Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death Panels, Health Care Reform and Craziness

It's really getting crazy in this mess with the Health Care Reform. Last Friday Sarah Palin weighed in on her Facebook page with her talk of "Death Panels" by Pres. Obama and how they would kill her parents and her son Trigg who has Down Syndrome. She now has 6,346 people who "like" her note, as it is called.. now I am not sure what that means.. if it means they agree or what..but that's what it says. There are also 2,205 comments and they are NOT all in agreement.

Some of those commenter's actually say to her she is a liar and that she is just ignorant, some even go so far as to ask where she came up with something like that. Of course there is the usual bad mouthing back and forth..but that happens when you get Palin supporters involved in anything.

However, lets go on from there and look what has since developed. Newt Gingrich was on This Week on ABC Sunday and of course agreed with Palin, which prompted even George Stephanopolous to tell him he was wrong. Joan Walsh does it better than I could ever do it by taking down Gingrich.

It gets sillier: Now we have two potential candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, spewing the worst sort of lie about President Obama's health plan: That it will establish "death panels" to decide who deserves medical care and who deserves euthanasia.

Clearly the GOP has decided this issue is a winner. Older Americans are still more reliable voters than middle-aged and young voters, and Republicans are seeing political value in scaring them with threats of mandatory euthanasia and a Medicare collapse. It was amusing to see Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, no big Medicare proponent, warning hysterically Sunday that the Democrats want "a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts." This from the party that's also railing about how the Obama plan will add to the deficit, and is opposing every reasonable effort to curtail dangerously out-of-control healthcare costs, whether public or private.

On ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopolous," Gingrich was given a chance to reject Palin's false and vicious claims about "death panels." Part of me expected Gingrich to take that opportunity; whatever else he is, Gingrich doesn't seem demonstrably stupid, and the "death panel" rhetoric seemed beneath him. It also might have been a good way to distinguish himself from a possible 2012 rival.

Once again I gave too much credit even to a Republican I dislike. Gingrich declined Stephanopolous' generous offer, and instead allied himself with Palin's take on Obama's plan: “You're asking us to decide that the government is to be trusted ... You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in American who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."

There is also video of the matter there, with Howard Dean on the other side of this equation. In the video that Joan has up Howard doesn't get a chance to put Newt down but George does push back on him very hard, yet Newt still gets his Stupid on and tries to lie his way to the Hall of Fame of Liars.

But to get back to Sarah's Death Panels... Mike Madden at Salon makes another very good point. They are already here.

The future of healthcare in America, according to Sarah Palin, might look something like this: A sick 17-year-old girl needs a liver transplant. Doctors find an available organ, and they're ready to operate, but the bureaucracy -- or as Palin would put it, the "death panel" -- steps in and says it won't pay for the surgery. Despite protests from the girl's family and her doctors, the heartless hacks hold their ground for a critical 10 days. Eventually, under massive public pressure, they relent -- but the patient dies before the operation can proceed.

It certainly sounds scary enough to make you want to go show up at a town hall meeting and yell about how misguided President Obama's healthcare reform plans are. Except that's not the future of healthcare -- it's the present. Long before anyone started talking about government "death panels" or warning that Obama would have the government ration care, 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, a leukemia patient from Glendale, Calif., died in December 2007, after her parents battled their insurance company, Cigna, over the surgery. Cigna initially refused to pay for it because the company's analysis showed Sarkisyan was already too sick from her leukemia; the liver transplant wouldn't have saved her life.

That kind of utilitarian rationing, of course, is exactly what Palin and other opponents of the healthcare reform proposals pending before Congress say they want to protect the country from. "Such a system is downright evil," Palin wrote, in the same message posted on Facebook where she raised the "death panel" specter. "Health care by definition involves life and death decisions."

I would say that qualifies as a "Death Panel", some faceless, nameless, person deciding if my procedure is going to be covered and if I qualify for everything I am paying for.

It wasn't a matter of life and death, but just recently I had a problem with my insurance coverage.. all due to either a data entry problem or a coding error, I have no idea. I had a routine test, well what they consider a routine test for us older folks...lol had all my pre-authorizations and everything done and had it done and about 3 weeks later got my first bill. Not covered.

