It is no surprise whatsoever that the “death panels” which created such a furor in one of the versions of Obamacare have resurfaced in the form of regulations. The original provision which called for paying doctors to advise patients about advance directives disappeared from the final version of Obamacare.
The new policy, issued by rationing proponent, Donald Berwick, covers “voluntary advance care planning” under a provision which authorizes Medicare coverage of yearly physical exams. Under this rule, doctors can provide information on how to make out an advance directive.
In Oregon and Washington, where doctor-prescribed death is legal, presumably, our tax dollars could be paid to a doctor who helps a patient fill out an advance directive which requests doctor-prescribed death.
The goal of the new rule, according to Berwick, is to reduce costs. “Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault,” says Berwick. Most people would agree with that if it truly is what the patient wants. It should be noted that advance directives generally cover more than just situations of terminal illness.
Not lost on those who care about this issue is the timing of the announcement– the day after Christmas when few are paying attention.
Obamacare will become death by a thousand regulations.
Read the announcement in the New York Times here.