Harem Scarem and Health Care Reform
(c) David Horsey
As the battle lines formed around the Democrats' health care reform legislation, I expected Republicans to throw everything they had against it.
But I didn't quite expect them to sink so low as to claim that under Obamacare ailing grannies would be killed off as soon as they become too expensive to care for.
But there was House Minority Leader
Seniors, it was suggested, would be forced to sit down with a bureaucrat to determine upfront how to end their own lives.
Check here if you wish to be euthanized. Check here to be refused food and water. We'll call you when your number is up.
What Boehner and McCotter were referring to was a provision in the healthcare reform bill that would extend
Most people caring for loved ones who are growing very old and infirm will understand the benefits of such consultations, as they ask both patient and family to ponder things most of us would rather avoid: Who will make decisions about your medical care if you are unable? How do you feel about being fed with a tube if you cannot swallow and are expected never to regain the ability? Will you want to be sedated to control pain? Is there any medical condition that would cause you to agree to a do-not-resuscitate order?
By discussing these questions, individuals and their loved ones gain power and control over their health care. Obviously, these are personal decisions that people would be wise to make while they are mentally and physically able.
But that's not how this one was spun. Republicans saw a chance to demagogue and jumped in with both feet. "Euthanasia" splashed across Internet headlines. Talk radio and cable TV lit into the "controversy" with aplomb.
The original propagator of this lie is one
On one level, this scare-mongering strategy is simply farcical. It smacks of the circus around
End-of-life issues are complicated. They are entwined with the fundamental question of what life is. For some, upholding and honoring the "sanctity of life" means keeping people alive even in a persistent vegetative state. For others, including myself, other factors, such as quality of life and, yes, the costs to maintain a pulse and breathing even without brain function, need to be weighed.
Beliefs about how life should end for the old and sick aren't that easy to peg, even for seasoned culture warriors on the right. Guns 'n' gays, this ain't. It's a complex issue that will continue to challenge us all as the baby boom generation approaches old age and death. And if Republicans want to turn it into a moralistic Punch and Judy show, they do so at their peril.
Cash-Only or Direct-Pay Medical Practices
Cash-only and direct-pay medical practices are based on the idea that rather than charging higher, so-called retail rates for uninsured patients while negotiating discounted rates with insurance companies for covered patients, it's fairer -- and possible -- to offer flat and reasonable rates to all. Is a Cash-Only or Direct-Pay Medical Practice for America?
Not Enough Healthcare to Go Around
by Michael D. Tanner
We tend to talk about healthcare in the philosophically abstract. "Is healthcare a right or a privilege?" goes the refrain. In reality, it is neither. Healthcare is a commodity -- and a finite one at that. There are only so many doctors, hospitals, and, most important, money to go around. ...
Healthcare Reform's Effect on You
by Bernadine Healy M.D.
Some elements might change before a final healthcare bill is in hand, but enough common threads have emerged for people to look beyond the headlines for an idea of how the new healthcare system will affect them personally. For starters, consider these seven ways in which your healthcare experience is apt to change ...
Lack of Competition in Healthcare Insurance Market
by Kent Garber
Should healthcare reform include an option for Americans to buy insurance from the government? President Obama has made it a priority, arguing that a government plan would make the insurance market more competitive and help lower costs. Republicans aggressively oppose this, asserting that a public plan would all but destroy the private market.
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Harem Scarem and Health Care Reform
(c) 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.