Feds May Reimburse Medicare 'End-of-Life Discussions' After Mocking Palin's 'Death Panels'

August 31, 2014

Years after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was mocked for being concerned about “death panels,” the federal government may reimburse Medicare doctors for end-of-life consultations that critics say would only encourage sick patients to reject costly treatments to prolong life. The New York Times reports that “Medicare may begin covering end-of-life discussions next year if it approves a recent request from the American Medical Association,” which is “the country’s largest association of physicians and medical students” and creates “billing codes for medical services, codes used by doctors, hospitals and insurers.” According to the Times, the group “recently created codes for end-of-life conversations and submitted them to Medicare” and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to make a decision in the fall that could “profoundly affect the American way of dying.” As the Times notes, “end-of-life planning remains controversial,” especially after Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s “‘death panel’ label killed efforts to include it” in Obamacare. The Obama administration tried to sneak in a provision in a 2010 regulation before it “had Medicare rescind that portion of the regulation” after intense political pressure.  Now, the federal government may try again.  Doctors and bureaucrats have insisted that end-of-life counseling would not lead

8 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • 1commonjoe says:

    Alot of people think about the “death panel’s” just as in elderly end of life care. But this will far reach beyond that. It will include victims of auto accidents, serious illness, heart failure, cancer and life threatening birh defects. And more, People will be “encouraged” to give it up when they won’t even know that they could of had a chance for life, if only given some more time, med or treatment. Medicine is not an exact science. And there are many cases where the doctor was wrong. People have pulled thru to many a near miss, unexpected recovery. It’s your life, don’t you think you deserve a chance and have a right to receive all the care possible, without the gov’t or another panel denieing you a possible recovery?

    1. I Seigel says:

      The only reason people think about “death panels” is because they’ve been lied to by Sarah and Fox and Sean. All they’re trying to do with this benefit is allow you to get good, medically-based advice on what choices you have. Or, if you have a relative and victim of an auto accident or traumatic injury, you can discuss options for their care. NO ONE is making a decision for you or without your input and consent.

      What’s the point of taking a prostate drug that costs $100,000 and will prolong your life for 3 months? To some people, it’s worth it. To others it might not be – maybe they’d want to pass that money on to their families. Again: it’s all about choices, and in no place does the LAW say that the choice would be the government’s.

      So stop buying into these fear tactics – it’s all about trying to defeat Obamacare, but guess what? It’s too late for that!!!

      1. 1commonjoe says:

        Interesting reply. The IPAB AKA “death panels” is an unelected group of non medical people who determine who will and who won’t get medical treatments, and meds based on the diagnoses, age , and costs. The obamacare “insurance” will not give as much in costs as traditional insurance, in meds treatments and rehab. This is all being phased in. Starting in 2018 ( unless delayed) obamacare is scheduled to denie anyone the opportunity to actucally spend their own money, savings, on any med, treatment, rehab or equiptment, that obamacare denies the patient. People are and will be paying way more for way less beneifit. Many Doctors are not taking any more medicare/medicaid patients at this time. Many doctors are taking cash and payments over obamacare. Many doctors and nurses and other medical personel are hopeing for a full repeal of Obamacare and Better Solutions with Common Sense. If Republicans get Voted into the Senate and Keep the House of Representavites this Nov 4th. We have a good chance to dump obamacare, and get some really Good Medical care for all. Traditionally, the poor ended up with medicaid, and others were directed to clinics that only charged to your income on a scale. And Charties covered costs of many drugs and treatments for the indignent when it came to serious conditions like cancer and heart, ect. With obamacare these charties and clincics will disappear.

        1. I Seigel says:

          Your’s, too, is an interesting reply.

          ” If Republicans get Voted into the Senate and Keep the House of Representavites this Nov 4th. We have a good chance to dump obamacare, and get some really Good Medical care for all.”
          Please tell me the details of the Republicans’ plan that would replace Obamacare. As far as I remember, the Republicans have been promising for 5 years to release details of their plan but haven’t yet.

          And, if possible, could you provide details within the Obamacare law (Affordable Care Act) that support your claims for all the “phased-in” aspects of the law that will soon be upon us? I would like to see references from WITHIN the law’s wording, and not from Breitbart or Fox, please.

          And I’m not agreeing with this, but just let’s ASSUME this statement is true: “The IPAB AKA “death panels” is an unelected group of non medical people who determine who will and who won’t get medical treatments, and meds based on the diagnoses, age , and costs.” Please tell me how this differs from your old, regular insurance company and how THEY decide(d) what treatments they will pay for. I certainly was involved in many disputes with my insurance companies in the past, requesting reimbursement for this dental or that doctor procedure, with little or no satisfaction.

          1. 1commonjoe says:

            Alot of Congressman and Senators are working out details as we speak of different options that can resolve our current medical crisis. There is 1 real good website you can access, it has ideas by a doctor, not a politian. It is called AmericanLegacyPac.org / Save Our HealthCare. There are other doctors who too have good ideas and I forgot names, but perhaps you can do some general googleing to get hits. And Read the obamacare guide lines specifically pertainning to delivary of patient care, to doctors,hospitials and homecare agencies and nursing homes. There are phases/ changes dictated there. And read the details about the IPAb board and think about the real purpose for the IPAb, what it is set up to do and their guidelines ,the long range and long term effect to make their goal. Without any expertise in the medical field. Ummm, kinda like hireing a plumber to do cardiac surgey.
            The ‘rationing” of medical care, is with the “old traditional” insurance style, most would provide meds and treatments for cancer , late stage and other expensive treatments including older cardiac and diabetic patients and other illnesses. Also in the cases of patients with no or severly limited insurance as “mini meds” there were charities and clinics prepared to help those who qualified, to receive care, even late stage cancers and such. With obamacare, there will just be plain denial period. No charity, no use your own money, nadda, zilch, nothing. No change of heart. Life has become very worthless under obamacare. Kinda like sorry bud, next… Agreed we need to get malpractice under control.
            I believe as Americans , we can solve our problems and find a Better way for everyone. America always has, and will, unless we give up.

  • Peter Locke says:

    When you get near the end of you life, maybe you should be willing to consider dying. Not like it’s a surprise. Only the timing is is question. The government isn’t the only “death panel”. Other ‘panels’ consist of personal wealth, family wealth, pain, tax payer (government) ‘altruism’, and on and on. Get real and make plans: especially if you love your family. Because if YOU don’t someone else will. And you can just hope it’s someone who give a rat!

    1. Mary says:

      Mr. Locke, you have emptied your mind to the idea that government is “god” and has the power, the right, and the responsibility to make any and all decisions concerning the lives of the governed without their consent, from cradle to the grave (often, now, one in the same!) Your life is not valued by your list (wealth, pain…) but by the fact that you were made in God’s image and you have a purpose. Nearing the “end of life” (and how do you know such a thing?) should include reflection, repentance, and a desire to serve Him until the day He decides your actual end of life.

      1. I Seigel says:

        What is there in Mr. Locke’s comment that makes you think he wants the government making those kinds of decisions. His comment said nothing of the kind, and neither does the news article. The issue is all about seeking professional help and guidance – medical, in this case – but it would also be smart to have financial advice and, if you want it, religious advice. It’s all about personal CHOICE. Not the government. Not your religion telling me what I should do. You know – freedom!

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