Breast Cancer patients being told too old to save

Is this the British system of health care that we want for our country? Donald Berwick wants to make these very same decisions for us that they now make in Great Britain.

Thousands are being denied surgery due to their age

Mastectomy is the most effective treatment

Elderly women are being denied life-saving breast cancer surgery that is routinely given to younger patients, alarming research reveals.

Some doctors look at a patient’s age in their notes – and decide on a treatment plan before they have even met them, experts warn.

Their study, which provides evidence of ageism in the Health Service, found that 90 per cent of breast cancer patients aged 30-50 are offered surgery to remove tumours, compared with 70 per cent of those in their seventies.

Cancer specialist Dr Mick Peake said: ‘I’ve seen evidence of ageism when doctors are approaching the issue. Some take age as disproportionate evidence, often when they’ve never even met the patient.

‘I’d like patients and relatives to bang their fists on the table and say, “Why aren’t we getting this treatment?”,’ added Dr Peake, of the National Cancer Intelligence Network, which carried out the research.

Read more: More at the Daily Mail

Kidney Patients being told to accept death, forgo Dialysis

I don’t know what bothered me most in this story. What I do know, is there is an orchestrated effort to desensitize us to what the so-called “Death Panels” will bring us. What seems to appear in the story is an even-handed, rational approach to death. You see, it is much better to not to use medical resources. In this case Dialysis. Except they are talking about you and me, our parents, and possibly our children. As they calmly say:

“It was meant to keep young and middle-aged people alive and productive”.

So of course if you are no longer productive, you are really of no use to the Progressive Society. So here tis a piece from the NY Times including the header.

Asking Kidney Patients to Forgo a Free Lifeline

Kidney specialists are pushing doctors to be more forthright with elderly people who have other serious medical conditions, to tell the patients that even though they are entitled to dialysis, they may want to decline such treatment and enter a hospice instead. In the end, it is always the patient’s choice. But for how much longer?

One idea, promoted by leading specialists, is to change the way doctors refer to the decision to forgo dialysis. Instead of saying that a patient is withdrawing from dialysis or agreeing not to start it, these specialists say the patient has chosen “medical management without dialysis.”“That is the preferred term,” said Nancy Armistead, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Renal Coalition, a Medicare contractor that collects data and patient grievances.

Of all the terrible chronic diseases, only one —end-stage kidney disease — gets special treatment by the federal government. A law passed by Congress 39 years ago provides nearly free care to almost all patients whose kidneys have failed, regardless of their age or ability to pay.

But the law has had unintended consequences, kidney experts say. It was meant to keep young and middle-aged people alive and productive. Instead, many of the patients who take advantage of the law are old and have other medical problems, often suffering through dialysis as a replacement for their failed kidneys but not living long because the other chronic diseases kill them. Full story: New York Times

Here is Donald Berwick. The overlord of the quality and quantity of our lives under Obamacare.

Donald Berwick just renominated to head Obamacare

Hot Air reports

The White House just renominated Dr. Don Berwick to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We heard we were going to get along, and he was moving to the center. Onward to his Marxist goals. Perhaps for the best. Now if he gets in front of the Senate, folks will find out how he really feels about the very young and the very old.

The move is yet another point in the contentious health care repeal debate on Capitol Hill. Republicans strongly objected to Berwick’s recess appointment last year, pointing to his previous comments in support of the British health system and rationing with “eyes open” or closed.

“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open,” Berwick said in a June 2009 interview with Biotechnology Healthcare.

“Any health care funding plan that is just equitable civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”

More info on Dr. Donald Berwick. . .

( — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday that Dr. Donald Berwick, an advocate of health-care rationingnominated by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, is “absolutely the right leader at this time” to run the government’s largest health-care entitlement programs.

Under the health-care reform law signed by President Obama in March, hundreds of billions of dollars will be cut from the Medicare program over the next decade. Berwick is nominated to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees Medicare.

1st Salvo in Obamacare 2011: National Health Care Transformation Demonstration Project

I caught this when I took a look at: Healthcare Reform 101 -What will kick in January 1, 2011 CNS Monitor. Coming to your Doctor’s office soon. This is how you will be treated.

The innovation mentioned rang a bell. Yes, Pennsylvania is one of the States in the demonstration project. The first arrow has been slung. And Pennsylvania is one of the first recipients. I could find no accurate review of the downside, so bear with me as I give it a shot.

What will take place is a Capitated payment for each patient. A flat reimbursement is paid to take care of each patient. A “Capitated” Life. Don’t you just love it? No more fee for service. So a medical group gets a certain amount of money to take care of each patient and it is up to them to “divvy” the money up among any specialists.  Now here is the catch. They do the deciding if the patient requires more specialized care. If they do, the money comes out of their pocket.  The other option  simply keep the whole money thing. Don’t refer the patient out and do the best they can. No heart specialist, Orthopedist, Diabetes specialist, Asthma specialist. Anything clicking?? Not to get bogged down in the weeds, but keep an eye out on this one. There is more to this, but let’s leave it here for now:

Capitated basis is defined as “fixed per member per month payment or percentage of premium payment wherein the provider assumes the full risk for the cost of contracted services without regard to the type, value, or frequency of services provided.” G. v. Hawaii, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92504 (D. Haw. Oct. 2, 2009)

• Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. This center, which aims to test new ways of delivering care to patients that reduce costs but maintain or improve quality, was to be established by Jan. 1. But it’s already up and running and has launched multiple initiatives. In one, eight states will take part in a Medicare demonstration project that evaluates the performance of health-care providers when they work together and receive more-coordinated payments.

“For too long, health care in the United States has been fragmented — failing to meet patients’ basic needs and leaving both patients and providers frustrated,” Donald M. Berwick, MD, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator said during a Nov. 16 conference call that included the AMA president. “Payment systems often fail to reward providers for coordinating care and keeping their patients healthy, reinforcing this fragmentation.”

He said the innovation center will help change this trend by identifying, supporting and evaluating models of care that both improve the quality of care patients receive and lower costs. AMA

EGMN: Some of the concepts – such as medical homes and capitated payments – have been tested before. What makes this effort different? Don’t count on it being any different!

Mr. Guterman: Capitation was tried in the 1990s, but the world was a different place then. In the 1990s, we didn’t have the kinds of measures of health system performance that we have now. Also, the notion of capitating payments so that you provided a strong incentive to reduce costs got separated from the notion of providing care in an effective, efficient way. So we started out with a managed care movement that was focused on providing coordinated care for patients and we ended up with a movement that was focused primarily on reducing the costs, sometimes in arbitrary ways. Today, I think we have the tools to avoid going off that track. We may not get all the way to capitation, but there are bundled payments and other strategies that get us away from the current fee-for-service system.

Internal Medicine News

Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that as part of national health care reform, Pennsylvania is one of eight states selected by the federal government to join a demonstration project to improve treatment for people with chronic diseases – a major driver of health care costs.

It could also bring as much as $33 million in additional Medicare funds that will result in better health outcomes and lower net health care costs.

“Pennsylvania has been a recognized leader for our ongoing work in transforming primary care and addressing chronic health conditions,” Governor Rendell said. “Being selected by the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to join this demonstration project is evidence of the success the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative has had — and will continue to have — as we reform our health care system.”

In the Chronic Care Initiative, practices learn to use electronic disease registries to identify patients who have skipped appointments or are not improving and to monitor progress on key clinical outcome measures. Support staff learn to work as a team to make sure patients receive lab tests, specialist care and referrals to community agencies they need while also helping patients learn how to better manage their own health. These steps result in healthier, more-satisfied patients as well as fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Pennsylvania’s commercial health insurers and Medicaid are heavily involved in the Chronic Care Initiative, contributing $30 million over the initial three years of the project to compensate practices for the extra costs of adding care managers and gaining recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home.

