Tuesday, July 29, 2014   Search

Current Articles | Archives | Search

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sarah Palin: Concerning the "Death Panels"
By News Release @ 10:05 PM :: 2218 Views :: National News, Ethics
 

by Governor Sarah Palin  August 12, 2009

Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these “unproductive” members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.

The President made light of these concerns. He said:

“Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore....It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything.” [1]

The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” [2] With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual ... or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility... or a hospice program." [3] During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services. [4]

Now put this in context. These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” [5] Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care? As Charles Lane notes in the Washington Post, Section 1233 “addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones.... If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?” [6]

As Lane also points out:

Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive -- money -- to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.

Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic. [7]

Even columnist Eugene Robinson, a self-described “true believer” who “will almost certainly support” “whatever reform package finally emerges”, agrees that “If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending.” [8]

So are these usually friendly pundits wrong? Is this all just a “rumor” to be “disposed of”, as President Obama says? Not according to Democratic New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Aging Committee, who writes:

Section 1233 of House Resolution 3200 puts our senior citizens on a slippery slope and may diminish respect for the inherent dignity of each of their lives.... It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen ... should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner than he or she otherwise would, be required to be counseled about the supposed benefits of killing oneself, or be encouraged to sign any end of life directives that they would not otherwise sign. [9]

Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It’s all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform.

[1] See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/president-obama-addresses-sarah-palin-death-panels-wild-representations.html.

[2] See http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

[3] See HR 3200 sec. 1233 (hhh)(1); Sec. 1233 (hhh)(3)(B)(1), above.

[4] See HR 3200 sec. 1233 (hhh)(1)(E), above.

[5] See http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

[6] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703043.html[.

]7[ Id.

]8[ See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081002455.html].

[9] See http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/letter-congressman-henry-waxman-re-section-1233-hr-3200.

[10] See http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Where_Civic_Republicanism_and_Deliberative_Democracy_Meet.pdf

[11] See http://www.scribd.com/doc/18280675/Principles-for-Allocation-of-Scarce-Medical-Interventions.

Comments
comment @ Thursday, August 27, 2009 6:39 PM
Comments from the following blog entry: http://www.aapsonline.org/newsoftheday/00434

LINKS:

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

ARCHIVES: Daily News Read

ARCHIVES: HawaiiFreePress

JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

RSS FEED Latest 25 articles

TWITTER HawaiiFreePress

SoundCloud HawaiiFreePress

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

ABCDEF Group Samoa

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Chapter MOAA

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

Angelaisms

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Art of Thinking Smart

Atomic Monkey

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Catholic Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Choice is an Illusion

Christian Home Educators of Maui

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Concerned Women For America Hawaii

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

Danny DeGracia Blog

December 7 Battlefields at risk

DefendOurKeiki.com

DVids Hawaii

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

Global Warming "Scientists" Email Files #1

Global Warming "Scientists" Email Files #2

God, Freedom, America

GoGoGMO!

Grassroot Blog

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hadassah Hawaii

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Alliance of Student Veterans

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Concealed Carry

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federated Republican Women's Association

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Knights of Columbus

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

HawaiiReporter.com

Hawaii Republicans for Life

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Tropical Fish Association

Hawaii Votes

Hepsy's Kuleana

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIRA

Hiram Fong Papers

History Education Hawaii

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Alliance

Honolulu College Republicans

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Aloha Molokai

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Israel Day Hawaii

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kahua Group

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

KeyWiki

Kona TEA Party

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Let's Lose LOST

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Minority Caucus YouTube

Missile Defense Advocacy

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

Native Hawaiian Grants Project

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

OHA Lies

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patriot Voices Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

Perry and Price Show

Pritchett Cartoons

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

Rightly POV

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Saipan Unheard No More

Save Hanalei Ridge

Save Kauai Farms

Save Our Doctors Hawaii

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

Senate Minority Blog

SenatorFong.com

SGLF

SIFE BYUH

SIFE HPU

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

Smart Business Hawaii

St Damien

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Stop SB2424

Student Veterans Oahu and Kauai

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

The Verifiable Truth

The Voice of Kapolei

Tim Lussier HuffPo Hawaii

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

USO Hawaii

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Vote No 113

Waagey.org

WAPNFFS

Watchdog Hawaii

Watchdog Wire

West Maui Taxpayers Association

YAL UH Hilo


Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party