Read the Bills Act Coalition

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Death Panel, Helping Seniors or a Vague mishmash of both

Section 1233 of HR 3200, “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” Does this provision just provide seniors with more information to those on Medicare or does it clear the path for bureaucrats to decide who gets care and who doesn’t (depending on contribution to society) if rationing or prioritization of care is implemented through the Health care bill. As I stated yesterday, it all comes down to how you interpret the context of what is being said and trust government to do the right thing. Like a super power the vague language in this bill sees to be open to being used for good or evil, and there in lies the weakness of this bill and why we need to start over. Section 1233 has several sections that have, will and should cause this kind of unease, they are below:

• ….. An advance care planning consultation with respect to an individual may be conducted more frequently than provided under paragraph (1) if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual, including diagnosis of a chronic, progressive, life-limiting disease, a life-threatening or terminal diagnosis or life-threatening injury, or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility (as defined by the Secretary), or a hospice program
• ….. The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items--
`(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, anemic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;
`(ii) the individual's desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;
`(iii) the use of antibiotics; and
`(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration
• …. Physician’s QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE- Section 1848(k)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(k)(2)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
`(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.
`(B) PROPOSED SET OF MEASURES- The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register proposed quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that the Secretary determines are described in subparagraph (A) and would be appropriate for eligible professionals to use to submit data to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide for a period of public
comment on such set of measures before finalizing such proposed measures.'.

……you be the judge, does this open up the chance for abuse where it is determined that a Medicare recipient, upon a changing medical condition or when entering a nursing home, is consulted that their quality of life doesn’t dictate that full coverage is necessary (this is where the death panel came from) or do we trust that all these consultations will be done by caring bureaucrats not trying to cut costs, time and workloads (this hasn’t occurred yet in government institutions.)…..I wouldn’t go so far as saying this is the intent but it certainly is not a big leap that it can open the door for such abuses. The inherent problem with massive government plan is that is takes so mush money, people and parts to make it work that it rarely meet the stated objective. We should reform and enhance the system we have (which give unparalleled service compared to the rest of the world) that no one goes untreated when in need and not provide an vague and meandering national plan that will be riddled with misinterpretation, fraud and massive budget overages…

Read Bill HR 3200 Here:

No comments: