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Aug 11, 2009

ObamaCare May Save Social Security

ObamaCare Saves Social Security
08/11/09 - InsureBlog by Henry Stern

[edited] The healthcare bill we reference is "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, Revised Standard Edition". It has the potential to save Social Security from bankruptcy:
Page 425. "The term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner [doctor] ... if ... the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years."

So, seniors are encouraged to have these consultations at least every 5 years. What are they?

Page 432. "For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life sustaining treatment."  (note)Can you imagine 1000 pages of this language?

So, a "consensus based organization"The End of Life Quality Treatment Board will come to order. All in favor of 'Non-Heroic Treatment Plan 103' say Aye. The plan is approved by 8 votes to 1. I declare this a consensus. We are adjourned."" will determine advanced care planning. It will create orders for life sustaining treatment that will be measured for compliance. It could order anything from a pain pill to life saving surgery, depending on whatever utilitarian measures it wants. And, that will be that. Are you reassured?

This implements social justice. Rich and poor will be prescribed the most cost-effective lifesaving or pain-numbing treatment, according to expert guidelines.

If you are a federal politician, federal employee, or approved union member, you are not covered by this act. You have other, nicer choices for your care, provided by private insurance companiesAren't the insurance companies supposed to be the spawn of the Devil? arranged for you by your union or the federal government.

Social Security will save a lot as most people's lives end on a more rational basis.

This prompted my comment (sarcasm warning):

It is shortsighted to bring quality of life issues into discussion only because of explicit costs for healthcare at the end of life.

It is obvious that we cannot support useless members of the tribe who are no longer able to work.

What is less obvious, and much more important, is to factor in carbon use. This is also a cost to society, and to Gaia herself.

We should accept that when our personal carbon footprint goes up past our productivity, then we need a talking to.

When an individual can no longer bicycle to work, it may be better to accept the end rather than be a carbon burden on us all.

It is inescapable. Some must continue on in the cycle of life so that others may live without damaging the Earth.

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