Monday, December 27, 2010

Obamacare's Death Panels Are Back

The White House is not pleased with the Sunday article on the re-emergence of the perhaps mislabeled 'death panels' hidden in Obamacare. The White House is pushing back. Opponents of Obamacare were concerned that this very thing would happen. Just as this provision was taken out of the bill in order to secure enough votes for passage, it is now quietly back in the final version of his health care reform bill.

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.

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.

The general public wasn't aware of this maneuver because most of the goodies in this monster bill are yet to be uncovered. It's intentional. Even the Democrats admit it. Shhh. Don't celebrate to loudly on the clever takeover of 1/6 of the national economy by a huge government entitlement program - that was the advice offered by Rep Earl Blumenauer from the State of Oregon.

After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.

“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Blumenauer must be having quite the chuckle, what with being filled with joy at having pulled this on off, despite the opposition - mostly from Republicans. If it was all a 'myth', then why was it pulled out for the vote, only to be quietly placed right back in during final signing? Why the hush-hush, Rep Blumenauer?

Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”

The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, 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.”


More deceit from this administration. Less transparency. Forget about honesty, how about some basic human decency from this administration and their willing cohorts in Congress? What else is being hidden from us? Remember the famous Pelosi line that the bill had to be passed so we could see what is in it?

Not so amusing, is it?

Is the White House's "rapid, targeted response" of denouncing the Times article as 'wrong' the beginning of what is to come?

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