Eugene Robinson also wonders about Section 1233

posted at 12:15 pm on August 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

No one will mistake Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson as a conservative shill, or a conservative anything.  In his latest column, Robinson goes out of his way to slam Sarah Palin for her “death panels” criticism of the ObamaCare bill coming out of the house.  However, Robinson agrees with Charles Lane that something smells, well, fishy about mandating end-of-life counseling sessions for the elderly and seriously ill in a bill whose backers claim the purpose of bending the cost curve downward:

We know that there are crazies in the town hall mobs — paranoid fantasists who imagine they hear the whop-whop-whop of the World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute. We know that much of the action is being directed from the wings by cynical political operatives, following a script written by Washington lobbyists. But the nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health-care reform.

And they have a point. …

If a technology exists that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?

That’s the reason people are so frightened and enraged about the proposed measure that would allow Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling. If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending. It’s irresponsible for politicians, such as Sarah Palin, to claim — outlandishly and falsely — that there’s going to be some kind of “death panel” to decide when to pull the plug on Aunt Sylvia. But it’s understandable why people might associate the phrase “health-care reform” with limiting their choices during Aunt Sylvia’s final days.

Which is why I will have to disagree with King Banaian in his otherwise-excellent post this morning in the series of questions for town-hall forum attendees we’ve published at Hot Air.  King asked:

I’d ask you this: Suppose it was your private insurance provider who was incentivizing the counseling. Would you object? I think it’s hard for a doctor, trained to save lives, to talk about what happens when they decide you can’t be saved. I’m going to go out on a limb — you’re welcome to saw it from under me — to say this service is underprovided in the private sector.

There is a large difference between a private entity incentivizing it and the government taking the same action as part of a nationalized system.  Consumers would have other choices in the private-sector scenario, including using their own funds to find doctors less willing to sell you a bouquet of flowers and a shovel as part of your diagnosis, thanks to good commissions.  In a government-run system, those choices get stripped from consumers, both directly and indirectly.  If the ObamaCare system incentivizes all doctors through cash payments to make the hospice pitch, it’s effectively unavoidable.  Thanks to the tax bite a national health-care system takes, most consumers won’t have the resources to opt for private care, just as we see in Canada and the UK.

Besides, as both Robinson and Lane acknowledge, having the government sell hospice care to people who are at particularly vulnerable moments in their lives smacks of a softer way of government attempting to tell citizens when they’ve become burdensome to the younger members of society.  Is that a role Americans envision for a government of free people?  And once we step down that road and find that patients and their families won’t acquiesce to the surrender sales pitch and the cost curve isn’t bending downwards, what happens next?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Losing Robinson and Ruth Marcus, Barry is down to E. J. Dionne.

ChrisB on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

If Robinson had core principles that mattered he would be able to evaluate what is going on in Washington through the prism of history and come to the same conclusions that the rest of common sense thinkers do. That is, Government is the problem not the solution.

david kumbera on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Rush playing great song now about old people

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.

Practitioners employed by the government and beholden to government directives on what can and cannot be said or offered.

German concentration camp guards used the same excuse, they were only following orders.

Bishop on August 12, 2009 at 12:56 PM

death panels in action

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Can we finally put Speaker Gibbs out of his misery?

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:56 PM

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Anninca is the HA healthcare #1 dunce. Should have clarified. :)

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

I must admit that Palin’s statement is sure having an effect. By making the sensational accusation “Death Panel” the MSM is trying to correct her, but ends up conceding that there are some disturbing things in this section of the bill. Clever!
————————-

Palin is so far ahead of them. She put the bait out there, they bit, and now all she has to do is reel them in.

ms on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Two words … this was all started with two words by the politically dead, incompetent, stupid Mama Grizzly from Alaska.

Mission accomplished Mrs. Palin.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Can we finally put Speaker Gibbs out of his misery?

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Seriously! That dude is a joke. I guess Bozo wanted someone to look even more incompetent than himself.

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:58 PM

The issue is that private insurance companies may not be able to compete with a government plan and/or that ordinary citizens won’t be able to afford private options.

