O.L.D. Age 2015 (Obamacare Legislated Death)

Amidst midterm election upheaval and mayhem in Ferguson, a beautiful young woman took a lethal dose of pills prescribed by her doctor to end her life. Considering that The Affordable Care Act is President Obama’s signature legislation, this is one of the most significant stories of the Progressives’ reign of fundamental transformation. Brittany Maynard is the young, beautiful, fresh face of physician-assisted death. Physician-assisted death (PAD) is the revived, rebranded, unholy grail in the Progressives’ quest for philosophical transformation of American medicine and usurpation of the patient-physician relationship.

BrittanyFund.org is an initiative of www.CompassionandChoices.org , an advocacy group which proclaims, “A movement is underway to expand access, so that no American has to endure prolonged pain and suffering.” At the conclusion of her “original video,” Brittany Maynard states-“My goal, of course, is to influence this policy for positive change. And I would like to see all Americans have access to the same healthcare rights.” Brittany implies that it is a foregone conclusion that suicide is now a healthcare right. The corollary is that it is a physician’s duty to prescribe the requisite life ending drugs.

A second video laments that “At present, only 5 U.S. states allow terminally ill patients the right to die with dignity.” Since Brittany’s passing, New Jersey and Colorado are falling in line.

In 2013 Compassion & Choices launched “a campaign to end unwanted medical treatment” and brought the issue to the influential Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee on Transforming End-of-Life Care.

Like Brittany’s stated goal “to influence this policy for positive change”, “the movement  underway to expand access” to “physician-assisted death” is classic cooked up, spoon fed, and regurgitated Progressive propaganda- emotionally charged, divisive, highly organized, and heavily funded. It glorifies physicians who willingly prescribe lethal dosages of drugs, in direct violation of the once sacred Hippocratic Oath, and exalts their heroic patients who ultimately ingest the lethal prescription, making suicide more of a post-American rite of passage than a sin. Physicians prescribing deathpills to patients achieves two statist goals at once; it defies the Hippocratic Oath and defiles the patient-physician relationship. Humanism and its government of men can finally, once and for all, put an end to our pesky God, natural law, His gift of life, and His blessings of liberty.

Here is how this intricately orchestrated P.R. campaign for P.A.D. is rolling out before our very eyes.

1. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) publishes a report entitled Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life (2014) http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18748 . The IOM plays an important role in Obamacare decision making and hopes this particular report “will further shape the national conversation on dying in America.”

The study was supported by “A public-spirited donor” who wished to remain anonymous.

Shocking is a proposed paradigm shift of significant philosophical impact. Currently, “in the absence of adequate documented advance care planning, the default decision is TO TREAT a disease or condition” and TO PROVIDE life-sustaining care, such as CPR, to the patient in the absence of an advanced directive that specifically states “Do Not Resuscitate”. The IOM’s Committee on Approaching Death: Addressing Key End of Life Issues recommends that the default decision change. They promote a system where a medical order should be present in the patient record in order to initiate life-sustaining treatment for people of all ages with a serious illness or medical condition who may be approaching death- the default decision becoming “allow natural death”. The committee urges states to develop and implement a “Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment” (POLST) paradigm program in accordance with nationally standardized care requirements.

Are we fundamentally transforming from doctors who provide life-saving measures unless there is a specific order to withhold them, to doctors who do NOT implement life–sustaining measures unless there are specific orders to provide them?

The committee calls for urgent attention to the matter of dying and makes recommendations stressing the need to seek legislation and create incentives for advance care planning for everyone from neonates on up. They especially want Medicare aged people and the “frail” to have publically funded, 24/7 access to palliative care, including referral to expert-level palliative care which undoubtedly will include Physician-Assisted Death. They report that “In the end-of–life arena, there are opportunities for savings by avoiding acute care services that patients and families do not want and are unlikely to benefit them.” The Committee seeks major reorientation and restructuring of Medicare and Medicaid including changing financial incentives and offering “positive alternatives for the end of life”. They say they want to maximize independence and “Quality of Life” over living longer. Obamacare bureaucrats will be the judges of what constitutes “Quality of Life.” Providing palliative services instead of providing life-prolonging services to the Medicare/Medicaid population will save a tremendous amount of money.

