If you want to see the Health Care Bill in the House, one of the three versions being considered

is attached and available at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.txt.pdf . HR 3200, is subtitled "To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes." A friend recently sent me a piece that claimed that the scary characterizations of the Health Care plans mandatory end-of-life counselling, starting on page 424, were false. Check Sect 1233, which starts on page 424: Note the uses of "shall". (As we all know, "shall", in legaleze, required by law" or "must".) means "is

While many ideas included in this section sound good, I worry about the compulsory meaning of "shall", and I worry about who is doing it, and why, and how the nature of that counseling might change in response to future political and economic pressures and future presidents. Wouldn't you want your end-of-life counselling to be done by people that you choose, when you choose, and without the intervention of government employees, contractors, or volunteers? Also, I balk at what appears to be additional legal and administrative burdens placed on physicians and nurses, which may ultimately inflate costs and degrade delivered care. And, I balk at the centralization of "end of life services and standards" under "The Secretary" [of Health and Human Services, who reports to the President of the United States] (p432)", especially if the Secretary has any accountability for costs, or management objectives that focus on reducing costs. This would appear to be a conflict of interest. I am concerned that this bill appears to transfer personal, and family decisions, to "The Secretary", whose boss is whoever happens to be President at the time. This would appear to be a serious, and irrevocable, sacrifice of one's own personal liberties. If people want end of life planning, which I think is a good idea, why can't they choose to do it in consultation with their own family members, and personal physicians, and or attorneys, and pay for these services themselves. Will the "quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization (see p432)" ever be able to preempt the wishes of the patient and family members? And who are these "concensus-based organizations." Will their authority ever exceed that of the patient and family? I also am concerned that laws such as this are nearly always subject to change after being approved, and are subject to reinterpretation. Recall that President Roosevelt sold Social Security on the basis that it was a retirement plan for one's own retirement. However no one actually owns any right to his earned Social Security benefits. Congress can reduce them at will, and one has no recourse. Recall that the XVI Constitutional Amendment, which allowed the income tax, was sold on the basis that it would be a very small percentage levied on less that 1% of the population.

Recall that the Constitution's prohibition of ex post facto laws (Section 9), was ignored when Congress passed in august 1993, a retroactive tax on all income earned after January 1, 1993.