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The President, Medicare, and Planning for Dying

An unemotional evaluation of Medicare’s new “end-of-life” planning

Curtis Coleman, The New South Conservative: During the 2009-2010 national debate on Obamacare, one of the most controversial and emotionally debated components of the bill’s massive leap toward socialized medicine was the now infamous Section 1233, which included plans and compensation to physicians for “end-of-life” counseling. The proposal touched off a political firestorm over “death panels,” so Democrats dropped it from healthcare deformation legislation. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

According to Robert Pear of The New York Times, “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.”

What About “End of Life” Planning?

When conducted for the benefit of the patient first (and secondarily for the patient’s family), “end-of-life” counseling and planning is a valuable tool for patients, their families and their physicians.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “The one area that most of us avoid planning is the end of our life. Yet, if we don’t plan, if we don’t at least think about it and share our ideas with those we love, others take over at the very time when we are most vulnerable, most in need of understanding and comfort, and most longing for dignity.

“Big issues confront us when we think about our own death or that of someone we love. Our attitudes and beliefs about religion, pain, suffering, loss of consciousness, and leaving behind those we love come into play. We can let things unfold as they may, and for some of us that’s exactly right. For others of us, it is good to plan.”

End of life planning can include such valuable documents as a living will, a legal document that a person can use to make known his or her wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments. It can also be referred to as an advance directive, health care directive, or a physician’s directive.

Although laws vary from state to state, generally a living will describes certain life-prolonging treatments. The document can be used to indicate which treatments you do or do not want applied to you in the event you either suffer from a terminal illness or are in a permanent vegetative state. A living will does not become effective unless you are incapacitated; until then you’ll be able to say what treatments you do or don’t want. They usually require a certification by your doctor and another doctor that you are either suffering from a terminal illness or permanently unconscious before they become effective as well. This means that if you suffer a heart attack, for example, but otherwise do not have any terminal illness and are not permanently unconscious, a living will does not have any effect. You would still be resuscitated, even if you had a living will indicating that you don’t want life prolonging procedures. A living will is only used when your ultimate recovery is hopeless.

End-of-life planning can also include a health care power of attorney or health care proxy. This document becomes valuable to your family and your health care providers when your health is not so dire that your living will becomes effective. A health care power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make health care decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated. The person you designate to make health care decisions on your behalf is supposed to consider what you would want, so be sure to talk with them about it. It may be a difficult conversation, but you’re asking someone to take on a great burden for you – letting him or her know what you want lessens that burden.

It is entirely appropriate and important for one’s physician to be involved in this planning process, and it is equally appropriate for Medicare to reimburse your physician for his or her participation in the planning process – if that is the limit of Medicare’s involvement.

So why the emotionally charged debate?

Are Conservatives Just Fear-mongering?

Are conservatives just fear-mongering (like the liberals and progressives in the recent mid-term elections when conservatives advocated eliminating the IRS and its tangled, mangled tax codes in favor of the Fair Tax, or when conservatives had the courage to talk about the obvious and unavoidable adjustments required for Social Security to continue to be viable)? Are conservatives doing “a despicable thing” by playing on the fragile emotions of seniors who are facing difficult discussions and decisions – and possibly fears – about the end of life?

Or is there a legitimate concern of which Americans must be aware? The answer is an unequivocal “yes!”

[Read full article]

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Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and former conservative Republican candidate for US Senate.


Tags: Curtis Coleman, Health Care, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, Death Panels, End of Life Care

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December 30, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | Leave a comment

Missouri Says “No” to ObamaCare

by Philip Klein at The American Spectator

As Democrats in Washington began their drive toward national health care last year, Jane Cunningham, a state senator from St. Louis County, could tell that something was stirring in Missouri.

“I started getting phone calls from constituents that were more concerned than I had ever heard before in my entire decade in the legislature,” Cunningham said in a Tuesday phone interview with TAS. “They were frightened and they were angry and they wanted us to find some kind of relief for them from what the federal government was proposing.”

In response, she got together with other state legislators, and, borrowing language from the American Legislative Exchange Council, sponsored a bill to put a health care ballot measure before voters.

Yesterday, by an overwhelming 71 percent to 29 percent margin, voters in the bellwether state approved the resulting initiative known as Proposition C, which is aimed at protecting Missouri residents from the mandate that will force individuals to purchase health insurance policies approved by the government, or pay a penalty.

