Resist the Government’s “Counseling”

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good for Sarah Palin for sticking to the end-of-life issue and not relenting. She’s right, because there is no way the socialized system they have planned for us can possibly accommodate all of the parasites that want to line up and suck the blood from it. Government bureaucrats will have to resort to their perverse statistical models and central planning structures in order to decide who gets what based on availability. “End-of-life” counseling? Give me a break.

According to the demented, crank leftists like Hale Stewart at Huffington Post, rejecting this concept amounts to ”fear mongering and stupidity.” He goes on to set the stage for the necessity of this “counseling” by comparing it to estate planning and living wills concerning his elderly clients (he is a tax attorney). The numbskull doesn’t even consider the fact that an individual choosing (important word) to seek counsel from an attorney, doctor, family, etc., does so voluntarily, and with a specific result in mind. That is a far cry from what will become the government’s mandatory two cents when you have some self-interested, psychobabbling bureaucrat breathing down your neck and forcing his “expert” advice on you, giving out prescriptions for how to live or die. Anytime the government wants to “counsel” anyone on anything, it is a very bad sign; one that suggests authority and manipulation, with the end goal being able to control the outcome, which, in this case, is life or death, care or no care.

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9 Responses to Resist the Government’s “Counseling”

  1. Richie says:

    August 14th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Apparently, they took the “provision” out of the bill.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090813/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_end_of_life_2

    The particular section (1233) was titled, “Advanced Care Planning Consultation”, which means the government requires (every five years) a “consultant”, a.k.a. “practitioner”, to tell an elderly person or a terminally ill person how to end his or her life.

    So yes, “Death Panel” is accurate.

  2. pjnoir says:

    August 14th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    There is no good in Palin. Health care can be fine tuned. I cannot see how we can go to the moon and not figure out health care. For all the Americans that give their right arm for this country- this country can provide health care to keep this country strong and safe. Screw Palin and all her BS self-centered babble

  3. Karen De Coster says:

    August 14th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    pjnoir — the government can’t “fine tune” a good damn thing. that’s straight-up advocacy of totalitarianism. how about we let them “fine tune” your life and leave the rest of us the hell alone?

  4. Mark says:

    August 15th, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Hi Karen,

    I forwarded your blog to my medical school son and he said that you needed a hug. Hey, I agree that the government is inept and corrupt, but have you really dealt with private insurance, up close and personal? I’ve spent way too much of my life arguing with them and appealing to the state insurance commissioner in order to compel them to pay what they are contractually obligated to pay.

    Somebody needs to keep the fskers in line. What do you suggest?

  5. Karen De Coster says:

    August 15th, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Mark – noting that government health care is completely evil does mean ‘the current system is great.’ See this piece that just posted yesterday:http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Down-with-the-health-insurers-8102155-53146107.html

    This nails the problem, however, since government has corrupted the entire system, and the entire insurance industry, and there is too much dough to be made in the current system for gigantic companies that are quasi-governmental, we will never have a free-market health care system in this country. Never. The corporate state is too entrenched, too powerful, and the politicians have formed this monster to their own advantage.

  6. Sal says:

    August 15th, 2009 at 6:58 am

    “The corporate state is too entrenched, too powerful, and the politicians have formed this monster to their own advantage.”

    Precisely. Here’s more evidence from an article titled ‘Six Lobbyists Per Lawmaker Work on Health Overhaul’: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aZdbr0YXz5jI

  7. Mark says:

    August 15th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Karen,

    I agree that the health insurers are nobody’s friend. One of my more ludicrous conversations with my own provider was whether they were going to pay in-network rates for a surgeon who performed an emergency operation on me. By the time he arrived, I was out cold on the table. How was I supposed to choose an in-network physician?! My contract, like yours, has lots of rules, lots of loopholes. They can always find a way to avoid paying if they try.

    Two years ago, my mother suffered a burst aneurysm in Canada (she’s Canadian, but a permanent US resident). She and I (after I finally caught up with her) went through the whole care hierarchy in Saskatchewan. From really small town clinic with a clueless brand-new doc from somewhere in Africa, to the mid-level hospital in Moose Jaw with the arrogant, but incompetent doc from the Middle East, to the regional center in Regina. In Moose Jaw, they misdiagnosed her CT scan and she could have and nearly did die in their ICU. Her doc told me: “she’s old” and shrugged. After an ambulance ride to Regina, she was correctly diagnosed by an Iranian neurologist and quickly operated on by a South African neurosurgeon. An air ambulance took her back to the US where further
    brain surgery corrected the problem and she is 100% recovered. A miracle.

