient. That's thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. For all that money, Medicaid is not improving health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

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Betsy McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths.  
COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was simultaneously a member of the House of Representatives, a U.S. Senator-elect and U.S. President-elect?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Not since 1980 --” or perhaps 1932 -- has such a political revolution hit the banks of the Potomac River. Donald Trump comes into the White House with a bright, clear mandate to make wholesale changes to every aspect of the federal government. From the darkest corners of the bloated federal bureaucracy to the bright marble columns of the Supreme Court, Mr. Trump's mandate is as broad as it is dramatic…[more]
 
 
—Charles Hurt, The Washington Times
— Charles Hurt, The Washington Times
 
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