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Thursday, August 13th, 2009   6:09 pm | Author: chris | Health/Medical, Politics/Government |
Tags: Gingrich, healthcare, hypocrite
Matt Taibbi had a great post on Gingrich and his polar opposite positions on the health care issue. His blog is here.
A few months ago Gingrich praised a hospital in Wisconsin for getting the end-of-life directives (basically the same as those proposed in the health care reform plans) right. He said:
“More than 20 percent of all Medicare spending occurs in the last two months of life. Gundersen Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin has developed a successful end-of-life, best practice that combines: 1) community-wide advance care planning, where 90 percent of patients have advance directives; 2) hospice and palliative care; and 3) coordination of services through an electronic medical record. The Gundersen approach empowers patients and families to control and direct their care. The Dartmouth Health Atlas has documented that Gundersen delivers care at a 30 percent lower rate than the national average ($18,359 versus $25,860). If Gundersen’s approach was used to care for the approximately 4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who die every year, Medicare could save more than $33 billion a year.”
Then the Republicans lost their minds in the last few weeks on this issue and Gingrich jumped right on the bandwagon. In an interview with George Stephanopolous he tries to wiggle his way around this issue:
STEPHANOPOLOUS: The only thing that’s in the bill is that Medicare would pay for what they say is voluntary counseling on end-of-life issues.
GINGRICH: I think people are very concerned when you start talking about cost-controls… you’re asking us to trust the government. Now I’m not talking about the Obama administration, I’m talking about the government. You’re asking us to believe that the government is to be trusted. We know people who’ve said routinely, well, you’re going to have to make decisions. You’re going to have to decide. Communal standards, historically, is a very dangerous concept.
STEPHANOPOLOUS: It’s not in the bill.
GINGRICH: (stammering) B-but, the bill’s… a thousand pages of setting up mechanisms. It sets up 45 different agencies. It has all sorts of panels. You’re asking us to trust the government when there clearly are people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.