Sunday, 29 July 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – If The Facts Fit...

Carruthers and Ormondroyd found in their report that, although much of the discrimination they were told about was indirect, it was still detrimental to patients and carers. "When the shadow of age discrimination hangs over a health or social care organisation … the quality of the service is affected," they wrote. The report noted that the UK has a higher death rate from cancer than the rest of western Europe and the US in over-75s, and that despite progress in reducing mortality levels, younger people had benefited disproportionately.

It quoted research showing that women over 80 had markedly poorer access to investigation and treatment than women aged 65 to 69.

"The United Kingdom has a higher death rate from cancer than the rest of  Western Europe and the United States in people aged seventy-five years and over, and while there has been progress across all ages in reducing cancer mortality, that progress has been faster among younger people."

"...women over 80 have markedly poorer access to investigation and treatment than women aged 65 to 69."

This is from First Things -

Friday, April 2, 2010, 11:11 AM
Wesley J. Smith
The clip below requires a little unpacking: In answering a flip, but it turns out quite good, question about “death panels,” Paul Krugman claims accurately that the cost/benefit board established over private medicine by Obamacare will be able to impose “more or less binding judgments” refusing care, and moreover, that these refusals will save “a lot of money” in the context of treating the elderly (and others, such as people with disabilities and terminal illnesses).  He says that the panel will prevent treatment that isn’t “medically” useful. But private insurance companies already do that. So do Medicare and Medicaid.

No, the money won’t be taken out of the hide of patients who want physiologically useless treatment, it will come at the lethal cost to patients whose treatment will be refused because it could work, based on the invidious judgment that the patient’slife is not worth the money to support.  In short, Krugman has admitted that contrary to the many mendacious denials by Obamacare supporters, the new regimewill impose rationing–just as in the UK with NICE, which is why I bring it up all the time.

This is akin to imposing a duty to die because when we reach a certain point in life, we will not be able to obtain treatment we want that could keep us going. Indeed, for me, this centralized federal control over what will and will not be provided in medicine–and to whom–is the biggest reason (among so many) why Obamacare is wrong.  Repeal. Reform. Replace.  First target–putative death panels.

Why should the US want to adopt a system which, according to the Carruthers and Ormondroyd report, cannot compete with a comparative standard of care for its elder citizens? If it’s all about the money, it’s all about the money. Be it the US or the UK, cost matters more than care.

Medicaid and Medicare are two governmental programs that provide medical and health-related services to specific groups of people in the United States. Although the two programs are very different, they are both managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

HCP holding insurance form by hospital bed
Medicare is a social insurance program that serves more than 44 million enrollees (as of 2008). The program costs about $432 billion, or 3.2% of GDP, in 2007. Medicaid is a social welfare (or social protection) program that serves about 40 million people (as of 2007) and costs about $330 billion, or 2.4% of GDP, in 2007. Together, Medicare and Medicaid represent 21% of the FY 2007 U.S. federal government.

Both Medicaid and Medicare were created when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed amendments to the Social Security Act on July 30, 1965

And that’s a lot of money. 

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