Eugene Robinson also wonders about Section 1233

posted at 12:15 pm on August 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

No one will mistake Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson as a conservative shill, or a conservative anything.  In his latest column, Robinson goes out of his way to slam Sarah Palin for her “death panels” criticism of the ObamaCare bill coming out of the house.  However, Robinson agrees with Charles Lane that something smells, well, fishy about mandating end-of-life counseling sessions for the elderly and seriously ill in a bill whose backers claim the purpose of bending the cost curve downward:

We know that there are crazies in the town hall mobs — paranoid fantasists who imagine they hear the whop-whop-whop of the World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute. We know that much of the action is being directed from the wings by cynical political operatives, following a script written by Washington lobbyists. But the nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health-care reform.

And they have a point. …

If a technology exists that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?

That’s the reason people are so frightened and enraged about the proposed measure that would allow Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling. If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending. It’s irresponsible for politicians, such as Sarah Palin, to claim — outlandishly and falsely — that there’s going to be some kind of “death panel” to decide when to pull the plug on Aunt Sylvia. But it’s understandable why people might associate the phrase “health-care reform” with limiting their choices during Aunt Sylvia’s final days.

Which is why I will have to disagree with King Banaian in his otherwise-excellent post this morning in the series of questions for town-hall forum attendees we’ve published at Hot Air.  King asked:

I’d ask you this: Suppose it was your private insurance provider who was incentivizing the counseling. Would you object? I think it’s hard for a doctor, trained to save lives, to talk about what happens when they decide you can’t be saved. I’m going to go out on a limb — you’re welcome to saw it from under me — to say this service is underprovided in the private sector.

There is a large difference between a private entity incentivizing it and the government taking the same action as part of a nationalized system.  Consumers would have other choices in the private-sector scenario, including using their own funds to find doctors less willing to sell you a bouquet of flowers and a shovel as part of your diagnosis, thanks to good commissions.  In a government-run system, those choices get stripped from consumers, both directly and indirectly.  If the ObamaCare system incentivizes all doctors through cash payments to make the hospice pitch, it’s effectively unavoidable.  Thanks to the tax bite a national health-care system takes, most consumers won’t have the resources to opt for private care, just as we see in Canada and the UK.

Besides, as both Robinson and Lane acknowledge, having the government sell hospice care to people who are at particularly vulnerable moments in their lives smacks of a softer way of government attempting to tell citizens when they’ve become burdensome to the younger members of society.  Is that a role Americans envision for a government of free people?  And once we step down that road and find that patients and their families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

He’s just being eugenic

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Cracks in the wall.

Question: Will a small Dutchboy’s finger be enough to stop the flood? Better yet, who owns a boat?

Limerick on August 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Is the ice melting?

CEA_Agent on August 12, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Frequent Countdown guest Eugene Robinson, you are tonight’s Worst Person in the Wooooooooooorld.

YYZ on August 12, 2009 at 12:21 PM

This is scary to have some government bureaucrat telling someone who is terminally ill “It’s time to move on, stop wasting everyone’s time.”

Tasha on August 12, 2009 at 12:22 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how they are going to force medical insurance companies to cover someone with a known cancer at the same rate as a healthy person.

If I get the same rate, why would a healthy person need to pay for insurance? I mean why not wait until I get diagnosed with cancer. Doctor says the treatment will be 500,000 dollars to get me well. I say OK I’m going to get insurance to pay for it. I’ll pay 250 dollars a month for it and the insurance will pay 500,000.

It sounds good, but how long do you think an insurance company will stay in business if they can’t do underwriting? How did the community reinvestment act do with forcing relaxed underwriting for mortgage applicants?

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM

He’s just being eugenic

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:19 PM

He is “sustainably developing” his positions.

Ozprey on August 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM

And once we step down that road and find that patients and their families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?

Then you have 10 of millions of former free citizens with no hope, yet still armed.

sannhet on August 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM

And once we step down that road and find that patients and their families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?

Death Panels

farright on August 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…so that we may kill them” – New moto for the Federal Health Panel Review Board.

Wyznowski on August 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Do you think the populous debated Hitler’s plans just as we are before he started tossing them into the incinerator? Do you think those that are most critical (us) will be first to go in?

