Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Death Panel

Medicare to Cover End-of-Life Planning Talks By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON -- Starting Jan. 1, Medicare will reimburse physician discussions with patients about end-of-life treatment options -- a provision Democrats had to drop to get healthcare reform passed.

The new regulation requires only that Medicare cover end-of-life consultations for patients who want it. The "voluntary advance care planning" language was included in a regulation issued in early December that deals with annual wellness visits.

The regulation was issued quietly, the New York Times reported, in hopes of avoiding the hue and cry raised early in the reform debate when opponents claimed such counseling would create "death panels."

The new Medicare rule will pay for elective annual discussions about end-of-life plans, which can, in turn, be used to prepare an advance directive stating what treatments a patient would want and treatments they would not want.

In contrast, the provision that ignited the firestorm of rhetoric in 2009 would have paid for such consultations every five years.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) chimed in a week later, saying the bill would "start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law."

The "death panel" label was given to such counseling sessions by former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who alleged they would pass judgment not only on older people's right to healthcare, but on others' as well.

-------- Who to believe, who to believe. Is this the initiation of "death panels" and government encouraged euthanasia - or - is it an act of magnanimous politicians because they love and respect us so darn much.

I lean toward the former, and Palin is correct, end-of-life won't be just for seniors. End of Life Planning will eventually cover everyone insured by Big Daddy Government. Big D sees the coming tsunami of much younger folks in poor health. Those younger folk afflicted with major disabling lifelong health problems due to obesity, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, craziness, laziness, bad backs and mood disorders. "Disability" like so many social programs has fast become a career, a generational lifestyle. One in 19 Americans today, give it another decade. The trend now is not only ill health for yourself - but for all the kids in the family. Bipolar babies. It's not hard to find physicians who go along with it.

There will be no shortage of healthcare professionals willing to counsel the space wasters that they really should die sooner rather than later. Not that bluntly of course. And if you think HMO physicians liked those end-of-year bonuses for cutting costs, just wait until Big Daddy rewards physician performance.

Will Big Daddy really want to cover a kidney or heart transplant for 30-somethings who weigh 300+ pounds, having already spent a small fortune on years of medical care for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, depression, insomnia, asthma, knee replacements. Will Big D want to spend a million dollars on medical care for the 40-year-old Neanderthal who was badly burned when his meth lab exploded? Will Big D continue to spend millions on preemies or trauma victims who's future will be decades of drooling on an air mattress in front of the TV?

"Palliative" or comfort care options will be a burgeoning field. Keep you high 'til you die. And you will call it the best in modern medicine. I call it one helluva an undignified and unnatural method to cull the herd of the deadbeats, the stupid, the poor, the unproductive. Pols and pundits are con artists. Swindlers, exploiting the confidence of their victims. Death panel is ominous so I'm curious as to what warm fuzzy phrase will be used to describe your SOL options.

The current bill contains a "utilization review program" which on the surface sounds protective of patient's rights. But basically, and this is already SOP, what it means is the utilization review department, the medical staff, and the hospital/government administrative bodies will work in close harmony to survive these trying economical times, and ... oh, yes, serve your healthcare needs, and in that order. (Name one government program that has not been perverted from its original intent.)

No comments:

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.