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Old 07-31-2009, 11:41 AM   #406
TheMercenary
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An interesting perspective from a patient.

snip
Quote:
Patient-as-person will be a lost concept under the new health-care plan, where treatments will be based not upon individual patient needs, but upon what’s best for everyone. So cancer drugs for seniors might take second place to jungle gyms and farmers’ markets—so-called preventive care—which are covered under both the House and Senate versions of the health bill.

The stimulus package passed earlier this year allocated $1.1 billion for hundreds of “Comparative Effectiveness Research” studies. This project will compare all treatment options for a host of diseases in order to develop a database to guide doctors’ decisions. Research of this sort typically takes years. But the data will likely be hastily drawn conclusions that reflect the view of the government agencies that fund the studies: Cheap therapies are just as good as expensive ones.

In order to finance health-care reform, Democrats in Congress have proposed cutting $500 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years. Yet in his press conference last Wednesday, President Barack Obama denied that Medicare benefits would be cut. He has surrounded himself with advisers who believe otherwise.

Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama’s original pick to head Health and Human Services, argues in his book “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis,” that we should accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments.” Mr. Daschle blames the “use and overuse of new technologies and treatments” for runaway health-care costs. He suggests a Federal Health Board modeled after the British “NICE” board to make decisions on health-care rationing.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...989102298.html
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Old 07-31-2009, 12:29 PM   #407
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Follow the money on Open Secrets:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009...ance-sect.html
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:30 PM   #408
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The AARP debunks the lies and distortions in the Merc's WSJ OpEd by the political hack Betsy McCaughey, who first spread the lies about "Obama's suicide program" on Fred Thompson's radio show last week and continued in this most recent op ed.

It debunks the Merc's patient's op ed as well, re: comparative effectiveness research.

The patient who wrote the op ed could be well-intention just not well informed...the same cant be said about McCaughey who has a blatant partisan political motivation.

Quote:
AARP Responds to Health Reform Scare Tactics

Commentary by Betsy McCaughey “rife with gross, cruel distortions.”

WASHINGTON—AARP Executive Vice President John Rother issued the following statement in response to recent commentary by Betsy McCaughey in various media outlets on health care reform measures passed or currently being considered by Congress.

“Betsy McCaughey’s recent commentary on health care reform in various media outlets is rife with gross—and even cruel—distortions.

“Ms. McCaughey has again launched her customary broadside attack against comparative effectiveness research. She describes this term as ‘code’ for ‘limiting care based on a patient’s age.’ In fact the term for that is ‘age rating,’ a practice used by insurance companies to discriminate against older Americans against which AARP is vigorously fighting, and we look forward to her next column to help the cause.

“‘Comparative effectiveness research,’ on the other hand, is a technical term that just means giving doctors and patients the ability to compare different kinds of treatments to find out which one works best for which patient.

“Some estimates say that only about half of all therapies that patients receive have been backed up by head-to-head comparisons with alternatives. While our country spends more than $2 trillion a year on health care, we spend less than 0.1 percent on evaluating how that care works compared to other options.

“This research has been around (although sadly not enough) for decades, enjoying support from political leaders of both parties, doctors, patients, and consumer advocacy groups.

“The main opponents of this research are those groups with a vested interest in a health care system that wastes billions of dollars each year on ineffective or unnecessary drugs, treatments or tests. Given Ms. McCaughey’s position as a Director of a medical device producer, I would hope that any potential conflict of interest has not influenced her commentary.

“More concerning, Ms. McCaughey’s criticism misinterprets legislation that would actually help empower individuals and doctors to make their own choices on end-of-life care.

“This measure would allow Medicare to pay doctors for taking the time to talk with individuals about difficult end-of-life care decisions. It would help provide people with better information on the positives and negatives—both physical and financial—that different treatments can mean for them and their families.

“Facing a terminal disease or debilitating accident, some people will choose to take every possible life-saving measure in the hopes that treatment or even a cure will allow them more time with their families. Others will decide that additional treatment would impose too great a burden—emotional, physical and otherwise—on themselves and their families, declining extraordinary measures and instead choosing care to manage their discomfort. Either way, it should be their choice.

“This measure would not only help people make the best decisions for themselves, but also better ensure that their wishes are followed.

“To suggest otherwise is a gross, and even cruel, distortion—especially for any family that has been forced to make the difficult decisions on care for loved ones approaching the end of their lives.

AARP Responds to Health Reform Scare Tactics
http://www.aarp.org/aarp/presscenter...statement.html

Last edited by Redux; 07-31-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:58 PM   #409
TheMercenary
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But of course the AARP is now in the back pocket of the Demoncrats. I wonder who they are giving their money to?

