reply to post by Rezlooper
A death panel is a death panel no matter how you want to paint it. When someone other than the family may decide one's fate, there isn't much other
story to tell. Anyone who supports this has definitely taken lunacy to another level.
A few points:
1. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act only requires hospitals to provide uninsured people with stabilizing care. Some uninsured
patients are eligible for financial assistance from one or more programs, but none of these programs are paying for life support for "brain dead"
2. Health insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums and paying out as little on claims as possible. Specific diseases may not be
covered and approval of payment for treatments can be denied on a number of bases. I don't have estimates on the percentage of plans that will pay for
ongoing life support, but I'm guessing it's extremely low. One case that was popular in the media last year was that of R&B artist Usher's stepson
from a past marriage, Kyle Glover, whose insurance company "pulled the plug." Hospice care for terminally ill patients is dependent on plan
3. In most cases, Medicare doesn't even pay for custodial care (or long-term care) and won't pay to keep somebody on life support indefinitely.
Typically, patients get 20 days in a Medicare certified nursing home at 100%, and from days 21 to 100, the patient is responsible for the first $140
per day. However, and this is interesting, in 1972, Congress extended Medicare coverage to cover people with stage five Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
also known as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and now Medicare covers 90% of people who are being treated for CKD. Hospice care is covered by
4. Medicaid apparently does pay for custodial care. Remember Terry Schiavo? Medicaid was paying the $80k a year to keep her alive. In fact, according
to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2001, Medicaid was paying for over 40% of long-term care expenses nationwide. Of course to be
eligible for Medicaid, you have to be impoverished with next to no assets. Hospice care is covered by Medicaid.
5. The myth of the "Obamacare Death Panel" primarily stems from comments made by Sarah Palin, one of the least brilliant minds in the political arena.
Specifically, she referenced section 1233 of bill HR 3200. This would have paid doctors for voluntarily counseling Medicare patients about advance
directives, living wills, and end-of-life care options. Which from my experience, all hospitals will do now anyway. Because many people believed Sarah
Palin's misrepresentation of section 1233 (47% of Republicans in fact), it was removed.
I am not a fan of Obamacare. I wanted public funded healthcare or at least a public option but the healthcare lobby is strong and the thought of poor
people receiving reduced cost or free anything gets a lot of people worked up into a frothy-mouthed frenzy, fueling rants about Socialism--so we got
the mess that we got.
The same group of people behind the myth of the "Obamacare Death Panel" are the ones who actually support letting uninsured people die, including
those whose insurance companies stop approving payment (remember, if they're not paying, you're effectively uninsured). Remember when Wolf Blitzer
posed the hypothetical of the the uninsured comatose 30 year old to Ron Paul in the 2011 Tea Party Express debate? After garnering cheers from the
audience with the "that's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks" portion of his response, he hedged his position with a statement about how
when he was practicing medicine in the 60's, "the churches took care of that."
Many of us would rather pay the taxes and not the tithes.
edit on 23-10-2013 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)