Dear Editor:

A study was financed by the federal government in 2010, and it was found that care for those with dementia and Alzheimer's cost society between $41,000 to $56,000 per person per year, or a total of $159 to $215 billion nationwide. By 2030 the baby boomers will all be retired, and costs will increase 80 percent per adult by 2040, and the number of Alzheimer's patients will double by 2050. Almost one in two Americans over 65 will suffer from this brain-debilitating disease. Sometime between now and then, the issues of the true cost of end-of-life care, and the ability of Medicare to support us in our old age will be the deciding factor of when our life is over.

The Chairman of the National Advisory Panel said that this disease would "swamp the system." Death panels now exist that are made up of government statisticians who interpret data, and who decide the worth of peoples' lives based on their level of sickness. They're not concerned about the improvement of health, because the "aggregate data" only shows those undesirable people who will end up costing the taxpayers more money. President Obama's death panels will compile a list of criteria that doctors will use to determine whether it's OK to kill off certain people. Just as our government set up planned parenthood (abortion clinics), they are now doing so for our parents and grandparents.

EHRs (electronic health records) make the government death panels possible. Obama's 2009 economic stimulus package included money to be paid to implement these EHRs in doctor's offices and hospitals. Soon your health records will flow on the electronic digital highway to the federal government, where your data can be analyzed and decisions made on where the money will be spent for illnesses. If any doctors refuse to implement the electronic transfer of health data by 2015, they will be penalized by getting less (or no) government money to treat Medicare patients. This EHR system could be used to help patients but does our government understand the value of life, or it is merely marginalizing human life? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that we should consider the number of years of "productive life" left in a person when death is being considered. They believe that an old person's life isn't as valuable as a young person's life because they don't have as much "human potential."

The reality is that we Americans are reaping what we haven't got, and the politicians tell us that it's progress. So, if the elderly go on about the old days and reminisce about how life used to be, it's because they knew what they had back then. They raised their children with a strong belief system because they wanted a safe world for us. They grew up through at least two wars and a national depression. They were hard workers; jobs had to be done the old inefficient way. No one knows any differently so they accepted their lot in life and were a lot happier for it. The women where reserved and they stayed married. Families sat together to eat meals, and parents had zero tolerance for their children's misbehavior. The family stayed out of debt, didn't use drugs and didn't expect welfare. Neighbor's communicated with one another, and parents didn't give their kids everything they wanted. They were polite and used common curtesy in their homes, schools, and churches. Most importantly, They treated the elderly with respect; qualities that are rare in this self-centered generations. They were the parents of the last age of innocence.

And now, many of our parents are dead or the rest are feeble and are deteriorating physically and mentally. But remember, these people are not just "statistics" and in a few years many more of us will be caught up in the government health classification system. It's a scary thing when our society doesn't raise an eyebrow over the killing of unborn babies; what makes you think that they won't embrace the killing of the elderly who don't have enough government approved "human potential"?

Who's next; the obese, the disabled, the chronically ill, the alcoholic ... the smoker?

Faye Ruckhardt

Nesquehoning