Quote:
New AARP chief gave big to Obama
By Jeffrey Young
Posted: 03/12/09 12:47 PM [ET]
Incoming AARP CEO A. Barry Rand contributed $8,900 to President Obama's campaign committees, federal records show.

Rand, a retired senior executive at Xerox Corp., Avis Group and Equitant Inc. and the current chairman of Howard University's board of trustees, gave the maximum $4,600 to Obama's election campaign and an additional $4,300 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising entity of Obama and the Democratic National Committee.
No way they don't have a blatant partisan political motivation in this one, right?

The AARP has it's own insurance program so they figure to gain greatly in any deals they make with the Demoncrats on this Bill. Of course they are going to support it.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:49 PM   #410
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AARP is deeply imbedded in the Insurance Compaines back or in reality front pockets. They are essentially married to what ever the insurance companies can do to make a max profit.

More about the AARP and their partisan Insurance interests:

Quote:
Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Arthur Laupus joined AARP because he thought the nonprofit senior-citizen-advocacy group would make his retirement years easier. He signed up for an auto insurance policy endorsed by AARP, believing the advertising that said he would save money.

He didn’t. When Laupus, 71, compared his car insurance rate with a dozen other companies, he found he was paying twice the average. Why? One reason, he learned, was because AARP was taking a cut out of his premium before sending the money to Hartford Financial Services Group, the provider of the coverage.

Laupus stumbled onto something that many members of the world’s largest seniors’ organization don’t know: The group, formerly called American Association of Retired Persons, collects hundreds of millions of dollars annually from insurers who pay for AARP’s endorsement of their policies.

The insurance companies build the cost of these so-called royalties and fees, which amounted to $497.6 million in 2007, into the premiums they charge AARP members, according to AARP’s consolidated financial statement for that year.

AARP uses the royalties and fees to fund about half the expenses that pay for activities such as publishing brochures about health care and consumer fraud -- as well as for paying down the $200 million bond debt that funded the association’s marble and brass-studded Washington headquarters.

In addition, AARP holds clients’ insurance premiums for as long as a month and invests the money, which added $40.4 million to its revenue in 2007.
continues:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=a4OkPQIPF6Kg
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:09 PM   #411
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The AARP advocates for seniors.

Betsy McCaughey advocates for the Hoover Institute....a conservative think thank that wants no government role in health care or any segment of the economy.

So you dont like the AARP?

I wouldnt expect you to.

That doesnt change the fact that McCaughey is spreading "gross distortions" about the health reform proposals, and particularly the impact on seniors.
McCaughey claims end-of-life counseling will be required for Medicare patients
The truth-o-meter says..... LIAR


The health care bill current before Congress mandates that seniors be given euthanasia counseling every fives years
Snopes says..... FALSE


McCaughey's Euthanasia Claims
FactCheck says..... FALSE
They must be "agents" of the Democratic party as well, huh?

You want to spread McCaughey's distortions and lies...that's your right.

Just as it is my right to call it the bullshit that it is.

And as i have said on more that occasion, debunking your partisan op eds (and as griff noted recently elsewhere, your O'Reilly tactics of ignoring context) is hardly a challenge.

Your obsession with Democrats is something I think you have to deal with on a personal level and I wish you well.

Last edited by Redux; 07-31-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:59 AM   #412
TheMercenary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redux View Post
The AARP advocates for seniors.
Oh, that and thier insurance largesse that keep that 8 story building on K Street running and those multi-million dollar salaries going.

Quote:
Betsy McCaughey advocates for the Hoover Institute....a conservative think thank that wants no government role in health care or any segment of the economy.
I can't say I don't disagree with her. But she is correct on many levels.

Quote:
That doesnt change the fact that McCaughey is spreading "gross distortions" about the health reform proposals, and particularly the impact on seniors.
I doubt there are that many "gross distortions". She may have stretched the truth a little, sort of like AARP and how they overcharge seniors to keep the coffers padded. But I can see how you would not care for her opinion pieces.

Quote:
They must be "agents" of the Democratic party as well, huh?
No, but you most certainly are one.

Quote:
And as i have said on more that occasion, debunking your partisan op eds (and as griff noted recently elsewhere, your O'Reilly tactics of ignoring context) is hardly a challenge.
But yet you can't defend the actions of the Demoncrats in Congress and how they are spending away our future and thowing money at problems that have no sure fix. Tax and spend, tax and spend.

Quote:
Your obsession with Democrats is something I think you have to deal with on a personal level and I wish you well.
I am more concerned with my future, and as the Demoncrats have shown us I need to be concerned with the future of my great great grandkids as well. Becasuse they sure as hell don't care. The Dems are in power, they get the blame.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:03 AM   #413
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Well there you have it. The Demoncrats sold out to the big Pharmacy lobbyists. But they held the line on some other issues that were needed.

Quote:
In the run-up to final approval, the panel handed the drug industry a victory, voting 47-11 to grant 12 years of market protection to high-tech drugs used to combat cancer, Parkinson's and other deadly diseases. The decision was a setback for the White House, which had hoped to give patients faster access to generic versions of costly biotech medicines like the blockbuster cancer drug Avastin.
Quote:
The provision giving the federal government the right to negotiate for better drug prices under Medicare has long been a goal of Democrats who say it could lower costs for seniors. Critics argue that is unlikely unless Congress also limits the drugs than can be sold, thereby giving the government the ability to play one company off against another.

That has long been viewed as politically unfeasible under Medicare, because it would limit the choice that seniors now enjoy.

But including restrictions in the government health insurance option would place it in line with Medicaid, the government program for the poor, as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs and many private plans that limit drug choice.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:12 AM   #414
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Quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) - A bipartisan group of senators agreed tentatively Tuesday on a plan to squeeze an additional $35 billion out of Medicare over the next decade and larger sums in the years beyond, according to congressional officials, a step toward fulfilling President Barack Obama's goal of curbing the growth of health care spending.
Under the plan, an independent commission would be empowered to recommend changes in Medicare annually, to take effect automatically unless Congress enacted an alternative. In addition to saving money, the proposal is aimed at turning the program for those age 65 and over into one that more clearly rewards quality, officials said
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1

I wonder what they will do as more doctors choose not to care for these patients because reimbursement rates are already less than required to run a practice. No one can run a practice today on Medicare alone or even with it being a majority of the patients. Could be pretty gloom for a few years for those seniors on medicare.
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:04 AM   #415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary
No one can run a practice today on Medicare alone
We have a family friend who is a dentist, and he runs not one but three quite profitable practices on nothing but Medicare patients. In two of his three areas he is in fact the only dentist in the county who will take Medicare, and he laughs at the business opportunity being squandered by the other dentists. It's all about keeping overhead costs low and being willing to do the paperwork.
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Old 08-01-2009, 02:05 PM   #416
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But wouldn't a dental practice be easier to predict and control costs? There are only so many options in dentistry and if it gets complicated, like a bone infection or something, they'd pass the patient on to an MD or surgeon.

I can see a huge savings potential in streamlining paperwork, although that may make fraud easier. They should put UT in charge of designing a fraud-proof electronic tracking and payment system.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:20 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
We have a family friend who is a dentist, and he runs not one but three quite profitable practices on nothing but Medicare patients. In two of his three areas he is in fact the only dentist in the county who will take Medicare, and he laughs at the business opportunity being squandered by the other dentists. It's all about keeping overhead costs low and being willing to do the paperwork.
He is definately not in the majority as you point out. Most people in the Medical profession, not Dental, could not survive on that.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:16 AM   #418
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According to him, it's not that they couldn't, it's that they don't want to. Average salary for a dentist is $250K per year, but a huge percentage of them, especially the younger ones, would rather just work 2 days a week and live on $100K instead. And if they're only working 2 days a week, it's not hard to find enough patients to fill the appointment slots without accepting Medicare.

The hard truth is that people on Medicare are a hassle, not just from a claims perspective but on an individual perspective as well. Poorer people tend to be less educated, less likely to show up for their scheduled appointments, less interested in working to maintain their own health, more likely to have badly-behaved children in the waiting room, etc. That is why doctors don't want to deal with them.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:16 AM   #419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble View Post
The hard truth is that people on Medicare are a hassle, not just from a claims perspective but on an individual perspective as well. Poorer people tend to be less educated, less likely to show up for their scheduled appointments, less interested in working to maintain their own health, more likely to have badly-behaved children in the waiting room, etc. That is why doctors don't want to deal with them.
That may be part of the reason but the biggest reason is because of ever decreasing reimbursements, and that is the biggest reason.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:18 AM   #420
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Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
That may be part of the reason but the biggest reason is because of ever decreasing reimbursements, and that is the biggest reason.
How do you know? Clod just told you that she talked with family friend who is a dentist, and who illustrated the "biggest reason (times 2, even)" many don't want to deal with medicare.
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