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Medicare "death panel" fears, legislation re-emerge for end-of-life counseling

posted Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Controversy is threatening to reemerge in Congress over Advance Care Planning funding, which pays doctors to counsel some 57 million Medicare patients on end-of-life treatment preferences, USA Today reports. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, introduced a bill last month, the Protecting Life Until Natural Death Act, which would revoke Medicare reimbursement for the sessions, which he called “yet another life-devaluing policy.” While the fate of King’s bill is highly uncertain — the recently proposed measure hasn’t seen congressional action — it underscores deep feelings among conservatives who have long opposed such counseling and may seek to remove it from Medicare should Republicans attempt to make other changes to the entitlement program.