“Missouri is the first public referendum on ObamaCare in the nation,” Cunningham said, noting that efforts to shield residents from the affects of ObamaCare are underway — at various stages — in 42 states. Oklahoma and Arizona have similar initiatives on their ballots in November.

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Tags: Missouri, Show Me State, Philip Klein, 10th Amendment, States’ Rights, The American Spectator, Obamacare

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August 5, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | 1 Comment

Well, well, well. Imagine that!

by John M. Allison III, editor

Suddenly, even the chief actuary for Medicare is reporting that Obamacare will…are you ready for this…INCREASE COSTS!

Of course, Richard S. Foster could probably have figured that out BEFORE the bill became law if he’d been given time. But in our pompous President’s haste to pass something…anything…real research and accurate reporting on the bill’s cost were secondary concerns to slapping his signature on a piece of parchment he could proclaim would “reform” health care!

After months of wrangling in meetings behind closed doors that excluded Republican legislators from participating in the crafting of the monstrous mound of paper an ink that will change the lives of virtually every American, and the deaths of many, Democrats finally agreed to break long-standing rules in both the Senate and the House so their members could pass the bill without being held accountable to their constituents.

The plan proved the Jackass Party would go to any lengths, to the lowest lows, break any tradition in order to set the US health care system up for an eventual government takeover. Because that’s what it would take to get the bill passed over the opposition of the strong majority of American voters who opposed the President’s plan.

Obama and his Socialist sycophants on Capitol Hill knew full well opposition would only grow if a complete and accurate study of the bill was conducted prior to the vote. So the jackasses in control in Washington made certain there wasn’t time for such a study.

But now, a month after our Socialist-in-Chief signed the bill into law and proclaimed the bill would “bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments,” we get the truth.

The President and his pals raised our taxes so we will enjoy INCREASED HEALTH CARE COSTS!

That’s right. Now that Foster has had ample time to examine the Demo-Socialist plot to seize control of ANOTHER American industry, he reports that health care costs will increase by $311 billion. That’s $311 billion more than we would have paid if Congress had NOT placed us on a practically irreversible course to Socialism!

Remember, President Obama said health care costs would fall, and the bill would SAVE us money?

But, hey, at least everyone will be covered. Right?

WRONG!

Foster finds there will still be 23 MILLION without health care coverage in the US.

Even after spending another TRILLION DOLLARS for the luxury of paying MORE for our health care, after turning over life and death decisions to government bureaucrats, and after committing to an almost certain DECLINE in quality of care, there will still be 23 million uninsured in the US.

Are you angry yet?

Because we’re not through.

Foster also points out that Jackass Party promises of extending the viability of Medicare are based on assumptions that are highly unlikely. He states that Medicare cuts called for in the bill will make some hospitals and nursing homes unprofitable and that will result in a lack of access for Medicare recipients.

Rather than assume the Demo-Socialists will permit people to die when they’re turned out from unprofitable hospitals, Foster believes it’s more likely the pandering politicians will reverse the call for said cuts.

There goes the supposed deficit-neutral promise by Barack and his buddies on the Left in DC.

Basically, Foster’s report verifies what we conservatives have been stating since the House released its first version of Obamacare last summer.

Unless we repeal this law, we’re going to be paying more for less–in quantity and quality.

Be sure to write the White House and thank Chairman Barack.


Tags: Obama, Obamacare, Health Care, Richard Foster, Medicare, Deficit, Budget, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi

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April 25, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | Leave a comment

If you support Obamacare, let a doctor who supports it treat you!

At least that’s what one Florida urologist is recommending to his patients.

Dr. Jack Cassell, of Mount Dora, FL, posted the following sign on the door of his clinic after Democrats in Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the bill best known as Obamacare. Dr. Cassell, along with a majority of the American electorate, believes the government take over of the US health care system will be bad for the country.

It’s no surprise that liberals are upset at Dr. Cassell. The doctor says he won’t ask his patients about their political views, he won’t let their views affect the treatment they receive, but he’s not going to be upset if some read the sign and find another doctor. According to far left liberal loon Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL), the sign is the “face of cruelty.”

