the GOP's "Grim Reaper bill" hoax

Those claims about mandatory end-of-life counseling and euthanizing the elderly in America's Affordable Health Choices Act are--big surprise!--manufactured mendacities. Joe Conason identified conservative columnist Betsy McCaughey as the primary culprit behind the hoax, which has been thoroughly debunked by MediaMatters:

On July 16, Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed that the House health care reform bill would "absolutely require" end-of-life counseling for seniors "that will tell them how to end their life sooner." Since then, numerous media figures have echoed McCaughey's claim -- even after the falsehood was debunked and McCaughey herself backtracked.

McCaughey asserted that Section 1233 of the bill "compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years ... about alternatives for end-of-life care," and will "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely." As noted by MediaMatters, the AARP called the rumors "rife with gross -- and even cruel - distortions," and PolitiFact stated that "McCaughey isn't just wrong, she's spreading a ridiculous falsehood." The usual suspects in the conservative corporate media had no qualms about spreading ridiculous falsehoods, as long as they were political useful; Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, Faux News, and the Moonie Times all repeated McCaughey's lies.


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