Ed’s simply making a prediction about the outcome of this bill. He’s not being dishonest.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 12:49 PM

People have choices under the filthy liar’s plan but they will be fined if they don’t enroll in some plan. IMO, the right to opt out of any plan should be a choice one can make without penalty.

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Sarah Palin used the term death panel, the democratic bill uses the term end of life counseliing. If that counseling is or ever involves a panel, I think we can reach the conclusion Democrats twist words but the meaning is the same unless democrats start using terms like “no longer carbon emitting” or words that indicate those attributed to dead people. End of life equals death.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on August 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Two words … this was all started with two words by the politically dead, incompetent, stupid Mama Grizzly from Alaska.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Yes, she’s clearly irrelevant. She quit, after all, so nothing she says matters.

/sarc

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Do not go gently.
No matter what Congress says,
Rage, rage, always rage.

Haiku Guy on August 12, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Anninca is the HA healthcare #1 dunce. Should have clarified. :)

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Ann works for a non-profit, I don’t know which one but her overwhelming support for Obama DeathCare in the face of increasing facts about it’s true nature tells me her non-profit stands to profit immensely if this monstrosity was passed.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Just based on my own personal experience, I’ve been involved in some estate planning, and accompanied my elderly mother to the emergency room several times before she passed away, end of life counseling is not really “to talk about what happens when they decide you can’t be saved.” It’s frequently phrased more in the context of, do you want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to be kept alive through artificial means, when you could be bankrupting yourself and your children? Do you want to be kept alive indefinitely on machines? Won’t that be terribly painful for your family? Again, this is just in my experience, but there’s definitely pressure involved. I’m glad my mother was never alone, I was always there to counteract that pressure, although she did have a DNR, I think it was a fully informed decision.

In our state, the living will form has a separate section for you to indicate if you want food and water withheld if you are unable to feed yourself, and the doctors don’t believe you will recover. When I was involved in estate planning, I always pointed that out to clients, and asked them to consider it carefully, it’s not like being kept alive on a ventilator, it’s like being fed and hydrated, and then being starved to death if you can’t feed yourself. Some people signed it, some did not, but at least they had all the relevant information to consider. Other people in our office would just present the document, say, sign in all the spaces indicated if you don’t want to be kept alive on machines. The information they provided to clients was always slanted based on their personal beliefs. This type of counseling won’t be any different, although a doctor will certainly have more influence on an elderly, sick patient.

mbs on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Thanks to the tax bite a national health-care system takes, most consumers won’t have the resources to opt for private care, just as we see in Canada and the UK.

Most consumers have the resources to pay for private care now?

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Anninca is the HA healthcare #1 dunce. Should have clarified. :)

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Yes, and for THAT honor, she gets single payer healthcare!

I have an idea that will save money and give AMERICAN CITIZENS that cannot afford healthcare the care that they need……STOP PAYING FOR ILLEGAL ALIEN HEALTHCARE AND GET THEIR CRIMINAL PARASITIC A$$E$ OUT OF HERE…..

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

to tom_shipley

I believe you are not fully informed about the bill itself. I have read all 1,017 pages as well as the 615 pages of the senate bill some of which may find its way into the bill that will eventually be passed. Why? I take care of my mother, who, though in her 80′s, is an integral, productive part of our household. In fact many households have grandparents raising or taking care of children while parents work. They may not be perfectly healthy but they are major contributors to the economy in indirect but important and irreplaceable ways.

Read the bill very carefully: there are a large number of clauses which lead towards the elimination of choices. If you leave your job you will not be able to go back to a private option. Employers who do not offer the public option will not only be paying for the private option but will also be paying a tax, for employers whose payrolls are more than 400K this is 8% of their revenues. If your personal private plan is “not acceptable” you will pay an additional 2.5% in income taxes. These are just a few.

Basically there are sufficient penalties and hoops built in to ensure that everyone will be corralled to the public option, leaving few choices. Additionally, there are a great number of provisions which will reduce the quality and number of physicians practicing; which have absolutely nothing to do with health care.

Disturbing are also the special provisions for union members and congress which will be funded by our taxes. Why should I fund a better plan for someone else?

