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Death Panels, Medicare Cuts and Other Scare Tactics

“I originally wrote the lead article for this newsletter over one month ago. That lead article did not even make the final cut.

In the past month, many, many people have come into my office expressing concern about what is going on with health care. I tried very hard to avoid jumping into the middle of the fracas – not wanting to jump into a partizan political issue when it come to me trying to help people.

But enough is enough!

There are no “death panels” – never have been. The health care bills only allow your doctor to talk to you about end of life decisions and it allows the doctor to bill Medicare for doing so. Many of you have experienced health care providers too busy to spend any time with you. This proposal grants health care providers billable time to talk with you about something they should have been doing all along. I have been having the same conversation about end of life decisions with my clients for years.

The Medicare cuts deal with cutting out Medicare fraud, as well as cutting back on future increases in payment for service – not reducing services.

The Health Care bills actually expand services for the chronically ill and elderly (see the article “The Effects of Health Care Reform on Long-Term Care”, released November 23, 2009 in Elder Law Answers.)

I am upset that politicians, to secure their own special interest and to be sure they get elected, will say anything to scare the most vulnerable of our society – the chronically ill and elderly.


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