Let me back up, since I am disabled, I have Medicare and so I have very good insurance, first of all.. sorry I should have mentioned that.. My fight for reform is for the millions of you who have nothing, and for the meds I have to take which are not covered under the wonderful (snark engaged) Part D, that Bush gave us without paying for it.

So, I called to see why my procedure, which is normally covered, other than a co-pay was not covered, and I was being billed over $2,000. It seemed it was covered, but as I said, it was either someone had given it the wrong name (coded wrong) or it was entered wrong on the computer. After a 15 minute phone call it was fixed, and the bill was resubmitted to the insurance and all was well. That was the easy one.. sometimes they aren't that easy.

Today... Greg Sargent brings out another problem Sarah may have, her OWN "Death Panels" left over from when she was in office in Alaska.

State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found…

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

Seems like Sarah better back up.. oh wait she did.. After so many called her a liar, said she was being inflammatory and ginning things up.. she came out Monday and said we needed to not be so hostile in our rhetoric. Yeah, way to cool things down Sarah. Shut that barn door after the horse is out. Makes sense to me.

Just a quick footnote.. but only because I think he is wonderful... Dr. Dean weighed in on Palin and her foolishness too.. at Huffington Post.. Here are his thoughts on her and her Death Panels and the media response.

In fact, these kinds of claims are lies. There is no nice way to say it. This kind of stuff is far beyond the usual politicians' tricks of shading words and imputing meanings that aren't there. To quote a famous American who began the process of ending the McCarthy era in the fifties I address the MSM: "At long last, Have you no sense of decency?"

Well said Dr. Dean.. Well Said.


IgorMarxo said...

Obama qualifications to reform health care:

No birth certificate

Can not stop smoking

Difficulty telling the truth.

Narcissistic personality disorder.

Therefore, I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at www.igormarxo.org

Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care

Annette said...

Sorry Igor.. you are a troll and I don't do troll.. you are also an idiot.

Jack Reylan said...

Save trees by stopping Obama from printing more money! Bam Bam has Tiny Tim tiptoeing through the securities and Wilma through the dimplomats! Blame professulas whose posh pensions graze on stumbent loan interest from vacuous degrees in basket weaving commie nutty organizing. Turn grant grubbing blatherers into fuel, especially perverts like mayor crotch who gas for obsama zbin biden. Your islamosympathic gutterswabbing clothing and pierced privates spread diesease. If you weren't such baby killing, vermin snuggling perverts you wouldn't be driving up our health costs, then collecting disability for your commie nutty organizing dementia. Your passive aggressive labor unions grab our guns, cars (congestion pricing), balls (SONDA), wallets, and homes but we will grab your throats and dang you from trailer bone tolls. Apply Sarbanes Oxley to non-profits! Repeal the seventeenth amendment before any VAT. All the homeless are drugged out hippies. Second Amendment is the ONLY Homeland Security. Wait until we waste all your stumbent subprimes, so you need to sell your affectation glutton art and work instead of diverting tuition and Y2K scams to soviet freezeniks! Deport for multiple visits to same country. If you controlled your own pension neither your boss nor the government could abuse it. Lynch soviet wealth fund abetting aghadhimmic peakies when oil plummets! Parasites complain about salaries but pig out with benefits. Global warming is a grant grubbing extortion racket. Urban sprawl annoys terrorists. Hazards and pollution stem mostly from mandates. Aqua volte! This land wasn't build by bullocraps.

Annette said...

Jack Reylan, I haven't a clue what you are trying to say. You make no sense, I am not even sure you are speaking English or what.

So, go back to your blog you haven't updated since September last year and play there.. leave mine alone..

nonnie9999 said...

all those references to death panels are supposed to stir up pictures of the nazis. it's disgusting and disrespectful to holocaust survivors and families of those who didn't survive. of course, rushbo can't even be subtle about it, and he calls people nazis outright. they really do have no sense of decency.

Annette said...

Very true Nonnie.. It's crazy talk and it is nothing but fear tactics.. the rethugs have been using it for years. They used it after 9-11 to support the rush to Iraq, they used it to re-elect Bush to the White House, and they tried to use it to elect hero and Caribou Barbie...thank goodness people got tired of scare tactics...I just hope they wake up again this time.