Elderly Targeted in Health Care Reform

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

Experts are saying the health care plan pending in the U.S. House will discriminate against the elderly, not only denying them care in favor of treating the young but forcing them to submit to “counseling sessions” every five years that will amount to nothing short of convincing them to die.

Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York and a health policy expert, told former presidential candidate Fred Thompson during an interview on his radio show that she was shocked at what she found in the proposal.

“One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session,” she said. “They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner.”

They will do this by recommending “palliative care and hospice” for seniors in these sessions, which are treatments that focus on providing end-of-life pain relief, this cannot be happening as the purpose is to give them a better life, quality ending, and the best loving care for your elderly parents in the best way possible and hopefully in the comfort of their own home.

In addition, if there is any significant change in a person’s health status between the required counseling sessions, such as a move to a nursing home or other issues, the counseling session must be administered again.

McCaughey said she was stunned.

“As a patient advocate I am so shocked at the vicious assault on elderly people and the boomer generation,” she told Thompson. “I hope people listening will protect their parents from what is intended under this bill.”

The message, she said, is “to do what’s in society’s best interests, and cut your life short.”

But McCaughey is not the only one sounding the alarm about the attack on seniors that lies hidden in the massive health care proposals that Congress is once again trying to rush through before the public has a chance to analyze it.

Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) says the House healthcare bill essentially tells senior citizens to “drop dead.”

“Despite their promise to care for our seniors, Democrats have decided that it’s too expensive to care for my senior constituents and everyone else’s constituents,” she says. “This bill would cut an additional $156 billion from the Medicare Advantage program in order to pay for the government expansion of healthcare for the young, the healthy, and the wealthy.”

Brown-Waite points out that the cut in Medicare Advantage is the second serious blow leveled at seniors this year by the Obama administration. In March, they announced that Social Security recipients would not be receiving a cost-of-living increase.

These draconian provisions are not so surprising when the source is considered. Ezekiel Emanual, brother of Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual and one of the president’s health policy advisors, wrote in the January 2009 edition of British medical journal, The Lancet, that if healthcare has to be rationed, he prefers the “complete lives system,” which “discriminates against older people.”

In other words, Emanuel believes the young should be given preferential care over seniors because they have more years of life ahead.

In an article he wrote more than a decade ago he voices the same beliefs, saying health care not be guaranteed to “individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.” He said “an obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

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