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Thread: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

  1. #121
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I know your entire post makes for a long quote, but I didn't want to butcher it by slicing it up. I, too, am facing my mortality. Like your mother, I'm on oxygen. I've had midnight EMT rides to the ER. I can't walk from room to room without gasping. I'm pretty much housebound except for doctor visits. My husband is quite a bit older than me, and we both know if he goes first I soon won't be able to care for even my most basic needs.

    Am I worth $750,000 in nursing home care for the next couple of years? Hell, no, I am not. My problem is that my government does not give me the option of choosing death with dignity. They will charitably allow me to kill myself, although I'd be arrested or committed at taxpayer expense if I fail. But they will not allow my physician to give me the medication to assure a quick, painless, clean death. So I either put a bullet in my brain, forcing someone to wash the resulting gore out of the walls, or I hang myself, tape a plastic bag over my head... you get the picture.

    I'm not insulted by the "let granny die" crowd. I'm insulted by the "force granny to gasp for every breath in torment for months until she dies" crowd. There's quite a difference!
    At 44 I'm glad there is the heart transplant option for me to some extent. At 64, 70 I'm not so sure I would be so thrilled about the option.

  2. #122
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by DiAnna View Post
    I know your entire post makes for a long quote, but I didn't want to butcher it by slicing it up. I, too, am facing my mortality. Like your mother, I'm on oxygen. I've had midnight EMT rides to the ER. I can't walk from room to room without gasping. I'm pretty much housebound except for doctor visits. My husband is quite a bit older than me, and we both know if he goes first I soon won't be able to care for even my most basic needs.

    Am I worth $750,000 in nursing home care for the next couple of years? Hell, no, I am not. My problem is that my government does not give me the option of choosing death with dignity. They will charitably allow me to kill myself, although I'd be arrested or committed at taxpayer expense if I fail. But they will not allow my physician to give me the medication to assure a quick, painless, clean death. So I either put a bullet in my brain, forcing someone to wash the resulting gore out of the walls, or I hang myself, tape a plastic bag over my head... you get the picture.

    I'm not insulted by the "let granny die" crowd. I'm insulted by the "force granny to gasp for every breath in torment for months until she dies" crowd. There's quite a difference!
    I agree. I see no reason to prolong anyone's suffering when their time has come. But when it comes to children, especially, they should never be uninsured. Adults, I'll admit, have less of my sympathy.

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    You guys always talk about how easy it is to raise taxes on someone else. I guess it's equally easy to let someone else's kid die.
    of course it is, but I admire Oscar for at least trying to be consistent. I don't believe that many people can really be that cold towards their own children or siblings to write them off and say essentially: "oh well. Let nature take its course." But it is easy for many people to apply such cold logic to those they have no ties to. That being said, I see no point in prolonging the lives of seniors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellie View Post
    No, we shouldn't let them die. We should support private charities that help those who cannot help themselves. We should keep in touch with our neighbors and friends, helping them out individually as needed. My church always gives money to people who need surgeries or other procedures, but they have little to no insurance. It's our duty to help each other, not wave people off and tell them some government official will come help them.
    That sounds great, but unfortunately, it's not realistic for the most part. Private charities and churches can't cover everyone's medical expenses. There would be many who would go without.
    “In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” -Napoleon

  3. #123
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    I agree. I see no reason to prolong anyone's suffering when their time has come. But when it comes to children, especially, they should never be uninsured. Adults, I'll admit, have less of my sympathy.

    of course it is, but I admire Oscar for at least trying to be consistent. I don't believe that many people can really be that cold towards their own children or siblings to write them off and say essentially: "oh well. Let nature take its course." But it is easy for many people to apply such cold logic to those they have no ties to. That being said, I see no point in prolonging the lives of seniors.
    It depends on the specific situation. If a relatively cheap procedure could give a senior 10 more years of life, I'd give it to them. In general, though, I agree with you.
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  4. #124
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    But still, we DO have to make that call at some point. If it is going to take a $750,000 for the treatments to keep Gramma alive in a nursing home bed for maybe another year or two, and she doesn't have the money or assets to cover it.... then we have to stop and think about how much we're asking society to shell out for this, and what the benefit is.

    If $750,000 will restore some person to a productive working life and give them another 15 or 20 years, maybe it is worth it to society.

    OTOH if $750,000 just means that Granny lays in the nursing home bed, struggling for every breath, trying not to take too much morphine for the pain, for another 12 months instead of passing away next week... maybe we have to ask if the time and the quality of life is really worth that much money out of other people's pockets.
    What you're describing are the ObamaCare Death Panels that Governor Palin identified. There's nothing wrong with them other than so bureaucrat is deciding life and death issue by formula.

