Just when you thought it was safe to get old, the Obama-Care ‘death panels’ have returned and will take effect on January 1st, 2011. Under a new Medicare regulation, the Federal government will pay doctors who consult and advise Medicare patients on ‘end-of-life-care’. Translated, this means establishing criteria for ‘do-not-resuscitate’ or DNR guidelines for each patient. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing to have, but the question looming is just how voluntary this will turn out to be? If doctors know they are to be paid for doing this, will they go out of their way to consult with patients?

President Obama holds a press conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on December 22, 2010. Obama spoke on the lame duck session of Congress including the Tax Bill, the 9/11 Responders legislation, the Dream Act and the START Treaty. UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

In an ideal world, a patient would be the one to raise the question with his or her doctor. Another consideration for our ‘ideal world’, of course, is that our elected politicians would actually listen to the voters. During the early days of the Obama healthcare reform debate, the ‘death panel’ issue was found neatly hidden in the 2,000+ page legislation. You remember, the one Nancy Pelosi said we would have to pass first before learning what all is in it.

A firestorm swept the nation over the Obama healthcare reform bill. For nearly a year, the opposition to ‘death panels’ in Obama-Care caused a considerable backlash of public opinion, from townhalls to, eventually, the ballot box. One of the earliest political casualties was the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, held by Democrats like Ted Kennedy for decades, being lost to the Republican Scott Brown. This past November, many of those Congressmen, and Senators, who voted for the Obama-Care package were thrown out of office.

Yet, the Obama administration, while yielding the issue in the legislation, has decided to act anyway through it’s appointed Federal regulators. Like most of the bills Congress passes, the Healthcare Reform Act was essentially just an outline, with regulators filling in the blanks later. Thus, we now have the ‘death panels’ restored and taking effect on January 1st. Happy New Year from President Barack Obama and master regulator Cass Sunstein.

The original ‘death panel’ plan in Healthcare Reform Act, Section 1233, allowed Medicare to pay doctors for performing this end-of-life-care consultation once every five years. The Obama administration, in it’s ‘infinite wisdom’, has decided under the new regulation to allow Medicare to pay doctors annually now. How wonderful for them. So we can pretty much guess that doctors will be doing these consultations annually. One more reason why the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives must repeal the entire law, and quickly.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) signs legislation repealing military policy law, while former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva (2nd-L), former U.S. Navy Commander Zoe Dunning (L), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (2nd-R) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) (R) stand nearby during a ceremony December 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed into law a bill repealing the don't ask, don't tell law against gays serving openly in the military. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) signs legislation repealing military policy law during a ceremony December 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed into law a bill repealing the don't ask, don't tell law against gays serving openly in the military. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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