Bioethics Blogs

Federal Legislation to EXCLUDE Advance Care Planning under Medicare

Congressman Steve King has re-introduced a bill to exclude coverage of advance care planning services under the
Medicare program. 


Unfortunately, King fundamentally either misunderstands or deliberately mischaracterizes the current program, which is focused on soliciting and honoring the individual’s own treatment preferences, not about limiting or constraining choice in any way.


“My legislation prohibits Medicare payments for end-of-life counseling, blocking this harmful regulation before our government imposes yet another life-devaluing policy on the American people. ”   


“A year ago this month, the government increased control over one of the most highly personal healthcare decisions an individual can make when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began paying doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care.”


“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. 


“Furthermore, this exact provision was removed from the final draft of Obamacare in 2009 as a direct result of public outcry. The worldview behind the policy has not changed since then and government control over this intimate choice is still intolerable to those who respect the dignity of human life.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.