    The salient points:

    -Canadian docs that I experienced were mainly imported

    -They were inexperienced and incompetent (Moose Jaw) *and* expert, depending on where in the system you encountered them

    -The Regina General ICU staff felt pity for me as I was negotiating the contract at 3AM in the Charge Nurse’s office for the air ambulance to bring her back. I had waited to see if she made it through the shunt operation before starting with the air ambulance company. My mom had almost died and here I was going back and forth via FAX over a contract. This financial dimension to health care was completely foreign to the Canadians.

    -In the end, the total cost of the treatment was ~$300K. My mom had to pay ~$20K out of pocket. Medicare and then her very good supplemental insurance eventually took care of the bulk of it. We wrote our last check about 1 year after the event.

    -Canadian system bills to her were about 1/2 to 1/3 the equivalent in the US even with a disadvantageous exchange rate at the time.

    I have to say that overall, the Canadians performed well and here’s what might be a shock for some *at a good price*. I cannot believe, based on my direct experience, that unfettered private competition would produce a better overall outcome for the vast majority of the participants. We as citizens can mutually agree to not apply cold market principles to some things in life and I’d argue that our health care system is one such area. (It’s somewhat analogous to fire protection…)

    I personally feel that nobody should make a profit on the basis of someone else’s suffering. The very idea of profit instantly corrupts a system that should be based around compassion. I know that the point could be made that my mom looked at rationing in the face (“she’s old”) in Moose Jaw. But I also know they would have done exactly the same treatment regime in Canada that she received here once the correct diagnosis was made.

    Do I want *our* government to run a replacement? Well, no. Maybe we could contract the whole thing out to the Canadians or French, since they seem to know how to do it. I suspect we could too if we’d think about the Golden Rule from time to time.

    Sorry about the length, cheers!

  8. Mark Aster says:

    August 15th, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Sarah Palin has a degree in journalism, so she is at least as qualified to speak on interpretations of federal legislation as any of the mainstream media talking heads who disparage her. Even barring a reading of the actual legislation, Ms. Palin should be given the benefit of the doubt for no other reason that we libertarians know if the government says up, you best look down. So, if they are saying, “we’re not planning death panels,” you’d best keep your passport close at hand.

    Now Mark, no matter how “bad” the current system of health insurance and medical care is, at least a patient or medical consumer generally has some legal recourse against companies in the private sector. When I was in the military under Clinton, many were given the Anthrax vaccine. Much like Obama and this upcoming batch of swine flu vaccinations, the manufacturer was indemnified by the Feds against against any future claims by those who become sickened or killed by the vaccine. Now, imagine being sickened and crippled by the government—you know, the one that you can’t bring legal action against unless they give you permission.

    And like Karen, I’m old enough to see federal government deja flu all over again:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206807/Swine-flu-jab-link-killer-nerve-disease-Leaked-letter-reveals-concern-neurologists-25-deaths-America.html

    At least a Celebrex commercial gives you five minutes of truthful, clinical warnings and disclosures before they smile and say “Trust Us!!”

    Give me the current broken system, which could be avoided through private actions and market mechanisms, over the jackboot variety any day of the week.

  9. Mark says:

    August 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Hi Mark (Aster),

    I’m old enough to remember that the US was at one time capable of doing anything it wanted and do it better than the rest of the world. How have we come to our present mediocrity? Why can we not look at the objective numbers (cost, infant mortality, adult longevity, coverage, etc. all of which are even less than mediocre for a developed country) and have a civil national conversation, without polemics, to find the best way to fix it? Why can’t we have, as a national goal, the objective to provide the best -and cost must be a part of the calculus- health care system in the world?

    My own personal fear is that for most people in the US right now, the concept of a “commons” that unites us all has been lost and so discussion around issues that might require a very few to have less so that many more can have a decent life (or to live at all) cannot be rationally discussed.

    It’s all well and good to look at the present sorry state of our leadership and disengage from the system (if you *can* that is…I suspect that will not be an option very much longer, e.g. “Individual Mandate”) but what is a country with 300M non-cooperating individuals!?

    Mark

    P.S. I, like you, am heartily suspicious of the upcoming flu season vaccine narrative. Three jabs, rushed to market. Hmmm…

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