In a press release issued over the weekend, serial health care misinformer Betsy McCaughey responded to New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg's article on her often fact-free commentary about health care reform. She did so, of course, with a falsehood about the House health bill:
The bill's partisans say the consultation sessions are voluntary. But if there is a penalty for noncompliance, then it is not voluntary, regardless of whether the word mandatory used. The penalty is on page 432. Doctors' quality ratings will be determined in part by the percentage of the doctor's patients who create a living will and the percentage who adhere to it. (And quality ratings affect a doctor's Medicare reimbursement)
Jon Stewart disputed this claim during his interview with McCaughey, saying that "It would be really wrong if that was in any way what this said." As we noted at the time, the bill's language does not impose a "penalty" on doctors, but rather provides incentive payments for doctors who provide the Department of Health and Human Services with "data on quality measures" for end-of-life care – regardless of the results they report. Media outlets who consider offering McCaughey a platform to discuss health care reform should be aware that she is just going to spout falsehoods.