Yes, Medicare is restrictive, BUT, it is still currently a better option than what the bill offers. For instance, when my mother’s doctor prescribed a much heavier medication dose than needed and she had to be hospitalized Medicare only allowed a certain number of days. When things did not get better she was re-admitted. Re-admission will be restricted under the bill and doctors who readmit against diirectives will be penalized.

I find the German model may be an most appropriate for the US. It provides a mix of private and public options without the end-of-life component and most of the other uncomfortable parts of HR 3200. The system is 125 years old and still works (a few glitsches but). I lived with that system for a long time. It is funded by employees and employers and the fees are based on one’s income.

I find it of grave concern that this bill is being politicized to such an extent. Politicians are making statements without having read the thing, and people follow. This bill will significantly change everyone’s life no matter what party they belong to. So significantly that every person must read it. I have found that people of all colors and political affiliations who have read the bill feel uncomfortable about many of its provisions.

Unless the unions and congress are made to have the exact same options as the rest of the country many people will have no trust in our government or the bill. There will be a lot of resistance until this happens. Why? because once the unions and congress know its going to cover them as well, congress will go through this with a fine tooth comb and eliminate anything that may affect them negatvely.

integrity now on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I just googled “Death Panels” and got 3,380,000 hits.

Has any other word/phrase uttered in the healthcare debate gotten more attention than what Sarah said in her Facebook post? I doubt it.

I agree with Camille Paglia, it was absolute genius of Palin to say this. She has totally put Obama on the defensive. When Obama has defend his plan by saying “I won’t kill your Grandma” he has lost the battle.

In related news; chances of ObamaCare passing is now down in the 30s on InTrade. And it keeps dropping lower every day, the strong decline started the day after Sarah’s facebook comment.

Norwegian on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I am guessing that the WH version will not mention this at all. It’s caused too big of a stir. I think, personally, it was a reimbursement program for something that already goes on and a way to smooth out the bumps for people. BUT, goodness, the pay-off is small compared to the fear factor.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Where have you been? I missed you!

ladyingray on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Which is why I will have to disagree with King Banaian in his otherwise-excellent post this morning in the series of questions for town-hall forum attendees we’ve published at Hot Air.

Thanks, Ed. I’m not the only one.

Christian Conservative on August 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM

First off, this bill will not make any heathcare “system” government-run. What this bill will do is allow people who cannot afford healthcare, or do not have a job that provides healthcare an affordable, government-subisidized option.

All decisions lie with patients. No government agencies will be speaking with them about end of life care, only practictioners will.

I honestly can’t believe how low some on the are stooping in attacking this bill. Ed, this post is one big lie.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Where does one start with you…oh myyyyy!
Apparently you don’t think a government who will mandate pricing for drugs, mandate insurance coverage, force you to take government coverage if you change jobs, subsidize health insurance with taxes, compete in the market place with private insurance companies, force these private insurance compainies to follow government restrictions on pricing, and coverage, is not “government control”.
The “practitioners” will be a panel, which can consist of a minimum of one doctor, chosen by a government agency, the rest are chosen by a government agency, and can be just lay persons, without any medical knowledge needed.
Now let’s assume there is one panel for each hospital…thousands of panels, all paid by the government, to make decisions on behalf of whom? Their employer…
Need I go on? Of course these facts mean nothing to you, you haven’t taken the time to fully investigate.
So let me close with your words:

“I honestly can’t believe how low some on the are stooping”…and I add, “and how ignorant they are on this subject”.

right2bright on August 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Most consumers have the resources to pay for private care now?

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

The majority are satisfied with their existing coverage.

There’s room for improvement, but this bill is a very bad idea.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM

It would be much, much cheaper if the government simply bought insurance for those who truly can’t afford it. Illegals and non-citizens excluded.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Town Hall person: “He also inherited the crack in the Liberty Bell. I don’t want that fixed either.”

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:04 PM

When Obama has defend his plan by saying “I won’t kill your Grandma” he has lost the battle.

Norwegian on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I know right? I couldn’t believe he said that.

Palin – 1

Obama DeathCare – 0

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Where have you been? I missed you!

ladyingray on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I think she went back home.

txag92 on August 12, 2009 at 1:05 PM

I agree with Camille Paglia, it was absolute genius of Palin to say this. She has totally put Obama on the defensive. When Obama has defend his plan by saying “I won’t kill your Grandma” he has lost the battle.

