Costs of end-of-life care part of U.S...

Costs of end-of-life care part of U.S. health-reform debate

There are 51 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Aug 17, 2009, titled Costs of end-of-life care part of U.S. health-reform debate. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

One of them is Wanda Owens, who was in the hospital and an extended-care facility before going home in March 2008.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

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the truth

Asher, OK

#1 Aug 17, 2009
This story is misleading as all so called reports from the media. This story is an attempt to change the debate with a slight of hand of the facts. It makes the assumption that the Democrat bill would support Hospice when it in fact will funnel many more down this road of death. Instead of allowing a person or family to chose what path in their last days it puts it in a panel of selected not elected people who have no vested interest in what the people want to do. This panel is appointed by a governor, president or congress, and like Obama slipped and said “that private can compete look at the post office” He is right on this government is the problem on many things. Social Security was set up to pay after a person died and healthcare changed this and how many times have they talked of rising the payout age. This is another tax the people to pay for big government not makes your choice in life better. Let Medicaid or care pay for hospice but keep them out of any and all decisions on anyone’s healthcare. “We the people” have had it with the so called elected representatives not representing us and this is all side of al debates. The parties try to keep everyone happy and this will never happen, go to the town halls and take true samples of what your voters want not a hand picked union mob and make the news media report facts and not be a branch of a party spinning the truth. Read what the say and what they do not say much is learned in what is not said or how it is said. I look forward to 2010 and 2012 and by the way lets stop the inbreed relationships of unions and pass laws to not allow them to take money from the members to give to any party or funding groups like ACORN. Keep George Soros out of the pockets of the so called representatives. Get back to the constitution as none of us are entitled to anything other than death and the DNC is pushing this on a fast track with the baby boomers now coming of age. What will this do the money for healthcare is bankrupt it so they need to get ride of the people like the SS was to do. Call me a hate monger, a Nazi, or what ever the left can to keep me from speaking up and stopping their take over and the fall of the USA and FREEDOM.
KJB

United States

#2 Aug 17, 2009
Sen. Brown can say that "end of life counseling" is only about honoring peoples wishes, but the wording of the law is so vague that it could allow for death panels to make the decision for you. It's just too dangerous! What if some psycho gets in office? Wait a minute, we already have a psycho in office.
buckeyekelly

Columbus, OH

#3 Aug 17, 2009
there's no slight of hand of the facts. Read the bill and post WHERE in the 1018 pages there is any mention of death panels or government control of the decisions referenced in the end-of-life consultations. This specific clause is about ACCESS to choices, not CONTROL over choices to be made. Without access, there are no choices, and that is true control. Giving individuals access to consultations on living wills, medical power of attorneys, etc gives that individual control over their affairs before and after they die. The government is not going to tell you what to do or say in those consultations. Watch any family fractured by making life and death choices in the absence of a will or POA and you will most definitely change your tune.

Hospice doesn't funnel anyone down the road of death - the disease that brought them to hospice does that on its own. Hospice brings comfort, quality care, and dignity to the dying individual and his or her family.

And your jump from ACORN (an organization that has nothing to do with this bill or article) and George Soros is commendable. You might want to find out when the Olympic trials for the high jump are in town because it was spectacular!
Ball Buster

Galloway, OH

#4 Aug 17, 2009
Obama and his handlers have lost the trust of the American people. It's as simple as that. All the words are nothing but words and people have begun to figure that out about this "Tel-R-Prompter" President. Empty suit.
George Carlin

Columbus, OH

#5 Aug 17, 2009
What about he cost of all the unwanted children Foster care? Food programs Medicare? Social services. Juvenille detention? Older people at least paid for medicare. All this hatred toward old people is disgusting.
Seriously

Columbus, OH

#6 Aug 17, 2009
I've seen people waste away from horrible illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer's and think this is good step in the right direction. Personally I would not want to spend my last years in agony, prolonging the inevitable. The patient should be able to choose how they live their last years. Better access to hospice would allow patients to have more control over how they spend their final days. Who wants to spend them hooked up to multiple machines in a cold hospital? Hospice makes the patients as comfortable as possible...in addition, the hospice workers are some of the kindest people in the world, at least the ones I've seen.
Lawyer