TampaBayBull on August 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM

The response from DC will be to remove the offending piece from the bill and then ram the bill through.

They’ll be expecting applause for their quick action on our concerns.

myrenovations on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

I must admit that Palin’s statement is sure having an effect. By making the sensational accusation “Death Panel” the MSM is trying to correct her, but ends up conceding that there are some disturbing things in this section of the bill. Clever!

WashJeff on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

…families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?

You force them to acquiesce. You see the government has police power and power of the purse. So if you don’t want to play by the rules…well what happens when you don’t pay your taxes?

elduende on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Palin is a genius.

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Uh….Fox is now reporting that there is a link between Swine Flu and obesity….hmmm. Obama to suggest end of life counseling for these patients in 5….4….3…..2….1.

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM

It sounds good, but how long do you think an insurance company will stay in business if they can’t do underwriting? How did the community reinvestment act do with forcing relaxed underwriting for mortgage applicants?

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM

pssst….

the insurance company won’t stay in business…that’s the dirty little secret…

….pass it on…

ladyingray on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Does anyone else have a problem with his voice?

Ian on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

…families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?
You force them to acquiesce. You see the government has police power and power of the purse.

So if you don’t want to play by the rules…well what happens when you don’t pay your taxes?

elduende on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Your hard earned dollars don’t have to pay for this debacle? What if ALL of us angry mobs and nazis stopped paying taxes…..?
You money

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Limerick on August 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM

I was thinking submarine.

It’s irresponsible for politicians, such as Sarah Palin, to claim — outlandishly and falsely — that there’s going to be some kind of “death panel” to decide when to pull the plug on Aunt Sylvia.

Sarah is a private citizen numbnuts. She is not a politician. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your rant though.

Guardian on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Just read Sec. 1233 this morning and was struck by the language regarding “life-sustaining orders” that are to be developed in the counseling sessions (and much of what we are to be ‘counseled’ on is stuff we should be thinking about anay — emphasis on “we” not ‘them’). You have to describe why ‘life-sustaining’ orders should be carried out –what benefit will it be to you and your family. This, to me, is scarier than ‘pulling the plug’ language. It’s the difference between “Why should we keep you around?” versus “Is it time to go?” And neither question should be asked by the government.

Pensees on August 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Palin strikes again. She is a thorn in Dear Leader’s side that he just can’t seem to rid himself.

d1carter on August 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM

I’m going to report this reporter for reporting.

Patrick S on August 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Medicare is already limiting end of life treatments. My uncle has prostate and bone cancer. He was receiving treatment for it but now it is either treatment or hospice care but not both.

farright on August 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM

link between Swine Flu and obesity

oh man, the jokes write themselves. Now we are calling fat people swine. Is there a politically correct way to say the pigs in the society get the swine flu?

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM

I’m just amazed that Robinson can read – although, I can’t discount the possibility that he hired a literate high schooler to read it for him.

progressoverpeace on August 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Consumers would have other choices in the private-sector scenario, including using their own funds to find doctors less willing to sell you a bouquet of flowers and a shovel as part of your diagnosis, thanks to good commissions. In a government-run system, those choices get stripped from consumers, both directly and indirectly.

This is just flat out wrong. And you’re either ill-informed or purposefully being misleading.

The key phrase here is “in a government-run system.” First off, this bill will not make any heathcare “system” government-run. What this bill will do is allow people who cannot afford healthcare, or do not have a job that provides healthcare an affordable, government-subisidized option. It’s true, this bill means people won’t have the same options concerning healthcare that they do today… it means they will have MORE options than they do today.

If someone doesn’t want government to have anything to do with their healthcare, they don’t have to.

Your post Ed is head-shakingly dishonest. People will have more options under this bill, not less. They won’t have to work with the government to get healthcare. If they do, and aren’t getting what they want or need, they are free to look elsewhere.

But, more to the point, no one is looking to pressure anyone into cutting short their own life. The section of the bill, which was pushed by republicans, is to bring awareness to end of life care and the issues that go along with it. Some believe that — through allowing people to make decision ahead of time about living wills and other terminal care — that it will result in saving in healthcare costs. But NO ONE is saying people should be pressured in or out of care.

