Weird: Obama Admin Revives Non-existent Death Panels

Some people have been complaining about these non-existent and mythical Death Panels. Huh

(LA Times) Six years after end-of-life planning nearly derailed development of the Affordable Care Act amid charges of “death panels,” the Obama administration has revived a proposal to reimburse physicians for talking with their Medicare patients about how patients want to be cared for as they near death.

The proposal, contained in a large set of Medicare regulations unveiled Wednesday, comes amid growing public discussion about the need for medical care that better reflects patients’ wishes as they get older.

Two months ago, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, suggested that Medicare patients should sign so-called advance directives that spell out the care they want if they become incapacitated.

It’s interesting that they throw in Jeb! Bush’s suggestion, which really has little to do with these so-called death panels. Sounds like he was suggesting that people sign a living will (hey, I have one, even though I’m not on Medicare).

The new proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services would not require Medicare patients to sign any order or even to talk with their physicians about end-of-life care.

Rather, the proposed regulation would allow medical providers to bill Medicare for  “advance-care planning” should a patient want to have the discussion.

Having doctors talk to their patients about how they want to be cared for was never a big issue. What was a big issue was having doctors discuss ways to end lives with the patients, ie, doctor assisted suicide.

Furthermore, these were just a small part the “death panels” that Sarah Palin brought up. In fact, what she was referring to were Government run panels which decided exactly what care citizens would receive, and whether citizens were worth advanced care, such as whether an older patient was worth a knee replacement, or should just be given a cane and some meds. Here’s what she wrote at the time

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

The system was compared to that in the UK, which often determines whether a person is worthy of certain medical care, or they should be given less care based on whether you are worth it.

And there is an actual “death panel”: the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of individuals tasked with determining Medicare rates without the need to go to Congress, though Congress can override their decisions. There is a concern that they could limit access to care for seniors, cut payments for services, and is unresponsive to the American People. That’s per the American Medical Association, a big backer of Ocare. This easily could lead to rationing of service, especially as cost for the entire Ocare program spiral out of control.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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9 Responses to “Weird: Obama Admin Revives Non-existent Death Panels”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Palin/Trump 2016

  2. Dana says:

    Jeffrey, I don’t think that combination could win, but if actually elected, they’d form a much better and wiser Administration than any Democrat team ever could.

  3. Dana says:

    Of course, we have the repugnant Peter Singer saying that the state should decide that severely disabled newborns ought to be murdered euthanized, for the good of their parents and society, and we already have “futile care” laws which allow physicians to trump the will of family as to whether to continue aggressive treatment for patients deemed terminally ill.

    As the state gets ever more responsible for health care costs, of course the government will take measures to save money; Sarah Palin was right all along!

    And we’ve already seen it in practice, in a way. The recent scandal of the Veterans Administration hospitals delaying and stretching out appointments precisely mirrors how the single-payer health care systems in Canada and the United Kingdom operate, because it saves money! If a patient needs to see the doctor four times a year, and the VA could stretch that out to thrice a year, the cost of the fourth appointment is pushed into the next fiscal year. Continue doing that, and the patient is seen fewer times overall, and might do the VA the favor of dying earlier, saving even more money.

    This is what happens when the (supposed) guarantor of our rights is also financially responsible for our care.

  4. Jeffery says:

    Do private insurance companies pay for all care requested by patients?

    Will they approve $70,000 for a checkpoint inhibitor in a 93 yr old with stage 4 cancer?

    Would that be a private death panel?

    Would the family work to secure %70,000 to treat grandpa? If not, would that be a family death panel?

  5. gitarcarver says:

    Oh look….. Jeffery tries to shift the goalposts.

    The issue is not what a private company would do, jeffery.

    The Issue is what the American people were promised by the President and those who pushed the ACA on the American people.

    They lied and as usual, you are backing their lies.

  6. Jeffery says:


    Oh lookie. You accept that discussing end of life with a physician is a PDP (Palin Death Panel). Most reasonable Americans disagree with your opinion.

    Did the President promise to prevent doctors from talking to patients about end of life decisions?

    It may not be wise to take your talking points from Sarah Palin. She’s somewhat of a right-wing nut job.

    Palin/Trump 2016!

  7. gitarcarver says:

    Oh lookie.

    Jeffery cannot understand that the President lied.

    Why am I not surprised?

  8. david7134 says:

    Jeff, John,
    Yes, there are death panels. Yes, the government and insurance companies now work to limit or curtail payment on basic services for older people. Yes, you don’t get as much coverage as you did 6 years ago. Now, how do I know this? Unlike the two of you, I have to deal with these issues daily. The title of the law is the Affordable Health Care act, now how did you think that they would reduce the cost of medical care? By not giving it to you.

  9. jay says:

    No one who thinks about this rationally can believe that everyone can get all the medical care they could ever ask for without costs sky rocketing. The question is: Who decides what level of care is “reasonable”? If I decide that instead of spending $20,000 on some operation that I’d rather leave that money to my children, that’s my decision. But if government bureaucrats make these decisions, I have no choice. Left to themselves, some people may decide they want to spend every dime available stretching out their life to the maximum. Others might decide to spend their money having a good time so they go out with a bang. Others might accept dying young and leave the money to their children or a charity. But when the government decides, bureaucrats decide for you what your priorities ought to be.

    If I don’t like the terms of my insurance policy, I can get a different insurance policy. If there is absolutely no company out there willing to give me a policy with the benefits and premiums that I want, then maybe my expectations are unreasonable. But when the government makes the decision, there is only ONE choice. It MIGHT be the best possible balance of cost and care that one could possibly imagine … but probably not. More likely it is the best possible balance of the interests of competing lobbying groups and political pressure groups. Even if it’s determined completely democratically, it may be what 51% of the people think is best. Which is fine if you’re one of the 51%, but what if you’re in the 49%? In a free market, if you like hamburgers and I like tacos, you can buy a hamburger and I can buy a taco and we’re both happy. In a government-run system, at best the majority votes and if 51% want hamburgers then we all must eat hamburgers. And we all know that in real life government doesn’t necessarily do what the majority want, but what the politically powerful want.

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