Grassroots Commentary

What Accused Murderer and Abortionist Kermit Gosnell Teaches Us About Obamacare

Kelly Bartlett · Jan. 27, 2011

Last week abortionist Kermit Gosnell of Pennsylvania was charged with murder. The 261-page grand jury report lists so many crimes and gross practices at his health clinic that it’s difficult to determine which is most egregious. This shocking case highlights problems that range from disgusting to horrific. But one aspect in particular could impact the future of healthcare in America.

Grotesque: Gosnell had a fetus and foot fetish. According to the Washington Post: “Bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses were scattered throughout the building. There were jars, lining shelves, with severed feet that he kept for no medical purpose.” (No medical purpose??)

Foul: the clinic reeked of cat urine since felines had free run of the place.

Racism: “White women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area because Gosnell believed they were more likely to file complaints, [District Attorney Seth] Williams said.”

Callous: Gosnell infected girls with venereal diseases because he didn’t bother to sanitize instruments before using them on other patients.

Criminal: In PA abortions after 24 weeks are illegal. That didn’t stop Doctor Gosnell. He simply lied to patients about their gestations, performed the abortions, and covered his tracks by destroying records.

Greed: “Prosecutors said Gosnell made millions of dollars over three decades performing thousands of dangerous abortions, many of them illegal late-term procedures,” according to The Washington Post.

Cruelty: Dr. Gosnell would induce labor in patients, deliver the baby, then kill the infant by cutting its spinal cord with scissors. According to the grand jury report, “These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them.”

Pain: Perforated uteruses, cervixes, and bowels. “Gosnell sometimes sewed up such injuries without telling the women about the complications.”

Chilling: The scariest aspect of this case is that it went on for decades despite government oversight. Why didn’t authorities close this “house of horrors” earlier? Why did they ignore so many complaints? One word: Politics.

“Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design,” states the grand jury report. Prosecutors believe the change from a pro-life governor to a pro-abortion governor prompted government officials to turn a blind eye to the 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell’s clinic.

Why didn’t they inspect more often? Because they were afraid of what they might find. According to Kenneth Brody who attended a meeting of high-level government officials: “There was a concern that if they did routine inspections, that they may find a lot of these facilities didn’t meet [standards] and then there would be less abortion facilities.”

The government officials in charge of overseeing public safety made a clear choice: They chose access to healthcare over quality of care. They’re missing the point. Who wants access to the kind of healthcare dispensed at Gosnell’s “Women’s Medical Society”?

Which brings us to Obamacare. Will the priority to increase access to healthcare on a national level cause a similar plummet in the quality of health care? Will bureaucrats in your state imitate these Pennsylvania officials and purposely refuse to inspect in case they find something improper or even illegal?

After decades of killing, Gosnell and his employees are in custody. But what about the government officials charged with overseeing his operation? Due to the statute of limitations they’re off scot-free. Free to oversee Obamacare where they will see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil because they inspect no evil.

One inherent problem with Obamacare is that it injects politics into every area of medicine, from insurance companies to extra IRS agents to 2,000 pages of regulations. It creates more jobs for bureaucrats.

Will nursing homes under Obamacare resemble Gosnell’s clinic? And if they do, who will protect patients? As macabre as jars of severed feet and dismembered fetuses are, the scariest lesson from the sorry case of Dr. Gosnell is the side effect of politics in medicine: It allows doctors to become greedy and evil. And when politics is injected into healthcare, it causes government officials to become deaf, dumb, and blind.

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