From NBC's Mark Murray
The answer to that question is obviously no.
But it does appear that some Republicans who are raising concerns about end-of-life provisions in the House health-care bill -- like Chuck Grassley, John Boehner, and Thaddeus McCotter -- voted for a similar provision that was contained in the 2003 Medicare prescription-drug bill, which passed Congress and was signed into law by George W. Bush.
The conference agreement provides coverage of certain physician's services for certain terminally ill individuals. Beneficiaries entitled to these services are those who have not elected the hospice benefit and have not previously received these physician's services. Covered services are those furnished by a physician who is the medical director or employee of a hospice program. The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning. Payment for such services equals the amount established for similar services under the physician fee schedule, excluding the practice expense component. The provision would apply to consultation services provided by a hospice program on or after January 1, 2005.
A Boehner spokesman tells First Read that comparing the 2003 bill to the 2009 health-care legislation is "mixing pebbles and boulders." The 2003 provision, he adds, "applied only to hospice patients (i.e., people already near death), not everyone on Medicare."
But if Boehner was fine to vote for that 2003 provision isn't that still -- borrowing Boehner's own logic about the House health-care bill -- sending us "down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia," as he has said?