I just sent the following email to the Fred Thompson radio show:
I am a physician and a medical blogger. One of the hotly debated topics in my community of medical bloggers is the provision in the health care reform bill, HR 3200, concerning counseling on end of life issues.
In a recent interview on your show Betsy McCaughey, citing pages 425-430, claimed that the bill would require mandatory end of life counseling every five years. I read that portion of the original bill. The language is arcane. It amends and makes reference to portions of the Social Security act which I was unable to access. That said, to my reading it merely adds such counseling as a covered service but does not mandate it. Do you really believe it will force elders to engage in such counseling? Alternatively, is the language so vague that we really can't anticipate how it will be interpreted? I would appreciate it if you would help me and some of my blogging colleagues work through the legalese. Thanks!