Thursday, August 20, 2009

Death Panel?

No, there is no such provision in any of the health care proposals floating around. There is no need to create any "Death Panel" -- because it already exists!

And guess who heads it up? Ezekiel Immanuel, brother of the President's Chief of Staff, Rohm Emmanuel.

Check it out here.


123 said...

I'm not sure why people are so up in arms about the kinds of things we already do every day. All that is being discussed is how much coverage to offer in a public option. Private health insurance already does this by capping the amount of money they will pay out on you, and by determining which procedures they will and will not cover, and at what institutions. That's rationing. The fact that so many people are denied coverage or can't afford coverage, that, too, is rationing.

It should also be noted that no one will be precluded from buying to a non-public plan or from buying additional coverage in addition to a public plan. Even in the UK with its socialist medical system, there are still private doctors and hospitals one can be treated in - you just have to pay extra for it, just like people do here if their insurance company drops them or if they reach the maximum payout or if they want a treatment not covered by the plan.

I also keep wondering why everyone is so up in arms about insisting that any and all expense is paid out (by someone else) for everyone. That's part of the reason medical coverage has gotten so expensive: we all expect platinum coverage, any and all procedures and treatments regardless of cost as long as I want it and someone else gets it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, after all.

Personally, I think offering ways for companies and individuals to band together to negotiate better rates would be a good start. Allowing cross-border insurance coverage would also be good. A public option would be good, too, which is really nothing more than a nonprofit health insurance company initially funded by the government and then let to run like another Blue Cross Blue Shield. The cost savings come from having everyone covered, because that means that healthy people help to dilute the cost of the sick on the insurance company reserves.

Just my two cents. I'm paying $1000/month for health insurance for the three of us, not including dental or vision, and with pretty limited coverage. That is a ton of money - and it's partially subsidized by the small business I work for!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes, I personally have run into the already-existing forms of rationing. My sister's insurance company at one point (3 months before her death) refused to pay any more. And I saw - and fought, as hard as I could - how care was rationedf to my father, who was basically just neglected until he died.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

And I agree with you about cross-border purchasing of medicines, but I haven't so far seen that addressed in the current debate. Have you?

I also haven't seen corruption addressed, which is by far the greatest single reason health care costs have skyrocketed.

123 said...

I've heard cross-border access mentioned, but I don't believe it's in any of the bills that have been put forward. It was mentioned on NPR the other day.

I haven't heard any talk about corruption either, though it could be included under the more broad rubric of 'waste', which I have heard. Perhaps the idea of electronic medical records going through a central processing center is meant to uncover a lot of that which is currently allowed to slip between the cracks.