Among the most egregious distortions to cloud the healthcare debate in 2009 was the false notion that the
In truth, one of the provisions of the act that gave rise to Palin's critique would have done just the opposite: help patients make their own decisions about their treatment at the end of life. But it was removed from the bill in the heat of the death panel rhetoric. Now it is back as part of HR 1173, introduced by Rep.
The bill requires that
Currently, many patients speak informally to their doctors about advanced care planning and some are encouraged to fill out an advance directive. But Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers typically don't cover consultations specifically for these discussions. Some experts believe that if Medicare and Medicaid were required to cover advance-care consultations, insurance companies would follow suit.
The Blumenauer proposal also calls for greater portability and accessibility of advance-care directives by including them in electronic records and helping ensure that they are honored across state lines.
With memories of the 2009 debate still lingering over any healthcare discussion in Washington, it's easy to write this off as politically unfeasible. But in reality, it's a policy most Americans support. According to a 2011 survey from the Regence Foundation and the National Journal, 81% of Americans agreed that advance-care discussions should be covered by Medicare. What's more, legislators don't have to support Obamacare to rally behind this sensible legislation. In fact, one of its primary advocates, Rep.