In fact, section 1233 of the House bill would allow Medicare for the first time to cover patient-doctor consultations about end-of-life planning, including discussions about drawing up a living will or planning hospice treatment. Patients would, of course, seek out such advice on their own -- they would not be required to. The provision would limit Medicare coverage to one consultation every five years.
But that's not what the Republicans are telling you.
Former Republican lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey said on a radio show on July 16, that she had read the health care bill and discovered that "Congress would make it mandatory... that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner, how to decline nutrition, how to decline being hydrated, how to go into hospice care... all to do what's in society's best interest... and cut your life short."
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) put out a statement on the section of the bill in question, Section 1233, that said, "This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law."
And then there's Rush Limbaugh. Here's what he said on his July 28th radio show, “People at a certain age with certain diseases will be deemed not worth the investment, and they will just as Obama said, they’d give them some pain pills, and let them loop out till they die and they don’t even know what’s happened." Well, Rush is someone we've got to pay attention to when it comes to popping pills.
End-of-life planning is critical. Everyone should be knowledgeable about things like directives to physicians/living wills, do not resuscitate orders, medical powers of attorney, and the like.
It's completely irresponsible of Republicans to fear monger about this.