Dr. Deane Waldman Explains the Health Care Law’s “Death Panels”

With the House of Representatives poised to pass a repeal of health care (the effort is likely to die in the Senate, but it is still a worthy exercise), Dr. Deane Waldman explains in this new article where the much-discussed “death panels” really are to be found in the new health care law.

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3 Replies to “Dr. Deane Waldman Explains the Health Care Law’s “Death Panels””

  1. Don’t insurance companies use some form of “cost containment” when making care decisions? YES. People die in America every day because their insurance company denies treatment or medication. While not a supporter or Obama care your being disingenuous when you “speculate” on whether a cost containment commission “may” deny coverage and ignore the fact that insurance companies do practice cost containment by denying coverage every day.

  2. The earlier example of “death panel” is already in law, funded, spending, and at work creating clinical guidelines for medical decisions. It is the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CCCER) and was created by the stimulus bill passed in February 2008. The government website is http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/cer/cerannualrpt.pdf. The next to the last paragraph on page 3 in copied below. Their examples show they consider oral medication is not as effective for the treatment of diabetes as lifestyle change. In the same paragraph they laud themselves for promoting research showing that lifestyle change is better than percutaneous
    coronary intervention. This creates the possibility of denying insulin, metformin, etc. for diabetes. It creates the foundation to deny coronary angioplasty and “percutenous” procedures such as inserting coronary artery stents.

    This quote is from their 2009 annual report, page 3:

    “Examples of successful CER include summaries of evidence from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on numerous conditions, such as prostate cancer and osteoporosis, as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) diabetes prevention trial that demonstrated lifestyle change was superior to metformin and placebo in preventing onset of type two diabetes. Additionally, the Veterans Affairs (VA) COURAGE trial demonstrated that patients treated with optimal medical therapy alone did just as well as patients who received percutaneous coronary intervention plus medical therapy in preventing heart attack and death. These exemplars show the power of CER to inform patient and clinician decisions and improve health outcomes.”

  3. I’ll admit I’m absolutely confused by the Republican’s “Death Panel” posturing. If we truly believe we are the party of reduced spending and fiscal responsibility, doesn’t there have to be some limit on what the government will spend our money on? Doesn’t there have to be some sort of cost-containment in our entitlement programs? I think using “Death Panel” scare tactics to gain a political point is short sighted. How else do we ultimately reduce medicare and medicaide outlays?

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