    We have to have death panels. The issue comes down to how to implement them.

    Here is P.J. O'Rourke paraphrasing Milton Friedman's insights on choices and behavior with regard to spending money:


    "1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers.

    2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas.

    3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus.

    4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a sh*t?"


    As someone else has already noted, we spend a vast chunk of national wealth on medical spending for dying patient's last month of life. The reason we can do this is that the patient and the family can scream and shout and throw tantrums and the physicians simply don't need to be fiscally responsible because they're all playing with "other people's money." See point #4.

    We need to revamp our elder care system so that it caps lifetime medical spending and allow for some portion of a residual to revert to the person's estate. All throughout history and across many cultures, old people chose to die when their survival meant impoverishing their families. Now old people are willing to spend hundred's of thousands of borrowed dollars that our kids will have to repay so that they can stay alive for a while longer.

    Let the old person realize that if they want to fight for life to the very last possible moment that it will deplete their estate and leave their heirs nothing but that if they choose to die with dignity, on their own terms, that they will be strengthening their heirs by passing on some of their wealth.

    Put the cost decisions regarding end of life care into the hands of patients and/or their designated guardians and let them make the decisions with respect to THEIR OWN MONEY.

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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    You guys always talk about how easy it is to raise taxes on someone else. I guess it's equally easy to let someone else's kid die.
    You know what? It is easy to let someone else's kid die. Look at how many die in Africa during famine. I'd be very surprised if 1 out of 200 lost even a moment's sleep after watching reports of such deaths.

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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    What you're describing are the ObamaCare Death Panels that Governor Palin identified. There's nothing wrong with them other than so bureaucrat is deciding life and death issue by formula.

    We have to have death panels. The issue comes down to how to implement them.

    Here is P.J. O'Rourke paraphrasing Milton Friedman's insights on choices and behavior with regard to spending money:


    "1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers.

    2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas.

    3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus.

    4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a sh*t?"


    As someone else has already noted, we spend a vast chunk of national wealth on medical spending for dying patient's last month of life. The reason we can do this is that the patient and the family can scream and shout and throw tantrums and the physicians simply don't need to be fiscally responsible because they're all playing with "other people's money." See point #4.

    We need to revamp our elder care system so that it caps lifetime medical spending and allow for some portion of a residual to revert to the person's estate. All throughout history and across many cultures, old people chose to die when their survival meant impoverishing their families. Now old people are willing to spend hundred's of thousands of borrowed dollars that our kids will have to repay so that they can stay alive for a while longer.

    Let the old person realize that if they want to fight for life to the very last possible moment that it will deplete their estate and leave their heirs nothing but that if they choose to die with dignity, on their own terms, that they will be strengthening their heirs by passing on some of their wealth.

    Put the cost decisions regarding end of life care into the hands of patients and/or their designated guardians and let them make the decisions with respect to THEIR OWN MONEY.
    Seriously, show me the "death panels" Palin was teferring to or lose all credibility with me. (Not that you care, I'm sure, but and you'll gain substantial credibility if you do.)
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverDad View Post
    You know what? It is easy to let someone else's kid die. Look at how many die in Africa during famine. I'd be very surprised if 1 out of 200 lost even a moment's sleep after watching reports of such deaths.
    Well yeah, exactly. You claim that if we were the ones being taxed, we wouldn't be in favor of raising taxes. I claim that if it was your kid who was dying and you couldn't afford to save them, you'd be in favor of universal health care.
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  8. #128
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    It depends on the specific situation. If a relatively cheap procedure could give a senior 10 more years of life, I'd give it to them. In general, though, I agree with you.
    Cheap procedures are so rare these days.
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    Seriously, show me the "death panels" Palin was teferring to or lose all credibility with me. (Not that you care, I'm sure, but and you'll gain substantial credibility if you do.)
    Well, there are none in Obamacare. That was just a myth. Such things do (sort of) exist, though. Basically, in a universal health care system, you can't pay for all the treatments everyone needs, so you've got to make some choices about who gets treated and who doesn't. They can still pay for it themselves if they want to, of course, and in most systems, they can also buy private insurance if they don't like the public.
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    Re: Should We Allow The Uninsured To Die?

    Quote Originally Posted by evanescence View Post
    Cheap procedures are so rare these days.
    Not necessarily. An appendectomy is a cheap procedure, without which a person has a 100 percent fatality rate. That's the sort of thing that should always be available.
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