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.

I honestly can’t believe how low some on the are stooping in attacking this bill. Ed, this post is one big lie.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I’m going to report this reporter for reporting.

Patrick S on August 12, 2009 at 12:28 PM

I’m gonna have to report you for reporting that…

Ozprey on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

um. . . should MegMac be concerned about the swine flu?

they need to bring back PE in schools. Obesity is a serious problem in this country. Instill an exercise routine when they are young and they’ll be healthier.

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

when your a Democrat and you start having Eugene Robinson start questioning things, something is horribly wrong

Doctor Zhivago on August 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

OT for HotAir:

bannerfarm.ace.advertising.com is getting hung up and your pages dont finish loading

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

The White House is now calling it “cruel” that we are questioning these end-of-life provisions. They would make it sound as if it is only to get Medicare to pay for grandma to get a living will written. I clearly fall into the camp that it isn’t a role of government to be involved in these decisions at all and in any form.

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

But it’s understandable why people might associate the phrase “health-care reform” with limiting their choices during Aunt Sylvia’s final days.

‘Aunt Sylvia’s final days’ are the days leading up to her death.

If a collection of individuals are ‘limiting the choices’ of Aunt Sylvia’s, it’s not much of a stretch to call that collection of individuals a panel is it?

So what’s the outrage over ‘death panel’?

Of course, the outrage is from the same people who call the killing of unborn children ‘choice’.

EnglishMike on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Okay,this may sound cheesy but every day I look around for things to be THANKFUL for…..Have you ever thought that o could have tried to get this h/debaucle passed right off the bat,when MOST everyone was so enthralled w/him?But because the stimulus failed so mightily,people are starting ask questions.The key here is it’s the libs that are asking alot of ???whereas we conser. asked during the campaign but that fell on deaf ears.
For that I am very thankful and still hopeful this won’t go thru.

ohiobabe on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Besides, as both Robinson and Lane acknowledge, having the government sell hospice care to people who are at particularly vulnerable moments in their lives smacks of a softer way of government attempting to tell citizens when they’ve become burdensome to the younger members of society.

This happens today through Medicare. Have there been any complaints from patients or their family members thinking that government is trying to gently nudge them out of the way, so to speak?

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Farright

We had a similar experience with my mom. She has a supplemental plan with AARP which is not inexpensive. However the plan does not cover anything Medicare doesn’t. At this point she’s been told nothing can be done for her condition. I was told privately that she’s over 80 and resources would be , to paraphrase, wasted on her. Unfortunately I belong to that middle class without the financial resources to buy what she needs with cash…

integrity now on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM

ObamaCare: Killing millions of babies and old people, so you don’t have to.

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

I must admit that Palin’s statement is sure having an effect. By making the sensational accusation “Death Panel” the MSM is trying to correct her, but ends up conceding that there are some disturbing things in this section of the bill. Clever!

WashJeff on August 12, 2009

The media (Obama-fellating, state-run) wanted desperately to avoid touching that bare wire in the faulty machine of this bill. Sarah grabbed their hand and shoved it into the gears up to their elbow.
God bless you, Sarah.

SKYFOX on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

I am a physician and I have seen other doctors easily convince patients to sign the living wills so that they will be DNR ( no CPR, no ventilator). You tell an older patient do you want us to pound on your chest and shock you with the paddles to keep you alive and put a tube down your throat to help you breathe. This sounds scary and alot of time they will say no. They are planning on doing this every 5 years to all seniors so that the paperwork is in the charts so 4 years down the road they come in and they have signed the papers for a DNR even if they have a condition that is very treatable. Living Wills are a good idea, but I fear that their motives are not good ones.

idahoconservative on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

dude, the only problem with the system is that Medicare is going broke. That is the government system.

Now you say we need ‘reform’, but nothing is going to change. . . whaaa??!! I thought the idea was to cut costs.

None of the proposals in this bill will cut any costs. It will spend money to provide health insurance to MORE poor people (we already do Medicaid). . . and it will increase liability on the government because they will have to pay medical claims to people on the ‘new government option’.

The government wants to solve a problem of not having enough money with spending more money. They will saddle future generations with more liability for people on the government plan than they have money to pay.

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Ask the 15% (including illegal aliens) who don’t have insurance to go to “end of life” counseling, not the 85% who are covered. LEAVE MY FAMILY AND ME ALONE!

marklmail on August 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Even Paglia sees the ultimate point Palin is making.

maverick muse on August 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM

More importantly, it is clearly an effort to coerce seniors to sign such an order. There are multiple loopholes that open doors for its misuse, and abuse of the elderly, while also including no protections for these patients.
[...]
Look at those closely. In other words, this legislation leaves the door wide open for the government to deny seniors medical care or take away their benefits if they don’t sign a directive and it gives the government the authority to withhold a doctor’s compensation. Intimidation of seniors at the most vulnerable times of their lives? Clearly.
[...]
As hard as all of this is to believe, what is happening isn’t wacko conspiracy theories — this is in our own governmental legislation, in our medical and nursing journals, in public reports from foundations, and in mainstream media that every citizen can read for his or her self. No American can ever claim that they didn’t know what was happening — only that they didn’t care enough.

Rae on August 12, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Here’s my problem with this:

We know that there are crazies in the town hall mobs — paranoid fantasists who imagine they hear the whop-whop-whop of the World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute. We know that much of the action is being directed from the wings by cynical political operatives, following a script written by Washington lobbyists.

We all “know” that he does not “know” what he says “we” know. He has no evidence of this, or dubious “evidence” at best.

He is part of the Washington elite who talk this baseless gibberish pretty much non-stop, and then wonder why people act like folks who have had their intelligence insulted.

Moonzoo on August 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

when your a Democrat and you start having Eugene Robinson start questioning things, something is horribly wrong

Doctor Zhivago on August 12, 2009 at 12:31 PM

Screw that when you have Camille Paglia write a piece for Solon entitled Obama’s Healthcare Horror, you’re losing the war.

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

um. . . should MegMac be concerned about the swine flu?

they need to bring back PE in schools. Obesity is a serious problem in this country. Instill an exercise routine when they are young and they’ll be healthier.

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

She walks around with a pack of Tami Flu in her folds for just such an emergency….no worries.

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

The same issue comes to light in the blathering about having people live healthier when younger so they avoid medical costs later in life. This was a big point at the Pelosi Puppy Adam Schiff’s town hall meeting yesterday.

The first fallacy about it is the CBO analysis that says it won’t save money.

The second is really more of a question….what do you do as the minder when someone tells you they want to smoke, do drugs, eat “bad” food instead of tofu? Just how much control over lives and choices is government going to take from individuals?

What they do in the UK is to withold medical care, regardless of age, effectivity of treatment or the pain a person is in.

Why would the US be any different? How is this ethical in a free country…or are we indeed going to be free?

Harry Schell on August 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

I must admit that Palin’s statement is sure having an effect. By making the sensational accusation “Death Panel” the MSM is trying to correct her, but ends up conceding that there are some disturbing things in this section of the bill. Clever!

WashJeff on August 12, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Palin, you magnificent bastard!

Seriously, if it took hyperbole to get people to look at the ghoulishness of this provision, I’m all for it. End-of-life discussions are extraordinarily important. But they are matters for the patient and his or her family to discuss and then take up with the doctor and an estate planner. At most, the government might fund national PSAs to encourage living wills, DNRs, and health-care powers of attorneys. But that’s it. Creating a financial incentive for docs and a bureacracy to channel the money and to monitor the follow-up (think fat-ass AFSCME employees) is absolutely absurd.

BuckeyeSam on August 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Live Free. Or Die.

Now I know what they meant.

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Where the hell is Terry Silver to help Shipley and make an a$$ out of himself?

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Less Govt. Less Taxes. More Freedom. More Liberty!

hawkman on August 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM

The poo is splattering, not sticking.

tarpon on August 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Give me Liberty! or Give Me Death!.

hawkman on August 12, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I don’t think the Left’s interest in assisted suicide has anything to do with controlling health care costs. They’re spending money like there’s no tomorrow.

I suspect the real issue is population control.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Ive looked closely at this section and I think conservatives are misinterpreting it, although bills are worded so deeply in legalese that it is very easy to get confused. Here’s my take, I’m removing some of the phrases without altering meaning but to make it read more human-like:

Section 1233: Advance Care Planning Consultation
page 429, line 10:

“A consultation under this subsection may include the formulation of an order regarding life sustaining treatment or similar order.”

“For purposes of this section, the term ‘order regarding life sustaining treatment’ means… an actionable medical order relating to the treatment of that individual that is signed by a physician or another healthcare professional (as specified by the Secretary), and effectively communicates the individual’s preferences regarding sustaining life treatment.”

So, while I agree that seniors could be persuaded by their consultants, I can’t support any arguments supporting death squads based on this wording.

But I do think that decisions will be motivated more on cost than on patient longevity.

cannonball on August 12, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Both my wife and I have expressed our specific wishes on end of life issues. Basically, it says we do not want heroic measures if there is no realistic chance of recovering to any sort of meaningful life. Just give us pain medication.

At the same time, it would INFURIATE me to have someone outside of my family had the nerve to tell me that I should go ahead and just “go,” no matter how subtle or soft they were in the parsing of the wording. With my last breath, I’d punch them in the face!

Star20 on August 12, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Screw that when you have Camille Paglia write a piece for Solon entitled Obama’s Healthcare Horror, you’re losing the war.
highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:35 PM

“Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams” – from Salon article

I think I just got a tingle up my leg.

Ozprey on August 12, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Grandma just got run over by a Marxist.

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:39 PM

For all of the newbies, please keep your comments to under four sentences so that anninca can understand your point. LOL*

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

As I’ve said before, I don’t have a problem with people debating the cost of this program (and honestly, I don’t know enough about the costs and how they’ll pay for it and if it’ll end up saving money in the long run, etc… to get into that at the moment), but what Ed said is just flat out false. To say people won’t have choices under this bill is wrong. And to imply that everyone will have to deal with some bureaucrat that’s looking to end their life ASAP to save money is just beyond the pale. It’s flat out lying and distorting the truth to scare people away from this bill.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

***

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.

I honestly can’t believe how low some on the are stooping in attacking this bill. Ed, this post is one big lie.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Ed, I won’t urge a banning. But I must insist on an end-of-life consultation.

BuckeyeSam on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

The key phrase here is “in a government-run system.” First off, this bill will not make any heathcare “system” government-run. What this bill will do is allow people who cannot afford healthcare, or do not have a job that provides healthcare an affordable, government-subisidized option.

You are talking about the totally un-Constitutional “public plan”, that is argued to be necesary in order to “provide competition” to the private sector. Well, when the federal government is footing the bills for the health care (for those unlucky enough to be in the post office health insurance plan) then we all know that they think they have control over all elements that contribute to that person’s “health”. Did you miss the whole AIG/GM/Chrysler/banking situation? Go back and read the Traitor-in-Chief’s words about what “rights” the government has when it’s footing the bills.

It’s true, this bill means people won’t have the same options concerning healthcare that they do today… it means they will have MORE options than they do today.

A flat-out lie. Private insurance will be regulated to death. This group of traitors love to do stuff like that, the same way they are looking to kill industry by regulations on CO2 in order to stave off their fantasy of global warming. It is beyond parody.

If someone doesn’t want government to have anything to do with their healthcare, they don’t have to.

Untrue. In fact, one of the most blatant lies you have made yet. There will be individual mandates – YOU MUST BUY HEALTH INSURANCE – and if nothing else is offered to you, or if the regulations make others too expensive, then you have to buy the government insurance.

Your post Ed is head-shakingly dishonest.

I’d get that head-shaking of yours checked out, now, before you have to go on Fannie Sick and they amputate your head.

People will have more options under this bill, not less. They won’t have to work with the government to get healthcare. If they do, and aren’t getting what they want or need, they are free to look elsewhere.

Yes … we know all about that sort of “freedom”.

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.

Er … okay. Keep saying that. And the government won’t be telling executives what their pay must be. You are so dishonest it is unreal.

I honestly can’t believe how low some on the are stooping in attacking this bill. Ed, this post is one big lie.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

You, sir, are the lowest. Take your line of drivel somewhere where they love fascist government and the public servants instructing all of us on everything we can or can’t do. You people are the worst. Despicable, lying scumbags who are a stain on humanity. Shitley, indeed.

progressoverpeace on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

they need to bring back PE in schools. Obesity is a serious problem in this country. Instill an exercise routine when they are young and they’ll be healthier.

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

“They” need to end public schools and provide a free market system that allows parents to choose their school. I for one will choose a school that has PE everyday and teaches life skills like money management.

WashJeff on August 12, 2009 at 12:41 PM

“If a technology exists that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?”

Because they might vote Republican……….

Seven Percent Solution on August 12, 2009 at 12:42 PM

I think it’s hard for a doctor, trained to save lives, to talk about what happens when they decide you can’t be saved. I’m going to go out on a limb — you’re welcome to saw it from under me — to say this service is underprovided in the private sector.

It may well be underprovided, but it is a recognized obligation of doctors to provide patients with likely outcomes of the different options for terminal illnesses. As Reagan (I think) said, there doesn’t need to be a law for everything.

mikeyboss on August 12, 2009 at 12:42 PM

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.
Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

And who will “speak” to the doctors?

Ozprey on August 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM

What is being left out of the formula is that America shows every day that it is willing to look the other way while thousands of abortions on demand are performed, so why would the easy “choice” to eliminate the elderly or disabled be any different?

The federal government was not invented or designed to make personal medical choices for taxpayers. This breaks down a barrier that was probably not even foreseen by the founders, where a pension longsuffering dimwit makes decisions over life choices for each citizen. Keep in mind that no member of congress will ever be subject to this.

Hening on August 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

You were much more entertaining at Captain’s Quarters.

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM

I am guessing that the WH version will not mention this at all. It’s caused too big of a stir. I think, personally, it was a reimbursement program for something that already goes on and a way to smooth out the bumps for people. BUT, goodness, the pay-off is small compared to the fear factor.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Your hard earned dollars don’t have to pay for this debacle? What if ALL of us angry mobs and nazis stopped paying taxes…..?
You money

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

God I wish we could start a tax revolt…a real one. That would put the fear of God in these bastards.

elduende on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Living Wills are a good idea, but I fear that their motives are not good ones.

idahoconservative on August 12, 2009 at 12:33 PM

I don’t like the way this provision essentially sets up an end-of-life industry funded by Medicare. It’s one thing to have such services available but it is another thing entirely to have government mandates involved.

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Does anyone else have a problem with his voice?

Ian on August 12, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Yes. He’s sounds incoherent. I can’t help wondering whether his column is ghostwritten by someone else. Every time he’s on Morning Joe, I’m reminded of the post-Super Bowl game interview with a defensive back from the Oakland Raiders, Lester Hayes. The guy was a star of the game, but he had a speech impediment that made for a poor interview. Robinson doesn’t have a speech impediment, but I would recommend a year of Toastmasters before he makes any more TV appearances.

BuckeyeSam on August 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Tiptoeing through the tulips Death Panel.

This guy is coming as close to agreeing the the Death Panel as he possibly can.

He knows it. We know it.

Death Panel is reality among the Eugenics sprinkled ObamaCare.

portlandon on August 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Why aren’t the people that scream about church and state separation yelling about physician and state?

Hypocrites.

Hening on August 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Let’s cut costs even more! Let’s just shoot ‘em in the back of the head and bill the family for the bullet! Zero cost to the taxpayer!

Hey, if it works in China, why not here?

ExUrbanKevin on August 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Channeling Johnny Cochran:

Oboobi, If the doctor’s glove don’t fit
You must quit.

CMonster on August 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

what happens next? Simple; the government (and ‘qualified plans’) will withdraw paying for any part of your care. You optout for ‘hospice care’ simply because the money and resources won’t exist for anything else, unless you are filthy rich. Hospice or wipe out your family; your choice.

