Senior citizens are concerned with Donald Berwick’s controversial end-of life-care statements and are starting to speak out against this recess appointment to head the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“He’s a romantic about Britain’s National Health Service, I hear,” said Pat Boone, American singer, actor and national spokesman of the 60 Plus Association. “Well, he’s the kiss of death for old folks. Unless he’s stopped.”
In a 1993 speech, Berwick said that “only a minority of patients, families, and clinicians support prolonged use of life-sustaining procedures and dramatic interventions in the terminal states of illness, yet substantial use of these procedures continue.”
Jim Martin, president of the 60 Plus association, told Human Events that Berwick reminds him of controversial former Gov. Richard Lamm, who served three terms in Colorado from 1975 to 1987.
In a speech on healthcare in 1984, Lamm made national headlines when he said, “We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything like that and let the other society, our kids, build a reasonable life.”
“Seniors have a right to be afraid, very afraid if you will. Those were chilling words by Lamm back in those days and this is same song, second verse, by the Obama Administration with a guy named Berwick who sounds like Lamb brought back to life,” said Martin.
So why are non-governmental seniors associations like AARP and massive medical associations like the AMA supporting Berwick? HUMAN EVENTS has contacted AARP a number of times only to receive the same statement in support of Berwick that they released in April.
“The nomination of Dr. Berwick comes at an important time as the administration begins implementing health reforms that add new benefits to Medicare while protecting the access of older Americans to their doctors and hospitals. Dr. Berwick’s expertise on healthcare innovation and his dedication to quality improvement and patient safety would benefit the millions of low-income and older Americans served by Medicare and Medicaid,” said AARP Executive Vice President John Rother.
“Obamacare is big bucks in their pocket,” Martin explained. “There is a coding system involved in the medical profession—it’s how the doctors code certain procedures and then Medicare decides on how to reimburse them and the AMA makes millions of dollars.”
“All these little guys will be knocked out but they will make millions off this Medicare Advantage plan, said Martin. “They are doing this for the money, pure and simple.”