Reversing a potentially controversial decision, the Obama administration will drop references to end-of-life counseling from the ground rules for Medicare's new annual checkup, a White House official said Wednesday.

The latest shift on the sensitive subject comes ahead of a vote next week in the new GOP-led House to repeal President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul.

The decision is not likely to have much impact on patients and doctors already discussing options for care in the last stages of life. For example, voluntary end-of-life planning is already covered as part of the "Welcome to Medicare" doctor visit, available to seniors within the first year of joining the program.
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