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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sarah Palin: "With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to..."

Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these “unproductive” members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.

The President made light of these concerns. He said:

“Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore....It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything.” [1]

The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” [2] With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual ... or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility... or a hospice program." [3] During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services. [4]

continues here at Palin's Facebook page ...


Stray Yellar Dawg? said...

I am a hospice volunteer, so this is something I can speak about with a little bit of experience.

Personally, I think the consultations may be a good idea. IF THEY ARE VOLUNTARY.

But, haven't they always been "voluntary?" I mean... any of us can tell our doc at any time that we want to talk about living wills and end of life care. Right?

At this point in time, many physicians then refer to a nurse or chaplain, or social worker. Unless, of course, the issue is looming large because of some immediate decisions.

So, I guess what I am saying is.... why? What is the purpose of a five year interval for review? If it is a mere reminder for the patient.... "you may want to reschedule" I am for it. Just as I would be for a pap smear or mammogram reminder.

I just think the whole thing is odd.... in the context of a medicare overhaul. KWIM?

Amarissa said...

"I just think the whole thing is odd.... in the context of a medicare overhaul. KWIM?"

Of course it's odd, everything he does is odd! As when he said "Fed Ex and the other are doing well and the Post Office is not"! I mean, he is telling us that government works poorly! How can we trust any of his plans which are precisely government plans?
Thanks for posting! Love your posts!