Yes, the MSM is at it again — and really should do their research before sticking to a narrative floated by the most incompetent White House ever. While the Obama White House spoon-feeds the narrative that the end-of-life provision first appeared in a 2008 Bush-era law, the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, they forgot that the particular bill they reference was actually VETOED by President George W. Bush and the veto was OVERRIDDEN by the Pelosi-led Democrats and some willing Republicans. The Hill’s Jason Millman, along with the WSJ repeat the false narrative:
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.
In 2003, Medicare added a consultation visit for seniors new to the program, according to the Journal. Another 2008 law, enacted under Bush, said the visit can include “end-of-life” planning discussions.
Now, the WSJ has corrected its earlier version to include the information on the veto, but The Hill has not. Millman did not mention the veto or the veto override and pins the blame right on the Bush administration. That 2008 bill that dealt with doctors’ reimbursements and more, but the Democrats slipped in the end-of-life planning by opening up the Social Security Act, which I have stated many times is dangerous, because once changed, it is difficult to amend again and allows for tinkering with the Medicare fee schedule and covered services definitions and requirements.
For the record, here is the text that the Democrats changed:
(b) Revisions to Initial Preventive Physical Examination-
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 1861(ww) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x(ww)) is amended-
(A) in paragraph (1)-
(i) by inserting ‘body mass index,’ after ‘weight’;
(ii) by striking ‘, and an electrocardiogram’; and
(iii) by inserting ‘and end-of-life planning (as defined in paragraph (3)) upon the agreement with the individual’ after ‘paragraph (2)’;
It’s hilarious to watch the MSM fall in line with the WH narrative and it’s even more hilarious to watch the Democrats blame Bush for the sun coming up and then use him as cover as they manipulate the Medicare fee schedule and regulations to get the policy for end-of-life care they so desperately want to control the people.