Hi, my name is Melody Barnes and I'm the Director of the Domestic Policy Council. You know, for President Obama, health care is a deeply moral issue. It's something he cares a great deal about and he believes part of his service to the American people is getting it done and getting it done right. And that's why for those of us who work with him day in and day out on this legislation, we've been really surprised about some of the wild rumors that we've heard flying around. One of the worst that I've heard is that in some way this bill is going to force euthanasia. That's pretty hard to believe, but in fact, we recently heard that a member of Congress said the following. Representative Foxx: Republicans have a better solution that won't put the government in charge of people's health care, that will make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life, because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government. Ms. Barnes: We've seen these antics too many times before when people -- trying to scare the public when we're trying to get something really important done. And that's why I was pleased when President Obama recently went to the AARP and did a teleconference and was asked this question. I think the moderator, Mike Cuthbert, got it about right.
Mr. President, I -- she mentioned, not in her question, but in her preview, that she's talking about Section 1232, the infamous page 425, which is being read as mandatory end-of-life care advice and counseling for Medicare. As I read the bill, it's saying that Medicare will, for the first time, cover consultation about end-of-life care, and that they will not pay for such a consultation more than once every five years. This is being read as saying every five years you'll be told how you can die.
Well, that would be kind of morbid. (laughter)
Now I know sometimes, talking to my own family, that the legislative lingo can be a little dense, sometimes tough to get through. But if you want to go to the legislation and look up the provision in the bill, it's actually Section 1233. And when you go there you'll find exactly what President Obama has said -- that this provision will allow people to access information about getting a living will. There's absolutely nothing mandatory about this. It actually empowers people to have caring conversations with their family members and to have conversations with their doctors where they can get accurate information if they choose to do so. It empowers you to make choices about your health care future. It also says that Medicare will be -- will reimburse doctors if they have those kinds of conversations. Again, nothing mandatory, nothing scary -- nothing that's being described by those who say that the bill actually forces euthanasia. So if you want information, go to whitehouse.gov. Also feel free to share this video with your friends and neighbors so everyone has the facts and isn't relying on fiction. We want this debate to be carried out on the merits. Thank you so much for your help.