Norwegian on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

I tend to agree with Byron York that he lost the battle when he put it into everybody’s mind that Obamacare is like going to the post office.

‘Everyone has had the pleasant experience of waiting in line at the Post Office, and now Obama, whose intention was to dispel doubts about increasing government’s role in health care, has rhetorically linked health care reform with the Post Office experience. If Republicans can’t make something of that, they don’t deserve to be called the opposition party.’ Link

highhopes on August 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Disturbing are also the special provisions for union members and congress which will be funded by our taxes. Why should I fund a better plan for someone else?

integrity now on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

For the same reason that union workers are paid so much more than others who do the same jobs.

I won’t buy a car manufactured by UAW workers. You might as well send the money straight to the DNC.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

“You’ll take my Grandma when you pry her from my cold dead fingers”

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

integrity now on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

Well said.

Ozprey on August 12, 2009 at 1:08 PM

tom shipley: end of life counseling by a “practitioner” is gonna be hard to come by because under obamacare, we will have so many more people using the same few amount of doctors.

so fewer doctors per patient ratio won’t allow many “practitioners” time to console/inform those at the end of their life.

kelley in virginia on August 12, 2009 at 1:12 PM

“You’ll take my Grandma when you pry her from my cold dead fingers”

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

The gov’t will be handing out union contracts to manufacture a $2500 prying bar for this very purpose.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Two words … this was all started with two words by the politically dead, incompetent, stupid Mama Grizzly from Alaska.

Mission accomplished Mrs. Palin.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Crazy like a fox polar bear.

Forcing the Dems to defend the plan against what it does not contain at the moment, she implicitly got them to read the bill and admit the stuff it does contain – disturbing end-of-life advocacy, $1t-$2.4t debt, fungible taxpayer funded abortions…

ChrisB on August 12, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM
————————————————–

I beg to disagree with your statement that anyone not happy with the government plan is free to look elsewhere.

Read Page 16, Section 102(A) of the bill. As I understand the language, any private insurer like Blue Cross will not be allowed to enroll any new customers after the day the bill is signed. Which will soon put private insurers out of business.

surfhut on August 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM

The question on the table now should be…
Is it better to pass a very bad, inefficient costly bill now, or keep what we have and do nothing?
To pass a bill, just to pass a bill, is not a reason…which is what congress does so often.
There has to be resolution, not something that adds problems and complexity.
Will this bill:
Save money?
Increase coverage?
Increase care?
Increase R & D?
Increase competition, which drives down prices?
No, none of the above…it may cover a few more people, but the cost is so great, just open the borders for insurance companies to sell across state lines and you would have better and more efficient coverage.
Then with “pre-existing” set up a program to help those people…it would be cheaper then changing the whole medical system.
Try that out, a minimum impact, for a couple of years and see what needs to be “tweaked”.

right2bright on August 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Of course, the outrage is from the same people who call the killing of unborn children ‘choice’.

EnglishMike on August 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Just two of many things disturbing about this:

How can one justify that while a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body (pro-choice), that same woman would have no choice regarding her own care at the end of her life?

If health insurance is a basic right (and not a privilege as I believe) as some argue and House bills have been introduced to establish, how can it be that one individual would be eligible for health care and another would be denied the same health care? Wouldn’t this violate the Equal Protection clauses?

singer on August 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM

The “practitioners” will be a panel, which can consist of a minimum of one doctor, chosen by a government agency, the rest are chosen by a government agency, and can be just lay persons, without any medical knowledge needed.
right2bright on August 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM

You forgot the requirement to have at least one Political Commisar on that panel….

“You’ll take my Grandma when you pry her from my cold dead fingers”

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM

+100

dmh0667 on August 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM

surfhut on August 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Tom Shipley does not care what is written in the bill…just what he “thinks” and has been told.
Those facts will just confuse him, and he will not listen…in fact he won’t respond.

right2bright on August 12, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Read Page 16, Section 102(A) of the bill. As I understand the language, any private insurer like Blue Cross will not be allowed to enroll any new customers after the day the bill is signed. Which will soon put private insurers out of business.

surfhut on August 12, 2009 at 1:15 PM

That’s OK … insurance companies are evil. Haven’t you heard? Plus they make a *shudder* profit.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:17 PM

It’s a slippery slope, as is everything with Medicare. It will start with full reimbursement for end-of-life counseling. Then that will be slowly ratched up by the unelected, unaccountable IMAC to be the ONLY thing doctors get fully reimbursed for, so they will make sure all their patients get it. Believe me, every elderly patient that goes into a hospital for any reason, even a minor injury, will be required to get this counseling so the doctor can bill Medicare for it. Then Medicare will start the pressure to get patients to sign DNRs and do-not-feed orders. Then will come the denial of reimbursment for life-extending treatments and procedures.

If you can’t see this coming you are blind or a Democrat. But I repeat myself.

rockmom on August 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM

My dad is 78 years old and not in the best of health but he is not on his way out either. He is a life long democrat, a union man and I cannot tell you how depressed he is about this provision. . .he truly believes that this bill, or some version of it will pass and he will be denied care at some point in the not to distant future. It is hard, very hard, to watch his reaction (and I believe he is absolutely correct). This is a man who worked hard all his life, paid his bills, saved his money and wants to live knowing he will get the medical care he earned and paid for through union dues and taxes and now when he needs that care, too bad, you are old, you are sick and you aren’t worth it. This is not the America he signed up for, my mother signed up for nor did I sign up for.

Willie on August 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:00 PM

For all you newbies, this is what a Consistently Dishonest and Annoying Troll sounds like.

“tom” is a talking points regurgitation device created deep in the Bowels of the Obama regime

Janos Hunyadi on August 12, 2009 at 1:24 PM

How can one justify that while a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body (pro-choice), that same woman would have no choice regarding her own care at the end of her life?

singer on August 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM

I’m not sure why it’s called ‘pro-choice,’ as the person whose life is at stake has no say in the matter.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Rush is tearing it up…a professor from Duke is explaining the bill and I have chills. This is insane! Anyone who defends this outrage should check into the nearest sanitarium.

HornetSting on August 12, 2009 at 1:24 PM

I am still amazed by how much power Palin has. One Facebook post, what 3 weeks ago and Washington Post “journalists” are still writing about it.

angryed on August 12, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Two words … this was all started with two words by the politically dead, incompetent, stupid Mama Grizzly from Alaska.

Mission accomplished Mrs. Palin.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Where is the “worship” icon on here?!?! Everytime I see Sarah’s name I want to use it!

SouthernGent on August 12, 2009 at 1:26 PM

It’s irresponsible for politicians, such as Sarah Palin, to claim — outlandishly and falsely — that there’s going to be some kind of “death panel” to decide when to pull the plug on Aunt Sylvia. But it’s understandable why people might associate the phrase “health-care reform” with limiting their choices during Aunt Sylvia’s final days.

Well, Mr. Robinson, evidently Sarah, me and about a million others remember the early days of Obama explaining the reasons why America needed health insurance reform was because most of the cost comes in the later days of life, when you get old and waste all that money trying to keep someone alive that will most certainly die anyway. And then there’s all those doctors ordering all those unnecessary test just to make money before you croak. But you’re right about being convinced we’re not being told the truth.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

If you leave your job you will not be able to go back to a private option.

Read Page 16, Section 102(A) of the bill. As I understand the language, any private insurer like Blue Cross will not be allowed to enroll any new customers after the day the bill is signed. Which will soon put private insurers out of business.

This is a misconception. Private insurers CAN take on new customers, it’s just that the plans individuals sign up for will now be regulated by the government… not run by the government, but regulated, like much of the finance world.

The majority are satisfied with their existing coverage.

The majority are not “consumers” of healthcare, but get it through their job. Ask those who don’t get healthcare through their job if they’re satisfied with their coverage.

The “practitioners” will be a panel, which can consist of a minimum of one doctor, chosen by a government agency, the rest are chosen by a government agency, and can be just lay persons, without any medical knowledge needed.

