Sunday, August 16, 2009

From Palin vs Obama "Death Panels"

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End of life counseling is a hairy subject for anyone. This bill is not endorsing "killing Grandma". How many of us are prepared for end of life, especially if we become ill and cannot make our wishes known? If my mom had not filled out a Living Will, and I hadn't already known her wishes, then her end of life care would not have consisted of the excellent care given to her by hospice (and paid for in it's entirety by Medicare). My mom choose not to prolong her life via artificial means such as feeding tubes. I respected her wishes. My mom stated that if needed, she wanted hospice care. Again I conceded to her wishes. But what if I didn't know her wishes? Based on how much I loved my mom I can tell you that I would have done ANYTHING to prolong her life. But would any of this have changed the final outcome? We'll never know that, only God knows for sure.


~Betsy said...

The problem is that under a government managed health care program, chances are Grandma wouldn't have ever been plugged in in the first place.

We are trying to imitate health plans run by the British and the Canadians. I have first-hand knowledge of not plugging Grandma in in England, only it wasn't Grandma, it was Grandpa - Dave's Grandpa.

Of course, his aunt was able to receive chemo but had to wait 6 months to start. When she offered to pay out of pocket, she started that same week.

Nobody says there are actual named Death Panels in the Bill. But I assure you care and treatments will be rationed based on age and what that citizen is able to bring to society if they are treated.

Your mother and my mother would have been denied treatment. They were both diagnosed with a terminal illness and would have been seen as a drain on the program for the good of society.

rilera said...

Betsy, I have to disagree with you. Our parents were both on a government run health care plan, Medicare. Medicare is not a panacea in any sense of the word. I keep hearing everyone shoot down this plan, and I have to agree that it's not perfect, but then what alternatives do they offer? Do we just stay with what we have? Costs are only going to go higher. I work for state government and we have a good plan, but it is seen as a drain on taxpayers and each governor wants to take more and more away from employees. Having health insurance tied to employment is not ideal in any sense of the word.

Doctors and patients should be making health care decisions not government or insurance companies. Right now insurance companies are making decisions for you and me. Is that ideal? Middle class families are going bankrupt because they can't pay for catastrophic illness. That's not right.

~Betsy said...

Yes, my mother was on Medicare but she also carried a supplemental plan offered by the company my dad retired from. When he passed away, I had the option of continuing her coverage or dropping it. The coverage cost me $450 per month but I went with it because her AD meds were not covered under Medicare. AD meds are extremely expensive but I didn't want her suffering the quick decline she would have experienced if I had discontinued them.

Medicare saw her as a drain on the system. No, they never specifically said that but it wasn't hard to figure out based on what they covered and what they didn't. If this nationalized health goes through, it will be far worse than the system we now have in place.

If you want a good breakdown of the proposed bills, check out Peter's blog (linked on my site) "common sense from a common man". He has broken the bill down into simple language.

rilera said...
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rilera said...

Betsy, my Mom's supplemental covered her AD meds too, but only if they were gotten from their online pharmacy. Once she moved to the ALF, which required that we order meds through them, then the cost skyrocketed (they meds had to be in blister packs) to 200-300 per month. You're right, AD drugs aren't cheap. Did you ever look into Medicare Part D? I didn't because Mom's supplemental was pretty good at 280 per month.

At the very least this proposed plan has gotten Americans talking about health care. I think we should look at a plan like they have in France. It's both private and government run. I have a friend who lived there and she said it was very good.

rilera said...

Here is a good link from NPR about France's health care system. I like how it says that the French detest Great Britian's and Canada's system. Doesn't that sound typically French?

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