New Fox News piece: Rationing Revealed at the Heart of Obamacare

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

If you like police officers having quotas for speeding tickets, you will love the Obama administration's new health care regulations. Doctors are going to be paid for giving "end-of-life counseling," one version of what was labeled as "death panels" during the health care debate this last spring. Combining this with Obamacare giving doctors a financial incentive for withholding medical care as well as financial penalties if they give out too much care, it is easy to see where things are going and what types of doctors will prosper. . . .

Note: I should have linked to Palin's original discussion of death panels here. Some commentators on my piece at the Fox News website have misstated what Palin had originally written.

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. . . .

UPDATE: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) regrets the memo asking people to be quite about the new Obama administration rule so that it can slip through unnoticed.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is distancing himself from a memo sent by his office that urged health reform advocates not to advertise new end-of-life counseling regulations to avoid reviving talk of “death panels.”

The weeks-old memo recommended that end-of-life advocates celebrate a “quiet” victory out of concern that Republican leaders would “use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

Blumenauer now says he regrets the letter's secretive language, which has only bolstered conservatives’ claims that the Obama administration tried to sneak the provision in under the radar.

“If I had seen the memo, I would have suggested it be worded differently,” Blumenauer told The Hill. . . .

A discussion on what is rationing.

Further UPDATE: The Hill Newspaper and the WSJ reported:

The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times. A similar provision was dropped from the new healthcare reform law after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled. However, an administration spokesman said the regulation, which is less specific than the reform law’s draft language, is actually a continuation of a policy enacted under former President George W. Bush. “The only thing new here is a regulation allowing the discussions … to happen in the context of the new annual wellness visit created by [healthcare reform],” Obama spokesman Reid Cherlin told The Wall Street Journal. . . .

The WSJ now has a correction: "Congress passed a law making changes to Medicare in 2008 by overriding President George W. Bush's veto. A previous version of this article incorrectly said Mr. Bush signed the legislation." Betsy McCaughey says that the problem with the original House Obamacare bill was that the bill tried to tell Doctors how to discuss the end-of-life issues with patients. The new regulation at this point does not do that.

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