We are evolving from providing cure-oriented care to emphasizing palliative care and cost.

2. Obamacare architect and IOM member, Ezekiel Emanuel, MD tells The Atlantic “Why I Hope to Die at 75” in a shocking article that uses the same lingo and opining as the IOM Dying article. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/10/why-i-hope-to-die-at-75/379329/ A firestorm of commentary results, and the “end of life/death panel” debate is reignited in the public forum. Battle-fatigued Americans have seen this debate before, but we’re not as shaken as when Dr. Emanuel wrote about euthanasia and Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS) in The New England Journal of Medicine back in 1998, Archives of Internal medicine in 2002, and countless other publications on this issue of his fixation. Sadly, Emanuel is not the kind of doctor who cures cancer and Aids, a healer who develops innovative treatment modalities that improve and lengthen life. Obamacare architect Dr. Emanuel is a world expert on rationing, death, and dying.

His “Complete Lives System” of rationing allocates resources to those between the ages of 15 and 40. He refutes the assertion that this is “ageism”, because 75 year olds already got to be 25. Honorably, the elderly and frail should not want to use resources that could otherwise go to their family members or other younger people who have not yet lived a “complete life.”

3. Medscape Business of Medicine, sister organization of Web MD that received $14M from HHS to “educate us” (propagandize) about Obamacare, publishes a report, which it disseminates to physicians, entitled “Physician-Assisted Dying: Is Resistance Eroding?” The report is a compendium of 10 articles and interviews using the same semantics of “compassion and choices” espoused by the IOM and Dr. Emanuel. An interview with Diane E Meier, MD entitled “Have We Overlooked Palliative Care as an Answer to a Patient’s Suffering?” is virtually a synopsis of talking points plucked from the IOM report on Dying and Emanuel’s “Death-wish” article. Closer inspection reveals that Dr. Meier is actually one of the 21 cherry-picked authors of the aforementioned IOM’s Dying in America report and like her colleague Emanuel, is a prolific writer in the euthanasia, physician-assisted-suicide world.

Read the compilation of Medscape articles; monetary grants from Obamacare funded the dissemination of this progressive action item.

Rita L. Marker, JD, Executive Director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide warns that “All social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering”. The name change from Physician-Assisted-Suicide (PAS) to Physician-Assisted-Death (PAD) is by design, as is this multi-prong “reintroduction” of the euthanasia issue. It is the same people with the same ideology, agenda, and messaging repackaged. If it gets much warmer or fuzzier it may soon be affectionately called DAD (Doctor-Assisted Death).

Marker stresses that “Few people realize the vital role private foundations play in promoting societal change. More often than not, major shifts in public attitudes and public policy come not from grassroots clamor but from the hard work of a committed few activists with the ideas and the donors who fund them…Without the money that is the mother’s milk of public advocacy, those inspired to agitate for change would not get very far. The assisted suicide/ euthanasia movement typifies this phenomenon.” She points out that euthanasia and PAS/PAD advocacy group, CompassionandChoices.org, was formerly known as The Hemlock Society.

Oh, how enlightening it would be to discover the identity of the “public-spirited anonymous donor” for the Institute of Medicine’s Dying in America report and the name of his or her private foundation.

This is not just a “small world” coincidence or a trite radical trial balloon launch. This is an intentional rollout of things to come, coming in talking points, Orwellian style.  

