NYT reports:

When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Star columnist E. Thomas McClanahan appears in yesterday’s N&R and explains the Constitutional implications of Obamacare:

Government benefits expressed in this way are known to political scientists as positive rights, which differ from the negative rights with which we’re more familiar. Negative rights generally describe things the government cannot do — take your stuff without due process, stifle your right to express your point of view, lock you up without cause, etc.

Positive rights describe things the government says it will do for you. A good example was the Second Bill of Rights pushed by President Roosevelt. Everyone, he said, should have the right “to a useful and remunerative job … to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing … to adequate medical care … to a good education” and more.

McClanahan concludes that “once upon a time, Barack Obama seemed to understand the kind of opposition a personal mandate would generate.” I’m not exactly sure when that was, given the 2001 interview where he discussed “what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”

It’s Obama’s world, we only live in it.