Way To Go

Ken AshfordHealth Care1 Comment

After buying and spreading the lies that the "advance directive consultation" in the new health care proposal was really just a "death panel" where Obama would personally go around to hospitals and do a Chief Bromden on granny, the right wing rabble rowsers have succeeded in having that provision removed from the House health bill.

The upshot?

If you are elderly and want to consult with your doctor about hospice care or living wills or other end-of-life options, Medicare won't pay for it.

The ironic thing is that this provision has been sought in health care for a long time by senior citizens.  Sarah Palin herself as advocated it; Chrales Grassley advocated it; as have many other Republicans.

And now, because it has been incorrectly and bizarrely framed as "death panels", and because Democrats had ineffective push-back against the lie machine, it's gone.

The "public option" may be dead as well.  House Democrats won't support a bill unless there is a public option, and the White House and Senate Democrats seem willing to let that slide.

Bottom line?  We might see any health care reform at all if this keeps up.

I have to say… I'm more than a little disappointed on Obama's lack of leadership on this issue.  Rather than doing what Clinton did in the 1990's — where Hillary came up with the plan — Obama came up with vague guidelines, and left to Congress to come up with the details (you know, bipartisanship and all).  As a result, the debate got mired down into bickering and outright nuttiness.

I think Obama misread his mandate from the election.  I don't think people wanted him to bring Democrats and Republicans togather.  I think they wanted a leader who would himself usher in change.  He's not doing that.