Practitioners, as defined in the bill, will be either a physician, a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Willie on August 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM

This will sound cold and it is. Sorry in advance.

I don’t have much sympathy for your father. His votes over the years led us to where we are. Him and the millions of other baby boomers who voted straight Democrat for decades. The same democrats that have bankrupted SS, Medicare. But your father and others like him closed their eyes and still voted for the “D”.

Well the chickens have come home to roost.

angryed on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

This keeps coming up, so here’s the talking point:

Problem: Bad Private Insurance; Solution: Fire them and find another provider (easy in a competitive market)

Problem: Bad Government Insurance; Solution: Overthrow the government

Which one is easier?

rock the casbah on August 12, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Re-admission will be restricted under the bill and doctors who readmit against diirectives will be penalized.

What part of the bill restricts readmission?

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:29 PM

integrity now on August 12, 2009 at 1:01 PM

The two groups fighting hardest for this, unions and national Dems, might sign on for it for themselves.

The day after Cuba, Venezuela Iran and Korea have free elections and we get the birth certificate.

IlikedAUH2O on August 12, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I suppose we could be like the Inuit and stick our old out on Arctic ice floes, assuming there are any left after global warming…

Kafir on August 12, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I suppose we could be like the Inuit and stick our old out on Arctic ice floes, assuming there are any left after global warming…

Our elder care isn’t exactly anything to brag over.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Our elder care isn’t exactly anything to brag over.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Tell me more.

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Hey … get this through your head. People don’t want this crap. Get it? They want the government out of their lives. This reach by the government is unconstitutional and threatens the freedom and liberty of everyone … including you.

I don’t give a crap if the bill guarantees a lifetime supply of Twinkies.

We don’t want it.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

This is a misconception. Private insurers CAN take on new customers, it’s just that the plans individuals sign up for will now be regulated by the government… not run by the government, but regulated, like much of the finance world.
Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

More reasonable, but still bad. The problem with the insurance industry is that it is over regulated.

Count to 10 on August 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

There is a huge difference between ME deciding that 6 more months isn’t worth the money and the government telling my family it isn’t worth it. It’s called choice. MY CHOICE.

odannyboy on August 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Our elder care isn’t exactly anything to brag over.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Just give them pain pills. That’s what Obama would want.

Secondly, it’s really not the governments job to determine any kind of care.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:42 PM

For the love of Granny…

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM

This will sound cold and it is. Sorry in advance.

I don’t have much sympathy for your father. His votes over the years led us to where we are. Him and the millions of other baby boomers who voted straight Democrat for decades. The same democrats that have bankrupted SS, Medicare. But your father and others like him closed their eyes and still voted for the “D”.

Well the chickens have come home to roost.

Well you are right, it does sound cold. So let me add to that post. My mom is 79 years old, a two time cancer survivor. She’s had many health problems over the years. She has had both hips replaced and both knees. She too has always voted democrat. But let me tell ya, this is NOT the democrat party she thought she knew.

She’s scared to death and hates Obama and all the dems now with a passion. She did NOT sign up for this. The democrat party has morphed into a bunch of damn Nazi’s.

jewells45 on August 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM

The problem with the insurance industry is that it is over regulated.

Count to 10 on August 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM

No kidding! That’s one of the reasons it can be expensive. That, malpractice coverage and illegals and you’ve got the three main reasons why insurance has gone up in recent years.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Obama: We do not have ‘Death Panels’. They are commissions that will decide what care you will receive and whether your live or die.

Obama defined Death Panels for us, rather eloquently, actually, even though he gives them another name.

The sheer genius of two words puts all of Washington (Democrats and Republicans alike) in a position of political amateurs compared to the ex-Governor from Alaska.

jerseyman on August 12, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Tom_Shipley on August 12, 2009 at 1:27 PM

This is a misconception. Private insurers CAN take on new customers, it’s just that the plans individuals sign up for will now be regulated by the government… not run by the government, but regulated, like much of the finance world.

———————————————————-
First, that is not what the section says. It outright says private insurers cannot enroll new customers.

Second, if private insurers can take on new customers but will be regulated by the government (please give me a page and section number so I can verify) … well, it’s not really private insurance anymore, is it?

