May the ‘Death Panel’ Be Ever in Your Favor


Obamacare is something that gets thrown around pretty readily today in the news.  For the past few years, this act has caused a great deal of controversy behind the doors of the government officials.  Yes, it may be all over the news and many citizens have taken a side but the real question is how many people TRULY, understand what the hell this even entails.  After taking the quiz, I can easily sit here and tell you I am well informed after receiving a 7 out of 10.  But that wouldn’t be fair to say, as I based my answers off of preconceived ideas of the government and what I would just ‘assume’ the answer to be.

The question that caught my eye and really left me looking for more answers was the following,

Question 2Although the answer was ultimately no, this was actually in the original plan, listed as Section 1233, advanced care planning consultation.  People may know it as the highly controversial ‘death panel’.  I, as many others, hearing “a government panel to make decisions about end-of-life care” was quick to attack and say this is the most absurd and intrusive thing the government can do.  This negative attack towards Section 1233 could be directly linked to people such as Sarah Palin, who took to bringing down the act, and labeling it the ‘death panel’. She is quoted described the section saying,  “and who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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 judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil”  Quotes such as these triggered many to fear what was to come, but once I ‘googled’ Section 1233, I gained a better understanding of the truth.

Section 1233, was simply an incentive for doctors who participated in coaching their patients, in ‘end-of-life’ decision making processes.  This would, one, alleviate the pain a family may have to go to when deciding the fait of a family member who is in a life threatening situation, and help reduce societal costs (which was the main objective).  I think the NY Times Article explains it best “no one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear”.  Having Section 1233, in place, the doctor would know what the patient directed, along with the family, through the educational and helpful ‘coaching’ provided.

When you look at Section 1233 through the eyes of these law –makers intent, I believe many would understand and agree that this would only benefit families, along with society as well.  What happened here though was the misinformed media through labels such as the ‘death panel’ did not allow for the correct explanation.  It quickly scared the uneducated in to immediate disapprove because honestly, who would have a positive reaction to seeing a headline stating that the government was going to establish a panel to dictate your end-of-life care? I certainly wouldn’t, would you?


2 comments on “May the ‘Death Panel’ Be Ever in Your Favor

  1. I was interested in Palin’s quote, arguing that the elderly will suffer most under Obamacare. Even through the federal government will cut spending on Medicare, it seems as through people on Medicare are aided under the PPACA… the act focuses on preventative care (which helps to cut costs down the road) and lowers medication payments for Medicare beneficiaries.

  2. I am really glad you shed some light on this story. And it is amazing how much the label outweighed the facts of the law.

    Of course, to Sarah Palin and her supporters, who ideologically believe that government is always corrupt or evil, really, “incentive for coaching” will lead to a panel of people who will make life or death choices. Uh-oh… that is how it starts.

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