President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care.
The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine... Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.
“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”
Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.
“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”
Knowing his thoughts on the "moral issues" surrounding continuing giving hip replacements to "chronically ill and those towards the end of their lives," and the financial burden for these citizens "accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here," how does the President think people will feel about his comments during his "town hall" yesterday, where he stated:
The idea is actually pretty straightforward, which is if we've got a panel of experts, health experts, doctors, who can provide guidelines to doctors and patients about what procedures work best in what situations, and find ways to reduce, for example, the number of tests that people take -- these aren't going to be forced on people, but they will help guide how the delivery system works...
This statement reeks of rationing care for senior citizens and/or other chronically ill patients. In addition, the president is a personal proponent of a single-payer system, which economically necessitates the rationing of care for these kinds of patients (see Canada, UK, etc.).
What do you think? Does the Obama plan promote minimizing the care of our elderly and chronically ill? Let us know what you think and, in the meantime, keep a close watch over your tonsils and feet.