« | »

Non-Existant Death Panel Gets Dropped

From the always factual Associated Press:

FACT CHECK: No ‘death panel’ in health care bill

By Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 11

WASHINGTON – Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says the health care overhaul bill would set up a "death panel." Federal bureaucrats would play God, ruling on whether ailing seniors are worth enough to society to deserve life-sustaining medical care. Palin and other critics are wrong.

Nothing in the legislation would carry out such a bleak vision. The provision that has caused the uproar would instead authorize Medicare to pay doctors for counseling patients about end-of-life care, if the patient wishes. Here are some questions and answers on the controversy:

Q: Does the health care legislation bill promote "mercy killing," or euthanasia?

A: No.

Q: Then what’s all the fuss about?

A: A provision in the House bill written by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., would allow Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. The conversations between doctor and patient would include living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort.

The sessions would be covered every five years, more frequently if someone is gravely ill.

Q: Is anything required?

Monsignor Charles Fahey, 76, a Catholic priest who is chairman of the board of the National Council on Aging, a nonprofit service and advocacy group, says no.

"We have to make decisions that are deliberative about our health care at every moment," Fahey said. "What I have said is that if I cannot say another prayer, if I cannot give or get another hug, and if I cannot have another martini — then let me go."

Q: Does the bill advocate assisted suicide?

A: No. It would block funds for counseling that presents suicide or assisted suicide as an option.

Q: Who supports the provision?

A: The American Medical Association, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Consumers Union are among the groups supporting the provision. AARP, the seniors’ lobby, is taking out print advertisements this week that label as false the claim that the legislation will empower the government to take over life-and-death decisions from individuals.

Q: Should the federal government be getting involved with living wills and end-of-life questions — decisions that are highly personal and really difficult?

A: It already is.

The government requires hospitals to ask adult patients if they have a living will, or "advance directive." If the patient doesn’t have one, and wants one, the hospital has to provide assistance. The mandate on hospitals was instituted during a Republican administration, in 1992, under President George H.W. Bush.

Q: How does a living will work, and how is it different from a health care proxy?

A: A living will — also called an advance directive — spells out a patient’s wishes if he or she becomes incapacitated. Often people say they don’t want to be kept alive on breathing machines if their condition is terminal and irreversible.

A health care proxy empowers another person to make medical decisions should the patient become incapacitated.

There’s also a power-of-attorney, which authorizes another person to make financial decisions for someone who is incapacitated.

Such legal documents have become standard estate-planning tools in the last twenty years.

Q: Would the health overhaul legislation change the way people now deal with making end-of-life decisions?

A: It very well could.

Supporters of the provision say the main consequence would be to formally bring doctors into a discussion that now takes place mainly among family members and lawyers.

"When you execute a legal document with your lawyer, it ends up in your files and in the lawyer’s files," said John Rother, a senior policy and strategy adviser for AARP. "Unless the doctor is part of this discussion, it’s unlikely that your wishes will be respected. The doctor will be the one involved in any decisions."

The American Medical Association says involving doctors is simple common sense.

"There has been a lot of misinformation about the advance care planning provisions in the bill," AMA President Dr. James Rohack said in a statement. "It’s plain, old-fashioned medical care."

Q: So why are some people upset?

[A:] Some social conservatives say stronger language is needed to protect seniors from being pressured into signing away their rights to medical treatment in a moment of depression or despair.

The National Right to Life Committee opposes the provision as written.

"I’m not aware of ‘death panels’ in the bill," said David O’Steen, executive director of the group. "I’m not aware of anything that says you will be hauled before a government bureaucrat. But we are concerned … it doesn’t take a lot to push a vulnerable person — perhaps unwittingly — to give up their right to life-sustaining treatment."

The White House says it is countering false claims with a "reality check" page on its Web site, http://www.whitehouse.gov.

Which is a pretty odd claim, especially in view of this update from The Hill:

Finance Committee to drop end-of-life provision

By Michael O’Brien
Posted: 08/13/09

The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.

The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as "death panels" to encourage euthanasia.

"On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. "We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."

The Finance Committee is the only congressional committee not to report out a preliminary healthcare bill before the August congressional recess, but is expected to unveil its proposal shortly after Labor Day.

Grassley said that bill would hold up better compared to proposals crafted in the House, which he asserted were "poorly cobbled together."

"The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund healthcare subsidies for illegal immigrants," Grassley said. The veteran Iowa lawmaker said the end-of-life provision in those bills would pay physicians to "advise patients about end-of-life care and rate physician quality of care based on the creation of and adherence to orders for end-of-life care.

"Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can’t," Grassley added.

It’s almost as if our watchdog media cannot be trusted to tell us the truth about anything.

By the bye, it occurs to us to wonder if the Obama envisioned government ‘stakeholders’ board would have allowed trig to be born?

And if so, how long will they let him live?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Non-Existant Death Panel Gets Dropped”

  1. catie says:

    It doesn’t exist but yet it’s going away? Hmmh, that is interesting.

  2. VMAN says:

    So they’ll clean it up a bit and try to make it more palatable. I had a friend whose family escaped from Cuba when he was just a young boy. He used to tell me his father always told him “The communists always take two steps forward and one step back”. They also no how to boil a frog. True Americans need to learn how to get rid of frog boilers.

  3. proreason says:

    So much of the bill is so totally idiotic…..you have to believe a lot of the provisions were thrown in just to allow them to “compromise” later,

    or else the authors were falling down drunk when they wrote it.

