KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Administration Sets Regulation For Controversial End-Of-Life Benefit

The New York Times: Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
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 (Pear, 12/25).

The Associated Press: Medicare Regulation Revives End-Of-Life Planning
A new health regulation issued this month offers Medicare recipients voluntary end-of-life planning, which Democrats dropped from the monumental health care overhaul last year. ... [T]he practice was heavily criticized by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and some other Republicans who have likened the counseling to "death panels." (12/25).
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