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Enslaving Ourselves By Majority Rule

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By Joel Turtel

July 15, 2007

Franklin Bremmer stared at the death lists, and saw his mother’s name. His face turned white. He moaned, “Oh, God, mother! Oh, No. Oh, God, no!”

He had just visited his mother last night. He remembered her sweet voice, the soft, white cheek he had kissed, the look of worry on her face when she had said he looked tired, his favorite foods she had made for him, waiting on the kitchen table. He adored his mother. He had been taking care of her for five years, and her heart was bad, very bad. She needed a by-pass operation quickly, or she would die. A week ago was her 75th birthday.

In this year 2020, Franklin Bremmer worked as an “analyst” for the Philadelphia Division of the Federal Rationed-Care Board. He looked down at the monthly list of elderly patients who would be denied life-saving heart operations because they were too old, because they had passed the 75-year old cutoff age. He looked at this monthly death list, the part of his job that twisted his stomach every first of the month, and he saw his mother’s name, Mary Bremmer.

Part of Franklin Bremmer’s job was to determine who would live and who would die. He had to make a “cost-benefit” analysis for each human being on the list. He had to judge if giving that person the operation they desperately needed was “medically inappropriate” based on the cost.

The Washington Medical Board bosses were desperate to cut costs. Taxes on young working couples were skyrocketing to pay for the exploding medical care of 270 million Americans, including forty-million baby boomers. There had been tax riots. Congress was putting enormous pressure on regional Rationed-Care Board bosses to cut costs so they could stop the relentless rise in taxes.

There could be only one end result—rationing. The elderly baby-boomers were first to go under the ax. The bureaucrats’ rationale was that saving the lives of seniors over 75 was not a “benefit” that was worth the medical costs to “society.”

The bureaucrats chose 75-years old as the arbitrary cut-off age for any expensive operation. His mother could enjoy another 15 years of healthy life, another 15 years of walking in the sunshine with him, of making his favorite foods, of working in her flower garden. But she was now condemned to death by number crunchers who did cost-benefit analysis with people’s lives.

He never thought that his mother would fall under the ax. He always put this possibility out of his mind. But a repressed part of him knew this day would come. For 12 years now, the system had been moving towards collapse. The problem had been building since 2008, when Hillary Clinton was elected President. She promptly enacted the socialized-medicine program with the help of a Democratic Congress.

The problem accelerated when the baby-boomers started to retire by the tens of millions around the same time. The system was now collapsing from the weight of 275 million Americans on universal health care, collapsing from the economic weight of a program costing $3 trillion dollars a year, and rising.

Everyone now demands the best medical care using the latest technology. This was the mythology that liberals had brainwashed everyone with for the last fifty years. Everyone had the “right” to the best medical care, regardless of cost, and that health care should be “free,” paid by the government (taxpayers). It was a prescription for disaster.

Since government paid for everyone’s health care, since patients paid only small deductibles, naturally they kept demanding more medical services, free prescription drugs, and free hospital care, in a never-ending cycle. There is no limit to the medical care that 275 million Americans now demand. Unlimited demand exploded health-care costs.

Then, on the supply side, government strangles doctors, hospitals, drug, and health insurance companies with thousands of regulations, crippling the free-market competition in health care that would have lowered costs. These regulations sharply reduced the number of practicing doctors, and skyrocketed the cost of drugs and hospital stays. Health-care costs ballooned year after year, all caused by government’s ever-tightening noose around the health-care industry’s neck.

Unlimited demand and strangled supply. Franklin Bremmer was now facing the disastrous consequences of a once vibrant free-market health care system destroyed by socialized medicine. He was facing the inevitable result—rationing. Not enough money left to support the system. Impossible to raise taxes any more without civil revolt. Rationing had finally come full-blown to America, like the plague, like it had in England and Canada by the 1990’s.

And the dreadful results were the same as they were, and still are, in England and Canada—the death lists. People waiting for years to get heart operations, cancer treatment, hip replacements. People by the thousands dying on the lists while they waited.

Then even the death lists didn’t work. Finally the lists were eliminated and the rationing departments took over. Bureaucrats like me were hired. Bureaucrats who would ration care, decide who would get the operation they needed and who wouldn’t, who would live or die.

So Franklin Bremmer, Rationed-Care Board senior bureaucrat, working for the system for over twenty years, now looked down at the piece of paper he was destined to see. He saw the death list with his mother’s name on top.

Franklin Bremmer thought of his mother’s sweet, loving face. He thought of his duty as chief of the Rationed-Care Board. He felt a heavy surge of guilt for having been part of a system that had come to this, that now forced him to kill his own mother and thousands of other mothers on the monthly death lists.

Something then snapped in Frank Bremmer’s mind, something gave a wrenching twist. He sat in front of his computer for a long time. Then, as in slow motion, he turned on the computer. He punched in his password. He brought up the lists of all elderly patients in Philadelphia waiting for a heart operation. He saw his mother’s name. He changed her birth-date entry. Mary Bremmer was not born in 1945 any longer. She was born in 1965. Mary Bremmer was now 55 years old. He hit the save button. His mother would now get her heart operation.

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Franklin Bremmer, an honorable man, then went to his supervisor and resigned his job, the job he had worked at for 20 years, giving no reason for his resignation. He just walked out of the building on a bright Spring day, and went to visit his mother.

© 2007 Joel Turtel - All Rights Reserved

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Joel Turtel, author of Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children, holds a degree in Psychology. For the last ten years he has served as an Education Policy Analyst, studying the climate of today's public schools and its effect on children and parents.

Mr. Turtel has written two books, published over fifty articles, and has been interviewed in both print and broadcast media on the subject. His latest book, Public Schools, Public Menace has garnered national media attention – recently, for example, Dr. Laura Schlessinger featured the book on her nationally syndicated radio show.

Joel Turtel is available to discuss his book Public Schools, Public Menace in the media, at conferences, or with individual groups. Be warned though, you may be shocked by the revelations he has uncovered in America's public-school system.

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He looked at this monthly death list, the part of his job that twisted his stomach every first of the month, and he saw his mother’s name, Mary Bremmer.