Archive for Earl Blumenauer

ObamaCare eugenic regs for Medicare may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment i.e. “death panels”

Posted in Death Panels, Eugenics, Euthanasia, Euthanesia, Glenn Beck, Health Care, Obama with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by saynsumthn

According to the New York Times: When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

Several Democratic members of Congress, led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, had urged the administration to cover end-of-life planning…

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”
The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”

The proposal for Medicare coverage of advance care planning was omitted from the final health care bill because of the uproar over unsubstantiated claims that it would encourage euthanasia.

The new policy is included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of services including arthroscopy, mastectomy and X-rays.
The rule was issued by Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a longtime advocate for better end-of-life care.

Mr. Berwick, has repeatedly made claims and statements that raise numerous questions about his ideas of rationing.

Such questions would have concerned his remarks attacking private-sector solutions to health care problems, in support of “rationing with our eyes open,” and speaking of his affection for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service as “romantic.” In footage discovered and highlighted by the Heartland Institute in May, Mr. Berwick made this audacious statement: “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”

Michele Bachmann made this comment on Chris Baker’s radio show, 7/8/2010

And Glenn Beck made this comment about Donald Berwick:

Obamacare: Assisted Suicide Promoting Congressman Behind Death Panels?

Posted in Constitution, Czar, Darwin, Eugenics, Euthanasia, Euthanesia, Evolution, Health Care, Hitler, Obama, Population Control with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2009 by saynsumthn

Obamacare: Assisted Suicide Promoting Congressman Behind End of Life Counseling Provision

Sunday, September 6, 2009, 6:41 PM
Wesley J. Smith

The brouhaha over end of life counseling that caused the first of many leaks that have begun to sink the Obamacare boat was written by an assisted suicide advocate Congressman from Oregon named Earl Blumenauer–working in close association, with–surprise, surprise!–the assisted suicide advocacy group Compassion and Choices. Rita Marker traces the history of the clause in an important piece in the American Thinker.

From her column:

Blumenauer’s “end-of-life” terminology is part and parcel of Section 1233. Clearly expressing his ownership of the section, he described an incident that took place when he was presiding over House proceedings. Writing about Section 1233 in the Huffington Post, Blumenauer stated, “Actually, I know a little bit about this section because it’s a bill that I wrote which was incorporated into the overall legislation.”called the “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act.”

In fact, a portion of that bill, (Sec. 211, p. 50) makes up almost the entirety of Section 1233. Although Blumenauer and other defenders of Section 1233 vociferously deny that it could have anything to do with assisted suicide, his earlier bill acknowledged that assisted suicide would be included in such consultations.

Since federal law currently prohibits federal funding from being used for “items and services” related to assisted suicide, Blumenauer inserted language into HR 2911 (Sec. 111, p. 19) stating that advance care planning “shall not be construed to violate the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997.” That exception did not make its way into HR 3200, probably because any reference to assisted suicide would raise red flags.

That’s very interesting to know, isn’t it? Supporters of the section have been shocked, shocked, that anyone could think that there was an agenda at work. And wait, there is another bill in the Senate that would apparently make end of life counseling anything but voluntary for the physicians:

Blumenauer is not the only lawmaker to propose advance care planning consultations. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a similar bill, curiously called the “Senior Navigation and Planning Act of 2009″ (Warner told Medical Futility that he submitted the legislation because Congress is considering health care reform and he would like to see some of his ideas incorporated into that legislation. His bill (Sec. 6, p. 14) would force doctors to provide information on advance directives and other end-of-life planning tools in “a form and manner, and at a time, determined to be appropriate by the Secretary [of Health and Human Services].” The consequence for not doing so would be severe. No payment would be made to physicians for any items and services furnished after January 1, 2014, unless they agreed (under a process established by the Secretary) to provide individuals with information on advance directives and other end-of-life planning tools.

Technically, a patient would not be forced to have an advance care planning consultation. However, physicians would be unlikely to treat them unless they agreed to do so since doctors who didn’t provide the end-of-life talk would not be paid for any other services.

Hmmm. Now perhaps we know why an explicit voluntary clause for both patient and doctor was not put into HB 32oo. Remember what I have been saying: It’s not the bill you have to worry about as much as the regulations.

Oh, and guess what, SB 1251 creates an advisory panel that would have bioehticists and other assorted people with a special interest in the field as members. From the legislation:

SEC. 5. SENIOR NAVIGATION ADVISORY BOARD.
(a) Establishment- The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish the Senior Navigation Advisory Board (in this section referred to as the `Advisory Board’).
(b) Membership- The Board shall be comprised of advocates, researchers, government officials, health care providers, ethicists, caregivers, and other individuals with expertise in issues related to end-of-life care.

We know in which direction that boat would sail!

I don’t see why anyone would be surprised. This entire area of controversy is primarily about cutting costs. And many think the best way to do that is to tilt the playing field toward self rationing by seniors. And if that doesn’t work, futile care theory will finish the job.