Health Care

'Death Panel' Fracas Could Return

Starting Jan. 1, new regulations will add end-of-life planning to Medicare coverage, the policy that started a firestorm over so-called death panels. The government will pay doctors to advise patients on their options for end-of-life care. Supporters for the regulation have stayed mum, fearful of provoking a reaction from the Republicans similar to the fury from the summer of 2009. Opponents have said that such a policy could encourage doctors to advise patients to end their lives prematurely.