Interesting Facts about America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 H.R. 3200‏

Reimbursement for counseling about living wills

One often-cited provision of the bill authorizes Medicare reimbursement for physicians who provide voluntary counseling about such subjects as living wills.  The provision is based on a separate bill that was cosponsored by a Republican, Charles Boustany of Louisiana .

This Advance Care Planning Consultation section was criticized by some Republicans and conservatives, such as Betsy McCaughey, a lobbyist for the healthcare industry who also helped to defeat the Clinton health care plan of 1993, who allege that it includes mandatory language aimed at pressing elderly patients toward euthanasia.  

That provision was the basis for a misleading charge about this section by prominent Republican and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Sarah Palin that “my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”  This claim is false and misleading

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