Talk Radio Campaign Frightening Seniors
Provision for End-of-Life Counseling Is Described by Right as ‘Death Care’
By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 1, 2009
A campaign on conservative talk radio, fueled by President Obama’s calls to control exorbitant medical bills, has sparked fear among senior citizens that the health-care bill moving through Congress will lead to end-of-life “rationing” and even “euthanasia.”
The controversy stems from a proposal to pay physicians who counsel elderly or terminally ill patients about what medical interventions they would prefer near the end of life and how to prepare instructions such as living wills. Under the plan, Medicare would reimburse doctors for one session every five years to confer with a patient about his or her wishes and how to ensure those preferences are followed. The counseling sessions would be voluntary.
But on right-leaning radio programs, religious e-mail lists and Internet blogs, the proposal has been described as “guiding you in how to die,” “an ORDER from the Government to end your life,” promoting “death care” and, in the words of antiabortion leader Randall Terry, an attempt to “kill Granny.”
I know it’s not politically correct to refer back to the tactics of Nazi Germany. Our German friends have suffered (apparently endlessly) from the aftermath of Adolph Hitler. And yet, there it is.
American society has become victim of the ‘big lie,’ that Hitler and the Nazi Party made such an efficient and effective part of their political corruption.
Regularly, we are told that absolutely anything with the prefix ‘social‘ attached to it will destroy our rights, while at the same time our streets are awash in guns–a right to those who would sell it as a right.
Hysterically, we are frightened away from ‘a bureaucrat between you and your doctor,‘ although we now accept private insurers between us and our doctors–insurers whose massive staffs are dedicated to removing us from the rolls of claimants. For what? Not for cost-effectiveness, which is what single-payer would achieve, but for profit at the expense of the sick. An the purveyors of all this hogwash are motivated by profit.
The big lie.
It’s never failed a society in stress yet. Racism, war, poverty, greed, financial collapse and suffering in general are all (one way or another) connected to someone’s promotion of the Big Lie. A Republican administration led us through a decade of chaos and national shame with that simple tactic. Now, they will defeat health-care, financial controls and social progress with the same tried-and-true process and we sit back and lap it up from Rush and his bunch like thirsty dogs.
Democrats are simply not organized enough to develop and sustain a similar approach. It is the Democrat’s failing to fight among themselves and manage, time after time, to rescue defeat from assured success.
The only thing the parties share is their overwhelming interest in being paid-off for whatever vote is up for sale. That, shored up by our incredible ability to be flim-flammed by any fear that targets our age-group, leads to “fear among senior citizens that the health-care bill moving through Congress will lead to end-of-life “rationing” and even “euthanasia.“”
We deserve to watch rational health-care slip away, as it has in every administration since Herbert Hoover. If ever there was an uneducated constituency hip-deep in the co-conspiracy to deprive itself of rational solutions, it is us. There is not now (nor has there ever been) a single doubt of who will win and who will lose.