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HomeOff Topics News & Politics › Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
01-02-2011 10:22 PM  7 years agoPost 1
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir

By ROBERT PEAR
Published: December 25, 2010

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.

The administration also cited research by Dr. Stacy M. Fischer, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who found that “end-of-life discussions between doctor and patient help ensure that one gets the care one wants.” In this sense, Dr. Fischer said, such consultations “protect patient autonomy.”

Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities.

Section 1233 of the bill passed by the House in November 2009 — but not included in the final legislation — allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of the wellness visit.

Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, which describes itself as “a pro-life Christian educational ministry,” said she was concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.

“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Ms. Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”

Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning as a service offered under the Medicare wellness benefit. A national organization of hospice care providers made the same recommendation.

Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”

“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/u...cs/26death.html

My Comments: Remember back when about a year ago when Sarah Palin was making a stink about this and coined the Phrase "Death Panels"? Of course, the Dems removed that section from ObamaCare to get it to pass in the Senate. It would not have passed if left in the bill. Of course now, and without Congressional approval, and in the dark of night, Obama's regulators put that same legislation in affect in the ObamaCare and made it law to take affect Jan 1 this year. Its now officially law and part of ObamaCare.

Nice neat little, nasty, chicken sh#t trick on America.

There is no way the federal government, or any other form of government should be involved in end of life care for anybody. It simply puts to much power in the hands of dip sh#ts in Washington DC. You all know what the result of that can potentially be.

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01-03-2011 01:12 AM  7 years agoPost 2
Kamikaze Pilot

rrApprentice

Marion, Illinois- USA

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Death is not a bad thing.

While the government has no place in the decision making, families and lawyers need to let go of the terminally ill.

Currently, doctors have to do everything possible to keep a patient "alive". Even if it means that the patient will suffer for six months then die.

End of life care is a good thing. It will get the damn lawyers and some doctors from getting rich off the terminally ill. Most doctors don't want to extend life beyond reason, but because of the current situation we are spending billions on unnessary procedures and only prolonging the suffering of patients.

If families would make the right decisions and keep the lawyers out of it we wouldn't need government involvement.

A.T. Quad-Rave 450-Trex 550

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01-03-2011 01:14 AM  7 years agoPost 3
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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If families would make the right decisions and keep the lawyers out of it we wouldn't need government involvement.
Better to not have some little elite bureaucratic pri#k in Washington DC involved in those decisions, or any form of counseling either.

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01-03-2011 01:19 AM  7 years agoPost 4
Kamikaze Pilot

rrApprentice

Marion, Illinois- USA

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Agreed +1
But maybe a little more family counselling would help.

A.T. Quad-Rave 450-Trex 550

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01-03-2011 01:28 AM  7 years agoPost 5
RayJayJohnsonJr

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Midwest

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..because of the current situation we are spending billions on unnessary procedures and only prolonging the suffering of patients.
And why do you suppose that is???? It's because that's what Corporate America wants. They want EVERY penny your health care policy is worth, then when that's gone they want everything you own and hope to own. And the ONLY way to screw them over is to just DIE! Oh, they hate it when you do that.

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01-03-2011 01:44 AM  7 years agoPost 6
Kamikaze Pilot

rrApprentice

Marion, Illinois- USA

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It's because that's what Corporate America wants.
Agreed. It's corporate hospitals, not the doctors.

But the even bigger problem is the families that won't let go of the 96 year old grandma thats had six strokes, diabetic and has altzheimers. And if she doesn't receive a kidney transplant the family sues the doctor for 80 million dollars.

The lawyer gets 79 million and the family gets 1 million.

A.T. Quad-Rave 450-Trex 550

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01-03-2011 02:31 AM  7 years agoPost 7
drdot

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So. California, Orange County.

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fwiw..

Not to completely change the subject, but in very round numbers, the energy output of the human race simply existing is the equivalent of 700 of the largest current power plants..

I can't wait to hear the argument for population control as a remedy for AGW...(oops..I meant climate change)...That'll dovetail nicely with this, eh?

BC

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01-03-2011 03:54 AM  7 years agoPost 8
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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But maybe a little more family counselling would help.
Well heck. I surely would not want some little elite bureaucratic pri#k in Washington DC involved in my family in anyway shape or form. Counseling or otherwise.

Yourself?

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01-03-2011 04:03 AM  7 years agoPost 9
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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And why do you suppose that is???? It's because that's what Corporate America wants. They want EVERY penny your health care policy is worth, then when that's gone they want everything you own and hope to own. And the ONLY way to screw them over is to just DIE! Oh, they hate it when you do that.
Some do seem to forget that health Care is a business. It needs a profit to survive just like any other business. They have to pay people and they have an overhead. Their profit marh=gins are no worse or no better than any business in America.

They are in the business of health and health care. That means, the longer you live, the better they will do and the better care you will get as long as the government is not intimately involved. Once the government takes over, all bets are off because decisions are made by some little pr#ck in Washington DC..

Why do you suppose they have critical care? If they did not have that, then your scenario might possibly be true. They have a desire and an interest in saving your butt. So do you.

Yeah, its expensive. Mostly because of government interference. That will not get better with ObamaCare. It will get far, far worse.

Why do you suppose the last 111th Congress ended up with a 85% disapproval rating? Its because of an increased 4# trillion in debt in the last 2 years, and ObamaCare that the vast majority of Americans are and were against.

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01-03-2011 04:36 AM  7 years agoPost 10
baby uh1

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St. James, Mo.

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Didn't Hitler give the same kind of services to the Jews?
Wash. DC gets to decide if you are worth saving, or not!

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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01-03-2011 05:35 AM  7 years agoPost 11
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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Wash. DC gets to decide if you are worth saving, or not!
I suspect that will never be allowed to happen. At least, I hope so.

Just the fact that it has happened after it was removed from the bill to get it passed, then put right back in by Obama's pals in the dead of night on a holiday weekend, without congressional approval, should let all know what type of leader we have in the oval office.

The dangdest thing is that its perfectly legal to do so and Obama knows it.

A real chicken sh#t thing to do.

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01-03-2011 06:35 PM  7 years agoPost 12
fla heli boy

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cape coral, florida

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there is absolutely NO WAY that Obamacare is sustainable without rationing....ZERO chance. You're talking about greatly increasing the amount of people looking for care, a drastic reduction in available, quality doctors. The two simply don't add up, because the only way this tragedy can function in any way, is for it to morph into a single pay system, which has been their intention from day one.
In the end, at some point, the elderly and the chronically ill are going to be deemed expendable in order to continue to feed the machine.
I look forward to the reaction from this idiot when pieces get stripped out of this bill one by one until it has been repealed in it's entirety.

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01-03-2011 06:39 PM  7 years agoPost 13
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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In the end, at some point, the elderly and the chronically ill are going to be deemed expendable in order to continue to feed the machine.
I look forward to the reaction from this idiot when pieces get stripped out of this bill one by one until it has been repealed in it's entirety.
Exactly. The time of Obama's first 2 years will be known from here on as

"the days that our leaders turned against America".

The cause of that was the incredibly stupid Americans that voted those leaders in place.

Lesson learned.

I hope.

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