'Death Panels' Return: Obama Enacts End-of-Life Planning
Obama to add end-of-life planning to Medicare
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2010 7:03 AM CST
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore, is in favor of President Obama adding end-of-life counseling to Medicare, beginning Jan. 1.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – Sarah Palin's "death panels" are back. The brouhaha surrounding end-of-life counseling forced Democrats to cut it from health care reform, but now President Obama is quietly adding the same policy to Medicare by rewriting regulations, reports the New York Times. Under the new policy, beginning Jan. 1 the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive measures.

Health reform authorized Medicare to pay for annual wellness visits; the new regulation tacks on coverage for “voluntary advance care planning" to that visit. "Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life," predicts the leader of a religious ministry opposed to the proposals. However, Democrat Earl Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, says it will allow better dialogue between patients and their doctors. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, not as something put off until we are forced to do it,” he said.

View 3 more images
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Death Panels Return: Obama Enacts End-of-Life Planning is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 141 comments
Dec 27, 2010 9:24 AM CST
What is transparently clear is that Barry Soetoro's administration is not transparent--as he promised it would be. "Quieting adding the same [death panel] policy" means business as usual--cramming another policy down the throats of Americans who don't want it. Let's hope the new House will either succeed in repealing Obamacrap or in refusing to fund it.
Dec 27, 2010 6:54 AM CST
Gov. Sarah Palin warned us, and she is never wrong. Obamacare is a death-sentence, a macabre hoax, a sick joke.
Dec 26, 2010 7:38 PM CST
The only death panels that exist are insurance panels the rescind insurance policies of sick people.