I’m going to take the death panel end-of-life planning conundrum down one point at a time to make this very clear for Americans to understand what the Pelosi-led Democrats have done to your healthcare and attempt to take cover under a Bush-era law–the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. The Hill reported that the Obama White House attempted to calm Americans’ fears of the dreaded death panels:
The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times. A similar provision was dropped from the new healthcare reform law after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled. However, an administration spokesman said the regulation, which is less specific than the reform law’s draft language, is actually a continuation of a policy enacted under former President George W. Bush.
“The only thing new here is a regulation allowing the discussions … to happen in the context of the new annual wellness visit created by [healthcare reform],” Obama spokesman Reid Cherlin told The Wall Street Journal.
In 2003, Medicare added a consultation visit for seniors new to the program, according to the Journal. Another 2008 law, enacted under Bush, said the visit can include “end-of-life” planning discussions.
However, what The Hill’s Jason Millman forgot to mention in his article was that President Bush VETOED the 2008 bill and the Democrats, along with some “good-willed” Republicans OVERRODE Bush’s veto forcing him to sign the legislation into law.* The bill dealt with doctors’ reimbursements and more, but the Democrats slipped in the end-of-life planning by opening up the Social Security Act, which I have stated many times is dangerous, because once changed, it is difficult to amend again and allows for tinkering with the Medicare fee schedule and covered services definitions and requirements.
For the record, here is the text that the Democrats changed:
(b) Revisions to Initial Preventive Physical Examination-
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 1861(ww) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(ww)) is amended–
Comedy gold indeed, when Democrats blame Bush for, um, everything wrong in America, and then use him for cover on healthcare.
Crossposted at HotAir’s GreenRoom
* President Bush did not sign this bill into law as the congressional record mistakenly notes. After Congress overrode Bush’s veto, President Bush was not required to sign the bill to enact it.