All the posts in the series will be filed under the category “Me And 1233”.]
I am a frequent reader and almost never commenter at MaxedOutMama’s website. Having read that she was slogging through HR3200 (aka the House health care bill, aka TriComm; aka American Affordable Health Choice Act; aka AAHCA) I emailed her on July 22 letting her know I had deciphered Section 1233 of this bill and expressing the hope that if she hadn’t yet completed that section my analysis could save her some eyestrain. I pointed her to my “Cry wolf” post, also noting that one of my commenters said he was a lawyer and was providing some analysis in the comments which she might find useful.
I did not hear back from MaxedOutMama and have no idea if she read my email. Still I had hoped to be of assistance so you can imagine my dismay when I read on her blog that, alas, she did not find my analysis at all helpful:
Firebrand's work is admirable, but she completely missed the point about what is required under the legislation and therefore the effect.
I disagree. The point that MaxedOutMama believes I missed is not the point I was making. MaxedOutMama’s point is:
So there is an incentive in place. This section should be read in tandem with the measures for measuring end-of-life treatment quality and of developing patient aids for education. Basically this whole section is created to try to get people to set advance directives, which usually do limit care.
I did not miss that point nor did I argue against it. It simply was not my point. (I’m beginning to feel like I’m speaking in tongues over here.) My point was:
A number of those who oppose HR3200 claim that Section 1233 compels Medicare patients to receive end of life counseling. That claim is untrue.
I wasn’t writing about incentives, trying, and usually; I was writing about fact versus fiction, accuracy versus inaccuracy, truth versus falsehood. Different point.
It’s clear from some of the comments to my original post that a significant number of people do not consider “factual accurateness” particularly important. (It’s a charming delusion of the Right that all those people reside on the Left.) If these people - let’s call them conservative post-modernists or CoPoMos for short - are certain that Section 1233 is intended to curtail treatment for the elderly then a consideration of what the Section actually says - its plain textual meaning - is simply irrelevant. Anyone who would write an entire post on what the language actually says must be “young”, “dense”, “obtuse”, “naive”, and “nefarious”. (I’ve always wanted to be nefarious.) And anyone who believes in holding those who drafted Section 1233 accountable for what the bill actually says rather than for the “subtext” of the language has simply missed the point.
It’s a free country so the CoPoMos are, of course, well within their rights to take that stance. I don’t think it’s any more constructive coming from them than it is coming from the PoMos on the other side of the aisle but if Grim is right then being constructive is not the goal.*
I, on the other hand, am dreadfully old-fashioned so I continue to believe “factual accurateness” is not merely important but crucial. The next post in this series will review MaxedOutMama’s reading of Section 1233.
* It’s fascinating that both the Left and the Right are making the same accusations with regard to health care. The Right is claiming that the Left wants to kill old people by passing universal health care. The Left is claiming that the Right wants to kill poor people by not passing universal health care. Surely each side should be somewhat reassured about the other’s respect for human life if both sides consider a disrespect for human life to be the worst insult they can hurl at their opponent.