Dems Quickly Pull Plug on 'Death Panels'
White House reverses course, deletes references to counseling
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2011 12:22 PM CST
Sarah Palin signs a copy of her new book in this file photo. She got original opposition to "death panels" in gear.   (AP Photo/James Crisp)

(Newser) – The end-of-life counseling derided as "death panels" that was originally part of health care reform, then taken out, then put back in, is back out again. For now. The Obama administration has reversed itself and removed references to the counseling from new Medicare regulations that quietly went into effect at the start of the year. The administration apparently doesn't want that single issue to be a distraction as it defends overall health care reform from the new Republican House, reports the New York Times.

“We realize that this should have been included in the proposed rule, so more people could have commented on it specifically," said an administration spokesman. “We will amend the regulation to take out voluntary advance care planning. This should not affect beneficiaries’ ability to have these voluntary conversations with their doctors."