Oklahoma U.S. Senator, and physician, Tom Coburn is warning about the disasters lurking in the senate health proposals.
Because MEDICAID already underpays doctors, he says, the expansion of those eligible for Medicaid (ushered in by the new Reid-Nelson agreement) will further backlog those already waiting to see the limited number of doctors (in Kansas, more than 15,000 patients). Maryland auditors say their backlog of 17,000 resulted in 250 patient deaths. Coburn also warns:
“Seniors will die sooner if Congress actually implements the MEDICARE cuts in the health-care bill …rationing provisions in the Reid bill will not only reduce their quality of life, but their life spans as well …My 25 years as a practicing physician have shown me what happens when government attempts to practice medicine: Doctors respond to government coercion instead of patient cues, and patients die prematurely.“
National Right to Life medical experts agree that the Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost.
A powerful, Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill— composed of permanent, unelected and, thus, unaccountable members—will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program.
Recommendations for legislative action by this board may effectively limit the ability of private citizens to spend their own money to protect their own lives, by obtaining health care, or health insurance, that is not rationed.
End of life counseling has also been inserted into Reid’s bill (as KFL heard the KCMO Center for Practical Bioethics director promise in a speech October 1st.) in the express expectation that many will complete advance directives rejecting life-preserving medical treatment and thus save substantial sums of money.
Section 10304 empowers HHS head Sebelius to impose “efficiency measures,” inevitably using “quality of life” standards that devalue the lives of older people and people with disabilities.