As Democrats tried to ram 0bamacare down the throats of Americans, one particular piece of verbiage caught the eyes of several people who opposed it. The idea that doctors who receive Medicare payments for patient services would have been forced to convince critically ill patients to forego aggressive treatments simply because they were too old. In the final bill passed into law earlier this year, this concept was quietly slid under the rug.
Now, according to the New York Times – the most liberal, left-leaning newspaper in the nation – it would seem that 0bama is going to bring back the end-of-life plan through regulation – circumventing the Congress in the process. This is not compromise, this is fascism.
According to The New York Times article, “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.” Now why does 0bama feel it necessary to mandate that doctors receiving Medicare payments counsel patients and their families? The same reason the Nazis felt it necessary in the 1930s – to reduce the number of old people so that the expensive, aggressive treatments can be reserved for younger patients who, when “cured” can then return to the work force and continue providing for the all-caring, benevolent State.
With the Republicans gaining a majority in the House, 0bama needs the ability to make sure his plans for 0bamacare are not struck down. Therefore, by using the regulation writing process, aspects of 0bamacare that were considered “third rails” can be implemented without the need of Congressional approval. The implementation of annual end-of-life counseling mandated at so-called “wellness visits” is being touted by 0bamacare supporters as a means of ensuring patients are allowed to decide for themselves whether to pursue treatments depending on their level of illness.
What these supporters don’t want anyone to know is that patients already have that right. Through such directives as living wills, living trusts and forms referred to as DNRs (which stands for Do Not Resuscitate), patients can, without mandate from the government or insurance companies decide for themselves whether or not treatment or other medical heroics will be utilized to sustain a person’s life. Supporters of 0bamacare – like Alan Grayson, who, fortunately for America lost his bid for re-election – are hoping no one will be aware of these rights and simply “hurry up and die.”
Supporters would argue that such counseling would help families make tough decisions when the patient is incapacitated or otherwise able to make that decision for herself. This is not true. Case in point: a 50-year-old man is injured in a head-on collision. His injuries are critical and he is taken to the hospital in a coma. Currently, the next of kin is allowed to decide for the patient if treatment will continue. Under 0bamacare regulations, the patient would simply be allowed to die, citing that his injuries have left him in a coma and there is minimal chance of recovery. The idea being that any effort performed to sustain someone’s life is therefore “wasted” as an exercise in futility.
It should never be up to some government bureaucrat whether someone lives or dies based on the patient’s age or health. The decision should be left between the patient and his family with the advice of the patient’s doctor. Bureaucrats are interested in cold, soulless numbers and they will never have the ability to make really tough decisions. To them, if a patient has Stage IV pancreatic cancer (think Patrick Swayze) then the only decision to make is to let the patient die.
What about the 78-year-old man who has been healthy all his life then develops duodenal cancer? Is he entitled to aggressive treatment at such an advanced age? Humanely speaking he does, but not according to supporters of 0bamacare. They prefer that the 78-year-old man go home and die and do it quickly so as not to burden society.
What about the 60-year-old man who smoked most of his life, worked around cancer-causing conditions and develops lung cancer? Does he deserve treatment? Again, humanely speaking he does, but supporters of 0bamacare would rule him unfit for treatment given his history of smoking. “He brought it on himself” they might say. Don’t think this can’t happen. Given America’s track record for bureaucrats overreaching everything, it can happen.
Even more amazing is that Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal – Section 1233 that was removed from the final 0bamacare bill – has praised the idea of using regulation to circumvent Congress calling it “a step in the right direction” but has cautioned supporters not to be celebratory in their perceived victory. His office even released an e-mail statement cautioning supporters not to spread the news even among supporters.
“Thus far,” the e-mail says, “it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
What does a “targeted response” mean? Perhaps attempts by supporters of this plan to inundate bloggers or news outlets with “spin” to attempt to obfuscate the real intention of these counseling programs. Furthermore, Americans should not only be alarmed but livid at the e-mail saying “the longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
This is NOT how Congress should be doing the people’s business. It is a blatant attempt to hide something that is unpopular among the people. 0bama promised transparency and here is a Congressman who is trying to do just that. This is not only morally wrong in terms of how sick people should be handled, but it is morally wrong how Mr. Blumenauer intends to go about sneaking it through. It is morally reprehensible that Mr. Blumenauer would attempt to covertly add his Mengelean regulations to an already unpopular law in an attempt to achieve his nefarious ends.
I am outraged. If you are as well, I recommend calling Mr. Blumenauer’s office at (202) 225-4811 and expressing your opposition to his idea. If you are not outraged, then you’re not paying attention.