In Midst Of Firestorm Over “Death Panels,” Senate Finance Committee To Eschew End Of Life Counseling


Less than a day after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) validated cooked-up fears that Democratic health care legislation would create “death panels,” it appears, according to the Wall Street Journal, that the Senate Finance Committee will not be including a provision to reimburse Medicare doctors who provide end-of-life counseling to dying patients in its bill.

Grassley is the Finance Committee’s ranking member, and one of six senators on the panel working to craft a bipartisan health care bill.

Until a few days ago, the measure–which is included in House legislation–was completely uncontroversial. But with opponents desperate to undermine support for health care reform, high profile Republicans are now equating it to “pulling the plug on grandma,” reaffirming the fears of misinformed protesters who are lashing out at this and other misconceptions at health care town halls across the country.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at