Medicare expert on end-of-life counsleling proposal

08/14/09 Mitch E. Perry
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As President Obama continues to campaign for health care reform, a false rumor is circulating that the President and Democrats were seeking to implement "death panels," with bureaucrats making decisions about whether elderly or seriously ill patients live or die. The allegation stems in part from a provision in a bill passed by three House committees that would provide Medicare reimbursement to patients seeking end-of-life counseling.

Yesterday, lawmakers working on the Senate version said that provision had been dropped from their proposal.

To learn more about the proposal, WMNF yesterday spoke with Robert Berenson, from the Urban Institute, a non-partisan research center based in Washington. The Urban Institute recently released a report that found the government could save over $90 billion dollars over 10 years by better managing end of life care.

Berenson is currently a commissioner with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, also known as MedPac.

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