Tag Archives: palliative care

Trying to find out what Obamacare really says about end of life issues

There has been a lot of discussion about “end of life” provisions in Obamacare.  One side says there will be a mandatory consultation by some government bureaucrat for seniors to discuss end of life issues.

The other side says, no, no, no, it’s not mandatory, it just says medicare will pay for it, if you choose to consult with your own physician about end of life issues.  Which is why I don’t believe what I hear on the so-called news.  It’s just one side against the other, each trying to push their own ideas about it.

It’s almost impossible for the average person to know because we have no credible information.  And even if we did have a copy of the bill to read, we would need “two lawyers” to interpret it for us, as Mr. Rangel says  It wasn’t Mr. Rangel but Conyers.

In addition to that, I think there are about 5 different bills going around, 3 in the house and 2 in the senate.  Lord knows which one they are even talking about.

I have been looking for something that would give me the exact wording of this section or at least an honest assessment of what it says.  I tried to download the over 1000-page bill, and it shut my computer down.  I finally found somewhat of an explanation.  This is from a post made by Forbes.com.

They say:

Buried halfway through the current version of “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” the House version of ObamaCare, is a set of proposals pertaining to end-of-life care.

Which has language going back to another bill:

The end-of-life language originates from a different bill, called the Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act, introduced earlier this year by Sens. Jay Rocefeller, D-W.Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. In addition to the consultation, which Medicare will pay for every five years, the bill also says that patients will be informed about the benefits of hospice and palliative care. Hospices are facility or home-based services for terminally ill patients to receive pain medicine and other comforts before they die.

[“”Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay, or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure.””]

Thus the “take a pain pill” analogy.

I don’t see anything here that says the consultation is mandatory but:

It also would create a tracking system to see if doctors are promoting advanced care directives and following them.

Could this be where the idea is coming from that the government will be involved in it.  The “tracking system” would monitor the doctors to see if they are following “directives” which would come from where?  Probably the government. AHRQ? HHS?

President Obama has made statements that make you think that cost will be a determining factor, even using his grandmother as an example of questioning whether or not she should have a hip replacement at her age, and so hospice and pain pills will be sort of pushed or advocated to elders as a choice they should make.  And, of course, hospice care companies are all for it.  Funny trivia – one of the major hospice companies also owns Roto Rooter.  🙂

The Bush administration put forth something that encourages living wills, and they say they are just reiterating this as an option.

I don’t know.  But there are some things that would make a person disagree with this on principle.  When you add to it that the Obama administration has at least two czars with questionable beliefs, one who elevates animals to the status of human beings  and one who has advocated population control and sterlization.  Plus we have an advocate of Obamacare, Peter Singer, who sets forth equations that measure the value or lack of value of old people.  A third is Dr. Ezekial Emanual, presidential advisor and brother of Rahm, who holds views that place values on human life with regard to their age and ability to contribute to society.  It does matter what people believe because from those beliefs come their actions.  (I just read this last paragraph back to myself and it sounds like scare tactics of some wild-eyed

wild eyes

radical, but don’t go by me, just check it out.  I did not make it up.)

Of course, if you’re young, it’s probably not an issue but everybody will be old, if they live long enough.  🙂

See previous post and Here.

Posted:  07.31.09


Filed under Barack Obama, health care, Human Interest, life, Uncategorized