Tuesday, December 28, 2010


When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.
Tucker Carlson in a debate with Kirsten Powers over the end-of-life planning regulation executed by Medicare Socialist Czar Donald Berwick:

Okay, so it's a good thing that doctors will discuss the end of life options for the terminally ill patients. It's a good thing for families to understand these options. I know about these options. They were given to me and my family three times. My mother, my brother and my brother-in-law. All of whom have passed. For my mother, it was called hospice.

But I'll be damned if the government will try to push their way into something they know nothing about. And could care less about family tragedy for that matter. Let's be real and honest about this. The only thing the government is concerned about is cost, which by the end of the day, is all about rationing.
So to Obamacare I say, "keep your ass...off of my ass."

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