New Medicare Regulation #1233 will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the New York Times. Section #1233 of the Health Care Law was dropped from the bill after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled. Some called it: “Death Panels”. The Obama Adminstration issued a Regulation that paralleled Section #1233 making it possible for doctors to get paid for discussions about end of life treatment.

“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.

The purpose of the End of Life discussion is to get a patient to sign an “Advanced Directive” like: “Do Not Resuscitate” or: “No Feeding Tube” or: “No Breathing Tube” because that witholds treatment and saves money for the government.  

Quoting from the New York Times article: Dr. Silveira said, she might ask a person with heart disease, “If you have another heart attack and your heart stops beating, would you want us to try to restart it?” A patient dying of emphysema might be asked, “Do you want to go on a breathing machine for the rest of your life?” And, she said, a patient with incurable cancer might be asked, “When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?”

Let’s be sure the bureaucrats don’t pull the plug on Grandma. I believe a written, signed Advanced Directive to: “USE ALL HEROIC MEASURES” would work as would “use all measures to keep this body from becoming a corpse”.

 Bill O’Neill, Holland PA

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