Government is where bad ideas go to get resurrected again and again — but you can’t say the same for Medicare patients:
Six years after end-of-life planning nearly derailed development of the Affordable Care Act amid charges of “death panels,” the Obama administration has revived a proposal to reimburse physicians for talking with their Medicare patients about how patients want to be cared for as they near death.
The proposal, contained in a large set of Medicare regulations unveiled Wednesday, comes amid growing public discussion about the need for medical care that better reflects patients’ wishes as they get older.
More and more doctors are refusing to see Medicare patients, because the government’s reimbursement rates are oftentimes too low to cover their own costs, and the government’s paperwork requirements are too onerous.
But Washington seems quite pleased to pay doctors just for talking — talking to their old patients about dying.
Let’s admit what Medicare is becoming: Stealth rationing of health care for seniors.