Tuesday, August 18, 2009
St. Petersburg Times
You know Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama's intense chief of staff. And maybe you've heard of his brother, Ari Emanuel, a Hollywood talent agent who provided the inspiration for the Ari Gold character on HBO's Entourage . Now a third Emanuel brother, Ezekiel Emanuel, has been thrust into the spotlight.
Ezekiel Emanuel is a health policy adviser at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and is a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, but until last week, he had largely flown under radar of the national political media.
That changed when Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., made a statement from the floor of the House on July 27 in which she said the American public needed to know what the people who advise Obama about health care reform think. Specifically, she said, Dr. Emanuel "says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you're disabled."
Emanuel is a well-known oncologist and bioethicist, which means he ponders such moral questions as "You have three people who need a liver, but you've got just one liver, who gets it?"
Like other academics (see our article on claims about science czar John Holdren ), Emanuel has found that highbrow articles for academic journals make great fodder for opponents trying to score political points. Academics often write theoretically about ideas that are being kicked around. And they repeat and explore those ideas, without necessarily endorsing them....(Remainder.)