Be aware of Obamacare SEC. 4305 ADVANCING RESEARCH AND TREATMENT FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT, SEC.409J PAIN RESEARCH, and SEC. 759 PROGRAM FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN PAIN CARE. These sections, combined with SEC.1181 Comparative Effectiveness Research and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and SEC. 3403 The Independent Payment Advisory Board will literally be determining end of life care for those of us who do not have the resources or access to seek medical care outside of Obamacare. This leaves no alternative for the truly poor and those newly deemed “in poverty” via Medicaid expansion, or for those paying huge premiums and deductibles “on Obamacare”, or for seniors who have limited resources and are forced to pay for Medicare or forfeit their Social Security benefits

Obamacare tells us what we CAN have, but most importantly, Obamacare will tell us what we CANNOT have. This agenda is moving faster than expected. Euthanasia is rebranded as PAS, PAS as PAD, and PAD is redefined in terms of Compassion, Care and Choice. The Obamacare-Legislated-Death (O.L.D.) age is upon us.

The question is, should government elitists be calling the shots callously, dogmatically from top down, or should we, the American patients, families, and physicians be making these most intimate, sacred decisions privately, rationally, together?

 

New Year Resolve For Our Nation: Make Choices Not Excuses

The New Year is a time for reflection, communion and resolution. Gathered over coffee and laptops, my family is immersed in the precious gift of time together. Missing is my oldest daughter, a young physician, who is on call at the VA Hospital. My three youngest daughters are studying. Faith, family, hard work, education, and blessings of liberty are pillars of our great nation that sustain my family.

My father taught me that I could achieve anything through hard work and education. He is living proof of what he preaches, having grown up poor in a two bedroom rental with no electricity or indoor plumbing but motivated by an American Dream that promised freedom of opportunity, freedom to prosper, the potential to work and keep the fruits of one’s labor, the freedom to acquire private property, to innovate, create, and worship freely. This was all possible for every single American who chose to do the hard work, make the hard calls, and make the right choices. This was never easy but always achievable in the United States of America in which my father and I grew up.

The United States is a nation like no other, created by men of genius, creativity, integrity, and God, as proclaimed in The Declaration of Independence and established in our Constitution. A critical premise is that each unique individual is born with unalienable rights that come from God not government. The role of government is to protect our individual God-given liberties and prohibit man from taking them away. Such unbridled individual liberty catapulted man from horseback to space shuttle, amputation to transplantation, and Paul Revere to cyberspace.

We are the most free, most ingenious, and extraordinarily productive people in the history of the world. Why? Because even the destitute and most disadvantaged of us, regardless of circumstance of birth, possess special God-given gifts and constitutionally guaranteed freedom to grow these gifts and use these gifts, if we choose.

Before everyone flies off the handle and cries racism at my “circumstance of birth” claim, let me explain. 1. The Constitution guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome. 2. Some people have to work harder than others, because they started with less resources and greater obstacles. 3. In addition to unalienable rights and special talents, God gave us free will.

Free will puts us in the tenuous situation of having to make personal, individual, life altering choices throughout life. We are each a product of our choices, whether we choose to stay up all night studying by kerosene lantern after working two jobs and going to school or to sleep in, skip out, smoke weed, squander wealth, and wait on welfare. It’s all about choice.

All in all, as a people and a nation we have overcome much- slavery, civil war, women’s suffrage, World Wars, civil rights riots, and a terrorist attack on our homeland just to name a few. And, all in all, we have consistently trudged forward in a positive, healing direction, stronger as a nation and a people, never going backward, dwelling on or rehashing mistakes of generations past. Until now.

What has changed? The character, composition, and ideology of our leaders have changed. Our leaders are elitists who do not believe that individuals are uniquely gifted, capable, responsible, or smart. They do not believe that our unalienable rights come from God, in fact, many don’t believe in God at all. They believe power comes from them through a large centralized government that will make our decisions for us, collect and redistribute our money as they see fit, and provide equal outcome instead of equal opportunity. They believe that ends justify the means, and it is appropriate, if not a duty, to lie to us to achieve what they think is best for us.

