Monday, December 13, 2010

Montana and Assisted Suicide.

The Missoulian gives a run-down of the bills before the legislature in 2011 including one sponsored by Rep. Dick Barrett, D-Missoula that will reinforce the Supreme Court decision last year that ruled the state constitution did not prevent assisted suicide.

"My sense is that terminally ill Montanans really do want to have this choice available to them, not that large numbers of people take advantage of it," Barrett said when requesting the bill draft earlier this year.

"We'll be advocating for Montanans to continue to have access in aid in dying and to make those decisions with their doctor without government interference," Zupanic said.


Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation, said his group stands against physician-assisted suicide.

"I think one of the big ones we're really going to be fighting is the legalization of assisted suicide in Montana," he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Greg Hinkle, R-Thompson Falls, is requesting a bill to ban physician-assisted suicide in Montana. He has referred to it as "elder abuse."

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The End of Medicaid?

From Howard Gleckman's recent post at Home Care Association of Florida:

These proposals won’t become law any time soon. But they are evidence that Medicaid could be on the fiscal chopping block. In that environment, it makes sense to get the program out of the long-term care business. And a way to do that would be to replace it with a broad-based insurance system. The Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act, which was created by the health overhaul, will create a voluntary national long-term care insurance program. Program participants would begin contributing in 2012, but wouldn’t b eligible for benefits for at least five years. But there are real doubts about whether CLASS insurance will attract enough middle-class buyers to reduce the burden on Medicaid. If it can’t, Congress should begin to think about what insurance design can, and do so before the Medicaid safety net for long-term care is in tatters.

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