“In LaCrosse, Wisc., the Gundersen Lutheran Hospital system is, according to the Dartmouth [Atlas of Health Care], the least expensive place in America for the last two years of life. They have an advanced directive program, and over 90 percent of their patients have an advanced directive. They have electronic health records, so everybody on the staff knows what the advanced directive is. They have a very strong palliative care program for using drugs to manage pain. They have a hospice program. The result is today, the last two years of your life in costs are about $13,600. The last two years of your life at UCLA are $58,000. Now, why should Medicare pay $58,000 for the same outcome if it could pay $13,600?”
– Newt Gingrich responding to a question from PBS
So, sounds like a pretty fair broker, right? After all, the biggest issue isn’t quality of care, it’s how we can contain costs so everybody can get in the system. And if the majority of costs are found in the last two years of your life, there are certain things you can do to make sure you have a say in those decisions.
Compare that Newt with the Newt who was on This Week recently and was asked him about Sarah Palin’s death panel Facebook posting…
Okay folks…I realize that politicians sometimes feel obligated to defend their side, but why would Newt engage is such obvious mental gymnastics to defend something that’s clearly a lie. Especially when he purports to believe the exact opposite!
Consider me disappointed, but not surprised.