Sunday, August 30, 2009

It Can't Be Said Better - XIX

Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money makes the obvious point....

None of this seems to get counted when people talk about wait times, but believe it or not, the 16 hours you spent on the phone trying to organize your health care is 16 hours that you don't get back. Moreover, the experience has made me even more unreceptive to warnings about the bureaucratization of health care; I've dealt with so many bureaucrats from so many different organizations that giving all of their jobs to one single government bureaucrat tasked with determining how useful my life is would seem like sweet relief...

Farley is young, not so far out of college, been through a couple of job changes and recently become a proud parent. Sort of like the average successful American. Read the details of Everyman's life with for-profit health insurance here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Death Panels

OK, as I have said before, I Am Not A Lawyer, I just read stuff they do.

So, apparently according to Betsy McCoughey (pronounced McCoy, May God Rest DeForrest Kelly's Tortured Soul) the reason to fear the 'end of life' consultation provisions of H R 3200 (Link is to the actual text of the bill in PDF format, it will require a bit of bandwidth to load....) is because Medicare reimbursement for doctors is tied to performance criteria and how many "Advanced Care Planning Consultations" a doctor has with their patients and how many actual "advanced directives" are produced, and of couse, are followed in the event they become operative will be part of the criteria. So of course, since their payment rates are involved, doctors are incentivized to make every patient have an end of life consultation and since the end of life consultation must include (yep, they said what it must include) discussion of "artificially administered nutrition and hydration" which is of course so horrible, we'll all immediately sign off on not receiving any of that and agree to die gracefully, thereby saving everybody a lot of money, it's MANDATORY, not VOLUNTARY. Uhmm, that's her argument, I don't get it so I bet I didn't state it right.

But thanks be to Google is your friend, here's what it actually says on Pp 431-432:

24 (A) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of re-
25 porting data on quality measures for covered
431 •HR 3200 IH

1 professional services furnished during 2011 and
2 any subsequent year, to the extent that meas-
3 ures are available, the Secretary shall include
4 quality measures on end of life care and ad-
5 vanced care planning that have been adopted or
6 endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if
7 appropriate. Such measures shall measure both
8 the creation of and adherence to orders for life
9 sustaining treatment.
432 •HR 3200 IH

Yes, End of Life orders defined in the bill include orders for using 'Life Sustaining Treatment" as well as withdrawal of same. You decide and the doctor gets to follow your orders. He just has to go through a prescribed list of things to talk about with you
1 ‘‘(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of
2 orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar
3 orders, which shall include—
a whole bunch of things listed on pages 426 through 428. You can go read it, Google (and my link) is your friend.

If you want (and can afford the copays and deductibles without bankrupting your family) you can demand that heroic measures be taken until a physician is willing to say you are dead, dead, dead, beyond any hope of resuscitation of any kind with any medical technology available in any hospital they can move you to without you being made dead, dead, dead, beyond any hope of resuscitation. And the doctor's performance criteria (on which 5 percent IIRC of his reimbursement hinges) is "Did the directive get followed?"

Ok, so they're reaching to say government doctors will decide when to pull the plug on Grandma. Now you know it, too.

Ask yourself. "Why do they make this s.... (stuff) up?" Do you suppose it's maybe because they haven't got any other arguments? Any other arguments at all? This one reeks of desperation.

Of course, it worked in 1994....
On September 30, 1993, the last day of Hillary Clinton's congressional committee testimony, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by McCaughey, who said she had read and reread the 239-page draft health care reform plan and concluded that the plan differed markedly from the Clinton White House's public statements and that the plan would in her opinion have "devastating consequences."
Yes, just this sort of devastating consequences. Only it's a little harder to carry the lie when any of us can just download the bill and read it ourselves. Yep, Google is your friend. Unless it's not.;o)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Food for thought

First and foremost, the purpose of the public option in health care reform is to keep the insurance companies honest. Really, nothing else. Does anybody, anybody at all, actually think the insurance companies are honest?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'm beginning to wonder if truth has anything at all to do with her worldview:
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Sarah Palin on her Facebook page 08/07/09

Such a system would, indeed, be evil. But nothing in ANY of the proposals under discussion actually resembles this, or even could be stretched into anything that could possibly morph into something like this. And no one making these arguments can point to anything in any proposal that actually would come to this. So why isn't she demanding proof of such allegations when people suggest them to her? Shouldn't she be pointing this out for what it really is, a baseless lie? Can she really believe it? How stupid is she? Worse, how stupid are the people who are listening to her?