PR Newswire

Donald Berwick to Face Senate Finance Committee

Oh Yes, he will be the master of the Death Panels. Lets go take a spin in the “wayback machine” .

Donald Berwick, the new Medicare and  Medicaid czar appointed during recess by President Obama, will testify today before the Senate Finance Committee.

Berwick has openly expressed his admiration of the British health care system, the need for rationing and the benefits of spreading the wealth around.

Fun fact: This man has a budget bigger than the Department of Defense.
Town Hall

Here is a link to Berwick’s Senate recorded hearing today via: C-Span Senator Kyle hits it out of the park.


Health Czar rationing Berwick, runs for cover…

Michelle Malkin has a good one. The man who holds the quality and quantity of our lives literally in his hands..a recess appointment, a man who believes in rationing….stunning. Let not forget what we are fighting for. Our lives. Literally. Here tis:

White House recess appointee/Medicare-Medicaid chief Donald Berwick a few questions about his views.

This is what public accountability in the age of Obama looks like:

Under Dr. Berwick, Death Panels Coming to Life

Out to destroy the World's best Medicine

Out to destroy the World's best Medicine

Another Cancer drug about to bite the dust? Yesterday it was Avastin. Now another. Here is the deal with cancer and many other new drugs: The first generation may not extend life to the extent that warrants the cost of the drug. Drug Companies spend Billions of dollars in research, some work, some don’t. But they build on the generation of the drug that shows promise. Childhood Leukemia is practically cured. Not so 20 years ago. But the Leukemia drugs were modified and that is how we got to where we are. If there are to be no new cancer drugs, and since the Government will not pay for the cost of development, medicine as we know it will now be frozen in time.

Full credit to Director Blue and Mark Levin for discovering this. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has put up a page on their website noting the following:

Provenge, a vaccine to treat the recurrence of prostate cancer, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…However, with respect to Provenge, it appears that CMS is arguing that while the treatment is safe and effective, it may not be reasonable and necessary. For the first time, an FDA approved anti-cancer therapy may not be covered by Medicare.

Go to Vernum Serum for the full story here

Senate Committee That Failed to Hold Confirmation Hearing for Obama’s Medicare Czar Held Only 12 Hearings of Any Kind Between Obama’s Nomination and Recess Appointment

By now most everyone knows about Obama’s  tricky back door appointment of Dr, Berwick to head up Obamacare. But there is a great deal of sunshine in an otherwise dark forboding as to what is to happen to our healthcare. We can end his tenure in 2011 prior to the worst of the implementation.

Stephen Hawkins

Please check out the “Complete Lives System” espoused by Rahm Emanuel’s Physcian brother and Berwick to understand how the rationing will occur.  The Obama Rationing Plan- why seniors fears are real,  Read Here. And ” Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources” by Ezekiel Emanuel. Lancet Article You will not sleep well tonight.

But under the express language of Article 2, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, Berwick’s recess appointment must “expire by the end of the next session.” This means Berwick must leave office by the end of 2011 unless the Senate puts him through the constitutionally required confirmation process in the intervening time. 

The Democrat-controlled Senate Finance Committee, which had oversight over the confirmation of Dr. Donald Berwick to be the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), held only 12 hearings between the day that President Barack Obama sent Berwick’s nomination to the Senate and the day Obama gave Berwick a recess appointment, bypassing the Senate confirmation process.

The scheduling of a confirmation hearing and vote on Berwick’s nomination was in Sen. Baucus’s discretion, and the scheduling of a Senate floor vote on the nomination was in the discretion of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.).

The 12 hearings the Finance Committee held during the time Berwick’s nomination was pending dealt with 
such matters as trade restrictions under the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, America’s trade relationship with China and the confirmation of lower-level executive branch appointments

Read more CNS

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