Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Will Obamacare be patient centered?

The two videos that follow are slightly different edits of the same conversation at a town hall type meeting in which Obama took audience questions about health care reform. Watch them and decide for yourself how patient centered his attitude is. I made some time marked comments below the respective clips. Italics mine.

0:00-0:59 The lady’s question was eloquent yet plain and clear. Under a formulaic “reformed” health care plan will there be room for humanism in medical decisions?

1:00-1:03 Obama dodges her question but dismissively blurts out “We’re not gonna solve every difficult problem in terms of end of life care…”

1:04-1:13 “…a lot of that is gonna have to be we as a culture and as a society starting to make better decisions within our own families and for ourselves…” This after the questioner had just movingly described her own decision making process. Maybe he really was responsive to her question.

1:14-1:24 “…but what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that’s not making anybody’s mom better…” All that comes to my mind in that category is the woo being pushed by the NCCAM but somehow I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about.

1:33-1:39 “…at least we can let doctors know and your mom know that, you know what, maybe this isn’t gonna help.” He just spoke volumes. He’s saying doctors can’t make rational clinical decisions. No, worse. Doctors can’t even determine what services are utterly wasteful.

1:41-1:47 “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the pain killer.” Make of that what you will.

In this clip Obama says, in effect, that if the experts (those, as he puts it, “who are advising doctors across the board”) were to determine that a pacemaker would save money they would get it done faster.

H/T to Dr. Helen

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