[ExI] Fwd: What if Medicare required a living will?

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sat Apr 30 21:27:18 UTC 2011

On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> A remarkable proportion of healthcare costs go to
> the very last days or hours of our lives.”

Something like 50% of expenses are in the last two years, last I heard.

> His idea is voluntary. But I’d make a different suggestion. What if,
> to be eligible for Medicare, you had to give someone power of attorney
> and sign a living will?

Then the government would have to hire legions of lawyers. Still, this
is an interesting idea.

> And although Sarah Palin managed
> to rechristen medical counseling about end-of-life options “death
> panels,” I choose to believe that that sort of childishness isn’t
> inevitable and that this country can make adult decisions about adult
> problems.

I have understood death panels to mean groups of doctors deciding who
can have their lives artificially extended by heroic means. I think
most hospitals have committees that do this now. The fear of
conservatives is that these panels will migrate from the private
sphere to the public. I'd much rather have a group of well meaning
doctors deciding my fate than a bunch of bureaucratic government
types. I haven't read Palin's specific fears...

> This also raises the question of what other simple choices, or
> policies, have the potential to change a major driver of health-care
> costs without requiring major reforms to the health-care system. The
> floor is open for ideas.

Of course the health care system can be improved. But does it need to
be dismantled entirely in order to be improved? It's a slow moving
tsunami destroying the system out there right now. I figure the
Supreme Court is going to throw out some of all of Obamacare anyway.


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