BOHEMIA, NY, Dec 29 – The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is calling on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to remove several “sneak attack provisions in the health care reform law”
The first allows the government to influence end-of-life decisions made by seniors, AMAC president Dan Weber explains, noting that The New York Times reported Sunday that the law authorizes Medicare regulators to begin reimbursing physicians for end-of-life counseling starting January 1st.
“This is an incentive for conducting deathbed counseling,” says Weber. “The reform law initially contained a specific provision for this type of counseling but it was taken out when lawmakers concluded it could lead to the establishment of government run ‘death panels’ as a means of reducing the cost of life-support care for seniors with chronic conditions.”
As Fox News put it; “Most health costs come at the end of life, and convincing more seniors to pull their own plugs in advance would represent huge savings.”
Meanwhile, Section 3007 of the law exacerbates the incentive, he notes, because it will pay physicians more money when they lower the cost of care. “Thus, doctors who receive Medicare payments stand to gain financially if their patients die sooner. This is a disgraceful provision that goes against common sense and could rob patients of life saving treatments,” Weber warns.
He describes these provisions as “insidious elements of the law whose backers would keep them secret. In fact, he points out, both Fox and the Times report that overt efforts have been made to discourage public discussion of the new regulation for fear of provoking opposition.
Weber says that “AMAC will be in the forefront of the opposition. We are outraged at the sneaky way the procedure was resurrected by supporters in Congress and we demand that this and all other regulatory ‘back doors’ be shut. Our aim is to create a bi-partisan bloc committed to protecting the rights of all senior citizens.”