Scripting the Conversation, Part 2: The provider-patient dialogue

My last post —  Scripting “the Conversation” — discussed scripted dialogue at the national level.  It demonstrated how a few academics, so-called health policy experts, special interest groups, and foundations can stage a national dialogue — frame a conversation — with the help of their media allies.

The same group of academics and foundations have been at work on the micro level, generating scripts — literally word-for-word scripts — to be used by providers when they encounter difficult situations with patients and families, mostly in the context of patients and families who want life-sustaining treatment. Continue reading

Progressives lobby for end-of-life funding “to change health care delivery”

On July 23 a new pro-Obamacare coalition called the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC) lobbied on Capitol Hill for “two bills to change health care delivery.”

The bills (H.R. 1339 / S. 641; and H.R. 1666) would authorize (to start) roughly $300 million for advertising to the public, training navigators, educating health professionals, establishing a national supervisory board, and promoting research, all with the goal of replacing standard care with palliative care (symptom treatment and hospice) for sick people, in lieu of costly life-saving treatments.

Dick Woodruff -- former chief of staff to Rosa DeLauro; former legislative advisor for Alliance for Justice -- gives the PQLC lobbyists some final instructions.

Dick Woodruff — former chief of staff to Rosa DeLauro; former legislative advisor for Alliance for Justice — gives the PQLC lobbyists some final instructions.

Veteran lobbyist Dick Woodruff explained why the urgency:  “Because these people who have these illnesses . . . are the ones who are driving healthcare costs more than anybody else . .  if we can figure out a way to manage their care, we can make life better for them, but then save the system money. . . .  [These bills] could have major returns over the next 25-45 years.” [my emphasis]

Woodruff, who served as chief of staff for Rosa DeLauro (of EMILY’s List fame), and later as senior Continue reading

Obama Administration Cuts Deal with Big Insurance (and others)

I smell quid pro quo.

Two events occurred on May 21.

The Los Angeles Times reported the fact that the Obama administration (aka, Big Government) has cut a deal with AHIP (Big Insurance). (hat tip Matt Drudge, who picked up the story.)

In exchange for holding down premium increases next year, the administration has promised the insurance industry a bailout worth billions of taxpayer dollars if the insurance companies lose money in the process.  The bailout is hidden in regulations that were issued a little over a week ago. Continue reading

5 Things You Should Know About Palliative Care

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference in Wooster, Ohio.  The conference, titled “The Healthcare Trojan Horse,” was sponsored by the Pro-life Healthcare Alliance and Wayne/Homes Right to Life.  Following is the presentation as it was written; the actual talk was abbreviated due to time constraints. —Ione Whitlock

The promise of hospice palliative care was that it would provide comfort to the dying, ease symptoms, and help grieving loved ones.  Modern palliative care promises to be Continue reading

Another palliative care expert chimes in

A friend has sent me an editorial from the San Francisco Chronicle concerning the Jahi McMath and Marlise Munoz cases.  The column, “End of life elusive, thanks to tricks of modern science,” was published last Friday, and was written by Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH.

Dr. Zitter’s editorials seem to be popping up all over the place these days.  See, for Continue reading