Tag Archives: medical rationing

Obamacare’s Neurosurgical Death Panel for Americans 70 and over?

Yes, Virginia. There really are Obamacare death panels.

In 2009, in the lead up to the Democrat-controlled Congress’ approval of Obamacare, aka the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) , Sarah Palin was ridiculed by the media for her warning that the bill’s passage would mean the imposition of “death panels” on Americans.

It turns out she was right.

On November 22, 2011, a neurosurgeon who calls himself “Jeff from Chicago, Illinois” called into Mark Levin’s radio show with startling information. Under Obamacare, patients who are 70 years old or older are to only receive “comfort care” instead of neurosurgery.

This is what Jeff said:

He had just returned from a seminar in Washington, D.C., (I believe Jeff was referring to the annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, held in Washington, D.C., October 1-6, 2011), wherein he and other neurosurgeons were provided a document by HHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) on what Obama’s health care (PPACA) means for neuro-patients aged 70 and over. The document is Obama’s new Health Care Plan for Advanced Neurosurgical Care, in which patients are now depersonalized by being called “units”.

In Jeff’s words: “If you’re over 70 and come into Emergency Care for neurological reasons,” e.g., a brain aneurysm or bleeding in their brain, and you’ve covered by Obamacare, “advanced neurosurgical care is generally not indicated” — you get just “comfort care.”

The decision to undertake neurosurgery or not will be made by an Ethics Panel, comprised not of neurosurgeons but of administrators with no medical training. The withholding of neurosurgery to older patients units is prompted by two factors:

  1. Neurosurgery is the smallest field in medicine.
  2. Neurosurgery is the most expensive of all surgeries.

This information presently is not published somewhere for citizens such as you and I to get hold of and read, but is discussed only within the neurosurgeons community — the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Mark Levin remarked that this information likely will be made available to the public after the November 2012 elections.

Help make this “neurosurgical death panel” go viral. Send this post to your e-mail list and post it to your Facebook page!

H/t my dear friend Barbara.

UPDATE:

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has issued a statement disavowing Jeff’s claim that there is such a document denying advanced neurosurgery for patients over 70 years old. Here’s the statement, but note the carefully parsed language: “The AANS and CNS are unaware of…”):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Alison Dye
January 10, 2012 (202) 446-2028
adye@neurosurgery.org

Neurosurgeons Condemn False Assertions Made About Health Reform Law on Mark Levin Show Refute Statements that the Law Would Ration Neurosurgical Care for the Elderly

Washington, DC – On November 22, 2011, an individual claiming to be a “brain surgeon” made several statements referencing neurosurgical care on a Mark Levin radio show segment. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) reviewed this segment and found that it contained several factual inaccuracies which we wish to clarify.

The AANS and CNS are unaware of any federal government document directing that advanced neurosurgery for patients over 70 years of age will not be indicated and only supportive care treatment will be provided. Furthermore, in conducting our own due diligence, the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon is not actually a neurosurgeon, nor was there any session at the recent Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ scientific meeting in Washington, DC at which a purported government document calling for the rationing of neurosurgical care was discussed.

Neurosurgeons are committed to providing timely, compassionate, and state of the art treatment for all patients — regardless of age — who have neurosurgical conditions. As such, we have requested numerous times that this podcast be removed from Mark Levin’s website as it portrays inaccurate information which could potentially be harmful to the patients that we serve.

Notwithstanding the AANS/CNS denial, the plain truth is that for cost-effective reasons (health care costs mount in our older years), all government-run health care systems — euphemistically sugar-coatedly called “single-payer” — necessarily entail medical rationing, otherwise called death panels. There are two examples in America already: Arizona and Oregon.

As recounted by Wesley Smith for The Weekly Standard, Jan. 31, 2011, the Arizona legislature cut its Medicaid budget because the state is in dire financial straits—a move approved by the Obama administration. The cuts led to canceling Medicaid coverage for organ transplant surgeries, and the death of a potential organ recipient.

Then, there is “Oregon, a decidedly liberal state…. In 1993, the Clinton administration gave permission to the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program, to introduce rationing. The system involves a treatment schedule that lists 649 potentially covered procedures. The state pegs the number of procedures the state will cover to the available funds. Patients requiring procedures above the cutoff line are out of luck. As of October 2010, only the first 502 treatments were covered. But even that low number doesn’t tell the full story of rationing in Oregon. The Oregon Health Plan also rations covered procedures under certain circumstances. Chemotherapy, for instance, is not provided if it is deemed to have a 5 percent or less chance of extending the patient’s life for five years, meaning that a patient whose life might be extended a year or two with chemo may not receive it.”

Smith reminds us that both the Arizona and Oregon examples “resulted from a single-payer health care system crashing into a budgetary brick wall. The real lesson here is that ‘single payer’ and ‘death panels’ go together like ‘See’s’ and ‘candy.’”

And so, despite the AANS/CNS’s statement of denial, anyone with an average IQ knows that Obamacare does/will have rationing, which is another word for death panels.

~Eowyn