Death Panels Are Back: “Obama Lied and My Mama Died”
Dems dropped the controversial end-of-life planning provision from the Healthcare Bill due to the fury of political backlash over “death panels.” Now it is back and the Dems are trying to keep it quiet.
The NYT reports that starting Jan. 1, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.
Advocates of the guidelines are keeping quite and taking measures not to publicize the victory. For example, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who was the author of the original end of life proposal, praised the new policy, but urged supporters to keep mum.
As the ‘NYT’ reports, Blumenauer’s office sent around an email to supporters that stated, “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”
“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded,” read the email, which concluded, “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
When end-of-life planning was first introduced as part of the health care reform bill in the summer of 2009, Sarah Palin and House Republican leader John A. Boehner became aggressive opponents of the policy.
Palin dubbed the planning ‘Obama’s death panel,’ a moniker that gained tremendous traction with mainstream media, causing a political firestorm, and Boehner argued the measure would “start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”
The criticism brought a maelstrom of negative press, forcing Obama to drop the regulations from the health care bill.
Proponents liken the end-of-life planning to hospice counseling—information to give patients more control over their care by presenting their options early. Though, patients would have options with or without the policy. As it stands information and counseling is still being received—there will always be a best and worse case scenario with treatment options available for both.
Opponents worry that doctors will encourage patients to forgo care, thus hastening death but saving millions of dollars of government money. Under the policy anyone with an incurable or life threatening disease will be encouraged to pull the plug on their own life—a little nudge from Uncle Sam to “hurry up and die.”
Does the government want to start killing people? Well, by pulling the plug the medicare budget is tightened as well as social security, and death tax is reaped. Win, win. Right?