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To: Petro

It’s not that I don’t doubt that he thinks this way—that he wouldn’t want his children under the nationalized health care system any more than Congress is going to be under it. I don’t doubt for a moment that he thinks this. But I find it hard to believe he said it.

So if you can give a link or other source, it’d be a huge propaganda plus for our side.

15 posted on 07/21/2009 2:47:48 PM PDT by Houghton M.
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To: Houghton M.

He never says anything substantive unless it’s mixed in with a sea of unrelated BS.

“And you’re absolutely right that, if it’s my family member, it’s my wife, if it’s my children, if it’s my grandmother, I always want them to get the very best care. But here’s the problem that we have in our current health care system, is that there is a whole bunch of care that’s being provided that every study, every bit of evidence that we have indicates may not be making us healthier.”

So, he basically says that he won’t be participating because he wants the very best care, but actually is somewhere in between that and not answering the question at all.

It’s much more damning later on when he tells the woman that her mother won’t get a pacemaker and that we can’t be deciding these things by someone’s ‘spirit’. Maybe instead of a pacemaker, she should take a painkiller. (He actually says this)

Here’s that portion:

JANE STURM: Caregiver for 105-year-old mother: Yes.

SAWYER: Hazel Homer (ph), 100 years old and she wanted…

STURM: She’s 105 now. Over 105. But at 100 the doctor had said to her, I can’t do anything more unless you have a pacemaker. I said, go for it. She said, go for it. But the arrhythmia specialist said, no, it’s too old. Her doctor said, I’m going to make an appointment, because a picture is worth a thousand words. And when the other arrhythmia specialist saw her, saw her joy of life and so on, he said, I’m going for it. So that was over five years ago. My question to you is, outside the medical criteria for prolonging life for somebody elderly, is there any consideration that can be given for a certain spirit, a certain joy of living, quality of life? Or is it just a medical cutoff at a certain age?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I want to meet your mom.


OBAMA: And I want to find out what’s she’s eating.


OBAMA: But, look, the first thing for all of us to understand is that we actually have some — some choices to make about how we want to deal with our own end-of-life care. And that’s one of the things I think that we can all promote, and this is not a big government program. This is something that each of us individually can do, is to draft and sign a living will so that we’re very clear with our doctors about how we want to approach the end of life. I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules that say that we are going to provide good, quality care for all people.

GIBSON: But the money may not have been there for her pacemaker or for your grandmother’s hip replacement.

OBAMA: Well, and — and that’s absolutely true. And end-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we’re going to have to make. I don’t want bureaucracies making those decisions, but understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another. If they’re not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they’re being made by private insurers. We don’t always make those decisions explicitly. We often make those decisions by just letting people run out of money or making the deductibles so high or the out-of-pocket expenses so onerous that they just can’t afford the care. And all we’re suggesting — and we’re not going to solve every difficult problem in terms of end-of-life care. A lot of that is going to have to be, we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves. But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what? Maybe this isn’t going to help. Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller. And those kinds of decisions between doctors and patients, and making sure that our incentives are not preventing those good decision, and that — that doctors and hospitals all are aligned for patient care, that’s something we can achieve. We’re not going to solve every single one of these very difficult decisions at end of life, and ultimately that’s going to be between physicians and patients. But we can make real progress on this front if we work a little bit harder.

SAWYER: Is that a conversation you could have had with your mom?

STURM: What I wanted to say was, that the arrhythmia specialist who put the pacemaker in said that it cost Medicare $30,000 at the time. She had been in the hospital two or three times a month before that, so let’s say 20, 30 times being in the hospital, maybe going to rehab, the cost was so much more. And that’s what would have happened had she not had the pacemaker.

OBAMA: Well, and that’s a good example of where — if we’ve got experts who are looking at this, and they are advising doctors across the board that the pacemaker may ultimately save money, then we potentially could have done that faster. I mean, this can cut both ways. The point is, we want to use science, we want doctors and — and medical experts to be making decisions that all too often right now are driven by skewed policies, by out-dated means of reimbursement, or by insurance companies. And everybody’s families, I think, have had to experience this in one way or another. That’s — that’s the reason we need reform right now.

The whole transcript is here if you want to dig through it:

16 posted on 07/21/2009 2:58:21 PM PDT by perfect_rovian_storm (The worst is behind us. Unfortunately it is really well endowed.)
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