AOL

#7 Aug 17, 2009
George Carlin wrote:
What about he cost of all the unwanted children Foster care? Food programs Medicare? Social services. Juvenille detention? Older people at least paid for medicare. All this hatred toward old people is disgusting.
No one is proposing to euthanize anyone. There is a valid debate about how much care is enough -- or even good for the patient. Read How We Die, by a prominent doctor. And old people most certainly have not paid the costs of Medicare -- it is a transfer program that has massively subsidized the health care costs of older retirees with taxes on those currently working. You can easily document that fact.
Lawyer

AOL

#8 Aug 17, 2009
George Carlin wrote:
What about he cost of all the unwanted children Foster care? Food programs Medicare? Social services. Juvenille detention? Older people at least paid for medicare. All this hatred toward old people is disgusting.
The costs of Medicare dwarfs the cost of every other item you mention combined. It is not remotely sustainable, and if we don't get a handle on per capita health care costs, we are doomed.
Bob

Buford, GA

#9 Aug 17, 2009
Buckeyekelly, do you really need Obama to get this counseling ? Sebelius was on abc yesterday saying end of life counseling helped her family, how did she get it without gov insurance ? The fact is, she did get it and did not need Obama to pay for it.
George Carlin

Columbus, OH

#10 Aug 17, 2009
Lawyer wrote:
<quoted text>
The costs of Medicare dwarfs the cost of every other item you mention combined. It is not remotely sustainable, and if we don't get a handle on per capita health care costs, we are doomed.
It doesn't matter that medicare dwarfs the programs I mentioned before. You missed my point. Those programs I mentioned are costs that could be contained BETTER. No one will talk about the budget on context because they want something for NOTHING. we are doomed because this an inability to look at issues objectively, just psychological warfare..You do quite a bit ofit yourself.
MIbutnot Blue

United States

#11 Aug 17, 2009
Everyone conveniently forgets that the bulk of the US population is heading into retirement. And most, if not all insurance plans require a switch to Medicare as the primary insurer at age 65. In the next ten years, most Americans will be covered for 80% of their medical treatments by the tax paying minority. That minority will need the least amount of care, but pay the most for those not working. Does anyone really believe the proposed system is going to cover everyone without costing more? Who is going to pay for it? And when the working minority is in the Congress, you can bet they will eliminate as much expense as possible.

A real world example is the NHS in the UK. They have the NICE commission that rules on cost effective treatments. They have continuously denied medications to Alzheimer's patients because they don't "cure" the disease, rather just extends their lives by a few years with less suffering. The same choice will happen here when the funding disappears. I doubt the taxpayers or Government will pay hospice care or for medications to "ease the terminally ill" into end of life.
George Carlin

Columbus, OH

#12 Aug 17, 2009
Lawyer wrote:
<quoted text>
No one is proposing to euthanize anyone. There is a valid debate about how much care is enough -- or even good for the patient. Read How We Die, by a prominent doctor. And old people most certainly have not paid the costs of Medicare -- it is a transfer program that has massively subsidized the health care costs of older retirees with taxes on those currently working. You can easily document that fact.
I did NOT mention anything about euthanasia. And I have been around death so get off your high horse FOOL! The programs I mentioned are questionable anyway (welfare, foster care etc.) that is my point. Yes, older people HAVE paid most if not all of their lives, and while they receive it. You are an idiot. Mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, fraud has mad medicare go over budget. I will not accept that young people are paying for everything. Many (not all) young people are stupid, lazy and selfish they dont buy health insurance until they are sick or injured and cry "victim". We in society PAY for all of this behavior. Older people can't help getting old, young people have MANY choices they are self centered and dumb. They have children they either won't feed or can't, this related to al of this (federal budget). I have paid ALL MY LIFE for insurance, social security, medicare and I am/healthy because of choices. I did this not because I had the job of my dreams, I did it because it was RESPONSIBLE and I will be dam*&^ if I am going to stand by while the young or their middle aged irresponsible parents) get more for nothing because they can't cut it! Medicare is politically correct to attack in this culture because this society is so shallow and politicians pander to youth so they can extort anyone who isn't young and dumb. You need to read desperately!
Seriously

