Back in December, 2014 Jeb Bush hinted at a 2016 presidential run. While a Jeb Bush candidacy could place the former Florida governor under the spotlight on issues ranging from immigration to Common Core, what about his stance on Obamacare “Death Panels”? If Bush holds fast to his viewpoints, will he, in the words of The New Republic’s Brian Beutler (online, Apr. 21) “set a new and incredibly high bar of boldness for Republican presidential candidates and make a lasting contribution to the public debate”? Or, will he back down out of fear of being seen as, in the words of Beutler’s New Republic’s article, “a real supporter of Obamacare and national healthcare more generally”?
Of concern to some, is Bush’s position on the purported ACA panels. If they are not “death,” per se, but rather “end of life” counseling sessions, is their concept really as ghoulish as it sounds?
Beutler’s story goes on to explain, it was actually Sarah Palin (in 2009) who came up with the term. During that time, The New Republic story contends – with regard to the descriptor, “it had a much more concrete and un-ironic meaning. Reformers wanted to allow doctors to bill Medicare for providing end-of-life counseling to sick and elderly patients. They also wanted to increase the incentive for doctors to incorporate comparative effectiveness research findings into their practices. Taken together, reform foes alleged, Obamacare would leave the most infirm patients without access to potentially lifesaving treatments, and they would die avoidably.”
So where does Jeb Bush stand? Beutler’s article quotes Bush as having said during a recent New Hampshire political gathering, “In hindsight, the one thing I would have loved to have seen was an advance directive where the [Schiavo] family would have sorted this out,” adding, “I think if we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare, you also sign up for an advance directive where you talk about this before you’re so disabled.”