Recession’s Rising Toll on Families Should Be Focus of Health Reform Discussion Not Bogus Claims of “Death Panels” – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Last week, I attended a briefing at the Kaiser Family Foundation that sought to highlight the impact of the current economic crisis on the ongoing struggle to find affordable health coverage.  There was hardly a dry eye in the room after the Foundation screened this video, profiling people in three communities hard hit by the recession: St. Petersburg, Florida, Beloit, Wisconsin, and Long Island, New York.

I cried an extra tear because these heart-wrenching stories are being overlooked in the absurd din over completely fabricated claims about things like ‘death panels’ of government bureaucrats allegedly coming to Granny’s house to decide if she is going to live or die. (Fact check: The House bill includes a provision to provide Medicare reimbursement for advance care planning so that patients have the option of consulting with their physicians about their wishes for end-of-life care.)

When people lose their jobs, they don’t just lose income – they often lose their only access to affordable health care coverage for themselves and their children. As we debate health care reform, let’s ensure that what’s driving the debate is the real life hardships of millions of people who desperately need health care, and not extremist rhetoric that is co

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