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Bill Hemmer Promotes Debunked (By Fox News!) Misinformation On Health Care Reform

Reported by Priscilla - August 3, 2009 -

Today, Bill Hemmer began a segment about advanced care planning with a bogus right wing propaganda point which is being peddled by those who oppose health care reform. It’s part of the propaganda package that includes scare tactics about seniors being euthanized. This seems to have started with Betsey McCaughey’s comment, on Fred Thompson’s radio show, that health care reform would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling for seniors "that will tell them how to end their life sooner." This meme has been picked up by right wing media and the teabag crowd. McCaughey has sinced walked back that claim to say that this would be the “effect” of the legislation. Even Fox News’ Wendell Goler debunked the claim on Special Report which, I must say, seems to be the least ideologically biased area of Fox News. But in the beginning of Bill Hemmer’s piece on this issue, he said that “we were told that page 425 of the health care bill has a proposal that If you’re 65 or older the House bill would require require you to sit down with an end of its end of life counselors every five years to map out your care as you get older.” Memo to Hemmer – you really need to check your sources cuz you were being fed a crock of crap.

H/T Media Matters

Media Matters has this: “Advance care planning is not mandatory in the House health care bill. Section 1233 of America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 -- which includes "Page 425" -- amends the Social Security Act to ensure that advance care planning will be covered if a patient requests it from a qualified care provider [America's Affordable Health Choices Act, Sec. 1233]. According to an analysis of the bill produced by the three relevant House committees, the section "[p]rovides coverage for consultation between enrollees and practitioners to discuss orders for life-sustaining treatment. Instructs CMS to modify 'Medicare & You' handbook to incorporate information on end-of-life planning resources and to incorporate measures on advance care planning into the physician's quality reporting initiative." [waysandmeans.house.gov, accessed 7/29/09]” This is clearly shown on page 425 despite Bill Hemmer’s comment. There is nothing to suggest this being mandatory. There is nothing to suggest that the end of life counselors are government employees. It's basically saying that if you want an advanced planning consultation (which everyone should have regardless of their age) then it will be paid for. Memo to Bill: ya might want to check out what Fox is saying before you step in it.

Comment: It's ironic, don't ya think, that the same party that passed a law to require Terri Schiavo to remain in a persistent vegetative state would be whining about government meddling in advanced care planning.

Entire bill at this site.