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Small Potatos



August 11, 2009 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: UNH , ANTM , CI

A lot of time has been spent by Republicans and "small" Gov't supporters to misrepresent this section of the healthcare reform bill, HR3200.

What that means is that the leaders of the extremist rhetoric cannot be trusted. Those leaders came from the Republican party, Conservatives, and other "Small gov't" advocates.

It does not mean that HR3200 is a good bill, or the best bill available. I think HR676 is much better, and I have called Congress to tell them so, because there are wait times in America for insured working people. (202) 224-3121

But I will not conclude "The Republicans lied so now I will trust and support HR3200". It is not good enough.

Anyone who wants to discuss whether or not Medicare should pay a Doctor for his "end of life" expertise is welcome to do so. I think it probably needs to be done more often than every five years if you are over eighty. I understand that some of you want Gov't out of medicine completely and seek to end Medicare for seniors and certainly do not want to expand it to all Americans as I do.

I am sure some of you would like to discuss whether or not Medicare should pay Doctors for this "end of life" discussion time.

Right now this seems like pretty small potatos.


6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 11, 2009 at 11:53 AM, jstegma (28.81) wrote:

Might want to check with Dan Quayle for a little spelling lesson....  :)

If we have to cut costs on medical care, it seems like "end of life counseling" is something we can live, or rather die, without.  Some things in life you might just have to figure out.  If you want to pay for this counseling yourself, go ahead.  I have nothing against it.  However, when we start looking at things that could be cut to save money, this seems like an obvious choice to eliminate.  Health care if full of BS like this that is not really exactly true health care.  True health care is important.  Teaching people how to die properly is not. 

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#2) On August 11, 2009 at 12:43 PM, devoish (85.41) wrote:


This is not about teaching people to die properly. It is about taking the time to explain what quality of life you can expect after you undergo a specific treatment.

Possibly such counseling would not be directly from the Doctor, but from a lower paid employee of the hospital or office, maybe even a counselor there for that job and others. Regardless the time it takes to undestand outcomes is considerable and healthcare practicioners should not be asked to deliver such a service for free, and pass the cost of medicare onto the Doctor by failing to acknowledge the fact that time is spent for this.

Some have complained that the concerns of Doctors are being ignored in HR3200 but I would suggest that this is one place the Doctors have been heard.

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#3) On August 11, 2009 at 1:50 PM, jstegma (28.81) wrote:

You know who needs to be heard and quit being ignored?  The godd*mn taxpayers! That's who.

Being taxed to pay for someone's "end of life counseling" puts a whole new spin on the certainty of death and taxes.

I should apply for the job.  "Look on the bright side -- at least you won't have to pay taxes any more."

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#4) On August 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM, devoish (85.41) wrote:

Hear this:

My taxes have been lowered by President  Reagan, Bush 2, and the Republicans.  

How's it going for you?

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#5) On August 11, 2009 at 2:37 PM, jstegma (28.81) wrote:

That's like a salesman saying "no payments for 12 months".  It doesn't really address the problem that you can't afford the item.  It just pushes back the day of reckoning.

I think the middle class taxpayers are going to need counseling when we go and turn in our life savings to the IRS.

"Now remain calm sir.  You seem to have a case of conservatism.  Just hold still, and you'll feel a stick and a sting...."

"Don't I get end of life counseling?"

"You just got it sir.  Now remain calm and hold still." 

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#6) On August 11, 2009 at 5:18 PM, angusthermopylae (38.07) wrote:

I understand that some of you want Gov't out of medicine completely and seek to end Medicare for seniors and certainly do not want to expand it to all Americans as I do.

I would say that my problem isn't that government is (or would be) in medicine....rather, it's that they are writing a 1,000+ page bill to do it!

Why not a simple 2-3 page bill?  For example:

--"Be it resolved (blah-blah-blah)" that basically health care and its costs have a direct and lasting impact on the health, welfare, and future of the country.

--Establishment of an SEC-like department (Medical Oversite Regulatory DEpartment [MORDE] with three divisions:  Public (i.e. government) health benefits,  costs and analysis, and waste/fraud/abuse investigation.

--Establishment of a medical benefits congressional or senate panel.

-- MORDE reports to the panel quarterly, publishing cost analysis, status of benefits vs. private industry, and results of prosecutions for fraud.  Additionally, they make requests for legislation (alterations to programs, increased/decreased benefits, illegalizing certain private industry activities).

--First report is due in 6 months.


That's it--quick, simple, and gradual.  No wholesale changes.  Plenty of time for the Left/Right to "steer" the panel in the direction they want.  Time to make concrete, deliberate legislative changes as opposed to "all at once."

I'm also not happy with the opposition for the reasons you give:  Cries of "death panels" and euthenasia/rationing grate on my nerves.  There's even some group saying that Stephen Hawking wouldn't survive under the UK system...isn't he British?

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