On former Sen. Fred Thompson’s radio show, former lieutenant governor of New York Betsy McCaughey said that the House’s proposed health care bill contained a provision that would institute mandatory counseling sessions telling seniors how "to do what’s in society’s best interest … and cut your life short." House Minority Leader John Boehner made a slightly more measured statement, warning that the same provision "may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law."
In truth, that section of the bill would require Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling sessions helping seniors to plan for end-of-life medical care, including designating a health care proxy, choosing a hospice and making decisions about life-sustaining treatment. It would not require doctors to counsel that their patients refuse medical intervention.
Our inboxes have exploded recently with worried queries from readers who have heard that the House’s proposed health care bill, H.R. 3200, contains a provision that would require that ailing seniors be pressed to consider suicide in order to save the taxpayers money on Medicare. Most messages mention that this clause appears on page 425 of the legislation.
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