Columbus, OH

#13 Aug 17, 2009
George Carlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Many (not all) young people are stupid, lazy and selfish they dont buy health insurance until they are sick or injured and cry "victim". We in society PAY for all of this behavior. Older people can't help getting old, young people have MANY choices they are self centered and dumb. They have children they either won't feed or can't, this related to al of this (federal budget).
Whoa whoa whoa...this comment is extremely offensive to me as I am a young person. I'm 28 and have financed ALL of my education myself, via grants, scholarships, and a few loans. I have always worked my tail off and paid my bills. My friends are all like this, as well. I actually do not know anyone lazy or irresponsible. We all help our parents any time they need it (around the house, rides to and from medical procedures that require sedation, etc.) and are most certainly NOT lazy or selfish. There are bad apples in every generation. Welfare was created 60 years ago--do you think this generation is the first to use it?? HARDLY! I know many older people who have lived very irresponsibly--no savings, no insurance, no regard for their future--that now want to be taken care of. People of that ilk exist in every generation.
George Carlin

Columbus, OH

#14 Aug 17, 2009
Seriously wrote:
<quoted text>
Whoa whoa whoa...this comment is extremely offensive to me as I am a young person. I'm 28 and have financed ALL of my education myself, via grants, scholarships, and a few loans. I have always worked my tail off and paid my bills. My friends are all like this, as well. I actually do not know anyone lazy or irresponsible. We all help our parents any time they need it (around the house, rides to and from medical procedures that require sedation, etc.) and are most certainly NOT lazy or selfish. There are bad apples in every generation. Welfare was created 60 years ago--do you think this generation is the first to use it?? HARDLY! I know many older people who have lived very irresponsibly--no savings, no insurance, no regard for their future--that now want to be taken care of. People of that ilk exist in every generation.
You can be offended if you want. You offend people. Read what I wrote I said, "not " all young people are lazy and irresponsible. That is what i said. Also, it does not matter that your friends are all responsible, I am obviously not referring to them. You are correct about bad apples in every generation, true, and those people make it bad for everyone. I blame parents mostly for the condition of our society, no backbone they want to be friends with their children instead of guiding them towards maturity. older people deserve to be taken care of they are the ONLY ones without a choice, be careful you inevitably are going in that direction....
Progressive

Columbus, OH

#15 Aug 17, 2009
George Carlin wrote:
<quoted text>
I did NOT mention anything about euthanasia. And I have been around death so get off your high horse FOOL! The programs I mentioned are questionable anyway (welfare, foster care etc.) that is my point. Yes, older people HAVE paid most if not all of their lives, and while they receive it. You are an idiot. Mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, fraud has mad medicare go over budget. I will not accept that young people are paying for everything. Many (not all) young people are stupid, lazy and selfish they dont buy health insurance until they are sick or injured and cry "victim". We in society PAY for all of this behavior. Older people can't help getting old, young people have MANY choices they are self centered and dumb. They have children they either won't feed or can't, this related to al of this (federal budget). I have paid ALL MY LIFE for insurance, social security, medicare and I am/healthy because of choices. I did this not because I had the job of my dreams, I did it because it was RESPONSIBLE and I will be dam*&^ if I am going to stand by while the young or their middle aged irresponsible parents) get more for nothing because they can't cut it! Medicare is politically correct to attack in this culture because this society is so shallow and politicians pander to youth so they can extort anyone who isn't young and dumb. You need to read desperately!
Capital letters are regarded as a bad sign. With reason. Take a walk. Slow down on the coffee. Nap more.
Reader who questions

Columbus, OH

#16 Aug 17, 2009
I don't understand this flap at all!

1. Hospice has been around for YEARS. Obama or somebody is making this a political platform because I do not believe it is yet covered by Medicare or Medicaid. We have hospices in Ohio and have had for years: www.hospiceofdayton.org . This is a private, charitable foundation. Read it and learn something.

2. Hospice has NOTHING at all to do with euthanasia. Hospice is a choice made by patients and families for end-of-life treatment (usually pallative care by supportive staff) that cannot be provided at home and the patient does not wish to die in the hospital.
Rick

Washington, DC

#17 Aug 17, 2009
I'm sure you have lots of statistics and figures to back up your comments George Carlin. I'm a fan of the late George Carlin, and I wish you would change your name as it is insulting to his memory.

Didn't the AARP endorse end of life counseling? And doesn't it petain to living wills, estates, that kind of stuff? And doesn't the final decision still rest with the patient and their family?

