R.I.P. the "Death Panel"
Let it not be said that hi tech doesn't have an impact on world society. Youtube and Blogger kicked out some Republicans and helped get Barack Obama elected. Twitter kept us apprised of the Iranian post-election protests and now Facebook can be credited with inciting vest pocket health care protests that finally succeeded in killing part of the health care reform bill.
Keep in mind that Keith Olbermann taped this editorial last week, mere days before the Senate struck this from the bill. Of course, there never was a "death panel." In fact, the provision written by Rep. Blumenauer of Oregon would've specifically blocked funding of end-of-life consultations that advocated euthanasia. I repeat, The "death panel" provision would've helped prevent anything like a death panel. Now, thanks to Sarah Palin and her Palindrones and typical wet-legged Democratic senators, there's no protection from that (not that it ever was a threat) and these end-of-life consultations will be paid for out of pocket.
Charles Grassley had the nerve to say today after the provision was euthanized by his colleague's own legislative death panel, "We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted..." What Chuck Grassley seems to be forgetting is that just a couple days ago a large part of the misinterpretation came from none other than Chuck Grassley at his own Town Hall.
Congressional Republicans like Iowa's senior senator are unintentionally right when they say that the health care bill is carelessly crafted, "cobbled together" in Grassley's own words but not the way the Republicans are talking about. One gets the sense that the GOP, which is thisclose to openly calling en masse for no reform whatsoever, would love nothing more than for the entire bill to be scrapped and for any reform movement to be punted eight or ten years down the road so their overlords in the health insurance and pharmaceutical game won't be scared or bothered by this silly talk of reform ever again.
But the Democrats' own dubious contributions range from mandating that people get health coverage, actually drawing inspiration from a disastrous, inefficient template left behind by Mitt Romney, to setting up a system that would throw people off their existing employer-provided plans in five years or less to opening the door for even higher premiums (such as, once again, what happened in Massachusetts).
The Democrats' problems are manifold: The president excepted, they have not articulated well enough what it is they're trying to do in this bill. It's not enough to refute piecemeal the lies being told about it by obnoxious, bellowing, shrieking health care automatons. Another problem is that they're not directly addressing one of the fastest-growing and most informed demographic: senior citizens.
It's a crowning irony the Democrats, by default widely regarded as the smarter, better educated party, would time and again have such difficulty articulating their positions, with President Obama being the most notable exception rather than the rule. How ironic is it that the Democrats have more difficulty in addressing America's concerns than a party that prides itself on its ignorance and offers only incoherent yelling, screaming and violence as a response to much-needed health care reform?