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No, I don't want to mince words about who "gets euthanized". Nobody gets euthanized. And nobody is going to be forced to pay out of pocket for a procedure they can't afford. I wouldn't support that kind of change myself.
Medicare is a single-payer system that has been around for about 60 years. It will not change. If you can get a bypass operation now--and you can--you'll be able to get a bypass operation after this legislation passes. No one over 65 will be on the so-called public option described in H.R. 3200.
The public option is not a single-payer system. It will be entirely funded by the premiums it charges. It will not be underwritten by the government, and no new money will be taken out of public funds. It is designed to be a free-market answer to healthcare reform. It will compete on an equal footing with private insurance plans, so it will have to offer the same coverage as all the private plans. If you can get the operation on a private plan, you can get it on the public option.
The Secretary will not make any decisions whatsoever about who does and who does not get surgery. The Secretary, following the recommendations of an independent panel, will decide what the minimum benefits are for each level of plan (basic, premium, and premium plus). The public option will have to offer the same benefits as the private plans for each of those levels of care. I am positive that catastrophic care--i.e., bypass surgery--will be required at every level. Unlike the situation we have today, surgery cannot then be denied because of some loophole--every plan participating on the exchange will have to deliver what it promises.
Medicare doesn't deny bypass surgery today, and it won't deny bypass surgery later. This legislation is about guaranteeing affordable healthcare to those under 65. The sections on Medicare deal with eliminating waste and fraud and with adding some benefits. There are no benefit cuts to Medicare.
You are misusing the term "euthanize". The definition of the word also includes "permitting" people to die. And the bill clearly establishes the secretary has the power to determine coverage under all insurance within the exchange.
And if medicare isn't going to change, then why is Obama talking about his grandmother and her hip replacement, or his answer to the question about the 100+ woman getting by-pass suregery?
I'm glad you trust the government will never have the minimum benefits not cover what you term "catastrophic care", but if that is true then why not say it in the bill? And why all the discussion about hip replacements and by-pass surgery? The point is that for a 100+ year old woman, by-pass surgery is not considered "catastrophic care", nor is hip replacement for a dying grandmother. And once you allow guality of life, length of life, etc. come into the definition of what you call "catastrophic care" you are permitting people to die because it isn't cost effective to give the 100+ year old by-pass surgery.
And to be honest, I think that it is a discussion that needs to be held in America BEFORE passing a bill such as this, not after. Set up the "commission". Establish the rules. Let Amerca discuss the details of what constitutes "catastrophic care" and what constitutes wasting money to extend life 1 month, 1 year, 10 years. Then try and pass a bill with those limits within the bill--and limits that can only be changed by congress, not a political appointee.
Don't pass a bill giving that authority to the secretary and then hoping for the best as to what comes out of that effort. And if the left is afraid that with those limits set forth the bill would never pass, well then maybe it's a fataly flawed bill.