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Matt Taibbi: Newt Gingrich Changes What’s Left of his Mind on End-of-life Care

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 08:47 AM
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Matt Taibbi: Newt Gingrich Changes What’s Left of his Mind on End-of-life Care

Newt Gingrich Changes What’s Left of his Mind on End-of-life Care
Matt Taibbi

More than 20 percent of all Medicare spending occurs in the last two months of life. Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin has developed a successful end-of-life, best practice that combines: 1) community-wide advance care planning, where 90 percent of patients have advance directives; 2) hospice and palliative care; and 3) coordination of services through an electronic medical record. The Gundersen approach empowers patients and families to control and direct their care. The Dartmouth Health Atlas has documented that Gundersen delivers care at a 30 percent lower rate than the national average ($18,359 versus $25,860). If Gundersen’s approach was used to care for the approximately 4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who die every year, Medicare could save more than $33 billion a year.

via Health Care Rx: Across the Country, Some Systems Are Getting It Right – Newt Gingrich.

That was Newt Gingrich just a few months ago praising the “Advance Directives” practiced by a hospital in Wisconsin. Advance Directives are another word for the end-of-life consultations that the teabggers have been flipping out over of late. Gingrich loved them a few months ago.


He’s pretty unequivocal here. Well, what happens when suddenly the Republican party decides it wants to scare the shit out of a bunch of old people by telling them the new health care bill is going to include a provision in which “death panels” ask them “when they want to die”? Now all of the sudden Gingrich is violently against the same programs he was so windily praising earlier this year.

And make no mistake, this is exactly the same thing. The only thing that’s actually in the health care proposals is a provision that would allow Medicare to pay for exactly the kind of programs Gingrich praised, on a voluntary basis.
The programs are not government-administered in any way, there’s just government money now to pay for the private programs. And now Gingrich is suddenly aghast at them:


In other words, there may not be a death panel in the bill, but there are other panels, and while no one has actually ever said such a thing and it is not relevant to this particular discussion, I nonetheless assert that in general it is true that “people in government” believe in euthanasia.

Amazing. I mean, talk about being full of shit. This is as clear a case as you will ever find of a politician just getting up on television and just flat-out dogging it, saying something without even the faintest shred of belief, just as a means to an end. What an asshole!

I know some politicians have kind of a wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude towards lying, and some of them in private will act almost like it’s funny, part of the job description. But there are limits to how much even a politician should be allowed to lie. That’s especially when he’s lying in order to scare a bunch of old people.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 08:49 AM
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1. Newt and Palin brain fart in public and call it perfume
but the truth is, they're full of shit.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 10:22 AM
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2. I'm in La Crosse and I do recall his being here.
Advanced directive are very common here and usually can be done without cost at either of our 2 hospitals.
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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 01:15 PM
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3. Newt actually compliments Obama on HC in his article.
And there appears to be a lot more involved than just having advance directives. Integrating care at hospitals, hospice, nursing facilities, and home using the team approach is best practice today. The interplay of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance rules and exclusions often combine to make the process more difficult and costly than it need be. And more of a hassle for everyone.

All the hospitals here in NC are moving in this direction with the medicals schools at UNC, Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest leading the way. NC has one of the largest rural populations of any state with many of the 100 counties having populations around 10,000 versus Wake (Raleigh/Cary) with a million. Finding ways to deliver health care and other services to those often poor areas is a challenge.

While I usually dislike his proposed solutions, I must give Newt credit for actually thinking and writing about serious issues. While he is always looking for political advantage, I think he also cares about actually dealing with the problems.
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nightgaunt Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 01:36 PM
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4. Gingrich care is death care
Gingrich is just showing how anti-humanitarian he really is. Remember how he treated his previous wife? If the 'other side' does what you want you immediately move against it. It must be strange playing that partisan game even while their comrads in the Democratic party like Bauchus are doing the same thing. But then the Pharma and corporate Health companies do not even want to lose the 2% they agreed to. Just 2%! When your bottom line is as much profit as you can get even 2% loss is too much for them. They are after all killing people to make that blood money. Something Sara Palin and all of those duped people are for, while they rail against single payer that isn't even on the table!

In the propaganda wars the experts in disinformation are winning. Too bad Obama isn't on our side.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 01:39 PM
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5. Maybe Newt thinks he'll get lucky . . . if you catch my drift . . .
the next time Sarah campaigns for someone in the lower 48. Why else would he align himself with the fringiest of the wingnuts?
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-13-09 07:23 PM
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6. K&R
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