Tag Archives: Medicare

Transgender surgery now covered by bankrupt Medicare

Medicare will go broke in two years, by 2016 — and Obama is working hard at bankrupting Medicare even sooner.

Transgenders are people who identify with a gender other than their biological sex that, according to transgenders, they were “assigned” at birth.

The cover for the June 9, 2014 issue of Time magazine, sporting a pic of transgender “Orange Is the New Black” actor Laverne Cox, proclaims:

The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier

Time transgender coverWhen I first saw the Time cover, I was quite baffled. Don’t transgenders in the United States already have the same civil rights as the rest of us? What civil rights are denied to transgenders? Are they excluded from the guarantees and protections of the U.S. Constitution?

Another view of the she-man Cox

Another view of the she-man Cox

How naïve of me.

In her Time cover story, Katy Steinmetz writes that transgenders “are emerging from the margins to fight for an equal place in society” and that “trans people live in a world largely built on a fixed and binary definition of gender. In many places, they are unwelcome in the men’s bathroom and the women’s. The effect is a constant reminder that they don’t belong.”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

It turns out transgenders’ “next civil rights frontier” is all about money, i.e., money from your pocket into theirs.

On May 30, 2014, Obama the POS ended a 33-year ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgery.

Washington Post reporter Ariana Cha calls the lifting of the 1981 ban “a major victory for transgender rights and a decision that is likely to put pressure on more insurers to provide coverage for such services.”

Gosh, silly me! I never knew it’s a civil “right” not only to have a “gender reassignment” surgery, but to have other people pay for chopping off one’s penis and gouging out a wound as a pretend vagina.

The May 30 ruling by a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) board was in response to a lawsuit filed last year by the ACLU, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, on behalf of Denee Mallon, 74, a transgender woman and army veteran from Albuquerque.

Obama administration officials originally had sought to overturn the ban in 2013, but the attempt prompted a backlash among social conservatives and religious groups who oppose taxpayer funding for such procedures. Now, HHS says medical studies published over the past three decades showed that the grounds for exclusion of coverage are “not reasonable” anymore and lifted the ban.

Although Medicare coverage is only for people 65 and older, and the transgender population makes up only about 0.3% of the U.S. adult population, private insurance plans often take their cues from Medicare on what should be considered a medically necessary covered treatment. As a result, the ruling is likely to open up more options for transgender individuals.

The ruling does not (yet) apply to Medicaid, the health program administered by states for low-income individuals and families.

Even before the federal government’s lifting of the ban, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon and Vermont already affirmed the idea that transition care for transgender individuals should be considered an essential part of medical coverage. In February, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) said the city would recognize gender dysphoria as a medical condition — effectively forcing insurers to cover gender-reassignment surgery.

Jamison Green, president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, a nonprofit “educational” group that works with doctors, said that while the March 30th ruling was a step in the right direction in ending discrimination in insurance coverage, there is still more work to be done. He explained, for example, that some transgender men have had trouble getting coverage for mammograms or hysterectomies when they developed fibroids or even cancer.

All of which means the cost of the “gender reassignment” surgery is just the beginning because of a myriad of post-surgery “upkeep,” like life-time hormonal treatments that, no doubt, will also be paid for by Medicare and private medical insurers.

Remember this pic for FOTM’s 73rd Caption Contest?

Harald Glööckler and Amanda LeporeSeated on the right is the transgender named Amanda Lepore. Born Armand Lepore and genetically a male, 46-year-old Lepore is a transgender model, “nightlife and fashion icon, performance artist and recording artist.”

Lepore said “her” sex change from male to female at age 19 was the most painful procedure “she’s” had done: “It didn’t hurt when I got it done at the hospital. But they give you a dilator as part of the healing process, which you have to keep in for extended periods of time to stretch the vaginal opening. It felt like a knife. It was the most painful thing I had ever experienced.”

In an interview with a fawning reporter for the online magazine XoJane, one of the top 10 “lifestyle” websites for women, Lepore enumerated her post-op upkeep, including:

  • “Perpetual hormones”.
  • Three breast augmentations “over the years” to acquire “that Jessica Rabbit thing.”
  • Buttock implants.
  • Getting her bottom ribs broken for a smaller waist.
  • Dermatology and plastic surgery (look at “her” lips!) with a Dr. Warfel.
  • Rophynol “once in a while” because it’s “painful to have sex.” Rophynol, popularly known as a date rape drug, is a powerful benzodiazepine, ± 10-fold more potent than Valium, which is illegal in the US but is used elsewhere as a hypnotic and in anesthesia. Lepore explains [Language Warning!]: “I wasn’t a pig or anything where I would be fucking every five minutes, but once in a while there would be a guy that I couldn’t resist — and I would take a rohypnol and it would work! But since then I’ve learned to dilate and stretch my pussy and I know how to have really good sex. Oh yeah. Premarin vaginal cream. It’s a whole process. Like I said, it was really painful for me to have sex, especially if the guy was really well endowed, so a transsexual friend of mine said that when you get up in the morning, use a numbing cream and then put a small dildo in your pussy in a girdle! And then have breakfast and clean your house and whatever, and then you stretch it with a bigger one and then use Premarin vaginal cream. This all makes the pussy walls stretch like a natural woman’s.”

