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Senate Finance Expected to Kill House's End-of-Life Care Provision

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2009

The language in the new healthcare reform House bill would make changes--requiring that Medicare reimburse physicians and other providers for consultations that provide information on issues, such as living wills and power of attorney. No provision on this is included in the bill passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

On the Senate Finance Committee, Grassley said they "are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options."

"We dropped end of life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly," Grassley said. "Maybe others can defend a bill like the Pelosi [House] bill that leaves major issues open to interpretation, but I can't."

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at

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