“I’m not turning anybody away — that would be unethical,” Dr. Jack Cassell, 56, a Mount Dora urologist and a registered Republican opposed to the health plan, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday. “But if they read the sign and turn the other way, so be it.”

Dr. Cassell also made copies of the “Health Care Timeline” put out by GOP leaders that highlights when provisions of the bill become effective. These he placed in the waiting room with a sign posted above that reads, “This is what the morons in Washington have done to your health care. Take one, read it and vote out anyone who voted for it.”

So, to all you liberals who support Obama’s government takeover of the US health care system, if this pisses you off, find a doctor who supports this Socialist regime!

If you can…..


Tags: Obama, Obamacare, Health Care Timeline, Republican, GOP, Jack Cassell, Mount Dora, Florida, Health Care, Repeal, Democrat, Alan Grayson

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April 2, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | 9 Comments

Prescriptions for Disaster Now Covered Under Obamacare

by Ann Coulter at Townhall.com

On the “Today” show this Tuesday, President Obama claimed the massive government takeover of health care the Democrats passed without a single Republican vote was a “middle of the road” bill that incorporated many Republican ideas.

One Republican idea allegedly incorporated into the Democrats’ health care monstrosity is “medical malpractice reform.” Needless to say, the Democrats’ idea of malpractice reform is less than nothing. Until trial lawyers are screaming bloody murder, there has been no medical malpractice reform.

The Democrats’ “malpractice” section merely encourages the states to set up commissions to “study” tort reform, in the sense that frustrated mothers “encourage” their kids not to slouch. By “study,” the Democrats mean “ignore.”

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Tags: Obama, Obamacare, Ann Coulter, Townhall.com, Health Care, Repeal

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April 1, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | Leave a comment

Pelosi Confirms New Medicare Tax on ‘Unearned Income, Whatever Category That Is’

(CNSNews.com) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) revealed that a package of amendments to the Senate-passed health care bill would include a new tax on unearned income. Pelosi said this tax would cover all unearned income, “whatever category that is.”

Pelosi, speaking at a press conference on Thursday, said the new Medicare tax was inserted to make up for a reduction in the proposed tax on high-cost health insurance plans. The tax was opposed by House Democrats because it would have largely fallen on the generous health care plans enjoyed by labor union members, who are generally supportive of the Democratic Party.

Pelosi described the switch as a “victory” for the House.

“One of the victories we have in the House is that our members did not like the excise tax on [high-cost] insurance plans,” she said at the press conference. “We thought it would hurt the middle class. The higher end of that [tax] was left in the plan. I call it the platinum Rolls-Royce piece of it. The rest will be covered by a Medicare fee on unearned income.”

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Tags: Pelosi, Taxes, Middle Class, Obamacare, Obama, US House, Health Care, Medicare, Socialism, USSA

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March 29, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | Leave a comment

Now they passed it, and we still hate it!

by John Allison III, editor

The Obama-Pelosi-Reid branch of the Chicago mob now operating in Washington, DC bribed, cajoled, promised, and threatened their weak-kneed Democrat allies in the US House and Senate to convince a razor-thin majority of jackasses to ignore the will of the American electorate and put the locomotive in motion that will carry us on the 10-year journey to a US health care system completely controlled by Uncle Sam.

They celebrated their unpopular victory as conquerors…conquerors of subjects they rule rather than citizens they represent.

From the time the House of Representatives made their first plan public in July of last year, public approval has trended downward as the electorate read the bill and realized just how expansive and intrusive the plan was. Though approval spiked upward from time to time (especially during the President’s promotional tours fawned over by the mainstream media), Americans were never fooled for long.

President Obama and his Democrat henchmen (and henchwomen) continued to negotiate behind closed doors, ignore any GOP attempts to influence the negotiations, and campaign for the passage of the bill most American voters found abhorrent. Earlier this month, the President couldn’t even answer a reporter’s question about what was in the bill and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill so you can…uh…find out what is in it.”

Well, they did pass it and now we’re finding out what’s in it.

Obama got the expected bounce in the polls that comes with any nearly any political victory, but the bounce was temporary. Today, Rasmussen’s Presidential Approval Index is back at the same level as before the Sunday night vote…

For the dimwitted Democrats who believed the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-MSM tripe that we would love the bill once they crammed it down our throats, you were wrong (again)!

