Obama Reintroduces Death Panels into Healthcare

Design by BKeyser


Remember the Left and the MSM making fun of the TEA Parties and Sarah Palin for raising the alarm that Obamacare would include euthanasia or “death panels” — triage “end of life” counseling to discourage the elderly and the very sick from partaking in costly medical procedures? Reacting to those warnings, Obama promised that his healthcare reform plan would not “pull the plug on grandma.”
Contrary to the derisions heaped on Palin and the TEA parties, their warnings were neither paranoic nor fanciful. In November 2009, the House actually passed a measure known as Section 1233 of the healthcare reform bill which would allow Medicare to pay for consultations about “advance care planning” every five years. But Section 1233 was not included in the final Obamacare legislation.
Now, as reported by NewsMax, the New York Times tells us that the Obama administration is doing exactly that — “pulling the plug on grandma.”
In Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan that Caused Stir,” Robert Pear of the NY Times reports on December 25 that on December 3, the Obama administration issued a new Medicare regulation detailing “voluntary advance care planning” that is to be included during patients’ annual checkups. The regulation aimed at the aged “may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.”
The new provision, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries “deal with the complex decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death.” In contrast to the defunct Section 1223 that would have these “advance care planning” consultations every 5 years, the new Medicare rule allows annual discussions as part of a patient’s “wellness” visits.
Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life Christian educational ministry, told the Times that she is concerned that such end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death. “The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”
The rule was issued by Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Times. He is a longtime advocate for rationing medical procedures for the elderly, arguing that rationing will have to be implemented eventually, stating, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
Before Obama tapped Berwick for the Medicare post, Berwick had long applauded Britain’s National Health Service, which uses an algorithm to determine whether the aged are worthy of additional expenditures for medical care and advanced treatments.
Berwick has argued Seniors appear to be a major target for precious resources under the Obamacare plan. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare cuts nearly $500 billion in Medicare benefits to seniors as the federal government adds 30 million uninsured Americans to private and public healthcare systems.
The cost of caring for the elderly has not been lost on Berwick. “The chronically ill and those towards the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here . . . there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place,” he said.
Berwick is not alone in arguing for triage death panels.
Last month, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told ABC News that rising Medicare costs could be dealt with only by “death panels and sales taxes.” He added: “Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for. And at least for starters, it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words, it should have endorsed the [death] panel that was part of the healthcare reform.”
In effect, what has happened is this:

Bypassing Congress and in contravention of the popular will, Obama has reinserted “death panels” into America’s health care system via an administrative rule added to Medicare.

Why do we even other to have a Congress to represent the people and pass laws when Obama the President can just rule by fiat?
Worse still, Obama did this nearly a month ago, but America’s news media only just found out.
H/t beloved fellow May.
~Eowyn

UPDATE (Jan. 7, 2011):

After the New York Times published its article on the Obama administration’s sneaky re-introduction of “death panels,” the news hit the blogosphere and conservative talk radio. Four days after the new policy took effect, on January 4, 2011, the Times reports that the Obama administration abruptly reversed course: All references to “end-of-life planning” as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new Obamacare law will be deleted from Medicare regulations!
Sunlight really is the best disinfectant.

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Judy
Guest

How did this president gain so much power? What happened to checks and balances? Congress has clearly become superfluous, so why are they drawing a paycheck and benefits? How can the government possibly solve the country’s problems when they can’t control themselves? What do you do with a spoiled brat when a spanking doesn’t make any difference?

 
Doc's Wife
Guest
Doc's Wife

Doctors in this country have NO time to provide annual “voluntary counseling” during annual checkups for Medicare patients. They are already extremely overworked and totally bogged down by government paperwork. My husband rarely gets home before seven to eight in the evening as it is!

 
Dave
Editor
Dave

We’d better all hope the repubs have the stones to rip this hideous thing out by the root, gut it, and nuke every last vestige of it beginning January 06th.
In fact they need to do that to everything Obama has done since day one, as nothing he has done has in any way been good for America.
Not one thing.
-Dave

 
tina
Guest

you are right Dave,unseat this fraudulent POS and reverse everything they have gotten their grimy selves into. We are the laughing stock of the other nations allowing this fraud to continue. Once we take the house I am going to be a very busy individual.

 
Katie McLean Stout
Guest

My initial reaction to this went right to the same ol’, same ol’question with everything I read (and I read abundantly) — define “American”, and then define “uninsured American” first! and then I’ll know what we’re REALLY talking about. Let me state unequivocably right up front I am opposed to ALL immigrants in MY U.S. of A. who are here illegally and are not already somewhere in the citizenship processing LEGAL journey, including any chain migration potential candidates. I don’t won’t one red half-cent to go for their maintenance, in fact, I want them all processed immediately back into Mexico… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

I really can’t figure out which side Republicans are on. Maybe you can help me understand. I find this hard to follow… Republicans believe we should all be more independent, and pay our own way in healthcare. Fine. That explains voting against “Obamacare”. That’s why Republicans would favor that Grandma not be covered by insurance at all, and pull herself up by her bootstraps. That way, there would be no need for death panels – she would simply die without insurance. Seems reasonable to me if you believe that people need to pay their own way. What doesn’t follow is… Read more »

Judy
Guest

This isn’t about Democrat or Republican. The problem is that the whole government plan is a lie. Grandma doesn’t come into it. The government is promising Grandma will be covered. She won’t, either way. The government is only capable of offering false promises of answers to problems. Social Security is broke. Medicare is broke. The government is broke. How do you know the politicians are lying? Their lips move.

 
Lulu
Guest
Lulu

I’ve been a nurse for 28 years. I am a first generation immigrant. My parents dragged my sister and I over here in a big basket when I was three months old and have lived in Texas all but 3.5 years of my life. My parents studied for their citizenship test for years but were chickens, “what if I don’t pass”. I knew I would go to college when I was in the fourth grade because I figured out that school teachers had to go to college. Because I was told that I would have to pay out of state… Read more »

Lulu
Guest
Lulu

“That being said, do be so good as to tell us why all this must involve the government? Are we not rational creatures who can make these decisions ourselves?” Obviously we are not rational creatures when it comes to death and dying issues when a group of people turn “The new provision, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries “deal with the complex decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death. In contrast to the defunct Section 1223 that would have these “advance care planning” consultations every… Read more »

Lulu
Guest
Lulu

I forgot to answer your question about why do we vote. It’s a countries way of gathering good sense and directing resources to the common goocd. Streets, parks, Military (security), airports, schools, hospitals and ambulance service, etc. Not everyone that votes has good sense hopefully our balance of the individual with the group balances out for best results. “Politicks is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs, and, as those are forever changing, what is wisdom to-day would be folly and perhaps, ruin to-morrow. Politicks is not a science so properly as a business. It cannot have fixed… Read more »