Monday, August 3, 2015

Legislation to Forbid Medicare Coverage of Advance Care Planning

I was really surprised (and annoyed) to see U.S. Representative Steve King, R-Iowa introduce H.R. 3251, the End-of-Life Counseling Bill.  The main section of the bill provides for "EXCLUSION OF COVERAGE OF ADVANCE CARE PLANNING SERVICES UNDER THE MEDICARE PROGRAM."



King introduced his bill in response to the July 8 announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care. 



King explained: "Allowing the federal government to marry its need to save dollars with the promotion of end-of-life counseling is not in the interest of millions of Americans who were promised life-sustaining care in their older years in exchange for their compelled funding of the program during their working years."



"Government control over this highly personal decision is still intolerable to those who respect the dignity of human life. We need to block this harmful regulation before the Administration imposes yet another life-devaluing policy on the American people. My bill will accomplish this important objective by prohibiting Medicare payments for end-of-life counseling under the coming regulation."


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