Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother to former Obama Chief of Staff and adviser and Chicago’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was labeled “Doctor Death” based on his connections with the Obama administration and so-called “death panels” hidden in the Obamacare law.
In August 2009, Salon came to Emanuel’s defense, claiming
Ezekiel Emanuel, who’s currently advising the administration on healthcare reform through a post at the White House Office of Management and Budget, is actually one of the country’s leading medical ethicists, a forceful defender of people approaching the end of their life. Indeed, he opposes even voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
This paints an interesting background for the fact that, in July 2007, MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, also identified as a health care adviser for Obama and his repugnant health care law, duked it out in a debate with Ezekiel Emanuel.
The occasion was a conference call. John Edwards was reportedly in search of a health care campaign adviser and the two “experts” vied for the position.
The Washington Post reported:
On one side was Ezekiel Emanuel, a doctor and bioethics expert and the brother of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), arguing that the American health-care system is so riddled with inefficiencies that it needs to be blown up and replaced by a plan in which people can buy coverage themselves with a voucher.
On the other side was an economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has become possibly the party’s most influential health-care expert and a voice of realism in its internal debates. . . .
[Gruber said] that whatever the merits of Emanuel’s idea, it just would not be politically viable. Instead, Gruber argued for a more incremental approach, like the one in Massachusetts he helped write. Its central elements would be providing subsidies to people who are unable to pay for health care, increasing the number of those who are enrolled in public programs such as Medicaid and creating a public agency to help anyone ineligible for the programs buy health insurance. . . . .
“Plans which minimize the disruption to the existing system are more likely to succeed than plans that rip up the existing system and start over,” said Gruber, who has consulted with the three leading Democratic campaigns about their health plans. “It doesn’t take a genius to see that. That’s not to say that plans ripping it up wouldn’t be better — I just think they’re political non- starters.”
Edwards chose Gruber and he, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all drew from Gruber’s plan, especially his insistence on the mandate.
Given the outcome of Obamacare, perhaps Emanuel had the better idea.