White House Confronts False Claims About Health Care Reform

It is evident the White House is trying to regain hold of its messaging on health care, as we saw President Obama barn-storming the country this week hosting several campaign-style town halls.

With the continued chatter regarding former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's discerning claims on her Facebook page that Obama's health care reform proposals would promote "death panels" for end-of-life counseling, the fallout this week has proved the health care debate has gotten out of control.

Now, the White House is fighting back its critics and recent false claims that have surfaced. It recently introduced a new Web site to debunk the myths and misinformation that have floated around lately regarding the Obama administration's health care reform proposals.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's top Cabinet official in charge of health reform, appeared this morning on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" to clear up the falsities surrounding current health care proposals.

In regards to recent claims made by Palin and other conservatives, Sebelius said it's "horrific" twisting of facts to say that "death panels" would be part of Obama's proposed health care overhaul.

"I think it's really horrific that some opponents of the health reform bill have used painful personal moments to scare people about what is in the bill," Sebelius told guest-host Jake Tapper on "This Week."

Sebelius criticized opponents of the Democrats' plans for health reform for using scare tactics to try to derail an overhaul saying, "Nothing could be farther from the truth.

"If anything, [senior citizens] should welcome the fact that doctors would have a payment provided to sit down with family members if they choose and have a discussion," she said.

Sebelius noted that the end-of-life provision would "probably be off the table" in final health care reform legislation.

It is likely that come this fall, Congress will push a more modest legislation on health care reform, such as legislation currently being debated in the Senate, settling for what some are aiming for as a "half a loaf," or lowering expectations on what is actually achievable in passing health care reform.

End-of-Life Debate Gets Personal

On "This Week," Sebelius brought up a personal connection to end-of-life decisions, mentioning her experiences with her own mother, who spent 10 weeks in three different hospitals before she died.

"I think end-of-life decisions are very, very personal and very difficult for family members, very difficult for people to confront," Sebelius said. "What every family wants is good information and the ability to make a decision that suits their loved ones the best way."

Recent talk about "death panels" have even prompted President Obama to speak out about his own family experience this week during Saturday night's town hall in Grand Junction, Colo.

The president said, "I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it's like to watch somebody you love, who's aging, deteriorate, and have to struggle with that. So the notion that somehow I ran for public office, or members of Congress are in this so that they can go around pulling the plug on grandma? I mean, when you start making arguments like that, that's simply dishonest."

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