Even today, ‘hospice care’ is often a euphemism for assisted suicide, generally through a mechanism of dosing a patient as if they’re healthy. This either puts them down or puts them in a state where they are unable to take in enough sustenance to keep things working. General cause of death: end stage renal failure, due to a lack of sufficient fluids. I know all this, because I just went through this with my mother who passed away July 19th. She was close enough to the end already and wanted an end to the suffering that is being blind and bedridden in a nursing home. Still, we had the option to refuse ‘hospice care’ today; this section will make that a LOT harder to refuse.

michaelo on August 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Cracks in the wall.

Question: Will a small Dutchboy’s finger be enough to stop the flood? Better yet, who owns a boat?

Limerick on August 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Ghostdog’s friend Raymond showed him the neighboring rooftop builder of the ark atop a high rise. Great scene.

maverick muse on August 12, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I think, personally, it was a reimbursement program for something that already goes on and a way to smooth out the bumps for people.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Even if that were the well-intentioned intent, it became something different when they started in on the provisions.

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Eugene robinson has said exactly the same thing that Sarah Palin said about a Panel deciding what statistical groups of people gets no care to save their useless lives. But he wants to pretend Palin talked about an individual person before a panel like a parole Board. That would be far more acceptible than an impersonal Death Board setting expiration dates on general classes of undesirables, which is what both Palin and Robinson agree is the actual intent of Obamacare.

jimw on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

I am guessing that the WH version will not mention this at all. It’s caused too big of a stir. I think, personally, it was a reimbursement program for something that already goes on and a way to smooth out the bumps for people. BUT, goodness, the pay-off is small compared to the fear factor.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

What? You’re not touting this great healthcare plan anymore? Run out of koolaid?

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM

where he had to face Carol Herman

maverick muse on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Robinson had a moment of clarity and that particular text made it past the editorial censors.

Expect a full retraction or clarification from Robinson tomorrow.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

To say people won’t have choices under this bill is wrong.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

The issue isn’t that this bill explicitly eliminates private insurance options.

The issue is that private insurance companies may not be able to compete with a government plan and/or that ordinary citizens won’t be able to afford private options.

Ed’s simply making a prediction about the outcome of this bill. He’s not being dishonest.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Uh….Fox is now reporting that there is a link between Swine Flu and obesity….hmmm. Obama to suggest end of life counseling for these patients in 5….4….3…..2….1.

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Which reminds me, I saw a great sign posted on a school nurse’s office when I went in to do physicals there. It obviously was hung up during the height of the flu scare:

This year:
120 people got the Swine Flu, and everyone wants to wear a mask.
10 million people got HIV, but no one wants to wear a condom.

DrAllecon on August 12, 2009 at 12:49 PM

And who will “speak” to the doctors?

Why, the oberdoktors, of course.

tsj017 on August 12, 2009 at 12:49 PM

When the maintenance of your health is a monetary liability for the government…

The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

Bat Chain Puller on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

model for the ‘death panel’. “I feel happy!”

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

It’s too bad there aren’t enough ice floes to handle the traffic in government-certified “useless eaters” under Obamacare.

Cicero43 on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Channeling Johnny Cochran:

Oboobi, If the doctor’s glove don’t fit
You must quit.

CMonster on August 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM

heh, if only.

maverick muse on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

HA’s #1 dunce is back. Look out newbies.

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

To say people won’t have choices under this bill is wrong.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:40 PM

To say that people will have choices under this bill is wrong.

lorien1973 on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Expect a full retraction or clarification from Robinson tomorrow.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:48 PM

on matthews show no doubt

cmsinaz on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I’ve had this exact thought a bunch of times in the last month or so.

LibTired on August 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Marked for death by a government panel or denied care because of expense or rationing, the result is the same in the end; dead is dead.

Bishop on August 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Another “Uncle Tom” emerges…the boss man will straighten him out…

right2bright on August 12, 2009 at 12:51 PM

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

HA’s #1 dunce is back. Look out newbies.

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Nah, I think Terry Silver on the Rasmussen thread took her place….she only gets the $10K Scholarship, good for end of life counseling.
Second place is the first loser!

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Guys, refresh my memory…. wasn’t some comparative analysis ‘panel’ part of the Stimulus bill? I cold have sworn their was discussion about that, but I’m not positive.

BPD on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3