The OpenCongress blog has a terrific post on debunking five lies concerning the health care legislation moving through Congress.   In this all-out war being waged by opponents of health care reform, knowing the facts and fighting lies with truth is imperative.   Here’s one on their list:

Lie #1: The Health Care bill would set up government death panels

This lie has been widely circulated over email and in blog posts, recently and most prominently by Sarah Palin, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and others. Their claim is that language in the bill relating to “advance care planning consultations” would set up mandatory meetings in which government “death panels” would force senior citizens and others to sign some sort of early death pact. In reality, the bill language seeks to require Medicare to cover the cost of counseling sessions with doctors on end-of-life issues if a person chooses to have one. Currently, these kinds of sessions aren’t covered by Medicare, and people without extra money often can’t afford to have them.

Read the actual provision on end-of-life counseling in the official bill text

Here’s an interview with Republican Sen. John Isakson of Georgia, the lawmaker who has been pushing hardest over the years to get this passed. He calls Palin’s comment “nuts” that her “baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s death panel,” and says the provision is about giving people the authority to decide if they want an end-of-life consultation. “It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you.”

Unfortunately for those who would benefit from this provision, it has been dropped by the Senate Finance Committee who no doubt caved to the venomous misinformation.