White House Still Wants Death Panels; Rob You First

Obama Administration May Revive Payments for Nazi “Death Panel” Counselling

The Pew Charitable Trust is circulating a story, being picked up in local papers around the country, that the Obama Administration will likely try to push through a new regulation “incentivizing” doctors to provide end-of-life counselling and living wills to their patients — as a means of inducing patients to forego costly treatments. As EIR and LPAC have reported, such a Nazi T-4 provision, promoted by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), was in the original Obamacare bill, under the rubric of “advanced care planning consultations” — even for children! They were forced to take it out of the bill by a public uproar, but then they tried to sneak it back in, through regulations proposed by the Center for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) in late 2011. Again, CMS was forced to drop it.

Now, as Pew reports, the American Medical Association (AMA) will soon issue recommendations urging that doctors be paid for “advance care planning,” and it is expected that CMS will include it in proposed regulations. Already, some private insurers and two states already provide reimbursement for “advance care planning.”
Have You Thought About Suicide?

“We are doing this to incentivize providers to have these conversations with our clients,” said Judy Zerzan, chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Health Policy. Pew notes, “Studies show that when given a choice, patients often forgo invasive procedures at the end of life. Such procedures can be costly while doing little to extend or improve the quality of a patient’s life.”Burke Balch, director of the Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee, said he wasn’t aware of the AMA’s proposal. But he expressed concern that it would result in the denial of lifesaving medical treatment. “It is one thing genuinely to determine what people’s treatment wishes are, but the danger is very grave that efforts to pay for advance-care planning sessions [under] Medicare will turn into subtle efforts to pressure some of the most-vulnerable patients to surrender their right to live,” Balch said.

Obamacare Appears To Be Triggering Large Insurance Premium Increases

The spiking health insurance premiums for the next year which have been announced in four states over the past 48 hours, will turn into a political scandal for Obamacare and Obama. The publication of rates in these states appears to be showing that the launch of Obamacare’s “exchange insurance” has triggered the big increases in costs of insurance.

On April 16, USA Today had reported, “Statisticians working with insurers to project next year’s insurance premium rates say they expect to see an average increase of about 7%, well below the feared double-digit increases making recent headlines. ‘The double-rate increases we’ve been hearing are probably exaggerated,’ says Dave Axene, a fellow with the Society of Actuaries, adding that there would be wide variation across the country. ‘That’s not what we’re seeing from the actuarial organizations. I guess we’re being a little bit more optimistic.'”
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

The White House was being still more optimistic, because on May 26, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reported that total national spending on healthcare had increased by just 0.9% in the year ending March 31, 2014. This, in fact, showed the effects of the economic collapse and the denial of tests, procedures, hospital admissions, etc. being imposed on seniors and others under the pressure of Obamacare. But the White House bragged about “effective cost control.”It did not publicize the other NBER finding: that premiums for continuing health plans of employers with more than 50 employees had increased just 1.7% in the year to March 31, 2014. That figure constituted a point of comparison for the seven states due to publicize this month the new premiums, for the year ending March 31, 2015.

Now those premiums are being reported. On Vermont’s Obamacare exchanges, MVP Health Care wants an average rate increase of 15.4%, and the only other insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, an average 9.8% hike. In Arizona, Cigna proposed average premium hikes of 14.4% and Humana 25.5%; BCBS is still to come. The two big insurers on Connecticut’s exchange: Anthem Health Plans a 12.5% average increase, ConnectiCare Benefits 11.8%. And the Ohio State Insurance Department announced that the average premium increase for policies on the state’s exchange will be 13% for 2014-15. Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor summed up: “Ohio has traditionally had a very competitive insurance market, which meant our rates were lower than a lot of other states. That means that Obamacare is hitting us harder and driving our costs up significantly.”

At least three more states will announce rates in June. Obama, having driven down health spending by murderous denial of care, will now “own” the return of double-digit health insurance premium spikes as well.

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