Thursday, September 10, 2009

Public Option Oregon Style: We'll Gladly Help You Die

The term "Death Panels" has been used by conservative talk radio and other conservatives, and most famously by former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Many leftists are giving the Governor credit for coining the term, but it was actually Betsy McCaughey (former Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York) who coined the term. I wonder how far off the mark they are when I see stories like this one from Oregon.

"Health plan covers assisted suicide but not new cancer treatment"

The article shows that government run health care does make life and death decisions. In this article we learn that Oregon has a "death Panel" and they are using it.
"Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva*, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved.

Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including "physician aid in dying," better known as assisted suicide."
The story goes on to state that a evil big pharmaceutical is helping her with the medication. Makes wonder who has any empathy, big pharma or elected government officials.

The term "Death Panels" used in association with ObamaCare has even gotten the President's attention and he and his minions are insulting opponents and saying,
"We are closer to achieving that reform than we have ever been and that's why we're seeing some of the divisive and deceptive attacks. You've heard some of them. Ludicrous ideas. Let me give you just one example, this notion that somehow we are setting up death panels that would decide whether elderly people would live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie. This is based on a provision in the House legislation that would allow Medicare to reimburse you if you wanted counseling on how to set up a living will or other end-of-life decisions. Entirely voluntary. It gives you an option that people who can afford fancy lawyers can already exercise." - Mr. Obama
HR 3200, Section 1233, has provisions requiring government certified health care personnel visit the elderly every five years and counsel them on how to prepare in the event they are unable to communicate their end of life issues. Death panels? Maybe, maybe not. But since no one in the US Congress, the press or the president himself, can say that it is not going to be the ultimate purpose of these counselors.

It is especially questionable in light of this administration's re-posting of the end of life and disability advice for veterans pamphlet, "Your Life Your Choices". An atrocious document reportedly created by that famous supporter of the military, President Clinton. It was removed from the VA web site by the Bush administration. Now it's back. This pamphlet is a self study guide to allow you to determine how much of a burden you are to your family and the taxpayers and what you can do about it. Who needs death panels, eh?

Look, President Obama says that he will reduce the cost of health care. But he demands that any plan congress comes up with includes a 'no rescission' and 'no denials due to preexisting conditions'. These will balloon the cost of healthcare insurance.

So where is his savings coming from? He says reducing fraud, waste and abuse, but that is small change compared to entire Medicare/Medicaid system. We don't know if he means cutting all fees and services, but we do know he intends to cut some. Already in the works: An Obama administration plan to cut Medicare payments to heart and cancer doctors by $1.4 billion next year.

What effect do you think that will have? Will more cardiologists and oncologists be poring out of med school? That along with his recent insults to all doctors everywhere. More likely it will mean fewer doctors to service the (revised number) 30 million new patients.

Can you say "rationing"?

I believe it's important to look at government sponsored programs with a very critical eye. Those who have been paying attention know that most "do good" legislation has its unintended consequences and end up hurting more than it helps. Just look at welfare that makes dad unnecessary. That has led to a 70% out of wedlock birth rate in the inner cities.

I believe the President does not know anything about free markets, capitalism, competition, or health care, as he has no experience in any of those areas. He must rely on what he is told by his advisers, who also have no experience in these areas.

President Obama's health care reform ideas, if passed are going to lead to more unintended consequences that he is unable to see. It will mean higher taxes, higher health care costs, and if it's managed by government, it will bankrupt the country. Then again, most of the cost of health care comes later in life and dead people cost nothing. Hmm... Death panels???

*Tarceva, an FDA approved drug, is used for cancer treatment.

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