posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 01:03 AM
Context is everything.
First of all I skipped WND and went straight to the source.
and the first paragraph reads:
WE need death panels.
Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the
exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.
Pretty damning stuff right there and all on its own. But the article then goes on to discuss the reasoning behind the shocking and blunt statements.
It is not a call for death panels, rather a call to try and find fiscal responsibility for the looming crisis in rising medical costs - I'll (
possibly ) term the coin "hospitalgeddon".
The idea offered is that we tend, in the US, to want every possible measure taken when losing an elderly loved one. We tend to want EVERYTHING done -
even if the doctor already knows it is a lost cause:
Medicare needs to take a cue from Willie Sutton, who reportedly said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was. The big money in
Medicare is not to be found in Mr. Ryan’s competition or Mr. Obama’s innovation, but in reducing the cost of treating people in the last year of
life, which consumes more than a quarter of the program’s budget.
No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment,
regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose
health care systems are regularly extolled — including Canada, Australia and New Zealand — have systems for rationing care.
Take Britain, which provides universal coverage with spending at proportionately almost half of American levels. Its National Institute for Health and
Clinical Excellence uses a complex quality-adjusted life year system to put an explicit value (up to about $48,000 per year) on a treatment’s
ability to extend life.
Death panel? No more so than any triage or care advisement in a hospital already happening today. How many of us keep relatives alive for days, week,
or even months beyond viability? I recently had a death in the family (last week) and it took that relatives more immediate family days to decide to
"turn off the machines".
That's really all this article addresses.
Oh, and FTR it is also an op ed piece from a person with no medical knowledge... an economist.
Steven Rattner, a contributing opinion writer, was a counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration.
So he's even one step further removed from his field of expertise. He's a numbers guy, not a medicine guy.