Beneath the façade, the life of a post-op transgender is a life of ingesting never-ending very-powerful hormones and painkillers, the side effects of which are not publicized.

And although the surgery is called “gender reassignment,” in truth the surgery does no such thing. After all the torturous body mutilations — excising the penis or breasts; gouging a pretend-vagina that must be “dilated” until the wound eventually scars over; shaving off the Adam’s Apple — the transgender’s body is still genetically and chromosomally what God had made.

That is why psychiatrist Joseph Berger, M.D., board certified as a specialist by both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, has stated there is no scientific basis for transgender.

In a statement against the Canadian federal government’s Bill C-279 (popularly known as the “bathroom bill”) giving special protection to transgenders, Dr. Berger stated that from a medical and scientific perspective there is no such thing as a “transgendered” person, and that terms such as “gender expression” and “gender identity” used in the bill are at the very least ambiguous, and are more an emotional appeal than a statement of objective scientific fact.

“I have read the brief put forward by those advocating special rights, and I find nothing of scientific value in it,” Dr. Berger said in his statement. “Words and phrases, such as ‘the inner space,’ are used that have no objective scientific basis. There seems to me to be no medical or scientific reason to grant any special rights or considerations to people who are unhappy with the sex they were born into, or to people who wish to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex. The so-called ‘confusion’ about their sexuality that a teenager or adult has is purely psychological. As a psychiatrist, I see no reason for people who identify themselves in these ways to have any rights or privileges different from everyone else in Canada.”

In other words, transgenderism is a psychological, not biological, disorder, which would explain why gender dysphoria (aka gender identity disorder) fluctuates over time.

Toronto specialist Ken Zucker, who opposes the use of sex change therapies, claims that only about 12% of boys and girls with gender dysphoria will still have persistent dysphoria as adults.

This fact alone should lead even the most committed supporters of early intervention to err strongly on the side of caution.

H/t FOTM’s Lola

See also:

~Eowyn

Scooter Store scammed $108m from U.S. taxpayers

Scooter Store You’ve seen those ubiquitous ads on TV of a seemingly good-hearted store that promised elderly and disabled Americans a motorized scooter FOR FREE! Because, the ad assures its viewers, Medicare will pay for it!!!!

I’ve seen those ads too, and had wondered how the Scooter Store could be so 100% confident that *ANYONE* who wanted a scooter was assured one — FOR FREE!

To quote the eminently sensible Judge Judy: “If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not true.”

When was the last time you’ve seen a Scooter Store commercial? At least many months, if not a year or two.

Here’s why . . . .

Founded in 1991 by Doug and Susanna Harrison, the privately-owned Scooter Store is headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, and serve 48 states. It is the largest supplier of mobility vehicles in the United States.

In February 2013 the company Store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ceased all cash sales to the public, after a raid by more than 150 FBI agents and local cops for Medicare-Medicaid fraud of as much as $108 million.

During its heyday, the Scooter Store had employed more than 2,400 people and was New Braunfels’ largest private employer. On September 13, 2013, the company entered liquidation and terminated its remaining 370 employees. Effective October 26, the Scooter Store lost its federal contract with Medicare eliminating the ability to sell assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. So the company’s board of directors made the decision to essentially liquidate the business.

Medicare has accounted for about three-quarters of the Scooter Store’s business, a company representative told a U.S. Senate committee last year. But an independent auditor found The Scooter Store had received between $46.8 million and $87.7 million in Medicare overpayments.

The company is accused by the Justice Department of harassing doctors with constant phone calls and surgery visits in order to wear them down to prescribe scooters to patients who do not need them.

A damning exposé by CBS This Morning in January alleged that the company over-billed Medicare by $108 million between 2009-2012.

Former Scooter Store employee Brian Setzer told CBS that company’s main goal was to use pressure to get doctors to prescribe their vehicles. Setzer described the company’s policy was to “Bulldoze and get them to get the paperwork done.” He said his bosses would order him to annoy doctors into prescribing the scooters: “I’d get a call, ‘Well, can you go in to get him to do this? Could you get him to do this.’ I couldn’t feel right in my heart to do that.”

Here’s the extent of Scooter Store’s scam:

  • The company had a specialized department devoted to getting the scooters for patients who had already been ruled ineligible by Medicare.
  • About 80% of all claims for scooters were found to be medically unnecessary.
  • 61% of claims that were approved should not have been, totaling $95 million.
  • What Medicare paid the Scooter Store was FOUR TIMES the average amount spent by suppliers for standard power wheelchairs.
  • The federal government taxpayers spent $723 million for the scooters in Medicare reimbursements for 2009 alone.

Sources: Wikipedia; San Antonio Express-News; Daily Mail.

Doug HarrisonTom Wilson of The CareGiver Partnerships: wants us to hold the owners of The Scooter Store responsible. He writes:

Doug and Susanna Harrison are the the ‘faces’ behind The Scooter Store.  They founded The Scooter Store and were personally responsible for its operations, policies and procedures – until they jumped ship in 2012. […]

They spent years greasing the palms of politicians.  Through The Scooter Store, they gave $86,273 to federal politicians and were a top source of funds for 19 members of Congress. Since 2007, they have given $473,000 to politicians.

They also spent nearly $4 million on lobbying since 2004 trying to kill laws to curb waste, fraud, and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  […]

After being charged with fraud, the company said it would only repay $20 million of the $88 million defrauded from Medicare.  They actually had the audacity to file a lawsuit against the government (really all of us as consumers) for not approving their claims.

Doug and Susanna must be held accountable.  They continue to live the life of luxury. People must be held accountable for fraud, not a company which has no soul or conscience… and now, no assets. […]

Doug Harrison is quoted as saying he’s proud what he and the Scooter Store did.  During March 2012, he jumped ship just before the company began to implode and the majority of its employees suddenly lost their livelihood and creditors lost their money.  He also left the city of New Brunfels high and dry after they gave into pressure from him to relocate the company.  They provided massive tax incentives to stay, which they are now unlikely to ever recoup. 

People, Not Companies Must Be Held Accountable For Stealing From Medicare. ‘We the people’ are out a great deal of money.  In my opinion, the Harrisons must be brought to trial and made an example of if we are to curb fraud of our health care system.  Since no bankers were ever tried, this is sadly, unlikely.

 

H/t FOTM’s CSM

~Eowyn

6 of 10 doctors say many will leave profession because of Obamacare

doctors against obamacareA recent survey by top research firm Deloitte Center for Health Solutions finds that 6 in 10 physicians say in the next 1 to 3 years, many doctors will retire earlier than planned because of the implementation of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, better known as Obamacare. Doctors are abandoning their profession and their patients because Obamacare means they are losing control of their clinics and compensation.

Bob Unruh reports for WND that Dr. Jane Orient, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told WND that doctors already have started leaving the profession through early retirement. Among those who remain, some will seek alternatives to what they see coming in the federal government’s takeover of health care.

“I think it’s a disaster for patients,” she said. “They may lose the doctor they relied on all their lives.”

The survey by Deloitte  found that the “future of the medical profession may be in jeopardy as it loses clinical autonomy and compensation.”

Further, it found the health insurance exchanges required by Obamacare this year probably won’t be reality. Many doctors are starting to limit their participation in Medicaid and Medicare because of low reimbursement rates. Some doctors even close off their practices to such patients.

Dr. Orient confirmed that many doctors are unable to continue a private practice because of increasing government demands and intervention, which “amounts to busy work.” Those physicians will end up working for a corporation hospital where the profits are distributed to shareholders. Such scenarios often end up giving the feeling of an assembly line, where a patient sees a doctor briefly, is given a diagnosis and shown the door.

She said doctors in that system will be punished if they spend too much time on a patient, or possibly if they provide too much treatment. The frustration that comes from such scenarios actually is creating the incentive for a counter-trend in which doctors cut ties to the behemoth insurance companies and simply charge a fee to patients.

The survey found physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine. “The majority worry about the profession’s erosion of clinical autonomy and income, and its inability to achieve medical liability reform.”

While many doctors are satisfied with practicing medicine, most of their satisfaction is in their interaction with patients. But nearly one in four said that even now they are not allowed to spend enough time with each patient. And one in five was distressed by the developing government regulations.

The Deloitte report paints a bleak picture of how U.S. doctors regard the future of their profession:

  • Nearly three-quarters of physicians (higher among surgical specialists at 81%) think the best and brightest may not consider a career in medicine. That’s an increase of 12% from the 69% of had thought so just two years ago, in 2011.
  • More than half surveyed believe physicians will retire (62%) or scale back practice hours (55%) due to how their profession is changing.
  • 4 in 10 physicians had reductions in their take-home pay from 2011 to 2012. Of those, 4 in 10 believe their reduced pay was a result of Obamacare.
  • Fully half expect their incomes to “fall dramatically in the next one to three years.”
  • Overall, doctors are critical of the U.S. health care system, blaming problems on a defensive mode that influences treatment and results.
  • Only 2 in 10 doctors believe the Obamacare government exchanges will be ready to go.
  • 25% say they’ll limit their work on Medicare patients if the government funding program continues as it is.
  • Most doctors believe unhealthy lifestyles influence the health care system costs. (Duh!)

America, meet your new primary care physician!

Meet your new primary physician

~Eowyn

Big Pharma made $711 bln overcharging seniors and disabled

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AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

The 11 largest drug companies have made $711 billion in profits in just a decade, largely due to overcharging Medicare, which does not seek out competitive prices and uses taxpayer funds to support Big Pharma.

Since Medicare is prohibited from purchasing drugs based on their cost, its prescription drug program has been making large payouts to drug companies that have overcharged the program for years, according to an analysis by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

“There is nothing wrong with a company making profits – that’s what their supposed to do. But the drug industry’s profits are excessive as a result of overcharging American consumers and taxpayers,” writes Ethan Rome, executive director of HCAN, for the Huffington Post. “We pay significantly more than any other country for the exact same drugs.”

Rome notes that per capita drug spending in the US is 40 percent higher than in Canada, 75 percent greater than in Japan, and nearly 300 percent greater than Denmark.

The 11 largest global prescription drug companies have skyrocketed since the Medicare Part D prescription drug program was launched in 2006. The government health program enables seniors and the disabled to buy taxpayer-subsidized coverage for many of the most widely disseminated medicines. But Medicare is prohibited from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies or seeking out more cost-effective drugs, thereby costing seniors, the disabled and American taxpayers billions of dollars more than some argue the drugs are worth.

Some lawmakers have recently urged Congress to consider changing the law, for the sake of cutting unnecessarily high costs. Wisconsin Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach told Wisconsin Public Radio that his state could save $1.2 billion over ten years if Congress were to allow Medicare to partake in prescription drug negotiations.

“I understand that pharmaceutical companies are for-profit companies,” he told the station last week. “I understand there’s a lot of research and development that goes into the products that they produce. All of that being said, it shouldn’t cost us more to get that kind of pharmaceuticals we need to have.”

But according to the HCAN analysis, Big Pharma spends very little on research and development. Even though pharmaceuticals cite research as a costly part of its operations, the money spent on this is exaggerated, Rome claims. Drug companies spend 19 times more on marketing than on research and development – another reason why the industry reaps so much in profits each year, he adds.

US President Barack Obama has long promised to repeal the prohibition on Medicare negotiations with drug companies, but has so far failed to do so. The Veterans Administration currently negotiates drug prices, and manufacturers argue that letting Medicare take over the negotiations would make no difference to the industry. Supporters of drug manufacturers also continue to emphasize the high costs of research and development.

But the Congressional Budget Office found that if Medicare were to receive the same bulk-purchasing discounts on prescription drugs that state Medicaid programs receive, the federal government would cut its spending by $137 billion over 10 years.

“Our politicians give all kinds of tax breaks and subsidies to big corporations that don’t need them: Big Oil. Wall Street. Companies that ship our jobs overseas,” Rome writes. “Every gift to a special interest, including allowing Big Pharma to overcharge Medicare, is an expenditure of scarce tax dollars. That’s called wasteful spending.”

KJLN

Killing Us Softly – Part 6

Our beloved LowTechGrannie is absent from FOTM because her laptop was attacked by a vicious virus and she hasn’t been able to get back online. I am, therefore, taking her stead by posting Part 6 of Kelleigh Nelson’s outstanding series of articles on ObamaCare and the Death Culture inherent in the godless Brave New World of the Sustainable Development economy. If you value the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, this series will have you in tears.  Please share on Facebook and other social media. It could save lives!

FOTM is grateful for Kelleigh’s permission to re-publish this important series. Here are the previous parts that LTG had posted:

Part 7 will be posted tomorrow!

~Eowyn

Euthanasia

KILLING US SOFTLY

Part 6

by Kelleigh Nelson

“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.” Dr. Jacques Cousteau

“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.” –Professor Maurice King

“I’ve been a cancer doctor for over 30 years, and I think the proper role for a doctor is to take care of the patient. Assisted suicide should not be in the realm of medicine.”  Dr. Kenneth Stevens

Living Wills

The first living will was conceived in 1967 by Luis Kutner, a human-rights lawyer in Chicago, and cofounder of the pro-abortion Amnesty International, in conjunction with the Euthanasia Society of America. The living wills were distributed by the Euthanasia Society.

Luis Kutner’s musings about death anticipated the day when medicine would cross the line from prolonging life to prolonging dying. In 1967, he wrote his first ”living will,” a document that allows a person to specify under what conditions life-support systems should be discontinued.  In 1930 Mr. Kutner helped found an American chapter of the Euthanasia Society, modeled after an English counterpart that included, playwright and eugenic extremist, George Bernard Shaw and Julian Huxley (the first Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a member of the Eugenics Society).

The idea did not catch on, but in 1938 the Rev. Charles Potter founded the Society for the Right to Die. In April, 1984, a team of prominent doctors published in the New England Journal of Medicine a set of guidelines for treatment of gravely ill patients, concluding it was ethical to withhold nutrition and even medicine if it only prolonged a painful death.

Anyone who doubts that the Living Will, which is urged upon all Americans, comes from the Euthanasia Society can read the main article proposing its adoption written by attorney, Luis Kutner in 1969 entitled, “Due Process of Euthanasia: The Living Will, A Proposal,” [Indiana Law Journal v. 44, 1969, p. 549] The Living Will was written to create a due process of euthanasia. In addition, in 1970, the Euthanasia Society of America distributed 60,000 living wills. They knew where they were leading American society, but the misguided, trusting Americans couldn’t see it.

Kutner’s intention in creating the Living Will was to provide a way that governmental authorities could allow a form of euthanasia. The living wills were “sold” to the public as patients determining what type of care they would or would not want, but their main effect is to limit care that might allow them to live longer, an incremental step toward open euthanasia. The euthanasia-supporting organizations gave us the Advance Directives and the Living Wills, and now we have the P.O.L.S.T. forms (Physician Orders for [Limiting] Life-Sustaining Treatment) which are spreading across the country.

Even though the public today never thinks they are agreeing to “euthanasia” when they make out a living will, the effect of filling one out can interfere with getting treatment if you change your mind and want care. For example, some physicians will “write off” patients who have a Do-Not-Resuscitate order or a Living Will and simply provide “comfort care” while refusing to treat easily-treated problems. The result is ultimately death for the patient.

If you are having any form of surgery, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is if you have a “living will.”  If you do, I’d suggest you destroy it.  If you don’t, then congratulations, you’re one of the few who have refused to be brainwashed into providing a way for the medical industry to deny you care, and perhaps bring about your early demise.

Medicare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R.3590) has already modified how Medicare will be run. Under Section 3021, “Establishment of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation,” the Secretary of Health and Human Services “shall adjust the payments made to an eligible safety net hospital system or network from a fee-for-service payment structure to a global capitated payment model.” [H.R.3590 p.205] Going from a Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement system that pays fees for each service provided, to a system that has a cap on payments made for all services provided to a patient is one of the most significant changes to Medicare ever made and will certainly result in drastic changes.  In Part 2 of this series I told about the Geisinger Hospital programs President Obama has praised.  They have already moved away from the medical standard of fee-for-service.

Hospitals will have to change what tests, surgeries and treatments they provide if they know the amount they will be paid is capped for each patient they serve! This certainly will result in more people dying for lack of care, or needed life-saving surgeries, or even for surgeries like knee or hip replacements.

The changes to Medicare/Medicaid are not being seen by the majority of the public, nor are they being reported by the controlled media.  These changes are also being made to all health care.  We are quickly moving from a sanctity-of-life society to one that closely resembles Hitler’s eugenics program, targeting the elderly and disabled for early death.  The changes aren’t for efficiency, they’re for something else.

Those of us on Medicare or Medicaid are already experiencing the decisions made by unelected bureaucrats in D.C.  (Remember, in older dictionaries, “Soviet” is defined as unelected councils.)  America’s seniors are stuck with Medicare even though in 1965 when it became law, it was a “voluntary” program.  Lyndon Johnson pressured all private health insurers to cancel all policies available to seniors. And get this, if a senior wants to opt-out of Medicare they have to give up their Social Security, even though we’ve paid into it all our lives.  Only the very wealthy (think politicians) can opt out.  Medicare is a monster program that has NEVER been run efficiently and has been crippled by fraud from day one, and is in enormous debt.  Link

Both political parties are silently promoting the stealth euthanasia already begun long ago in America.  The past generous benefits of Medicare are to be phased out to make the program more “efficient.”  The politicians tell us there is no rationing of care, and truly there are no “formal” death panels.  However, they have set in motion the processes that reduce reimbursement under the guise of “limiting expenditures,” or “keeping costs down,” and these processes will result in rationed care.  The HMOs, and private health insurance companies will make decisions knowingly resulting in denied tests, denied treatments, and certain death in many cases.  When the federal government completely takes over health care, test and treatment denials will be the equivalent of death for many.

Obama Care creates several methods which are likely to result in rationed care.  The “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (IPAB) is allegedly not allowed to make recommendations that result in rationing, but it can and will exert pressure on providers by reducing how much they get paid to provide a service.  It’s all about our money folks.

PJ Media states, “The IPAB would consist of 15 members appointed by the president (and confirmed by the Senate), empowered to decide what medical tests and procedures Medicare would cover and how much it would pay providers.  However, giving this power to the IPAB would put tremendous medical decision-making in the hands of unelected officials with minimal accountability.   We’ve already seen a foretaste of this when a federal government medical panel attempted to save money by restricting screening mammography to women over age 50, even though decades of medical research has shown clear benefits to starting annual mammograms at age 40.”Although the Obama administration stated that the IPAB would not ration medical care, its power to set payments to doctors and hospitals would give it de facto rationing power.

Once the feds take over management of the entire health care system, (as in Medicare and Medicaid), it will have control over how care is delivered, what care is available, and who receives the care …. or not.  It controls how much providers are paid…the very reason physicians are being driven from the field!  According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, America will face a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors in 10 years.  With the growing population of baby boomers and the shortage of doctors, anyone with a brain can see what will happen.  The Agenda 21 planners will eliminate a good many of us just because we can no longer receive life saving care.

Politicians of both stripes are promoting palliative and hospice care as the destination for us all.  There is no need for the “death panel.”  Rationed care will result in early death for the elderly, ill, and disabled.

Ione Whitlock of The LifeTree Organization tells us, “Thanks to Big Death – a collection of heavily funded non-profit hospice and palliative care groups – the line between palliative care (pain relief; symptom management) and imposed death has become blurred.” 

Hospice Growth

“There were more than twice as many Medicare hospice patients in 2008 than in 1998.” — Hospice Data 1998-2008 – Centers for Medicare Services.  With the number of patients, i.e., “customers,” increasing by 10% every year, without fail, the Corporate Hospice industry will grow exponentially.  “Expenditures for the Medicare hospice benefit have increased approximately $1 billion per year. In fiscal year (CY) 1998, expenditures for the Medicare hospice benefit were $2.2 billion, while in CY 2008, expenditures for the Medicare hospice benefit were $11.2 billion.”  (Source: Health Care Information System (HCIS)].” — Hospice Data 1998-2008 – Centers for Medicare Services).

In 2009, only about 40% of hospice patients were cancer patients. However, in the 1980s, almost all of them were!  Patients are now being shunted into hospice because they are elderly, some may be weak, others with minor non-Alzheimer’s forgetfulness, and not always with terminal diseases.  Sometimes the elderly are not receiving proper care, either by family or in nursing homes and become frail and weak.  Then they are shunted into hospice.  The plan is for 100% of Americans to die in Hospice.  The cost for acute care is much too high to be “sustainable,” according to our government.  Some private insurers are creating “Advanced Illness” programs where patients are admitted for care by a hospice agency even though they are not expected to die within six months. This appears to be a move to save money by having patients die sooner with fewer or no hospitalizations, thereby saving the private insurance company (and the government) significant expenditures and increasing profit.

What used to be a strictly volunteer program for the dying patient is now very big business.  The CEO of the largest nonprofit hospice in the country, Hospice of the Florida Suncoast,  is Mary Labyak, and she has told her staff, “We’ve got to corner the market.”  This is corporate mentality, and it’s all about money, not caring for the patients at end-of-life.  Labyak’s salary in 2009 was  $320,347.  Labyak is regularly placed on the board of directors of the nation’s largest hospice lobbying group, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Hospice of Michigan, Inc., the second largest nonprofit hospice in the U.S., reports it paid $447,008 in 2009 to its CEO, Dorothy Deremo.

Hospice of the Western Reserve, Inc., the third largest nonprofit hospice in the U.S., reports it paid $323,740 in 2008 to its CEO, David Simpson.

The top level policymakers, most of them unelected, have decided that people will die in hospice or palliative care units, and that they will be pushed into hospice through a wide variety of means. Researchers at Duke University found that hospice reduced Medicare costs in 2009 at about $3.6 billion.  With the baby boomers aging, imagine the increase in “cost savings” for the government as hospice doubles in the years to come.

The nation’s most prominent hospice physicians (such as Joanne Lynn, MD and Ira Byock, MD) are proponents of terminal sedation to hasten death. Link  Link   Willard Gaylin, MD, co-founder of the Hastings Center is a proponent of euthanasia who applauds the efforts to expand the definition of “death” in order to overcome obstacles to legally performing euthanasia. Gaylin is widely accepted in the mainstream media and policymaking circles, and the Hastings Center is one of the organizations that has most influenced the modern American hospice industry to betray its original mission to care, not kill.

If patients are hurried along toward death, the savings skyrocket.  Obama Care’s cost savings will come from the baby boomers being euthanized quickly rather than being treated for illnesses, chronic or otherwise, at the end of their lives.  Not only is this part of the United Nations Agenda 21 plan of population reduction, but this will rid America of those who still remember what this country was founded on and our God given rights.  We are considered “useless eaters.”  The plan is a fait accompli.

In Part 7, we’ll discuss the policy makers and those who fund the euthanasia and assisted suicide through the World Federation of Right to Die Societies, one of which is, of course, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Killing Us Softly-Part 5

 KILLING US SOFTLY Part 5

By Kelleigh Nelson

“… we must be wary of those who are too willing to end the lives of the elderly and the ill. If we ever decide that a poor quality of life justifies ending that life, we have taken a step down a slippery slope that places all of us in danger. There is a difference between allowing nature to take its course and actively assisting death. The call for euthanasia surfaces in our society periodically, as it is doing now under the guise of “death with dignity” or assisted suicide. Euthanasia is a concept, it seems to me, that is in direct conflict with a religious and ethical tradition in which the human race is presented with ” a blessing and a curse, life and death,” and we are instructed ‘…therefore, to choose life.” I believe ‘euthanasia’ lies outside the commonly held life-centered values of the West and cannot be allowed without incurring great social and personal tragedy. This is not merely an intellectual conundrum. This issue involves actual human beings at risk…”
— C. Everett Koop, M.D. * *taken from the book KOOP, The Memoirs of America’s Family Doctor by C. Everett Koop, M.D., Random House, 1991

Florence Wald and American Hospice

 Florence Wald

Florence Wald is the most famous leader of the modern American hospice movement. She was born Florence Sophie Schorske in New York on April 19, 1917. She received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 1938 and an M.N. from Yale School of Nursing in 1941. She received a second master’s degree from Yale University in mental health nursing in 1956, and became an instructor at the school’s nursing program. In 1959, she became Dean of Yale’s School of Nursing.The Yale School of Nursing was founded in 1923 with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Wald’s entrance into hospice came about after she attended a 1963 lecture at Yale by Dr. Cicely Saunders, founder of St. Christopher’s Hospice in London. Saunders’ lecture emphasized minimizing pain in terminal cancer patients so that they could focus on their relationships and prepare for death. Wald immediately began reshaping the nursing school curriculum to put more focus on patients and their families and to emphasize care of the dying. Feeling further effort was required, Wald resigned as dean and went to London to study at St. Christopher’s. Upon her return, she organized the first U.S. hospice in Branford in 1971. Connecticut Hospice, which began by offering in-home care but eventually built its own inpatient facility, became a model for hospice care here and abroad.

Florence Wald, an agnostic and secular humanist, was an open advocate of euthanasia and assisted suicide, while Saunders, a devout Christian, opposed the practice and believed hospice made it unnecessary.

As productive and influential as Florence Wald was, she sharply disagreed with Dame Cicely Saunders’ life-affirming approach to end-of-life care and said: “I know that I differ from Cicely Saunders, who is very much against assisted suicide. I disagree with her view on the basis that there are cases in which either the pain or the debilitation the patient is experiencing is more than can be borne, whether it be economically, physically, emotionally, or socially. For this reason, I feel a range of options should be available to the patient, and this should include assisted suicide.”

So, is Wald saying assisted suicide should be made available for society’s economic needs? Or perhaps she’s referring to the family’s inheritance? Economic because it costs the family too much or the health care system too much? Social reasons because a dying family member is a stressful situation on the family?

Wald’s pro-euthanasia type of hospice is what is being delivered in many parts of this country, though many hospice professionals will strongly deny that. Those who do remain faithful to Dr. Saunders life-affirming vision, who relieve the suffering of the dying until a natural death occurs in its own timing, will say they do not hasten death. Those who do hasten death will say the same. The public often has no way of knowing which type of hospice their loved one will experience.

Many hospice leaders have spoken out against euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the whole American hospice movement has rapidly expanded since its inception. In 1983, Congress required Medicare to pay for hospice care, which put the treatment in mainstream medical practice. According to the Center for Nursing Advocacy, in 2010 over 5,100 hospice programs served nearly 1.6 million patients a year in the United States.

Hospice was once a grass-roots, home-based model of end-of-life care, but is now part and parcel of corporate medicine. In 2005, for-profit organizations accounted for half of all hospices, and they charted profits of about 12 percent from 2001 to 2005, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. (MedPAC) Link

Hospices that remain true to the Cicely Saunders’ life-affirming mission will not hesitate to proclaim the sanctity of life, while they intervene to relieve suffering at the end-of-life.Those for-profit and volunteer hospices that are willing to hasten death normally do not speak about the sanctity of life, and they do not teach their staff to never impose death. In fact, their training results in quite the opposite. The hospice industry has marketed itself as this “compassionate thing” that exists all over the county and is filled with angelic staff who care and work the kind of wonders Dame Saunders encouraged. There are thousands of stories of wonderful care received from hospices and how the patient and the family have benefited. There are also thousands of stories of patients being put to an early death by overdosing with pain cocktails or by dehydration and starvation. There has been a very slick, sophisticated and well-financed campaign to completely twist the positive contributions of hospice into something the public would never openly accept.

To be perfectly clear, water and sustenance are not heroic efforts to keep the dying alive. This is keeping the patient comfortable. When sustenance cannot be delivered, at least hydration can be given to keep the body comfortable. However, there comes a point where the patient’s body shuts down, and neither food nor water are desired or taken and death is imminent. Link

Palliative Care and Terminal Sedation

Palliative care is not exclusively practiced in a hospice. It is the specialization in the field of medicine which relieves the distressing symptoms of any serious illness at any stage of life, whether terminally ill or not. The World Health Organization states that:

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”

Terminal or palliative care is used by a majority of hospices today. This often involves permanently sedating the patient, allowing the patient to dehydrate and die. It looks outwardly peaceful as the patient is made to sleep in a medically-induced coma, but the patient’s death is the result. Terminally-sedating the patient is something that can be done in hospice that doesn’t outwardly appear like euthanasia where a lethal agent is given. (Morphine is the potent opiate which directly effects the central nervous system. It has neurotoxic effects on the brain.Overdoses lead to asphyxia and respiratory depression. It slows metabolism, causes incontinence, and has acute and chronic effects on the endocrine system, blood, the heart and lungs. The hospice “cocktail” usually consists of Ativan, Haldol and Morphine).

It also doesn’t outwardly appear like assisted suicide where a patient takes a lethal medication prescribed by a physician. Terminal sedation is more subtle and deceptive. This is what happened to my friend’s relative who I told about in Part 3. The man wanted to be with his family, but food and water was denied by hospice. (Yes, there are hospices that refuse to give any food or water and you must sign on to that when they are hired.) The sedating “cocktails” were given to the point where respiratory function was decreased enough to cause early death.

Palliative medicine is commonly used by hospice to relieve many symptoms of the dying patient. It is precise and tuned especially for each patient’s illness. However, there are facilities wherein every patient is sedated because all the patients are “agitated.” It is a perversion of hospice as well as palliative care. It is a deliberate railroading of patients to an imposed death, a hastened death through “palliative” or “terminal” sedation.

Surprising to many, terminal, palliative or “total” sedation is so commonly used today to hasten death (a method of stealth euthanasia) that it is defined by the pro-euthanasia Compassion and Choice’s “Good to Go Resource Guide” glossary. They define it as:

the continuous administration of medication to relieve severe, intractable symptoms that cannot be controlled while keeping the patient conscious. This treatment renders the patient unconscious and relieves suffering by inducing an artificial coma. The unconscious state is maintained until death occurs.”

Unfortunately, it is used way too often on patients who are not having severe, intractable symptoms that cannot be controlled while they are conscious.

Ron Panzer of Hospice Patients Alliance states, “In many cases, the Adult Protective Service system is even used to intimidate those who truly care about the patient and object to clinically unnecessary or harmful interventions. These can be as common as giving morphine when there is no pain, sedating a patient who is not agitated, depriving the patient of needed medications when they are still benefiting from them or not providing food and fluids as needed when they patient is still benefiting from them. We have received many calls from families who tell us the hospice falsely accused them of being a threat to their own loved one and called APS when they voiced their objections to the death-protocols being implemented at the hospice. So we have those who truly care about the patient being accused of being a threat, and those who hasten death in charge of the agency entrusted to care for the patient!”

Euthanasia Society and Hospice

Many supporters of the sanctity of life simply do not know how deep this all goes and how successful the heirs of the original Euthanasia Society of America have been in our nation. They do not know how the Euthanasia Society is connected with the largest segment of the hospice industry in America, and when some have finally understood it, they have been shocked. Most of those who affirm the sanctity of life view hospice as the rightful alternative to euthanasia and assisted suicide. Sadly, this is becoming a rarity.

The largest hospice organization in our nation is the successor organization to the Euthanasia Society of America. According to the most prominent hospice leaders in the world, many hospices in the United States today have no reservations about hastening death through“terminal sedation,” or “palliative sedation.” Federal regulations governing hospice are far fewer in number than those protecting patients in nursing homes or hospitals, or that state agencies inspect hospices less frequently than nursing homes or hospitals. Some hospices may go years without being inspected at all. Because of the HIPAA privacy regulations, nobody interested in researching what is actually going on in hospice can get access to the data, so hospices that have an agenda can act without any outside interference or supervision.

Unlike Dame Cicely Saunders, a majority of leaders at the top of today’s hospice certainly look nothing like the sanctity-of-life hospice Dr. Saunders founded, yet they pretend to be. They are what we call utilitarians, interested in the profits, and expansion of their influence and business. The leaders at the top of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (“NHPCO”) are the Euthanasia Society of America’s heirs and benefactors philosophically. The NHPCO is legally and corporately the final successor organization of the Euthanasia Society in the very strictest sense of the terms.

The Euthanasia Society of America successors, especially in hospice, are now proceeding with their plan to implement stealth euthanasia for citizens whose “quality of life” is deemed “unworthy of life.” The elderly and severely disabled are the targets, which feeds right into Obama Care. They don’t and won’t have to be the “very” elderly or “very” disabled. With Obama Care, it will be the “not-so-elderly” (even 60 years old) or disabled, being placed in hospice and dying shortly thereafter, even though they had no terminal illness at all. Others have warned about these developments:

In an era of cost control and managed care, patients with lingering illnesses may be branded an economic liability, and decisions to encourage death can be driven by cost.As Acting U.S. Solicitor General Walter Dellinger warned in urging the Supreme Court to uphold laws against assisted suicide: “The least costly treatment for any illness is lethal medication.”

Here is the succession of name changes the Euthanasia Society of America has gone through. It is from Ron Panzer’s book, “Stealth Euthanasia, Health Care Tyranny in America.”

Euthanasia Society

Several people who work with the elderly and dying have contacted me with first hand stories of what they’ve seen with hospice care. Others have been family members who have witnessed the lack-of-care in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as the euthanasia tactics of many hospice care givers. Still, some have been treated to wonderful care, the sanctity-of-life treatment Dame Cicely Saunders wanted for all of us who will eventually face death.

In Part 6, we’ll look at the origin of “Living Wills,” the changes to Medicare/Medicaid, and the non-profit and for-profit Hospice organizations and salaries.

Killing Us Softly – Part 1

Killing Us Softly – Part 2

Killing Us Softly – Part 3

Killing Us Softly – Part 4

Killing Us Softly – Part 2

USELESS EATERS 

KILLING US SOFTLY Part 2

by Kelleigh Nelson

“A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”  Audubon magazine, interview with Ted Turner, 1996

“”This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”” Jacques Cousteau in an interview with the UNESCO Courier for November 1991

In 1982, I lived in Ellettsville, Indiana, a suburb of Bloomington. At that time I was working as a receptionist for a dermatologist. Across the street from the doctor’s office was the hospital where “Baby Doe” was born with Down’s syndrome. The baby also had an obstruction in the esophagus that prevented normal eating. The tracheo-esophageal fistula was easily treated, but both the parents and the physician agreed to allow the baby to die of starvation. The courts granted the parents and physician the “blessing” of doing this to the infant. Public outrage ensued. Health and Human Services under President Reagan drew up guidelines against federally-funded health care facilities allowing handicapped infants to die. Other organizations fought this ruling and the courts struck it down as the government being too invasive into the medical profession. Oh, but they should see the invasiveness today with ObamaCare! Continue reading