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Q.

Seniors seem to be concerned about a provision in the House bill that would provide counseling for end of life care.

They think it sounds like the government will come along every five years and require you to talk about how you want to end your life.
 

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A.
This provision, which has been supported by the AARP, would allow senior citizens access to a professional medical counselor who will provide them with any information they might need about preparing a living will, providing medical power of attorney, and—if they are seeking this kind of advice—end of life decisions. These counseling sessions are not mandatory; they are simply made available to those who wish to use the service because they are unable to receive the information from another source. This means that if a senior is seeking such advice and guidance, Medicare would cover it. This measure would allow Medicare to compensate doctors for discussing with their patients the most difficult care choices—those that happen at the end of life. It would actually empower individuals to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, and better ensure that their wishes will be followed.

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