Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Death Panels" Redux

The New York Times' Robert Pear outlines the Obama administration's plan for reviving "end of life counseling," which Sarah Palin labeled "death panels."  Barack Obama & Co. denied that they were any such thing, of course, but the provisions of Section 1233 were left out of the Obamacare legislation, signed into law earlier this year.
But now, during a slow news time, they have returned as regulations issued by Medicare authorities, supported by many Democrats in Congress, such as Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.  Yet the proof that Democrats think that they have something to be defensive about is found in this passage from the Times article: 
Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”
“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”
After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.
“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”
Yes, that's exactly what could happen.  
As an aside, we can note the url that the Times used for this story.  Note that the "slug," as it would have been called in the old days, is "death": 
Evidently the Times does believe in calling it like it is--at least some of the time.  


  1. It’s about time the NY TIMES let the truth be told.
    I wonder if there are a lot of old guys on the Times?

    I can almost hear the Death Panel doctors:
    “Now Peter, you have an obligation to die and not run up medical bills. You owe it to your country.”
    “But doctor you have it backwards, I am the country. Stop pressuring me to die. I don’t like being embarrassed into death.”

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