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”or else the authors were falling down drunk when they wrote it…..”

    They weren’t “falling down drunk”, but they are “falling down stupid” if they thought this type of crap would go unnoticed.

    • Right of the People says:

      Not even falling down stupid, just the epitome of arrogance. They think it’s we the people that are too friggin’ stupid and have to be led around by our noses and that THEY know what is best for us.

      We need to dump EVERY incumbent come next November. A complete turn over in the House would be a quite the wake-up call to these ass clowns.

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    From the AP

    White House uses e-mail to counter health critics

    By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writer Erica Werner, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s push to revamp health care got a boost Thursday as a new coalition of drug makers, unions, hospitals and others launched a $12 million pro-overhaul ad campaign. Meanwhile, the administration sought to regain control of the health care debate by asking supporters to forward a chain e-mail to counter criticism that’s circulating on the Internet.

    The e-mail by White House senior adviser David Axelrod offers reasons to support Obama’s agenda — and myths to debunk.

    Axelrod wrote that opponents are relying on tactics including “viral e-mails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies.”

    “So let’s start a chain e-mail of our own,” he said, inviting supporters to forward a message countering claims that Obama’s plans would lead to rationing, encourage euthanasia or deplete veterans’ health care.

    Rest of story:


    —So, apparently, the insurance companies haven’t read it either.

    • neocon mom says:

      What’s up with that? Did anyone else get an email from David Axelrod?

      Wonder if I got “reported” in my discussions on facebook.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      From Politico

      Palin doubles down on ‘death panels’

      Andy Barr Andy Barr – Thu Aug 13, 8:05 am ET

      Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin defended her claim that the Democratic health care proposal would create “death panels” in a statement Wednesday night slamming President Barack Obama.

      “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,” Palin wrote in a note on her Facebook page.

      “The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled ‘Advance Care Planning Consultation.’ 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,” she continued.

      “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.’”

      The White House and Democratic lawmakers have blasted Palin in recent days for suggesting that her own son, Trig, would have had to face a bureaucratic panel to get access to health care under the provision in the House health care proposal because he was born with Down syndrome

      Rest of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090813/pl_politico/26078

      Go, Sara!

      Never give up! Never surrender!

  6. Colonel1961 says:

    ‘I feel better now…’

  7. neocon mom says:

    According to Pete Singer’s piece “Why We Must Ration Health Care” in the NYT (posted here by SG too), British NHS already has a “death panel” of sorts that goes by the creepy, Orwellian acronym of N.I.C.E. They hand down blanket deliberations on matters of treatment that would be far better left to individuals and doctors. Of course Pete Singer thinks that individual Americans ought to likewise be relieved of the heavy burden of autonomy when it comes to decisions that affect their own bodies.

  8. MinnesotaRush says:

    We need to be always mindful that this garbage is being created by a gaggle of deception artists and liars (aka – Lawyers). Ask for the sun and moon – settle for pieces.

    I don’t give a ruddy crap what provision they put in or out. I don’t want the government anywhere near my health care .. period! And .. they have no real Constitutional authority to be there anyway!

    This whole charade has nothing to do with health care; and everything to do with power and control!

    If it truly was about health care, they’d let us all have access to their very same “cadillac of coverage” plan(s) and allow the costs to be a tax deduction. But it ain’t about that! It’s about more power and control!

    Way, way, way past time to clean and bleach the DC gene pool.

  9. U NO HOO says:

    “living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort”

    My wife and I “handled” our mothers’ affairs at the end. I am not being crass or flippant but there isn’t much to the job if you love your parents and respect their wishes. Just do the right thing, you’ll know what the right thing is. Just answer this question honestly, “What should my children do to me when I am in my parent’s condition?”

    No doctor ever charged for giving advice or wasn’t available for consultation to help us.

  10. whitelie says:

    Yes, the senior community is never targeted by scammers. I have never heard of Seniors being taken by phony contractors or anything of that nature. I can see myself in a few years being told to sign this or that which I may do depending on the day of the week. Get real, some Seniors are trusting and gullible and this consultation would be a perfect means to reduce costs. In addition, how many bureaucrats have you run into that showed compassion?

  11. jobeth says:

    “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

    Oh good, If only the UK would understand this…then we could have my father-in-law back. Right…?

    “”The bill passed by the House committees is so poorly cobbled together that it will have all kinds of unintended consequences, including making taxpayers fund health care subsidies for illegal immigrants,” Grassley said.”

    And that my friends is why everyone is screaming so loudly! There is so much in this bill that would have destroyed America as we know it. And that IS what would have happened if we had “quickly” passed this bill before August? You know it is!

    I just keep remembering Obalmy saying “we have to pass this health care reform now…the stars are aligned” Yeah…because you didn’t want people to have a chance to read the thing and do just what we did…PUSH BACK HARD. By “stars are aligned” he meant “people are still ignorant of the facts”

    I think he got all the funding bills through so easily because the American people were at first stunned….too stunned to believe he was actually doing this stuff. Then he laid the final straw on the camel’s back with this health care reform bill. Well the people are awaken now..and off their couches and are fighting back. I wonder if he ever heard the old saw of having ” a tiger by the tail”….He better read up on that.

  12. LibsStillLying says:

    ‘Death panel’ is not in the bill… it already exists


    The LIARS are still lying, and will continue to lie. They put wool over our eyes. Nobody read the Stimulus bill.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »