On Wednesdays I have lunch with the boys and we solve the world's problems over barbecue. Today, despite the distracting hullabaloo over the new Russian edition of Virus of the Mind, we solved the sticky problem of the "Death Panel":: who decides when to pull the plug on a terminal patient? Studies show that 27% of Medicare dollars are used in the last year of life. At some point, someone has to decide how much to spend on expensive treatment and maintenance at the end of life. Fearmongers in Congress have referred to this necessary evil as a "death panel."
Who will be on these death panels? What criteria will they use? Will some people be considered more worthy than others? These are really tough questions. We decided it's much more civilized to have the patient decide. And we have the perfect model for the decision-making process on TV every week: Deal or No Deal.
The insurance company has actuarial tables that will tell them, on average, how much it will cost to do everything medically possible to prolong the patient's life. So all they have to do is offer a fraction of that to the patient, to pass on to the family, in exchange for pulling the plug. $275,000: Deal or no deal?
What would you decide?
March 31, 2010
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I like it except for one thing: I work for an insurance company and if you think we are seen as evil now, just wait until we offer that option.
So Granny makes it to 81 OR the grandkids get $275G.
I would say No Deal because they will almost certainly take most of it back in taxes.
"So Granny makes it to 81 OR [I] get $275G."
Sorry, granny, I got a BMW to pay off.
Sorry, here's the built-in problem: 9 out of 10 spoiled, overfed Americans will answer "BOTH!" and expect it to actually happen because they're so fucking special.
"Studies show that 27% of Medicare dollars are used in the last year of life. At some point, someone has to decide how much to spend on expensive treatment and maintenance at the end of life. Fearmongers in Congress have referred to this necessary evil as a 'death panel.' "
Necessary evil? Who said it was necessary? Making a statement of fact does not define something as a problem to be solved.
That stat is correct for medical insurance whether you die at 2 mos, 27 years or 9 decades. Once the gov't can decide when a human life has no value, the private insurers, who's lobby drives this thing, will be right on their tail.
Give the elderly the option of choosing pain-free assistance in leaving this world, and most will take it at an appropriate point without any coaxing.
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