The Corner

Oh, the Bureaucracy!

Remember the “death panel” controversy about end-of-life care conversations? It got dropped out of Obamacare, but it is back with a vengeance in the Care Planning Act of 2013 (S. 1439).

I am certainly not against doctors having conversations with patients about what they want as the end approaches. But the Care Planning Act–which would allow Medicare and Medicaid to pay for the talk–is 46 pages long! When you add the regulations that will be required to implement the thing, it could go into the hundreds. No wonder health care is getting so Byzantine and sclerotic.

It requires hospice to use multidisciplinary teams. But hospice already does use that approach–has since its founding in the UK in the late 60s–without being told how by the government.

The bill encourages bloat and regulation–for example, requiring a 15-member “expert panel” appointed by the president and the partisan leaders of the House and Senate. Patronage time! What a bureaucratic mess. I provide more details here.

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