Sunday, December 26, 2010
Medicare and Advance Directives
In a recent post I included as an example of conservative American conspiracy theorizing the belief that Barack Obama was trying to create death panels to encourage euthanasia through the new healthcare law. Obama is now using the regulatory process to issue a rule that Medicare will pay for voluntary advance care planning annually, instead of the version proposed for but then dropped from the health care bill that would pay for it every five years. This does not make the conservative conspiracy theorizing any more outrageous. These visits do not encourage euthanasia. They do not let the government make decisions about the patient's end of life on its own as 30% of people (over 65 years old) believed according to a September 2010 poll. They inform people about their options. It is still inaccurate conspiracy theorizing, therefore, to insist that this proposal is an attempt to kill people.