We still hate it!!!!!!!!


Tags: Obamacare, Rasmussen, Presidential Approval Index, Polls, Approval, Health Care, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Socialism, USSA

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March 28, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | 5 Comments

With this endorsement, Obama must be really proud

by John Allison III, editor

President Obama’s government takeover of the US health care system did get a big endorsement today. One that should make any (every?) follower of Karl Marx proud.

Everyone who ever found it difficult wading through the piles of the uninsured who perished at the door of the ER can now take pride in their country. Those who can’t afford health insurance but read this post on a $2000 computer while smoking a cigarette with their beer will be elated to learn the Democrats’ takeover must have been the right thing because the most revered humanitarian philanthropic model of human decency has now publicly given Obamacare his stamp of approval!

Who you ask?

You’re likely thinking a Nobel Laureate, or someone adored the world around. Someone especially loved in his own country.

Let’s see.

“We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama’s) government,” Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president’s hand against lobbyists and “mercenaries.”

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“It is really incredible that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence … the government of that country has approved medical attention for the majority of its citizens, something that Cuba was able to do half a century ago,” wrote Castro.

That’s right!

Obamacare must be a great thing because the humanitarian hero Fidel Castro tells us our President did the right thing! Castro says it’s great that the US is FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CUBA (only a half century behind)!

So I wonder, after the passage of another half century, will the children of our children sail for Cuba in overcrowded homemade boats hoping to improve their lives as they flee their third world country?


Tags: Obamacare, Health Care, Castro, Repeal, Change, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Obama, Socialism, Karl Marx
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March 25, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | 7 Comments

Dingell: Obamacare to “Control the People”

Finally, a Democrat has told the truth about Obamacare. Representative John Dingell (D-MI) told talk radio host Paul W. Smith that it takes a long time “to put the legislation together to control the people.”

CONTROL THE PEOPLE!

March 24, 2010 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , | Leave a comment

What now? We work to Repeal It!

by John Allison III, editor

Now that the Democrats have forced the American people to swallow the unconstitutional, unwanted government takeover of the US health care system, it’s more important than ever that we continue the fight.

More than a year of protests, town halls, letters, calls, and emails to our Senators and Representatives have left us battle weary and perhaps ready to rest. Several times the past few months we thought we had won the war, but each time our opponent abandoned the rule book we were playing by and found a way to press on. But it’s important to realize our enemy is battle scarred and weakened from the prolonged fight as well. They too will be ready to relax, thinking they’ve won and the fight is finished.

But we must search ourselves for our reserves, gather whatever strength we have remaining and continue the fight.

The primary season is upon us. Our energy must now be devoted to identifying, promoting, and electing true conservative Republican candidates who can defeat these Constitution destroying Democrats who have now shackled us with Socialism. Whether or not you identify yourself as a Republican, it’s essential in 2010 we nominate and then elect conservative GOP candidates. Why?

Because the number one priority in these midterm elections is to demote Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. We absolutely must take control on at least one of the Houses of Congress. Pelosi and Reid each determine what legislation comes to the floor of their respective houses of Congress, and nothing less than a Republican majority can change that. Committee chairmanships are also decided by the party in the majority of each house. Yet another reason it’s imperative we take back at least one of the two houses.

Since the Democrats’ insisted on passing this toxic legislation that a majority of Americans made clear they didn’t want, they’ve created for themselves an open sore that must be healed if they hope to win in November. We must focus our attacks on that sore, and do everything in our power to keep it open and festering throughout the campaign.

The Club for Growth is working to do just that. Their “Repeal It” pledge has already been signed by more than 50 lawmakers, over 200 candidates, and almost 15000 citizens. The pledge taken by lawmakers and candidates states they promise to “sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.” Citizens take a pledge to support, “with my time, money, and vote – only candidates who pledge to support its repeal and replacement with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government.”

Club for Growth has made it simple to find out if your favorite lawmaker or candidate has signed the pledge. Just go to their website, http://www.repealit.org/, to check. For example, I can click here to instantly see which candidates in my home state of Arkansas have signed the pledge.

If you haven’t done so, please take the citizens’ pledge. Then check to see which Republican candidates in your state have signed, and help get them elected so we can repeal this law and make our way back to a Constitutional government.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010, Health Care | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments