With Palin 'Death Panels' Debunked, Congress Pushes End-Of-Life Planning

The politics of end-of-life care are beginning to disappear in Washington six years after Tea Party darling Sarah Palin injected false claims that Congressional health reform legislation included “death panels.”

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate by Virginia Democrat Mark Warner and Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson to help patients suffering serious illness with advanced care planning is gaining momentum. The Care Planning Act of 2015 would have Medicare reimburse doctors and other health professionals for consulting with their patients about end-of-life care.

It’s the first major push to pay doctors and other health care providers for consultations about end-of-life care since Palin, the former GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, and other Republicans accused the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress for creating “death panels.” Even though she was wrong, as several organizations pointed out at the time, the political hubbub contributed to lawmakers’ decision to strip Medicare reimbursement of doctors for end-of-life consultations from the legislation that eventually became the Affordable Care Act.

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