Sneaking death into the discussion

Friday, July 10, 2015
Charlie Butts (

It will take an act of Congress to alter the Obama administration's proposal for death counseling.

That's the view of a pro-life leader who is warning about the counseling.

The administration is proposing that Medicare pay doctors to have discussions with patients about dying and whether they want life-sustaining treatment or not. That was a provision of ObamaCare but was pulled after a public uproar.

doctor with patientBurke Balch of the National Right to Life Committee warns the administration is only paying lip service to honoring individual preferences in so-called Advance Care Planning.

She tells OneNewsNow: "In practice, the pervasive focus is to nudge patients to agree to say no to life saving medical treatment, even assisted feeding, through the provision of unbalanced, distorted and even inaccurate information, and this is being openly promoted as a means of slashing health care spending.

Sarah Palin famously warned Americans of "death panels," which was referring to the Independent Payment Advisory Board

In a recent story about the Medicare counseling, The Los Angeles Times linked the newest effort to the "death panels" warning. 

Balch suggests the administration is ignoring public rejection of the provision as the Affordable Care Act was being debated. But now, she says, it's being sneaked back into the controversial law.

"And the only way realistically to stop it," she says, "is for legislators to hear from their constituents and say, We do not want the federal government, our tax dollars, being used to try to push people to die prematurely."

A government agency can issue such a regulation but Congress has oversight and could move to kill it. 

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