President Barack Obama Tuesday fielded questions about healthcare reform at a tele-town hall meeting sponsored by AARP, a powerful seniors advocacy group. He discussed living wills, Medicare Part D, and when he can expect his own AARP card.
“I think I’m scheduled to get my AARP card in a couple years, is that right?” the president joked during an answer about rationing health services for older Americans.
One caller asked Obama about a much-debated question over the last few days: whether or not a provision in the House version of healthcare reform would lead to government-endorsed euthanasia of seniors on Medicare. (For more details on this topic, see the McKnight’s story on July 24.)
Though at first making light of the question (“I guarantee you, first of all, we just don’t have enough government workers to send to talk to everybody to find out how they want to die”), Obama became more serious. He recalled his grandmother’s recent death and how a “living will” gave her control of her own end-of-life care before her condition deteriorated to the point where she could no longer make her own decisions.
Other people calling in to the tele-town hall inquired about insurance pools and pre-existing conditions and the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. Regarding the latter, Obama said he would negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to try to eliminate the prescription drug coverage gap.
To see a transcript of the town hall meeting, click here.