Monday, August 17, 2009

Not Above His Pay Grade

The debate is currently raging over health care. Barak is pushing it as hard as he can; for the most part the Senate and House are running away from it; and Secretary Seblius is parsing it. One point of contention are the so-called "death panels,"--which are to counsel people to end their treatment (and thus their lives) perhaps earlier than justified. Some say this provision is in the bill, some say it isn't. Some say it was in the bill but now isn't, some say it was never in the bill. Some say it's fear-mongering lies on the part of one side, some say it's the ultimate price for a government run systems.

Truth be told, I haven’t time to access and read the bill, and so don't know which side is telling the truth. Concerning any type of public option for health insurance, I’ll follow my normal knee-jerk reaction: Leahy and Shumer are for it, so I'm against it.

But why have the rumors (or lies) and distortions and the extreme interest in the death panel provision gone this far? It is simply that it is believable, based on Barak's own words in that sound bite played so often. You know the one where he tells the woman with a 100 old mother who was faced with the decision of whether to have an operation. What was it Barak said? "Maybe it would have been better for her to take a pain pill." Something like that. And I hope I'm getting the context correct; always difficult to tell from sound bites.

This is the same man who said determining when life began was "above my pay grade." It appears that knowing when a life should be ended is NOT above his pay grade. If he is willing for a senior citizen to take a pill to ease suffering as an earlier than necessary death comes on, it is believable that the government would push the elderly toward choosing death.

The source of the death panel rumors? Barak himself.

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