Monday, November 2, 2009

House Health Care Bill Has Death Panels, Tax-Funded Assisted Suicide Promotion

The new House health care reform bill unveiled last week by Speaker Nancy Pelosi contains more than the controversial "death panels" panned in the previous legislation. The new bill, H.R. 3962, contains direct taxpayer-funded promotion of assisted suicide in the states where it is currently legal.

HR 3962 contains two clear end-of-life provisions -- including one that requires insurance companies to distribute advance directives and other planning tools to all who are insured on the new government-run exchange.

The other allows Medicare reimbursement for optional end-of-life planning consultation.

Both provisions appear to exclude assisted suicide from the consultations and advance directives, but those exclusions have no meaning in the Washington and Oregon (and possibly soon in Montana) where assisted suicides are legal.

There, state law says that "death with dignity," the legal terms in those states for assisted suicide, does not actually constitute assisted suicide.

In both states, state law says actions under the assisted suicide statute "shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law."

story here