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The New York Times reports that the administration has brought back the end-of-life planning provision that triggered last year’s “death panel” debate. The measure allowed doctors to be paid for providing voluntary counseling to patients about deciding what kind of life-sustaining treatment they’d want if they were no longer in a condition to make decisions about their own care. As I wrote at that time, this is the reality of what happens when government is involved in medical care — suddenly the state gains an interest in individual decisions. And given that government at all levels is spending $1.1 trillion a year on health care, roughly half of which is federal Medicare spending, decisions about what they decide to pay and not pay for is going to have a major impact on medical care.
The Democrats’ dropped this provision in the Senate Finance Committee last summer because the “death panel” talk was generating too much negative attention to the then fledgling bill. But now, it’s back — and not surprisingly, it was revived by none other that Donald Berwick, the Medicare administrator who if you recall, was recess-appointed, because his self-professed love of Britain’s health care system and fondness for rationing made him unconfirmable. So though it isn’t a surprise, this news is it’s another example of how the Obama administration plans to achieve through regulation what it could not pass through legislation.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?