N.Y. Times columnist: Death panels will save 'a lot of money'
yeah thats right


N.Y. Times columnist: Death panels will save 'a lot of money'
Paul Krugman tells 'Roundtable' economists agree it's 'going to be major'
Posted: March 30, 2010
9:02 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh

Left-leaning economic commentator Paul Krugman says the so-called "death panels" established by President Obama's trillion-dollar nationalized health-care plan will end up saving "a lot of money" for the government.

The comments from Krugman, who writes on the New York Times blogs, came during a discussion of "Obamacare" about the time it was adopted by Congress.

He was appearing on ABC's "Roundtable." (SG: Video at link)

"People on the right, they're simultaneously screaming, 'They're going to send all the old people to death panels,' and 'It's not going to save any money,'" he said.

Another panelist interjected, "Death panels would save money," to which Krugman responded:

"The advisory panel which has the ability to make more or less binding judgments on saying this particular expensive treatment actually doesn't do any good medically and so we are not going to pay for it. That is actually going to save quite a lot of money. We don't know how much yet. The CBO gives it very little credit but, but most, most of the health care economists I talk to think that's going be a really, uh a really major cost saving".

The video has been posted on the Conservatives4Palin website, and it was Palin who was among the first to denounce the "death panel" concept in the government-run health care.

That's the idea that appointed government officials who under the plan will have access to medical records will determine if a treatment will be provided to a needy patient or not. Theoretically, that could be a death sentence for a patient denied a treatment.

In the United Kingdom and other nations where such government procedures already are in place, the survival rates for such afflictions as breast cancer or prostate cancer are lower than in the United States, and critics say it is because of the treatments that are denied patients.

WND columnist Jane Chastain recently wrote about this very issue, shortly before the congressional vote.

"This bill sets up an Independent Medicare Advisory Board, which is to recommend cuts for the sole purpose of limiting the amount of resources going to Medicare patients. Some have called it a 'Death Panel,'" she wrote.

"You may think this is harsh, but if this bill passes, many seniors will die prematurely because the recommendations of these unelected bureaucrats will go into effect. Congress is not required to act on them!"

"Obama … wants Granny to believe that she will be able to receive that operation or treatment that could save or extend her life. Nothing could be further from the truth! There is a reverse incentive in this bill that actually penalizes Granny's primary-care physician if he or she is in the top 10 percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists. This puts a wedge between Granny and the doctor she trusts to act in her best interest."

Richard Poe, a New York Times best-selling author, documented in a previous report for WND how the the government's plan to cut health care costs will do just that: cut health care for somebody.

"The only question is whose," Poe wrote. "The numbers make clear that most of these cuts will have to come at the expense of those who need health care the most – the elderly, the disabled and the gravely ill."

He cited Obama's confirmation that, "Older, sicker societies pay more on health care than younger, healthier ones."

"He is right," Poe wrote. "According to a 2006 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, five percent of the U.S. population accounts for nearly 50 percent of health care spending in America. Who are those five percent? Most are people over 65 years of age with serious, chronic illnesses.

"By contrast, the study notes, half of the U.S. population 'spends little or nothing on health care… with annual medical spending below $664 per person.' These, of course, are mostly healthy young people – people without serious, chronic illnesses," Poe wrote.

"Obviously, Obama will not meet his cost-cutting targets by reducing care to healthy young people. They are already spending next to nothing. It is the old, the dying and the chronically ill whose health care he will cut. The numbers make this clear," Poe said.

Some of those "old, the dying and the chronically ill" appear to be catching on. According to a report from Fox News, an estimated 60,000 members of AARP, which endorsed "Obamacare," have turned in their cards, cancelling their memberships, in recent weeks.

Poe elaborated on his concerns about the president's plan.

"How will Obama cut costs? His June 13 radio speech gave some hints. Obama said his plan would provide 'incentives' to doctors to 'avoid unnecessary hospital stays, treatments and tests that drive up costs,'" Poe wrote.

"And what sort of treatment does Obama consider 'unnecessary?' In an ABC News special June 24, he implied medical treatment might be wasted on elderly people with grave illnesses, citing his own grandmother as an example," he said.

"Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller," Obama concluded.

Poe also documented how such health care limits already are being used overseas, including the United Kingdom where "British elders are routinely denied treatment for cancer, heart disease and other deadly illnesses."

Further, such "death" boards already are operating in Oregon, where officials with the state Health Plan agreed to refuse a patient life-extending cancer drugs, but volunteered to pay for her to commit suicide.

He reported Barbara Wagner of Springfield, Ore., was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005. Chemotherapy and radiation put her cancer into remission. But the cancer returned in May 2008.

Wagner's doctor prescribed Tarceva, a pill which slows cancer growth. There was a good chance it might extend her life by a few weeks or even months.

At age 64, Wagner had two sons, three daughters, 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Every moment she could spend with her loved ones was precious, he noted.

But Oregon's health commissars nixed the plan. Her Tarceva treatment would cost $4,000 per month. Wagner was going to die anyway, so why waste the money?

Wagner received a letter stating that the Oregon Health Plan would not approve any treatment for her "that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of the disease …" However, if Wagner opted for physician-assisted suicide, Oregon would be happy to pick up the tab, said the letter.

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in Oregon and costs only about $50.
I'm 62 with chronic health problems,  I wonder how long I'll be allowed to live?
(03-31-2010, 09:51 AM)timoose Wrote: I'm 62 with chronic health problems,  I wonder how long I'll be allowed to live?

not long unless we can pay for our care ourselves, i guess.

but it's going to be several years, apparently, before any of this wonderful obamacare begins so maybe we can vote all the bums out and vote in people who will overturn obamacare.

i think the great obama will lose to any decent opponent and may not even seek re-election, certainly if he runs he won't have any coattails.  there's not much more he can do to ruin the country.  at least i hope there isn't.

I was being flip. My company screwed me when they went under, and I have chronic health issues which will shorten my life. That means affordable health insurance is out of the question. Frankly I hope they have out foxed themselves and this dies from it's own weight. It will bring on a black market and that will be better for everyone, poor and rich alike. Then we will be able to purchase catastrophic coverage and pay the regular costs out of pocket.
1) Obama is a lock for a second term.
2) Like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Obamacare will NEVER be repealed.

The government will go broke first. Sooner than everyone thinks, too.
Since everyone, including Krugman, will eventually die, maybe they can volunteer to go first.

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)