Tag Archives: end-of-life care

Who Decides What Medical Care You Receive At End of Life?

In Forbes, Paul Hsieh, MD writes:

Any government-funded health care system must necessarily set limits on medical spending. No government can issue a blank check for unlimited medical care for everyone. The only issue is where and how it draws that line.

This is an inherent part of any socialized medical system, such as in Canada or the UK. Put simply, if you expect “somebody else” to pay for your health care, then “somebody else” will ultimately decide what care you may (or may not) receive. …

Who should decide what care you receive towards the end of your life — you or an “administrative tribunal” of “experts and wise community members”? If you want to retain control over your medical care, you must retain control over your medical dollars. He who pays the piper calls the tune. Make sure the tune being called is the one you want.

via Who Decides What Medical Care You Receive At End of Life?.

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Filed under Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP

Should Doctors Limit Medical Care To Save Money For ‘Society’?

Paul Hsieh, MD writes:

There will always be limits on who will or will not receive expensive medical treatments. We have no choice about that. But we do have a choice of whether those decisions will be made by patients based on their personal and economic priorities — or by government bureaucrats. The first protects the doctor-patient relationship. The second creates divided loyalties for doctors, who will always be serving two masters. As a doctor, I prefer the first. As a patient, you should too.

Read more: Should Doctors Limit Medical Care To Save Money For ‘Society’?.

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Filed under insurance, tax code, HSAs, Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP, physicians & medical quality

The FDA, Avastin, and death panels

Milton Wolf, MD writes:

The FDA, stuck in its 1960s Thalidomide glory days mindset, denies Americans access to life-saving drugs. …

The FDA, despite its intentions, drives up the costs of medicines and often dries up the supply chain altogether. America is currently facing a shortage of about 246 drugs – a record high. …

A joint report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Oncology, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices sounded the alarm: “Several drug shortages have been precipitated by actual or anticipated action by the FDA.”

Read more: WOLF: The FDA’s one-man death panel – Washington Times.

(via FIRM)

Illustration: “FDA and Avastin” by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times.

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Filed under Policy - National, prescription drugs, regulation

The case for replacing Medicare with vouchers for commercial insurance

This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video explains how a “premium-support” plan would solve Medicare’s fiscal crisis and improve the overall healthcare system. This voucher-based system also would protect seniors from bureaucratic rationing.

For more on Medicare reform, see this page on DownsizingGovernment.org.

See also: Would You Prefer [Medicare] Privatization or a Death Panel?

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Filed under Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP

Why Cato’s Michael Cannon has boycotted PolitiFact:

Michael Cannon writes:

The Lie of the Year award is easily PolitiFact’s biggest publicity-generator. In 2009, they picked Sarah Palin’s “death panels” claim. In 2010, they picked the claim that the new health care law is a “government takeover” of health care. …

… each of those statements is actually factually true; it is rather that they are true for reasons that PolitiFact failed to consider. …

PolitiFact’s decision to go further by declaring those statements lies highlights a logical flaw in their Lie of the Year award. For a statement to be a lie, the speaker must know or believe it to be false. In neither the case of “death panels” nor “government takeover” has PolitiFact offered any evidence that the speakers knew or believed their statements to be false.

Since January, I have declined maybe four requests for help from PolitiFact reporters …

Read the whole post: Why I’m Boycotting PolitiFact.

via Why I’m Boycotting PolitiFact | Cato @ Liberty.

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Filed under myths & fallacies

De facto death panels: all four pieces in place

Greg Scandlen writes:

The new Medicare benefit for end-of-life counseling that was snuck in by the Obama Administration over the objections of Congress and the American people, is the fourth and final step of a process that will indeed lead to “death panels.”

The first three steps are

  1. a mandatory Health Information Technology (HIT) system that allows authorities to track doctors
  2. comparative effectiveness research (CER), where experts decide what works and what does not.
  3. Accountable Care Organizations, which reward and punish doctors, tracked by health information technology, according to the results of comparative effectiveness research.

Scandlen continues:

Now we’ve got something. Now we have HIT telling the government what every doctor is doing, and we’ve got CER determining what is the right and what is the wrong thing to do, AND now we have a payment system that will “incentivize” doctors to do what the government says. There is only one thing missing – how to tell the patient.

STEP FOUR – “End-of-Life Counseling.” There is no acronym for this as yet. End-of-Life  Counseling will pay physicians to deliver the bad news to the patient … Now, notice the physician is not explaining there IS something that can be done, but the government decided to not pay for Avastin because it costs too much. …

Read the whole post: Death Panels – American Style.

On Avastin, see: The Avastin Travesty – A cancer-fighting drug vs. an out-of-control federal agency.

(via FIRM)

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Filed under Policy - National, regulation