Where God gave us free will and choice, government takes it away. This confiscation of free will, personal choice, and freedom to prosper and the destruction of truth and God fundamentally transforms our citizenry from individual independent victors to groups of dependent victims.

The transformation has been strategically achieved by deconstructing the family unit and replacing the role of family with the rule of government. Government policy traps people in poverty, pays people more when they do not get married, more when children are born outside of marriage, and even pays for abortion. National policy replaces the father with Big Brother, opportunity with dependence, and work with welfare. If you work hard and sacrifice, you are taxed. If you sulk in the slums, you are paid off, albeit a pittance. When government of man replaces the grace of God and the lie that is relative truth replaces absolute truth, the human spirit is crushed. The American Dream is annihilated.

Another devious tactic of our misguided leadership is to deliberately divide Americans into constantly fighting groups that rehash sins of the past, eternally unforgiving, reliving evils, bitter, revengeful, merciless, constipated by hate, and impacted with propaganda. Instead of trekking forward, the nation tumbles back. This is intolerable.

I fear our children no longer have the opportunity our fathers and we had. My father overcame incredible adversity to become a pioneering neurosurgeon who served thousands of patients and trained some of the finest surgeons in the country. His neurosurgery residents were women, men, black, white, brown, whatever; that is not what mattered. What matters is their brilliant minds, integrity, work ethic, physical skill, and character. In this vein, I serve my patients and raise my daughters to work hard and serve others. We do this by choice and through the truth and grace of God, not because we are compelled by a statist government of man.

Going forward into 2015, our nation must rise up against un-American ideology.  We did it in 1776, and we can do it now.

There is so much to be done, and we can and must do better; no excuses. Where a biased media replaces a free press, let social media become the town hall and local tavern. We must elect leaders of character and demand policy that fosters the family, empowers the individual, rewards hard work and good choices, restores equal opportunity in lieu of equal outcome, and guarantees freedom of religion not freedom from religion. We must demand absolute truth and restore trust in government of, by, and for the people. The liars and dividers must be called out and ousted. We must be bold, emboldened by God and each other, united in our love of country not divided by those who seek to destroy her. We must be winners not whiners, victors not victims, helpers not helpless, healed. This will be hard, but we have done harder. In the words of our George Washington: “Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” This New Year we must resolve to persevere, restore the human spirit, and reclaim America.

Obamacare ‘Torture Report’ Update

When the Democrats released their CIA “torture report”, they should have included a section on their signature legislation- the Obamacare “torture report.” American patients across the country are enduring prolonged infirmity, needless pain and suffering, bedridden, immobilized, and worse waiting to receive the medical care they need and want, because it is denied or has yet to be approved by their insurance companies.

Obamacare, our national health care law, transforms the role of the health insurance company from providing risk management and financial protection in the face of a catastrophic medical event to making day to day and life and death medical decisions for us, effectively practicing medicine.

Under Obamacare, all Americans are forced by the Federal government to purchase “qualified healthcare plans” or face financial punishment from the government in the form of taxation. The Secretary of HHS, a non-doctor political appointee, has the power to determine what constitutes a “qualified plan” and which companies are qualified to sell such plans. The mandate to buy a health plan went into effect for individual Americans last year, and consequences of such government intrusion are coming to light.

Many of my patients are having medical care denied by the very companies from which they are required by federal law to buy coverage.

Here is an example taken from one of my patients, whose qualified plan is sold by Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance:

  1. My patient comes to me seeking treatment for a medical problem.
  2. I examine the patient and prescribe a common medication which has proven to completely alleviate this patient’s symptoms.
  3. The insurance company refuses to cover the prescription whatsoever and sends a letter saying “we cannot approve your request.” (Apparently, a physician’s prescription is now regarded as a request; words matter.)
  4. The clincher is this concluding paragraph: “This decision doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t receive this medication. Only you and your health care providers can decide whether you need it. But, this decision means that if you do receive the medication, it won’t be covered by your plan.”