I don't support the current healthcare reform proposal in the House, however if you're going to oppose it do so for real reasons, not for 'death councils' and other outrageous accusations. This type of distortion is counterproductive to the overall healthcare debate. We need to be discussing real solutions and analyzing the differing proposals intellectually, not with bias and ignorance.
George Carlin

Columbus, OH

#18 Aug 17, 2009
Rick wrote:
I'm sure you have lots of statistics and figures to back up your comments George Carlin. I'm a fan of the late George Carlin, and I wish you would change your name as it is insulting to his memory.
Didn't the AARP endorse end of life counseling? And doesn't it petain to living wills, estates, that kind of stuff? And doesn't the final decision still rest with the patient and their family?
I don't support the current healthcare reform proposal in the House, however if you're going to oppose it do so for real reasons, not for 'death councils' and other outrageous accusations. This type of distortion is counterproductive to the overall healthcare debate. We need to be discussing real solutions and analyzing the differing proposals intellectually, not with bias and ignorance.
George was an intelligent comedian who challenged people/laws that wanted him to stop saying what he liked, so I will say/do what I please. Also, I missed your "facts and statistics"? And bucko I didn't mention death panels at all. Why don't you stop showing your ignorance and bias. Oh, I am sure you are smarter than anyone on here, perhaps we should all wait for you to write your "opinion" and learn from you - NOT!
now you just pucker up

Englewood, CO

#19 Aug 17, 2009
Reader who questions wrote:
I don't understand this flap at all!
1. Hospice has been around for YEARS. Obama or somebody is making this a political platform because I do not believe it is yet covered by Medicare or Medicaid. We have hospices in Ohio and have had for years: www.hospiceofdayton.org . This is a private, charitable foundation. Read it and learn something.
2. Hospice has NOTHING at all to do with euthanasia. Hospice is a choice made by patients and families for end-of-life treatment (usually pallative care by supportive staff) that cannot be provided at home and the patient does not wish to die in the hospital.
Yes, somebody has tried to confuse the issues and it is not Obama. Even the end of life counseling is nonsense. If you have been admitted to a hospital in the last 10 plus years, the admission person asks you about power of attorneys and living wills. If you have a terminal illness, the hospital unit case manager will talk with your doctor to see if he has approached you about hospice and end of life decisions. How many of us with very sick parents have signed a DNR( do not resuscitate order). Weather you know it or not, for many years hospitals have had ethic committees that can evaluate patients viability for life treatment and can over rule a family's wishes for treatment. Folks that keep making mountains out of mole hills need to sit down with your doctor and talk. You will find that everything I have said is true. There is nothing new coming, it is just getting press. It is the insurance companies that want to keep the status quo that is highlighting the things that they have encouraged hospitals and doctors to do for years, all while making it look like something new. Beware, they have lots of psychologist working for them. Ones who know how to get people whipped up in a frenzy or paralyzed with fear.
Reader who questions

Columbus, OH

#20 Aug 17, 2009
now you just pucker up wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, somebody has tried to confuse the issues and it is not Obama. Even the end of life counseling is nonsense. If you have been admitted to a hospital in the last 10 plus years, the admission person asks you about power of attorneys and living wills. If you have a terminal illness, the hospital unit case manager will talk with your doctor to see if he has approached you about hospice and end of life decisions. How many of us with very sick parents have signed a DNR( do not resuscitate order). Weather you know it or not, for many years hospitals have had ethic committees that can evaluate patients viability for life treatment and can over rule a family's wishes for treatment. Folks that keep making mountains out of mole hills need to sit down with your doctor and talk. You will find that everything I have said is true. There is nothing new coming, it is just getting press. It is the insurance companies that want to keep the status quo that is highlighting the things that they have encouraged hospitals and doctors to do for years, all while making it look like something new. Beware, they have lots of psychologist working for them. Ones who know how to get people whipped up in a frenzy or paralyzed with fear.
Exactly. I'm totally flummoxed about this nutty discussion about "killing granny" nonsense. It makes sense to have insurance pay the tab for hospice and any other end-of-life care required. However, the example I pointed out was a non-profit charity that took anyone regardless of ability to pay.

Yes, that is right about ethics committees in hospitals. There are also post-mortem reviews. It always HAS been an accepted practice for doctors and hospitals to consult and ask for such things as DNRs, living wills, and so forth. End-of-life counseling is nuts!!! People who are terminally ill generally are able to make their OWN rational choices, if not, their families do. Nanny statism.

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