By Hans Nichols
April 29 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said his grandmother’s hip-replacement surgery during the final weeks of her life made him wonder whether expensive procedures for the terminally ill reflect a “sustainable model” for health care.
The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, had a hip replaced after she was diagnosed with cancer, Obama said in an interview with the New York Times magazine that was published today. Dunham, who lived in Honolulu, died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory.
“I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost,” Obama said in the interview. “I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother.”
Obama said “you just get into some very difficult moral issues” when considering whether “to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill.
“That’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues,” he said in the April 14 interview. “The chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health- care bill out here.”
Obama promised during his presidential campaign that a health-care overhaul would be a top priority, and he said at a Missouri town hall meeting today that he hopes Congress will pass health-care legislation this year.
The issue has been divisive, and finding an answer that will keep costs down while extending coverage to the estimated 46 million Americans without health insurance has eluded past presidents.
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Liberals don't forget to forward to the Magic Negro at email@example.com:
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