Three cheers for Barney Frank:
Rep. Frank gets a rare two Quotes of the Day out of this:
QUESTION: Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it? [...]
FRANK: On what planet do you spend most of your time? … You want me to answer the question? Yes. You stand there with a picture of the President defaced to look like Hitler and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis. My answer to you is, as I said before, it is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated.
“Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table.”
They came for new teeth mostly, but also for blood pressure checks, mammograms, immunizations and acupuncture for pain. Neighboring South Los Angeles is a place where health care is scarce, and so when it was offered nearby, word got around.
For the second day in a row, thousands of people lined up on Wednesday — starting after midnight and snaking into the early hours — for free dental, medical and vision services, courtesy of a nonprofit group that more typically provides mobile health care for the rural poor.
Like a giant MASH unit, the floor of the Forum, the arena where Madonna once played four sold-out shows, housed aisle upon aisle of dental chairs, where drilling, cleaning and extracting took place in the open. A few cushions were duct-taped to a folding table in a coat closet, an examining room where Dr. Eugene Taw, a volunteer, saw patients.
When Remote Area Medical, the Tennessee-based organization running the event, decided to try its hand at large urban medical services, its principals thought Los Angeles would be a good place to start. But they were far from prepared for the outpouring of need. Set up for eight days of care, the group was already overwhelmed on the first day after allowing 1,500 people through the door, nearly 500 of whom had still not been served by day’s end and had to return in the wee hours Wednesday morning.
On the other hand, they should all just suck it because some angry, confused seniors are scared of President Darky McBlackerson fiddling with their
government-sponsored socialism Medicare and Megan McArdle is fretting feverishly about a vampire-like public option that would inevitably (she swears!) suck all the blood out of our nubile American Innovation Machine (TM).
More sad news for the Wasilla wingnut, this time via a Washington Post interview with a hard-right, staunchly conservative Republican Senator from Georgia:
Is this bill going to euthanize my grandmother? What are we talking about here?
In the health-care debate mark-up, one of the things I talked about was that the most money spent on anyone is spent usually in the last 60 days of life and that’s because an individual is not in a capacity to make decisions for themselves. So rather than getting into a situation where the government makes those decisions, if everyone had an end-of-life directive or what we call in Georgia “durable power of attorney,” you could instruct at a time of sound mind and body what you want to happen in an event where you were in difficult circumstances where you’re unable to make those decisions.
This has been an issue for 35 years. All 50 states now have either durable powers of attorney or end-of-life directives and it’s to protect children or a spouse from being put into a situation where they have to make a terrible decision as well as physicians from being put into a position where they have to practice defensive medicine because of the trial lawyers. It’s just better for an individual to be able to clearly delineate what they want done in various sets of circumstances at the end of their life.
How did this become a question of euthanasia?
I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.
I guess sometimes Teh Crazy just gets a little too crazy for some folks to stomach. It bears repeating that the nutjob pushing the “death panel” claim could have conceivably become the Vice President of the United States of America. Just sayin…
The ever-factually-challenged Snowbilly Grifter got quite a bit of media attention last week by making up some inane drivel about Obama wanting to create “death panels” in order to euthanize seniors and perhaps even poor little babies with Down’s Syndrome.
Besides the obvious point that her claims amount to a steaming pile of inflammatory fact-free nonsense, she also failed to consider the fact that our current death care system already contains a much more insidious form of “death panel”:
You’d think that with all that newfound free time on her hands, Palin might actually take the time to fire up the Google Machine and, ya know, do some research before writing stuff. Also.
Don’t talk to me about death panels, Sarah Palin.
You, who so carelessly bolstered a lie about healthcare reform to score a cheap political point; you, the most craven of political opportunists, who fearmongers about some dystopian socialist/fascist fantasyland; you, who earlier this year were only too happy to accept free medical, dental and veterinary care from the U.S. military for Alaska’s remote villages; you, dear lady, are an idiot.
In your free market wonderland everyone somehow manages to get healthcare, even those who are poor or live in isolated areas, though the poor and isolated in your own state required assistance from the federal government.
And despite all of this, you appear blithely unaware that the free market healthcare system we have now does, indeed, have “death panels.” I’ve been part of a death panel conversation. I know about death panels.
You have no idea what it’s like to be called into a sterile conference room with a hospital administrator you’ve never met before and be told that your mother’s insurance policy will only pay for 30 days in ICU. You can’t imagine what it’s like to be advised that you need to “make some decisions,” like whether your mother should be released “HTD” which is hospital parlance for “home to die,” or if you want to pay out of pocket to keep her in the ICU another week. And when you ask how much that would cost you are given a number so impossibly large that you realize there really are no decisions to make. The decision has been made for you. “Living will” or no, it doesn’t matter. The bank account and the insurance policy have trumped any legal document.
If this isn’t a “death panel” I don’t know what is.
…Oh wait… “Palin” and “research” in the same sentence… My bad…
Update: It turns out that staunchly pro-life Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia also wants to kill Sarah Palin’s baby and grandparents:
A spokesperson for Palin told ABC News that the former governor was referring to a section promoting advance care planning that appears on page 425 of the House Democrats’ bill [pdf]. Advance care planning includes living wills and durable powers of attorney that allow individuals to make clear their wishes for end-of-life care, whatever they may be.
And as it turns out, the cause of advance planning has been championed especially strongly by a pro-life Republican — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.
Isakson (photo above) is a member of Senate Health committee that played a key role in shaping the health care reform legislation. He successfully offered an amendment in committee that allows funds for a government-funded program that provides in-home services to people with disabilities to be used for advance care planning, according to the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
You’ve just got to love how people like conservative economist Arthur Laffer don’t even bother to stop and listen to what they’re saying:
If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they’re run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government.As Steve Benen noted:
Regrettably, no one laughed out loud on the argument. Worse, no one bothered to note that Medicare and Medicaid are run by the government, and that Laffer’s observation was child-like foolishness.
It’s remarkable to me that the larger policy debate is so often stuck at the starting gate. At the AARP event last week, President Obama relayed this anecdote: “And I got a letter the other day from a woman; she said, ‘I don’t want government-run health care, I don’t want socialized medicine, and don’t touch my Medicare.’ And I wanted to say, well, I mean, that’s what Medicare is, is it’s a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with. But I think that we’ve been so accustomed to hearing those phrases that sometimes we can’t sort out the myth from the reality.”
I hope some people will open their eyes to the decency of getting to the point where we allow gay and lesbian individuals to be married and have a happy life… I am getting comments from some segments of the society who feel that it’s the wrong thing to do and I’m betraying the conservative cause and things that I’ve stood for in my life. Some of it is quite hostile. But that goes with the territory. On the other hand, I’m hearing from people, including plenty of Republicans, who are very, very grateful. It has been overwhelmingly gratifying to hear from very decent people who are touched by the fact that we’re trying to help.
A woman came up to me in our library in our law firm and said, “You and I haven’t worked together, but I’m a lesbian. My partner and I have two children.” And she burst into tears. I put my arm around her and she put her arms around me. This stands for what we’re trying to accomplish here. It’s a principle, but it’s a principle that deeply touches human beings. If we’re successful, we can help the lives of literally millions of people. And what a great service that would be.
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