White House: Opponents Misrepresent End-Of-Life Issue In Reform Debate
The White House says opponents of the President's health care reform effort are misrepresenting parts of the House and Senate legislation including a provision on end-of-life care. Critics say they fear health care reform could lead to excessive government intervention in end-of-life issues.
A Fox News notes: "At a town hall meeting at the AARP headquarters in Washington, Mr. Obama answered a woman in North Carolina, who asked if it was true 'that everyone that's Medicare age will be visited and told they have to decide how they wish to die.' .. His aides suggested the misunderstanding was part of a calculated attempt by health reform opponents to undercut support for the effort by misrepresenting parts of the bills. ... President Obama said 'nobody is going to be forcing you to make a set of decisions on end-of-life care based on... some bureaucratic law in Washington.' Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says, 'these decisions will be made by doctors and patients.' In fact, the provision in the House bill would allow Medicare to pay for counseling sessions on end of life issues, but it doesn't require them" (Goler, 7/29).
WDBO radio in Central Florida reports: "Republican congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite says there are some false rumors being spread about the end of life care counseling that may end up in the Medicare part of the health reform bill. 'It doesn't say that they're going to receive counseling on euthanasia, that's not what it says,' she said" (Stein, 7/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.