The Top 5 Lies About Obama's Health Care Reform | Newsweek Health | Newsweek.com for the full article...i just hit the highlights You'll have no choice in what health benefits you receive. The myth that a "health choices commissioner" will decide what benefits you get seems to have originated in a July 19 post at blog.flecksoflife.com, whose homepage features an image of Obama looking like Heath Ledger's Joker. In fact, the House bill sets up a health-care exchangeessentially a list of private insurers and one government planwhere people who do not have health insurance through their employer or some other source (including small businesses) can shop for a plan, much as seniors shop for a drug plan under Medicare part D. The government will indeed require that participating plans not refuse people with preexisting conditions and offer at least minimum coverage, just as it does now with employer-provided insurance plans and part D. The requirements will be floors, not ceilings, however, in that the feds will have no say in how generous private insurance can be. No chemo for older Medicare patients. The threat that Medicare will give cancer patients over 70 only end-of-life counseling and not chemotherapyas a nurse at a hospital told a roomful of chemo patients, including the uncle of a NEWSWEEK reporterhas zero basis in fact. It's just a vicious form of the rationing scare. The House bill does not use the word "ration." Nor does it call for cost-effectiveness research, much less implementationthe idea that "it isn't cost-effective to give a 90-year-old a hip replacement." Illegal immigrants will get free health insurance. The House bill doesn't give anyone free health care (though under a 1986 law illegals who can't pay do get free emergency care now, courtesy of all us premium paying customers or of hospitals that have to eat the cost). Will they be eligible for subsidies to buy health insurance? The House bill says that "individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States" will not be allowed to receive subsidies. Death panels will decide who lives. On July 16 Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and darling of the right, said on Fred Thompson's radio show that "on page 425," "Congress would make it mandatory that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner, how to decline nutrition." Sarah Palin coined "death panels" in an Aug. 7 Facebook post. This lie springs from a provision in the House bill to have Medicare cover optional counseling on end-of-life care for any senior who requests it. This means that any patient, terminally ill or not, can request a special consultation with his or her physician about ventilators, feeding tubes, and other measures. Thus the House bill expands Medicare coverage, but without forcing anyone into end-of-life counseling. The government will set doctors' wages. This, too, seems to have originated on the Flecksoflife blog on July 19. But while page 127 of the House bill says that physicians who choose to accept patients in the public insurance plan would receive 5 percent more than Medicare pays for a given service, doctors can refuse to accept such patients, and, even if they participate in a public plan, they are not salaried employees of it any more than your doctor today is an employee of, say, Aetna. "Nobody is saying we want the doctors working for the government; that's completely false," says Amitabh Chandra, professor of public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.