If you can give me the page in the bill that proves your point, my question is this: What is the need to have two different clauses that basically do the same thing (end to free choice and private insurance)?

surfhut on August 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I’m not sure why it’s called ‘pro-choice,’ as the person whose life is at stake has no say in the matter.

jazz_piano on August 12, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Ever notice how libs put “nice” names on everything from legislation to organizations?

singer on August 12, 2009 at 1:55 PM

“She was right; she just shouldn’t have said so in such an effective way that now I gotta talk about it.”

Jim Treacher on August 12, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Our elder care isn’t exactly anything to brag over.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

The Death Commissions will save money by eliminating the concern, so you won’t have to worry about elder care decisions – the government will take care of that for you. What a simple, cost-effective solution for everyone!

jerseyman on August 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Ever notice how libs put “nice” names on everything from legislation to organizations?

singer on August 12, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Even in the UK, the acronym for Death Panel is “NICE”.
http://guidance.nice.org.uk/Topic

singer on August 12, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Song “Old people got no reason to live..

faraway on August 12, 2009 at 2:06 PM

However, Robinson agrees with Charles Lane that something smells, well, fishy about mandating end-of-life counseling sessions for the elderly

Get ready for the Josef Mengele Jubilee
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We’ll give Dr Obama three times three
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The Doctor of Life and Death degree is ready now
To place upon his Godly brow
And we’ll all feel gay
When Pallbearers carry Grandma and Grandpa to the funeral home

Cheshire Cat on August 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM

jewells45 on August 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM

The Dems didn’t become what they are overnight. They morphed into it slowly over decades. But your mother and Willie’s father either didn’t bother looking into it or just ignored what was happening.

It is rather karmic actually that those who will be hurt most are those that voted for this to happen…whether intentionally or not. A lot like the 18-25 crowd that voted 80% for Obama and will be hurt the most by his policies in the coming years economically speaking.

angryed on August 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM

This will sound cold and it is. Sorry in advance.

I don’t have much sympathy for your father. His votes over the years led us to where we are. Him and the millions of other baby boomers who voted straight Democrat for decades. The same democrats that have bankrupted SS, Medicare. But your father and others like him closed their eyes and still voted for the “D”.

Well the chickens have come home to roost.
Well you are right, it does sound cold. So let me add to that post. My mom is 79 years old, a two time cancer survivor. She’s had many health problems over the years. She has had both hips replaced and both knees. She too has always voted democrat. But let me tell ya, this is NOT the democrat party she thought she knew.

She’s scared to death and hates Obama and all the dems now with a passion. She did NOT sign up for this. The democrat party has morphed into a bunch of damn Nazi’s.

jewells45 on August 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Let me clarify: My father is a life long registered Democrat, but he hasn’t voted for a dem in decades. He is an adamant right to lifer and will not ever vote for any one who supports abortion. And I do feel bad for him and a lot of the elderly in this country who are uncertain and vulnerable, like jewells45′s mom. Thank you.

Willie on August 12, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Secondly, it’s really not the governments job to determine any kind of care.

The elderly depend upon the government, due to Medicare. That’s the only reason we’re 37th and not 200 in longevity.

Before Medicare? People had nothing and just died from very treatable reasons, very early in life.

Medicare isn’t constitutionally guaranteed. However, as a society, we decided that it was how we wanted to handle the problem of healthcare in the elderly.

And that most definitely is allowed by the constitution.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 2:18 PM

I have been wondering, what color star do you think they will give us? The historical yellow or red to represent our conservative beliefs?

I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

pckle on August 12, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Health Benefits Advisory Panel
to be made up of about 17 (9 non fed employess and up to 8 fed employees) members appointed by Obama and 9 appointed by Comptroller General of US and initial appointments to be made not later than 60 days AFTER the date of enactment.

Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care
…the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, not later than 18 months AFTER the date of enactment of this act PROMULGATE such regulations as are necessary…

Does this “pig in a poke” approach bother anyone else? What will they decide benefits are? Would denying abortion be seen as discrimination?

Verbal assurances mean nothing. Ambiguous bills allow for
benefits, rules and regulations to end up meaning different things from what has been promised. Obama will select the numerical majority to identify benefits and the Secretary will write the rules and regulations.

