End of Life Planning - A Rare Obama Idea I Can Live With, and Partially Support


#1

The article excerpted below highlights one area on which I am in strong agreement with the Obama administration. Politicians have been afraid to face the consequences of ever-expanding life spans on medical care, medical insurance, social security and private pension plans.

The simple fact is that society’s financial expectations take into account the first 22 years or so of a person’s life as being non-income producing, and avout seven years at the end of what was then a 72 year life span. Thus, people worked for more than half their life span. Now, with people routinely surviving into their nineties, people often work for about 43 years out of a 90 year life.

The numbers don’t work.

Also, end of life heroics result in a poor quality of life. A person in their 40’s recovering from, say, an appendectomy will resume a full, productive life. Not so with someone who is 88.

[INDENT]Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir (link to full article)

By ROBERT PEAR

Published: December 25, 2010

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.


Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.
[/INDENT]


#2

My stomach turns at the very idea of basing medical decisions upon what one has ‘paid into the system’. That right there is the bottom line most SICKENING part of gov’t-run health care.
That anyone would “strongly agree” with what’s basically coaxing the elderly to quit sucking on the system only shows that you are either incredibly naive or of very low moral character.


#3

I am certainly not of low moral character. But where are the unlimited resources for this?


#4

[quote=“JBG, post:3, topic:28714”]
I am certainly not of low moral character. But where are the unlimited resources for this?
[/quote]One can only hope that when you get that age that someone does not decide that you are not worth living because you are a burden , it would not matter if you could pay for care or not.

I would imagine that when people get old they can decide for themselves and think about DNR’s or whether they want to live by getting care.


#5

2cent

That anyone would “strongly agree” with what’s basically coaxing the elderly to quit sucking on the system only shows that you are either incredibly naive **or **of very low character.

Then you must be incredibly naive.


#6

Funny, though that you should choose the phrase, “…that I can live with.”
Freudian slip? :wink:


#7

It’s called “soylent green”
My children, when one gets to this stage in life, WHO HAS the right to determine ‘end of life’ details? Certainly not the government. I watch those ditzy liberal ladies on FOX trying to explain how wonderful this Obama program is and how poorly they "spin it’ and last night I almost kicked the tv in, so I spent the rest of the evening watching the music channel.


#8

Ahh, good ol’ “soylent green”. Thanks for the reminder.
Oh gosh, if that display on FOX wasn’t downright painful to watch.
Ditz: “But I thought everyone would agree that education is a GOOD thing.” (Gotta love how she refers to it as ‘education’.)
And…“Everyone has a RIGHT to this information.”
Gets better…“People have a RIGHT to die in dignity.”
Keeps going…“It’s about QUALITY OF LIFE.”
Bingo. There is your key evidence of what “END to Life Planning” is really all about, and it won’t be long before “Quality of Life” is a RIGHT that is signed into law.


#9

What next should we have “soylent green”? I am sure politicans will exempt themselves from this.

Should we set a dollar amount of net worth for who lives or dies after a certain age?

Personally I would not want someone like Obama making decisions on my death. How he treated his own family should be an indication of what he is about.


#10

Sam, there already is a dollar amount of net worth. Doctors will be paid to have this ‘consulation’ w/their patients. They will NOT be paid if they don’t. Can you say ‘incentive’? And since when are medical doctors qualified as psychiatrists, psychologists, and/or spiritual guides?

Forgot to mentioin re: that FOXnews interview. The Ditz stated that Medicare already has this E-to-LP practice in place. I’m not sure if that is true or not. Regardless, her point was that all Obamacare wanted to do by extended it to everyone was to make it all inclusive. (How white of them.)
She also couldn’t repeat how it was all VOLUNTARY enough - as if everyone in the room didn’t hear her the first time. What the poor lass couldn’t grasp, however, was Obama’s definition of “voluntary.”

One thing I haven’t seen defined, though: By, “End to Life Planning”, just whose plan are they referring? The patent’s? Or the governments?
:wink:


#11

[quote=“samspade, post:4, topic:28714”]
One can only hope that when you get that age that someone does not decide that you are not worth living because you are a burden , it would not matter if you could pay for care or not.

I would imagine that when people get old they can decide for themselves and think about DNR’s or whether they want to live by getting care.
[/quote]This post, from another board (link) sets forth my views beautifully:

[INDENT]Take the example of a private medical system where costs should be bourne by the family. Let’s say the family has a choice: pay for expensive treatment for grandad that may prolong life by a year or two or pay for the grandkids university. Most people will understand that when resources are limited then choices need to be made. The problem with our society today is too many people insist that medical care is an unlimited resource
[/INDENT]I believe that back before Medicare was enacted in 1965 almost all families decided to conserve resources for the benefit of the younger general of people.

I am in agreement with the “conservative” wing of the Board that it should be families, not governments, making the decision. But it should not be the role of government to step in and unlevel the deck by paying for unwise treatment.


#12

Me too!


#13

Perhaps, the Logan’s Run model should be followed. All people that exceed the age 30 must report to the arena in the massive and spectactular ceremony to become “renewed”.


