The Obama Administration has announced that it is abandoning a controversial new “end-of-life” policy recently incorporated into new Medicare regulations. The Administrations says it is setting aside the plan, which would have reimbursed doctors for holding “advance care planning” discussions during annual “wellness” visits.
The policy was similar to language originally inserted by U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) into President Obama’s recently passed health care legislation. That language, which was developed by the pro-euthanasia group Compassion and Choices, was also abandoned after critics charged it would create federally funded “death panels.”
The New York Times reports that the Administration decided to eliminate the new “advance care planning” regulation because more people needed to have the opportunity to comment on it before it went into effect.
Obviously that wasn’t the original plan. Congressman Blumenauer, who is a supporter of assisted suicide, had sent a memo to his allies urging them to help keep the public in the dark.
“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists because e-mails can too easily be forwarded,” he stated in his memo. “Thus far, it seems no press or blogs have discovered it. The longer this regulation goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
The pro-life community has been greatly concerned about federally funded end-of-life “counseling” because of the stridently anti-life philosophy of President Obama and his advisers. Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel, a man known as the President’s “health care alchemist” and a chief architect of the President’s health care plan, has been an outspoken proponent of health care rationing for the elderly and the disabled. Dr. Emmanuel is also the older brother of former White House Chief of Staff and candidate for Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
Dr. Emmanuel has stated in the past that government-managed health care should not provide services to individuals “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.” Dr. Emmanuel has included patients with dementia and children with learning disabilities on that list.
In the midst of the latest ruckus over senior citizen health care, the White House has announced that Dr. Emmanuel will be leaving his post as health adviser in the Office of Management and Budget.
Unfortunately, he is not leaving the Administration, but is returning to his former job as the Director of the bioethics department in the National Institutes of Health.