End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

House Passes Bill With Advance Care Planning Provisionby Blaine

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Historic Legislation Passes

Washington, DC
November 7, 2009

Rep. Earl Blumenauer tonight announced the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962) passed the House by a vote of 220-215. The bill provides advance care planning, a provision Blumenauer authored.

The advance care planning provision will help families better prepare and understand their loved ones’ preferences for end of life care so they are not confronted with these difficult medical decisions in the midst of an emergency. The provision extends Medicare coverage to cover the cost of patients voluntarily speaking with their doctors about their values and preferences regarding end-of-life care.

Following is a statement from Rep. Blumenauer:

“Tonight I voted for every Oregonian who has faced bankruptcy when they’ve lost their care or has been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Tonight, I voted to protect every Oregonian who has health insurance but sees their costs rising every year.

“Passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act marks the most important single step in 100 years in addressing the health care needs of American families.  For the first time, the US government has dealt comprehensively with the entire health care system.

“I’m pleased we were successful in the incorporation of major reforms, improving care for all Americans while strengthening the position of Oregon medical care providers.

“This critical milestone, while historic, signals more hard work ahead to get the bill to the President’s desk.  I will work to strengthen the reforms while fighting to lower costs to make health care more affordable for families and the federal treasury.

“We must then be prepared to keep working to implement this sweeping change.  But tonight we should all pause to celebrate this moment in history.”

Visit Rep. Blumenauer’s website for more information on the Affordable Health Care for Americans Act.