ICE–Definition, verb (slang): To kill or murder.
ICER–Definition, noun (slang): One who ices, in other words, one who murders.
Given the above definitions, would it surprise you to learn that the acronym chosen for a not-for-profit quasi-death-panel organization is ICER?
A sick joke?
of how … [pharmaceutical] drugs work (comparative effectiveness), and the value the treatments represent to patients and the health care system (cost-effectiveness and the potential budget impact). [emphasis added to all quotes]
The group is hosting an “event” to develop “value frameworks” that will, in essence, determine whether or not your life or the life of a loved one has enough remaining value to society to be worth trying to save. Jonathan Wilcox points out the “looming” threat:
If you haven’t heard of a “value framework” before, you’re not alone. They’re complicated mathematical formulas that dictate how much medicine a patient should receive in terms of cost. After a patient crosses a certain financial threshold, the framework determines that further treatment is financially unwarranted – and therefore shouldn’t be prescribed. …
Here’s how they work in practice – and why they should frighten all of you. In this report, ICER estimates that every year of a sick patients’ life is worth as little as 3/5 of a year for a normal person. Once you reach a certain point in this analysis, the framework determines that you should be cut off from further treatment.
It won’t matter what your doctors says or whether there’s a drug that could help you – if the formula says it’s too expensive, you’re done. …
If and when these value frameworks get implemented in health-insurance plans, they will likely lead to de facto price controls on medicines and treatments.
That’s why health insurers are funding ICER’s work – its frameworks could benefit their bottom line. The group also has the tacit support of federal policymakers. And Medicare, which in practice dictates how the rest of the health-insurance industry operates, has already expressed interest in ICER’s work.
… ICER’s value framework is the first move in a campaign that could fundamentally transform how American health-care looks and works. If they succeed, the patients who need help the most will be the first to suffer.
Your life comes down to a mathematical formula.
Is it yet another sick joke that ICER can value a sick person’s life at only three-fifths that of a healthy person? Remember this from history?
The Three-Fifths Compromise, is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, which reads:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
To the pre-abolition U.S. government, a slave was worth only three-fifths the value of a free person for the purposes of taxation and representation.
Is ICER’s three-fifths valuation of a gravely ill person mere coincidence? Or is it just more of the same? Sick, progressive, politically correct, reparation-minded snark.
To redistribute wealth, the government needs to gather wealth somehow. Do they plan to do it on the backs of the gravely ill?
Are the sick to be the new less-than-humans?
Already ICER philosophy is practiced by doctors. Have you noticed that unless your insurance will pay for a treatment or drug, your doctor doesn’t even bother mentioning the possibility to you?
What you don’t know, won’t hurt you. Or will it?
There’s more about ICER at this link. ICER is headed by a physician with ties to a similar health care rationing group in the UK, known by the sick-joke-of-an-acronym NICE (National Institute for Health Care Excellence).
Nice. But not quite nice for those who die in the UK because their lives aren’t worth saving.
ICER’s value frameworks sound suspiciously like the scheme that Ezekiel Emanuel and Cass Sunstein proposed–the Complete Lives System (aka, we decide when your life is “complete”), which I wrote about here.
The billionaire leaders of the foundation that helps fund ICER coincidentally also supported Ezekiel Emanuel’s brother Rahm. More information about the personal and political donations of these billionaires here.
Saving taxpayer dollars is important only if the recipient of the benefit is a worthless and easily replaceable peon (or a modern-day sickly slave who is worth, say, three-fifths of an elite. In Ezekiel Emanuel’s estimation, however, merely being old (>75, e.g.) qualifies one for the lesser, three-fifths status. Gammas, Deltas, Epsilons, you know.)
Consider all of the above and then consider how Wikipedia and the media persist in claiming that Sarah Palin’s “death panels” have been “debunked.” From Wikipedia:
Sarah Palin, former Republican Governor of Alaska, coined the term when she charged that proposed legislation would create a “death panel” of bureaucrats who would decide whether Americans—such as her elderly parents or children with Down syndrome—were “worthy of medical care“. Palin’s claim, however, was widely debunked and has been referred to as the “death panel myth“, as nothing in any proposed legislation would have led to individuals being judged to see if they were worthy of health care.
Debunked? Hardly, although perhaps it’s not technically spelled out in the legislation. They’re far too clever for that. That’s what executive branch policies, regulations, and guidelines are for!
Obama and his progressive fundamental transformers are expert at doing end runs around legislation in order to achieve their desired ends. Behind the scenes, they community organize to make the players an offer they can’t refuse.
Maybe it’s not spelled out in the law, but health insurers are backed into a corner by Obamacare in such a way that in order to stay in business profitably they have no choice but to find ways to ration–and the best way to achieve that, quietly, behind the scenes, is to simply persuade doctors to not even mention promising but expensive new drugs or treatments and to keep researchers from inventing them in the first place. How? Create an “expert” panel, get them to report that a drug or treatment isn’t worth it, and then refuse to pay for it. More from Wikipedia:
Palin’s spokesperson pointed to Section 1233 of bill HR 3200 which would have paid physicians for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about living wills, advance directives, and end-of-life care options. Palin’s claim was reported as false and criticized by the press, fact-checkers, academics, physicians, Democrats, and some Republicans.
Her claim was false?!!! Consider this recent news:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services quietly tucked the change allowing for payment for end-of-life counseling into a massive package of regulations last summer, with billing permissible as of Jan. 1 .
Quiet, now. Stealth is required. We don’t want to make the three-fifths proles restless. It wasn’t in Obamacare because your representatives and the public didn’t want it in there. Nevertheless, you’re getting it, anyway, because Obama gets what Obama wants, no matter what the legislation says. He just does it through “regulations.”
How “voluntary” will these compensated “conversations” truly be? How long before they change from a suggested, voluntary conversation (you can opt in) to a mandatory opt out? In other words, refuse the suggestion for the “conversation” about your end-of-life”care” and then …
Default position: Pull plug.
No living will or advance directive? We write it for you.
You’re going into hospice with only palliative care (if you’re lucky).
If you’re over 65, look forward to your next “wellness visit“, when your doctor will probably work in some discussion of your upcoming demise and then slap another charge onto your bill. Watch for those new billing codes on the explanation of “benefits”. Make sure you get our money’s worth!
And whatever you do: Don’t get iced.