Consider the day when your parents are too old to take care of themselves. Perhaps dementia has rendered them at risk to themselves or others. Would you want their doctor to understand their options for continuing care and to advise you when they would be safer living with you or in assisted living or a nursing home? Or that other options are available for them to remain in their own home with a health care provider to take care of them 24-7?
Consider the day your ninety-year-old mother is tethered to a hospital bed by the tangle of tubes stuck in her veins. She will never recover from the stroke that ravaged her brain, her body and her spirit. Do you leave her there to die in the company of strangers who already have too many other "healthy" patients to care for? Who do you consult to understand the healthcare options available for your mother and can you afford to pay for such a consultation? Under the new healthcare reform bill, Medicare will cover this consultation with her physician. Under the new healthcare reform bill, the Medicare & You Handbook will address these and other concerns online.
Ironically, information is the "death panel" Sarah Palin rails against when she says: "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgement of their "level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil." Palin says Obama's health care plan is 'evil' by Mark Thiessen, Associated Press Writer. OrPalin's Facebook.
It's difficult to read this statement of Sarah's and understand how she formed her opinion when it is so at odds with the actual content of Health Reform Bill HR3200. "Obama's death panel?" How do these health insurance reform requirements translate to Palin's death squad rhetoric: ensuring quality care for all Americans, reducing healthcare costs, guarantying Americans freedom to choose their plan of insurance which includes a public insurance option? How does empowering people with information translate to Palin's death squad rhetoric? These are some of the actual-in-official-print points covered in HR3200, Section 1233, page 425:
- Advance care planning consultation to be covered by Medicare
- National and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning
- Living wills for a patient to communicate his/or her advance care wishes
- Responsibilities wills for a patient to communicate his/or her advance care decisions
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- Explanations of orders regarding life sustaining treatment
- Training for health care professionals
Check the sites listed below for more information and to read the actual HR 3200 bill, Section 1233, Advance Care Planning Consultation, page 425, that explains how Medicare will cover consultation for end of life care.