New Congress Appears to Bring Federal Reversal of Health Care Death Counseilng

The current federal administration has altered its original view mandating end-of-life counseling with a change to Obamacare, as noted in this article by the New York Times.

This development is most interesting for several reasons:
  1. Required death counseling has been a hot cultural and political button, dubbed as "death panels" by Gov. Sarah Palin in her commentary on this provision in the new health care law;
  2. The new Congress has set their sights on a complete repeal of the health care act;
  3. The new Congressional conservative majority has also stated that if a wholesale repeal is not politically possible they will work piece-meal to defund and deconstruct the act;
  4. This change is being made not in accordance with law as it does not appear to follow the US Administrative Procedure Act.
For a view of the original rule (of more than 700 pages) that "incorporates new legislative requirements regarding face-to-face encounters with providers related to home health and hospice care" read here.

The new health care act became effective January 1, 2011, and refers to death counseling as "medical social services."

Health care that counsels toward ending life does not restore Americans or their families, but disregards the value of life, and the value that any life affords a family.

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