Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My how you talk . . .

It seems Senate Republicans are going to oppose Donald Berwick as director of CMS because he has made some shocking, appalling public threats to murder your grandmother. Among the Hitlerian eugenicist opinions he has shamelessly enunciated are:

The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.

In his book, “Escape Fire: Designs for the Future of Health Care,” Dr. Berwick sharply criticized “the dangerous, toxic and expensive assumption that more is better.” He insists that the nation can cut health costs without harming patients because vast sums are misspent.

“I have said before, and I’ll stand behind it, that the waste level in American medicine approaches 50 percent,” he said in an interview in the journal Health Affairs in 2005.

Dr. Berwick has championed efforts to “reduce the total supply of high-technology medical and surgical care” and to consolidate services in regional centers.

Long before the uproar over “death panels” last year, Dr. Berwick was urging health care providers to “reduce the use of unwanted and ineffective medical procedures at the end of life.”

“Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” he said in 1993 at the annual conference of his institute. “In economic terms, it is waste.”

On more than one occasion, Dr. Berwick has suggested a need for a cap on total health spending, with limits on annual increases.

In speeches and articles celebrating the 60th anniversary of Britain’s National Health Service in 2008, Dr. Berwick said he was “in love with the N.H.S.” and explained why it was “such a seductress.”

“The N.H.S. is not just a national treasure,” he wrote; “it is a global treasure.”

Among its virtues, he told a British audience, is that “you cap your health care budget.”

Instead of trying to protect the wealthy, Dr. Berwick wrote, the British recognized that “sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker, and that any health care funding plan that is just must redistribute wealth.”

Dr. Berwick offered a suggestion to the British: “Please don’t put your faith in market forces.”

“In the United States,” he wrote, “competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply-driven, fragmented care system.”

Well I've just fallen onto the fainting couch. Thank God we have the Republican Party to save America from this amoral monster. "The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, describes Dr. Berwick as an “expert on rationing.” Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, calls him “the perfect nominee for a president whose aim has always been to save money by rationing health care.”

Yep. That's about right.


kathy a. said...

people are so stupid.

i've talked before about quality of life vs. maximum intervention before. in end of life situations, i do not think anyone benefits from a pull-out-the-stops approach, including the patient. there is still some feeling that all must be done, especially if there are unresolved issues between someone and the one who is dying.

kathy a. said...

a gentle death, if death is unavoidable, is better. and it costs less than useless and hurtful procedures. that's what i mean.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the Republicans, who suddenly discovered fiscal responsibility when Obama was elected, have forgotten about it just as suddenly.

kathy a. said...

when they talk about "rationing," it is only in the context of killing grandma or something like that. they Never talk about how many people get horribly inadequate or no care because they are uninsured, or how much more it costs to deal with problems in the ER, or any more rational issues around costs. such as how much it costs to have the for-profit insurance companies in the middle of medical decisionmaking.