Following is the email we delivered to all of our members and supporters today providing the facts about health care reform, Medicare and advance care planning.
A lot of what you're hearing is just not true...
Get the facts from your National Committee
National Committee Member and Supporters:
Some opponents of health care reform are scaring seniors by reporting that Congress is considering
legislation to require Medicare beneficiaries to participate in mandatory consultations on how they want to die. This information is NOT correct.
In fact, H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, which is being considered in the House of Representatives, includes a provision to improve the Medicare program by authorizing reimbursement of up to one Advance Care Planning Consultation every five years.
The consultation is not mandatory; rather, Medicare would provide reimbursement if beneficiaries voluntarily choose to meet with a health care practitioner for information about advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney; the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, such as palliative care and hospice; and orders regarding life sustaining treatment.
The purpose of Sec. 1233, page 425, of H.R. 3200 - which conservative commentators are misrepresenting to stir up opposition to health care reform legislation - is to help people discuss their views regarding end-of-life care with their families and health care providers before the need for such care arises and to learn what they must do to ensure that their wishes are carried out if they become incapacitated.
The Advance Care Planning Consultation, which would be paid for by Medicare, is intended to improve the quality of end-of-life care provided to beneficiaries. These meetings between patients and their doctors would be completely voluntary and no one would be required to complete an advance care directive or living will.
You can read more
on this subject on our website.
Thank you for your help,
Barbara B. Kennelly
President and CEO