California: legislature says goodbye to independence and hello to bureaucracy
California's legislature embarks on plans to further expand centralized government control over the most intimate details of our lives. Legislative language may eliminate choices for end-of-life care
The major headline in the Sunday Contra Costa Times for August 31 proclaims: Bipartisanship dominates 2014 legislative session. This might be true if by bipartisanship one means that the few Republicans in office either voted for everything the Democrats wanted or didn’t vote at all.
The over all figures comprising the state budget were agreed upon a month or two ago. What transpired this month was the areas and programs, aka special interests, that would be fed and sustained on the budget, uh, your tax dollars.
What isn’t mentioned in the articles is the increased and expanded amount of centralized government control over human lives being assumed by the bureaucrats.
The news tells you of the groundbreaking agreement to “save” the aspiring new taxi services but fails to tell you of the 8 health related bills which will sharply increase the cost of fees, licenses, insurance and training of staff especially targeting smaller, independent and private residential care facilities for the elderly and disabled.
These higher costs of doing business could well bring about the demise of the private sector care facilities resulting in pushing seniors into for-profit facilities or any care facility receiving government funding and subsidies and operating under government prescribed “best practices” services to this cohort of consumers.
No one ever says who is best served by best practices, but one suspects that it is not the consumer of the services.
Every bill mentioned in this article is awaiting the Governor’s signature. He has until 10/01/2014 to sign or veto every bill before him.
The New York Times for August 30, 2014, carries an article by Pam Belluck entitled: Coverage for End-of-Life Talks Gaining Ground. This article discloses that Colorado and Oregon have recently begun covering “advance care planning” discussions and paying doctors to have That End-of-Life-planning Conversation with their patients that the death and dying crowd is pushing. This request for payment and subsequent legislation comes from the A.M.A. itself.
The article quotes Dr. Barbara Levy, chairwoman of the American Medical Association committee that submits reimbursement recommendations to Medicare: ‘We think, she says, it’s really important to incentivize this kind of care.’ “ What she means is: planning for the date of ending your own life, otherwise known as a Third Way or pathway to suicide.
Nonsense, the AMA is coming up with creative ways to regain the funding for care lost through federal and state reductions in cost of care payments to doctors while the legislators, at the same time, are kowtowing to their death and dying lobby friends.
Often several bills with small variances on the same subject are submitted by legislators, i.e. End-Of-Life Care and the facilities designed to provide that care. The legislators intend for the citizens to view these as individual bills, but, in reality they must be viewed together. Seen in the light of a group of bills on the same subject one can then understand that they constitute a major inroad of government oversight into an otherwise private sector activity.
Even if only one bill gets signed by the Governor, the intent of every bill can be written into the state code and plans for implementation. We citizens have no way of controlling that. There is wide allowance for individual interpretation.
There is already discussion in California about including federal Palliative Care funding in MediCare and into California’s MediCal.
California Assembly bill 2139 by Susan Eggman entitled End-Of-life Care: Patient Notification. This bill mandates that doctors actually place a POLST form into the hands of patients with a terminal illness. Previous legislation in 2008 which gave state acknowledgement to the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form is the basis for this.
Senator Lois Wolk, an avid promoter of palliative-procedures-only had a bill in this term, SB1357, which, thankfully died, entitled: Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment Form - POLST. This would have created a state POLST Registry Act requiring the state to develop a statewide registry to collect, collate and distribute information about POLST signers. It died early in the session, but this is the projected future and Wolk or others after her will continue to find creative ways to get these things passed.
Several bills have tried to create a general emergency medical directory. This bill would have merely added a POLST registry to the general registry.
AB 1570, Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, (D), Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, mandates expanded hours of training of facility employees before they can work with residents. The bill is vaguely worded and could be used to train employees and others working with the elderly to promote the agendas of elder care special interest groups. Chesbro is a supporter of POLST.
Senate bill 1004 by Ed Hernandez, Health Care Palliative Care, mandates the state Department of Health Care Services to establish protocols to guarantee that patients under the age of 21 become entitled to enter into Hospice managed care plans including palliative only types of care.
Will there be a future court case, as in abortion, mandating that minors have the right to sign their own end of life plans?
Minors can now get abortions, contraceptives, mental health counseling and treatment without parental knowledge or approval.
Assemblyman John Perez’s bill, AB2399, Organ donations, seeks to authorize the right of certain agencies to swipe a driver’s license to register organ donors thereby shortening the time it takes to notify organ donation transport teams of potentially available organs.
Anyone of age to obtain a driver’s license is authorized to sign up to be an organ donor.
If organs are to be fresh and quickly available speeding up the process of recognizing donors quickly will be created. There is a lot of money to be made in organ transplants.
Palliative care or the removal of curative medicines and regimens including food and water are now being referred to as Palliative Medical Care.
This PMC has, largely through legislation, shoved itself into the medical field though there is nothing medical about this act of removal of curative care. Palliation of pain and discomfort is a wonderful boon to medicine, but when it supplants nutrition, hydration and medicines with little more than morphine, and substitutes doctors for teams of social workers, religious and mental health counselors who counsel acceptance of the inevitable, then that is tantamount to planning for and executing suicide by medical fiat.
Assembly bill 2198 by Marc Levine, Mental Health Professionals and Suicide Prevention. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s action to either sign or veto.
The title of this bill would create the assumption that the author is anxious to prevent suicide, especially by youth. However, his bill calls for 15 or more hours of continuing education in suicide assessment, management and treatment. This isn’t prevention of suicide. This is creating a workforce employment program for semi-trained care facility employees to help prepare the way for the patient to accept suicide under the guise of gaining control over one’s health care.
AB 357, Richard Pan, Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel. Renames the current Healthy Families advisory Board, turning it into a 15-member Medi-Cal Children’s Advisory Panel, an independent, statewide advisory body tasked with advising the bureaucrats on what health care is best for its youthful citizens. This will be filled with community centered nonprofits with special agendas along with government agents.
Section 1, subsection (b) is worth noting. “Children’s health coverage should encompass more than just treatment of diseases and illnesses, but also cover services and care to promote healthy development and well-being, identify and intervene in problems early on, and prevent chronic disease. Planned Parenthood thinks pregnancy is a chronic disease. Others think that Christianity indicates a mentally disturbed person. Those not promoting or actively supporting the LGBT lifestyle are in need of counseling.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio resides in California.
Your calls and emails to the Governor’s office needed now to urge his veto on all the bills mentioned. Phone (automated) 926-445-2841. email: email@example.com.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.
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