Think about this for a moment. Simply replace the word “medication” in the preceding paragraph with the word “surgery,” ” therapy,” “chemotherapy,” “wheelchair,” or whatever medical treatment or device your doctor prescribes, and it is glaringly apparent that the insurance company now has government sanctioned control over our medical care, thus our lives.

Patients are forced to pay for rationers disguised as insurance companies to deny the care they need.

This is a win-win situation for the insurance companies. They are paid huge monthly premiums by all Americans plus government subsidies when indicated. Then they can deny care- meds, surgery, therapy, medical devices…and keep the cash. And wait, there’s more! As a failsafe fallback, the government guarantees the insurance companies a bailout should the need arise.

This is a sham. We are forced under threat of punishment by our government to buy an expensive product that rations, if not denies, our care. The premiums and deductibles are so onerously expensive that patients have no money left to go outside the coercive system to buy the actual indicated care.

Thus, a two tier system is here and now. The extremely wealthy or politically favored can obtain actual medical care. The rest of us cannot. Who needs a death panel when this system exists?

My neurosurgical colleague’s patient waited, incapacitated and in pain, over the holidays for an insurance reviewer to authorize the exact operation the surgeon recommends and has done for years, an operation that will alleviate the neurological impairment, restore the patient’s mobility and relieve the excruciating pain. A week later, the nurse reviewer says the medical reviewer will look at it, but it will most likely be denied. According to other physicians, the review process commonly takes two weeks. The surgeon wanted to do the operation last week; the patient wanted to have the surgery last week. Still in pain, taking pain meds, using a cane, trying to return to work as a coach, the patient continues to wait- just another inconvenient item on the corporate to-do or to-don’t do list. These companies are heartless, and look what’s happening to them.

Insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and United are showing profits skyrocketing into the tens of billions of dollars while boasting of decreased healthcare expenditures. They are literally stealing us blind, lame, sick, and in pain, and ultimately dead. The money that should be spent on patients is being pocketed by mafia-style insurance company rationers as a payoff from our statist government for doing their dirty work.

What’s the federal government’s dirty work? 1. Serving as their “money launderer”- laundering our “healthcare” money through “the business” as a mechanism to achieve massive Marxist style redistribution of wealth and 2. Serving as their “Rationer” – rationing, in the words of MIT economist and Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, the “stupid American voters’ ” medical care. Delay it, deny it, price it too high for patients to buy, or pay providers so little they can’t deliver. There are so many ways to do this.

Who can possibly defend this?

Reflect on when President Obama let the cat out of the bag and said: “At least we can let patients know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn’t gonna help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.” Obamacare reigns and the Insurance company is now revealed as the Executioner of Obamacare. I contend that our national health policy constitutes a conflict of interest of diabolical proportion for big government and big insurance.

Things are about to get much worse and more real life as the Employer mandate delay expires and millions more are forced to buy what this government has forced upon us. In Medieval terms, the king commands we pay our lot to the executioner.This is fundamental transformation, and, yes, Dr. Gruber, it is tortuous, precisely as you designed it.

Obamacare “Torture Report”: Healthcare Reform Executioner Style

When the Democrats released their CIA “torture report”, they should have included a section on their signature legislation- the Obamacare “torture report.” As I write and you read, American patients across the country are enduring prolonged infirmity, needless pain and suffering, bedridden, immobilized, and worse waiting to receive the medical care they need, want, and deserve, because it is denied or has yet to be approved by their insurance companies.

Obamacare, our national health care law, has transformed the role of the health insurance company from providing risk management and financial protection in the face of a catastrophic medical event to effectively practicing medicine, making day to day and life and death medical decisions for us.

