Since this has come up in a few conversations:
I don't supposed more inclusion of government into medical services particularly, but my recommendation would be to take "end of life" out of the bill and just say medical consultations. Are end of life issues more important than the other life issues raised in the article and that physicians deal with daily?
Of course, that raises another concern, should it be a family doctor that does the consultation or legal/counseling professionals trained and well versed in the ins and outs of those issues? After all, doctors are not usually trained counselors and these consultations often result in legally binding decisions. Do I think this end of life care should be discussed with one's physician? Absolutely, after someone has done their own personal research and has decided what they want to do (getting professional help if they can or want to have professional assistance.) Their provider can answer medical questions as part of their routine care and they should play a part, but should this be a "paid consultation on end of life issues?" I've not met a doctor yet that wouldn't answer genuine medical questions during an office visit. However, they are not counselors or lawyers, nor should we pay them to be.
I think when funds get low, money will play a part in medical care and ultimately will play a part with regards to end of life issues. It does now to some extent. Just curious how long it will be before someone will be able to have palliative care paid for by "Uncle Sam", but if they want to stay alive and fight, they will have to foot the bill when such care is determined to be too "costly." I think this is a major concern, especially with those of us who are not kids anymore. Can this be an issue with insurance? Absolutely. Does nationalizing health care resolve this issue? Absolutely not.
This is one problem with government funding - the definitions get changed, and I think that is one thing that makes people who've been around a while just a little bit leery. Some people think that the "death panel" concept is ridiculous and perhaps they have a valid point. The fact is, however, that government run health care by necessity starts defining and redefining the terms of practice. In it's attempt to remain neutral, it rarely is. I recall being involved in an issue regarding AFP screening a while back in California and ran into an old friend on the opposite side of the issue. She supported mandating that the screening be offered and I didn't. She had a son with Spina Bifida. She thought I raised a few valid concerns regarding the state mandated brochure. Not long after she posted some frustration with her son being denied certain care because of his disability. This sort of thing is not uncommon, really. Perhaps we don't like it, but it's reality.
I was doing some searching on the net last night, and there was an MSN video on people in LA overwhelming a charitable organization providing medical care and citing it as evidence as people needing government subsidized health care. The example they gave was a single mom getting dental care for her daughter who had a bad tooth that ultimately was pulled. She had insurance, but the deductible was $2000. The problem is that government health care now cannot seem to afford root canals and crowns now so pulling teeth is what they will do. There will still be a disparity in care. There is no perfect system. There is no system where people will not fall into the cracks. The government is not the solution. Charity may be - I mean real charity - the sort that involves getting involved with others.
I think the orginazation providing medical care has the right idea. If they come here and it's even remotely feasible, I'll be down there helping out. Even so, the story didn't go far enough. It didn't give any stats on who was utilizing the care. Wouldn't you try to get free care if you could? I know many times there were things I wanted I couldn't get that a lot of people had that weren't really necessities. Certainly we weren't rich, so I'm sure I could have justified easily taking advantage of free clinics so I could afford something else. We like free things. LOL But in realtiy, nothing is really free.
The bottom line, whether it is governmentally run, or privately run, is ultimately paying for it all. Nothing is really free, except salvation, and even that cost Jesus his life.
And now I've probably stepped on a few toes.
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