Everyone is talking about health care. Sarah Palin thinks one of the House bills would lead a death panel. Stephen Hawking defends the British system from attack by Americans. Howard Dean thinks Palin is making things up. And Christopher Hayes mocks us all proving that the Left has a sense of humor.
Sarah has retired as Governor of Alaska but she’s still posting on her facebook page. CNN quotes her
In her post, the former Republican vice presidential candidate said President Obama’s health care plan would create a “death panel” that would weigh whether her parents or son Trig were “worthy of health care.”
This phrase, “Death Panel”, is now resonanting all around the country. President Obama addressed it at his town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Howard Dean tried to refute it
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told CNN Sunday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had deliberately made up charges that the Obama administration’s health care bill would lead to euthanasia.“About euthanasia, they’re just totally erroneous. She just made that up,” he said. “Just like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ that she supposedly didn’t support.
“There’s nothing like euthanasia in the bill. I practiced medicine for a long time, and of course you have to have end of life discussions — the patients want that. There’s nothing… euthanasia’s not in this bill.”
In the past few years, I have been party to several end of life discussions most directly with my parents and more indirectly with my in-laws. All have been conducted with the patient, family, and doctors. Don’t we want our insurance, including Medicare, to pay the doctor for his or her time and encourage those discussions?
And now the British are weighing in also. Yesterday, Stephen Hawking received his Presidential Medal of Freedom and jumped in with a response to the Investor’s Business Daily – which in it’s zeal appears to have forgotten that Mr. Hawking is British and under National Health. The best summary is in the New York Times ,
The physicist Stephen Hawking is defending Britain’s National Health Service after an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily said Mr. Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K.,” where the health service would have deemed his life “essentially worthless.”
The publication’s mistake, which came in an editorial titled “How House Bill Runs Over Grandma,” has since been corrected. But on a larger level, the snafu also shows how quickly rationing, particularly at the end of life, has become a focus of the health care reform debate.
Mr. Hawking — who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Wednesday — responded to the editorial this week, telling The Guardian newspaper, “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the N.H.S. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”
At this point, I fear for any type of health care reform. New polls seem to show that older Americans oppose reform. The medical industry is threatening to pull support if legislation call for anything more that the co-op model. Chris Matthews interviewed a man carrying a gun outside of the President’s New Hampshire town hall meeting. I wonder if when they get back to Washington, there will be anyone left, Democratic or Republican, who wants to vote for health care reform. Maybe they would prefer to just left the system explode or maybe implode. Or we can be like Chris Hayes and try to laugh at the situation.
Here are parts of Hayes’ “Your Questions About Health Care Reform Answered”
Ok, so there’s been a lot of misinformation about proposals to reform the health insurance industry and provide (near) universal coverage. Understandable! It’s complicated stuff. Herewith, I’ll try to answer some questions
1) Is it true that all of the bills currently proposed would end the practice of “rescission,” whereby health insurance providers refuse to treat customers who’ve paid their premiums simply because they’ve become ill?
No! That’s a common misunderstanding. Actually, all of the bills would ban incisions, that is, they would legally bar surgeons from performing surgery until a panel of twelve gay illegal immigrant government bureaucrats unanimously signed off on the procedure.
2) Is it true that health care reform would ban insurers from refusing to insure people because of pre-existing conditions?
Wrong again. To get rid of health inequality, the bills actually mandate that every American be given a pre-existing condition. A National Illness Commission, with academics appointed from Harvard, Reed College and Berkeley, will evaluate each citizen, and based on their demographic profile, choose their malady. Each disease or syndrome is scored on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. White christian men will receive pre-existing conditions of 8 or higher. Black people, “wise latinas,” and ACORN members will be exempted.
5) Will the current bills plug the “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug benefit so seniors don’t have to pay exorbitant out of pocket expenses for their medication?
Absolutely not. The legislation will ban donuts.
If you don’t laugh, you’ll have to cry.