#14

Considering I have been through this in real life and having to make the decision to end a life I find the whole premise a little distasteful


#15

I am approaching this time, wherein my heart conditions could be [ COULD BE} a financial hardship on my wife, and she is the sole person who can determine what my future quality of life should be. Even my children cannot make this determination, only she knows me and my wishes and what her predetermined thoughts on quality of life for her husband is. With my dad, his end of life was a massive stroke that left him in a come for 6 months. He was on a feeding tube and the hospital cared for his basic needs[ they should have --they CAUSED the stroke to begin with–but that’s another story]
This heart situation does drive me nuts, and hopefully there is a solution, but if left to the Obama minions, any of us not in the Obama camp are expendable I guess.
Did anyone notice that most if not all of the liberal female commentators on fox are ----???BLOND??? except for Martha conspiracy??? :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

[quote=“samspade, post:14, topic:28714”]
Considering I have been through this in real life and having to make the decision to end a life I find the whole premise a little distasteful
[/quote]So have I.

On December 30, 1972, when I was 15, I returned from a ski outing and found my father, who’d been hospitalized for recurrent colon cancer, in his hospital bed, waving his legs helplessly. His intravenous feeding tubes had been removed. My mother and I supported that decision.

The next day, my father’s sister arrived, drunk, from a New Year’s Eve party, and my father’s brother was with her. They countermanded the decision. My mother and I were furious.

He eventually died, in the early morning hours on January 5, 1973. He awoke briefly 5 hours earlier and croaked out the word Mar… when he recognized his friend Marty at the hospital. I had paid my final visit a few hours earlier.

I did not relish being in high school classes with a pocket full of dimes to needlessly follow my father’s death.


#17

[quote=“JBG, post:16, topic:28714”]
So have I.

On December 30, 1972, when I was 15, I returned from a ski outing and found my father, who’d been hospitalized for recurrent colon cancer, in his hospital bed, waving his legs helplessly. His intravenous feeding tubes had been removed. My mother and I supported that decision.

The next day, my father’s sister arrived, drunk, from a New Year’s Eve party, and my father’s brother was with her. They countermanded the decision. My mother and I were furious.

He eventually died, in the early morning hours on January 5, 1973. He awoke briefly 5 hours earlier and croaked out the word Mar… when he recognized his friend Marty at the hospital. I had paid my final visit a few hours earlier.

I did not relish being in high school classes with a pocket full of dimes to needlessly follow my father’s death.
[/quote]Your mother made the decision and not you so until you yourself has to decide on a person’s death then I have to think you do not have a clue. I could come up with stories how in the past I too made a decision but in reality it was someone else who had the responsibility. Just as I could say my mother made a decision for her mother, brother , and ex husband.


#18

[quote=“samspade, post:17, topic:28714”]
Your mother made the decision and not you so until you yourself has to decide on a person’s death then I have to think you do not have a clue. I could come up with stories how in the past I too made a decision but in reality it was someone else who had the responsibility. Just as I could say my mother made a decision for her mother, brother , and ex husband.
[/quote]I verily believe that the hospital made the decision and I had a role in my mother’s concurrence.


#19

I think that this whole subject is incredibly important. During the debate leading up to Obamacare, the principal argument from Republicans is that it would undermine Medicare. I found myself screaming at the TV and saying “what is the f’ing difference?” Medicare is socialized medicine for senior citizens. My in-laws never paid a dime into it and as soon as they were eligible, they hit the doctor’s office three times a week. All (Every stinking one) government provided health care is substandard, wildly expensive to the taxpayers and always grows like a tumor until the country’s economy dies because everybody gets treated regardless if it makes sense or not and even with the eventual screening process, people will still abuse the system and seek treatment for nothing.
The only nation policy we should have for medical care is that it is a private industry. No money, no service. Even military retirees have to pay a premium for their supposed “free lifetime medical care” that was promised to us in return for spending 20 or more years in the service.
Getting rid of socialized medicine and laws requiring providers to treat people for free will immediately and drastically reduce the cost of treatment to the point that most people can afford it and charitable organizations can bridge the gap for those who really need care and can’t afford it.
In short, if you support socialized medicine, then you have to support the government deciding how you will be treated.


#20

First you’re going to have to explain why they SHOULD - or even, WOULD - be. When I left home, my parents took care of their own medical decisions, and I’d go so far as to say that they be offended if I tried to override them.

Let’s say the family has a choice: pay for expensive treatment for grandad that may prolong life by a year or two or pay for the grandkids university.

Again, this scenario makes no sense to me. My parents’ medical decisions are neither my obligation nor business. The only obligation I have is to abide by their wishes.

Most people will understand that when resources are limited then choices need to be made.

Thank you for making the perfect argument against Obamacare.

The problem with our society today is too many people insist that medical care is an unlimited resource.

You may have that impression, but I don’t. Seems to me that the only people who would get that impression are the ones who think it’s FREE.

[/INDENT]I believe that back before Medicare was enacted in 1965 almost all families decided to conserve resources for the benefit of the younger general of people.

An absurd observation, but thanks again for making the argument AGAINST Obamacare.

I am in agreement with the “conservative” wing of the Board that it should be families, not governments, making the decision. But it should not be the role of government to step in and unlevel the deck by paying for unwise treatment.

Are you arguing with the “conservative wing” or yourself?