Section 1233 Target Of Health Care Reform Bill

Armen Hareyan's picture
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President Barack Obama is working hard this week trying to build a consensus around the Health Care Reform Bill that he supports. He takes his case today to Portsmouth in NH organizing a town hall meeting with the local residents. Will he be greeted by supporters of his health insurance reform bill or protesters? Probably both. In any case Section 1233 has become a stumbling block for many.

Fox news reports that nearly one thousand eight hundred people have gathered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire from around the country. They are waiting to enter the gymnasium of a high school where Obama will hold his town hall meeting on health insurance reform. Interestingly, people who support this Health Care Reform Bill have gathered on the right side of the street in front of the local High School. Those who don't favor this health insurance reform have gathered on the left side of the street.

Consumers, haves and have nots of health insurance coverage are very much divided on health care reform bill. Last week it was the information found on page 58 of health care bill that had created much debate. Now it is the section 1233.

Indeed section 1233 has become a major stumbling block for those who don't support the current Health Care Reform Bill. It's about Advanced Care Planning and starts on page 424 of the bill. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had raised her concerns about Section 1233, thus bringing it up for debate. Today, Washington Post correspondent Ezra Klein has reached to a Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, who alled Palin's interpretation of End Of Life Advanced Planning of the Health Care Reform "nuts."

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He says this issue has been a topic of debate for already 25-30 years. "In the health-care debate mark-up, one of the things I talked about was that the most money spent on anyone is spent usually in the last 60 days of life and that's because an individual is not in a capacity to make decisions for themselves. So rather than getting into a situation where the government makes those decisions, if everyone had an end-of-life directive or what we call in Georgia "durable power of attorney," you could instruct at a time of sound mind and body what you want to happen in an event where you were in difficult circumstances where you're unable to make those decisions," the senator told WashPost correspondent.

Many observers now today write in the media that erroneous interpretations of Section 1233 of Health Care Reform Bill is very "egregious," as it involves the lives of our senior citizens. The erroneous interpretation is that the government will counsel the senior citizens every five years on how to end their lives early. This is outrageous interpretation of end of life planning.

What the Section 1233 of the Health Care Reform Bill really reads is that "Medicare will pay for an “advance care planning consultation” once every five years. Section 1233 is actually creating a new benefit for seniors that will be paid for by Medicare. It will only pay for one consultation every five years unless the patient’s health changes. If that happens, the provision then calls for Medicare to pay for a new consultation when the change in health occurs," explains SV Herald.

In the meanwhile, president Obama has made its top priority to get the Health Care Reform Bill passed in 2009. Town Hall Meetings are intended to build consensus on issues ranging from health insurance to how to cover the cost of health care reform and other issues that rise during the debate such as Section 1233.

Written by Armen Hareyan

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Those who want to read the Health Care Reform Bill can see it here http://docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf Section 1233 is found on page 425.