Obama Breathes New Life Into Death Panels

December 27, 2010 7:40 am 0 comments

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Author:

Bill Kneer

The York Times and Hot Air are reporting that Obama will not give up on saving money by population control, even with the Republicans in control of the House. His news strategy involves working around House members instead of working with them.

Under Obama’s new policy, the government will pay doctors to advise patients on end of life care instead of advising how to prolong life.

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 Democrat 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.

I am all for doctors talking with patients about all of their options – this needs to be done, but telling a doctor he will make more money by discussing
ending life rather than saving life is never going to help anyone but the doctors. Doctors can now take the easy way out and make more money, or they can try and save life and have it cost them? What do you think your doctor will choose?

The Republicans need to stay vigilant over the next 2 years. It will not be easy for them. Obama will not give up without a fight – he is hell bent on destroying this nation and the Republicans need to be hell bent on saving it. So the lines have been drawn. Let the fight begin.

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