Tyrant Obama Issues Rule Creating Death Panels, No One Cares

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This happened last Friday and I completely missed it:

Six years after legislation to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a furor over “death panels,” the Obama administration issued a final rule on Friday that authorizes Medicare to pay doctors for consultations with patients on how they would like to be cared for as they are dying.

The administration proposed the payments in July, touching off none of the rancor that first accompanied the idea during debate on the Affordable Care Act in 2009….“We received overwhelmingly positive comments about the importance of these conversations between physicians and patients,” Dr. Conway said. “We know that many patients and families want to have these discussions.”

Huh. It turns out that Republicans never really had any problem with this at all.1 I guess that whole “death panel” thing was just a big misunderstanding. The Wall Street Journal explains what happened:

Since 2010, legislation that would allow reimbursements to physicians for advance planning discussions has gained bipartisan support….The climate has changed in part because of lobbying and education campaigns by medical groups.

Yeah, that must be it. I’m glad we got that straightened out.

1Except for Sarah Palin, of course, who offered her familiar common-sense take: “Government needs to stay the hell out of our ‘end-of-life’ discussions,” she said in a long, um, commentary on Facebook. “I’m so angry at democrat and republican politicians who just rolled their eyes when I, and many others, rose up with warnings that each step forward taken by champions of this socialist program would jerk back two steps from every free American and our God-given rights.” Etc.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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