News and Commentary

WUT: Ezekiel Emanuel Meeting Trump To Help Plan Trumpcare

Ezekiel Emanuel is advising President Donald Trump and his administration on health care and insurance policy, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Emanuel, a bioethicist and oncologist, has met with Trump three times since last year’s election. He most recently met with Trump on Monday. According to an anonymous source, the meeting lasted about forty minutes; attendants included Vice-President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and the president’s economic adviser Gary Kohn.

Emanuel is also reported to have “periodically” discussed health care policy with several of Trump’s top advisers.

Trump is reported to have called Emanuel after last year’s election to schedule a meeting after the inauguration.

“I take the president seriously when he says he wants to get everyone in the country covered,” said Emanuel last Sunday. Automatically enrolling Americans in coverage with a minimum set of benefits, he said, was a “bipartisan idea.”

“I’m an American — if I can contribute positively, I’m going to try,” said Emanuel of his meeting with Trump and the president’s team. “I am not going to be manipulated, I’m not going to be abused, but if I can contribute usefully, I’m going to try.”

Meetings with Trump and the president’s administration, however, “doesn’t mean you’ve been heard,” said Emanuel.

Political observers should note that Emanuel is an advocate of nationalized health care. In 2009, he co-wrote a framework articulating his vision for the principles upon which centrally planned government-run health care should be based.

The allocation of health care resources, according to Emanuel, should be driven by the following nebulous precepts: 1. Treating people equally, 2. Favoring the worst off; 3. Maximizing total benefits, and 4. Promoting and rewarding social usefulness.

The maximization of social utility via centrally planned health care distribution, asserts Emanuel, must consider the estimated economic value of varying patients with competing demands for scarce health care resources. In other words, all things being equal, younger persons should be prioritized over older persons given their greater remaining life expectancy. Disabled persons presumed to be less economically viable than able-bodied persons would be similarly deprioritized.

Titled “The Complete Lives System,” Emanuel’s recommendations for technocratic health care can be read here. An anti-communist critique of Emanuel’s proposal can be read here.

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