In her Facebook response the following day, Palin accused Obama of fudging the truth.
"With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context."
Palin then accurately cited some of the language Section 1233 of the House version of the health care plan, which is titled "Advanced Care Planning Consultation."
As Palin says, the provision "authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often 'if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual ... or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility... or a hospice program.' During those consultations, practitioners must explain 'the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,' and the government benefits available to pay for such services."
Palin then argues that this provision must be viewed in the context of a health care bill whose stated purpose is "to reduce the growth in health care spending."
"Is it any wonder," Palin writes, "that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?"
That's an opinion. What we're trying to get at here is Palin's claim that the end-of-life counseling is not "entirely voluntary."
When we wrote about McCaughey's claim that the end-of-life counseling was mandatory, we cited several health care experts who said McCaughey was simply misreading the provision, that the bill would make the counseling available, but voluntary.
In no way would these sessions be designed to encourage patients to end their lives, said Jim Dau, national spokesman for AARP, a group that represents people over 50 and has lobbied in support of the advanced planning provision.