Friday, August 14, 2009

I Just Want to Scream!

OK, I've controlled my rage all week -- now I am so totally pissed off that I just want to scream.

1. For more than 15 years, the federal government has required that we ask anyone admitted to the hospital if they have prepared "advanced directives" -- that is, a living will or health care proxy (someone who can express your wishes if you can't). Here are the Connecticut forms -- everyone should have these documents -- you never know when you may need them. These questions are required for any healthcare organization that accepts payment from Medicare or Medicaid. It doesn't mean you have to have them or have them filled out in a particular way, but we have to ask.

And, as a nurse, I am ethically obligated to follow my patient's wishes -- whether I agree or not. Have there been times that a patient or their family wanted everything done and the health care team disagreed? You bet. Did we stop any care? Not a chance. Have there been times when a patient has said, "No -- no ventilator!" and I disagreed? Yes, again. Did I fight for that patient's right to refuse? You bet -- in fact, for one patient, I physically got between the patient and the doctor who wanted her tied down so he could put that tube in her throat.

There are no death panels, there's no one who's going to pull the plug to save money. It just doesn't happen that way.

2. I am so sick and tired of listening to people saying they don't want to pay for others to have health care. Of course, most people, including a nurse I used to work with, specify -- "illegal immigrants," "welfare queens," and other "unacceptable" folks. Well, let me tell you -- I don't have kids in public school, so why should I pay taxes that support schools? I don't believe in the death penalty, so I don't want to pay taxes that support the state killing in my name.

Here's a newsflash -- you ARE paying for everyone, whether you realize it or not. That's why health insurance premiums are going up and up -- it's called cost shifting, and it's been done for decades.

3. Public plan = government run healthcare. I have not met a single senior who would give up their public plan, commonly known as Medicare. Is Medicare perfect? No. Does anybody want to give it up? Again, no. A public plan is essential to provide true competition to for-profit insurance companies whose executives are raking in obscenely high salaries. It doesn't mean the government owns the doctors or the hospitals -- it simply means that's who pays. People on Medicare can choose where they get care and who gives it to them.

4. But there will be rationing! Bullshit again. My health insurance has a list of drugs that they will pay for. I want a drug not on the list? I have to pay full price for it. Isn't that rationing? I'd love to have a house on the beach in Maine, but I can't afford it. Is that rationing housing? Give me a break.


CT Bob said...

Terrific article, Kirby! I just cross-posted it on Daily Kos.

All week you've done a super job with the healthcare issue, while I post about guitars! We can all see who's doing the heavy lifting around here! LOL!


Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

>>We can all see who's doing the heavy lifting..

Yeah - we're all bored with the whole the whole health care deal.

It won't pass, and even if it does without serious malpractice caps and some tort reform it'll get reversed as soon as there's an election anyway.

Les Paul however - well he was one of a kind!

CT Bob said...

"Yeah - we're all bored with the whole the whole health care deal..."

Or, more likely because Kirby is actually a nurse and sees the inside of the health care field daily, maybe she's a tiny bit more qualified than either of US morons to write about the issue! LOL!

But yeah, Les Paul was fuckin' amazing!

Anonymous said...

If there is no death panel why did the Senate Finance Committe just remove it from the bill?

Sarah Darer Littman said...

Yay Kirby!

I can't understand why people are so worked up about the whole Advanced Medical Directive thing. I have one. Anytime you make a will, the lawyer will tell you that you should make an AMD. It's a sensible part of your end of life planning, like making a will, picking out guardians for your underage kids, picking trustees for a trust for your underage kids. You'd think Republicans would understand that kind of stuff. That's why I really don't get why it's being made into this "Death Panel" crap. Well, I do understand. To scare the public. But it's nonsense.

Kirby said...

Ahh....Les there's a legend.

Anonymous said...

Kirby, your health care series is extremely well written, well reasoned, and, in all respects, well done.

Of course, there's still room for Les Paul and Stormy Daniels on any blog proudly flying the CT Bob flag.

CT Bob said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Anonymous!

BTW, I think I'm just about due for a Stormy Daniels update. Stay tuned!