After being dropped from text of ObamaCare, the controversial and supposed "death panels" section looks to be making a comeback via the regulations-writing process.
When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
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 Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.
"...achieve the same goal by regulation."
Yet another kick in the nuts for those Blue Dogs who voted for this monstrosity.
So, it's not actually part of ObamaCare but will be part of ObamaCare anyway. And don't let anyone know about it.
Back in August of last year, we sunk our teeth into the infamous Section 1233 to see if, in fact, there were any "death panels" lurking about. Here are a couple of salient bits from our analysis:
Executive summary: Although our review of Section 1233 does not turn up any “death panels”, the language in that section contains enough wiggle room for these “counseling” sessions to produce unsavory situations and outcomes because of the inevitable rationing that will come with government-managed healthcare.
Conclusion: First and foremost, this legislation, because of the Byzantine fashion in which it is written should be opposed on principle alone. Well, all legislation is written in that manner. Perhaps, but we all reserve the right to be smarter than we used to be and nothing this important should give someone a headache while trying to read it, let alone interpret it.
So while there does not appear to be a death panel, per se, the vague manner in which the language is crafted leaves plenty of wiggle room for physicians to steer patients towards decisions that would lead to a lessening of treatment(s), malnourishment, dehydration and a cutback on anti-biotics.
And if you believe, as we do, that government-managed healthcare will lead to shortages and thus the eventuality of rationing, one can connect the dots to see where this is all going.
And it's not just us down here in the fever swamps of the blogosphere who believe that O-Care will eventually lead to health care rationing. Dr. Donald Berwick, the HMFIC of Medicare and Medicaid not only believes it but appears to be a big fan:
"It's not a question of whether we will ration health care. It is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
And it's because of this, we found the following quite amusing:
Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”Here's a portion of an email from Blumenauer to his peeps:
The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it (ed.: uh-oh), but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
In the interview, Mr. Blumenauer said, “Lies can go viral if people use them for political purposes.”
While we (the royal "we") have been accused of spreading misinformation and lies regarding ObamaCare, we've taken a look back at our criticisms of ObamaCare and have concluded that our biggest guns, our strongest arguments against ObamaCare have come directly from the mouths of its biggest supporters and the very people charged with
And to think that they firmly believe the current unpopularity of ObamaCare is due to a "messaging" problem. Keep yakking, people, keep yakking.