Under Obamacare, all Americans are forced by the Federal government to purchase “qualified healthcare plans” or face financial punishment from the government in the form of taxation. The Secretary of HHS, a non-doctor political appointee, has the power to determine what constitutes a “qualified plan” and which companies are qualified to sell such plans. The mandate to buy a health plan went into effect for individual Americans last year, and consequences of such government intrusion are coming to light.

Many of my patients are having medical care denied by the very companies they are required by federal law to buy coverage from.

Here is an example taken from one of my patients, whose qualified plan is sold by Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance:

  1. My patient sees me seeking treatment for a medical problem.
  2. I examine the patient and prescribe a common medication which has proven to completely alleviate this patient’s symptoms.
  3. The insurance company refuses to cover the prescription whatsoever and sends a letter saying “we cannot approve your request.”
  4. The clincher is this concluding paragraph: “This decision doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t receive this medication. Only you and your health care providers can decide whether you need it. But, this decision means that if you do receive the medication, it won’t be covered by your plan.”

Think about this for a moment. Simply replace the word “medication” in the preceding paragraph with the word “surgery,” ” therapy,” “chemotherapy,” “wheelchair,” or whatever medical treatment or device your doctor prescribes, and it is glaringly apparent that the insurance company now has government sanctioned control over our medical care and our lives.

Patients are forced to pay for rationers disguised as insurance companies to deny the care they need.

This is a win-win situation for the insurance companies. They are paid huge monthly premiums by all Americans plus government subsidies when indicated. Then they can deny care- meds, surgery, therapy, medical devices…and keep the cash. And wait, there’s more! As a failsafe fallback, the government guarantees the insurance companies a bailout should the need arise.

This is such a travesty. We are forced under the threat of punishment by our government to buy an expensive product that rations, if not denies, our care. The premiums and deductibles are so onerously expensive that patients have no money left to go outside the coercive system and buy the actual care we need and want.

Thus, a two tier system is here and now. The extremely wealthy or politically favored can obtain actual medical care. The rest of us cannot. Who needs a death panel when this system exists?

My neurosurgical colleague’s patient is presently waiting, incapacitated and in pain, over the holidays for an insurance reviewer to authorize the exact operation the surgeon recommends, has done for years, and will be curative, return the patient’s mobility and immediately relieve the excruciating pain. These companies are heartless, and look what’s happening to them.

Insurance companies such as Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and United are showing profits skyrocketing into the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars while boasting of decreased healthcare expenditures. They are literally stealing us blind, and lame, and sick, and in pain, and ultimately dead. The money that should be spent on patients is being pocketed by mafia-style insurance company rationers as a payoff from our big statist government for doing their dirty work.

What’s the federal government’s dirty work? 1. Serving as their “money launderer”- laundering our money through “the business” as a mechanism to achieve massive Marxist style redistribution of wealth and 2. Serving as their “Rationer” – rationing, in the words of MIT economist and Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber, the “stupid American voters’ ” medical care. Delay it, deny it, price it too high for patients to buy, or pay providers so little they can’t deliver. There are so many ways to do this.

In Medieval terms, the king commands we pay our lot to the executioner.

Who can possibly defend this?

And forget ever seeing an actual doctor. Obamacare promises access to an “eligible provider”; clearly, in most cases that will not be an M.D. or D.O. They hate us. Physicians actually want to honor our Hippocratic Oath and help our patients, while the current administration is composed of politically connected appointees who espouse perverse ideology like that of Obamacare architect Ezekiel Emanuel, who “hopes to die at 75”, and Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, who believes our problems stem from overpopulation, has authored books on depopulation, and even proposed putting infertility drugs in the nation’s drinking water. I contend that such ideologues spearheading our national health policy constitutes a conflict of interest of diabolical proportion.

Things are about to get much worse and more real life as the Employer mandate delay expires and millions more are forced to buy what this government has forced upon us. The Insurance Company is now revealed as the Executioner of Obamacare. This is fundamental transformation, and, yes, Dr. Gruber, it is tortuous, precisely as you designed it.