Pat in NC on August 12, 2009 at 2:23 PM

The White House should roll out Blue Oyster Cult for their next town hall sham.

More cowbell Barry.

Ampleforth on August 12, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Before Medicare? People had nothing and just died from very treatable reasons, very early in life.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 2:18 PM

ROFLMAO! So before medicare people dies before they got old. Once medicare came along, they miracolously started living to the age where they could use medicare?

I mean you do know Medicare is program under the U.S. Social Security Administration that reimburses hospitals and physicians for medical care provided to qualifying people over 65 years old right?

ROFLMAO!

TheBigOldDog on August 12, 2009 at 2:25 PM

That’s the only reason we’re 37th and not 200 in longevity.

You’re probably right. Nothing else figures into that. Sheesh!

I suppose if we let the government take over every aspect of our lives, we’ll be immortal.

Ampleforth on August 12, 2009 at 2:26 PM

I don’t give a crap if the bill guarantees a lifetime supply of Twinkies.
We don’t want it.
darwin on August 12, 2009

Let’s not be too hasty there, darwin. What section is that Twinkie clause in?

SKYFOX on August 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM

What has govt ever run that hasn’t bee a complete cluster?

Amtrak?
Social Security?
Medicaid?
Freddie Mac?
Fannie Mae?
Public Education?
USPS?

angryed on August 12, 2009 at 2:37 PM

What has govt ever run that hasn’t bee a complete cluster?

Indian removal?

Ampleforth on August 12, 2009 at 2:40 PM

The Dems didn’t become what they are overnight. They morphed into it slowly over decades. But your mother and Willie’s father either didn’t bother looking into it or just ignored what was happening.

It is rather karmic actually that those who will be hurt most are those that voted for this to happen…whether intentionally or not. A lot like the 18-25 crowd that voted 80% for Obama and will be hurt the most by his policies in the coming years economically speaking.

angryed on August 12, 2009 at 2:15 PM

No, it didn’t happen overnight and you’re right she didn’t really pay much attention to what was going on. Then, as now, she was busy raising me and my brother and running a household and being a good Air Force wife. Oh and between all that battling colon cancer and lymphatic cancer. Yeah, she was a proud democrat all her life and didn’t even really know why. She just was. So was I until 2000.

So, it’ karmic that this is happening? Well I’m not going to stand there and tell my mom it’s karma because she wasn’t paying attention. Good grief.

jewells45 on August 12, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Lol Shipley will not read the bill because his emotional understanding will wither in the light of cold hard black and white text.

For death panels see pages 429 and 430. HR3200 has a great deal of disgusting stuff in it.

Like taxing the crap out of you, if you choose not to have any health care coverage. Unless you’re an illegal alien, in which case, you can just go to the ER, like you do now.

dogsoldier on August 12, 2009 at 2:47 PM

If a technology exists that can prolong life or improve its quality, even for a few weeks or months, why shouldn’t we want it?

Report this fishy astroturfer to Flag@whitehouse.gov. The heretic!

FireBlogger on August 12, 2009 at 2:48 PM

Ed Morrissey lies:

However, Robinson agrees with Charles Lane that something smells, well, fishy about mandating end-of-life counseling sessions for the elderly and seriously ill

But there’s no mandate for this. It’s an option. As Robinson himself said it:

the proposed measure…would allow Medicare to pay for end-of-life counseling

(emphasis mine)

You dont want end-of-life counseling? Fine, you dont have to have it. That just means others will have to make decisions for you, but if that’s what you want, fine.

If you know that you want to be kept alive, regardless of the quality of your life, for as long as possible, then get the end-of-life counseling and get it down on paper that that’s what you want! Thus, there’s no confusion, and your wishes will be granted.

Frankly, people who want to be kept alive for as long as possible should be thrilled about this. This gives them an opportunity (not a mandate) to make their wishes perfectly clear.

orange on August 12, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Washington Post columnist Eugene “There is cannabalism going on in new orleans!” Robinson

Liberals don’t even pay attention to this guy. Aside from the washington post only fox and bloggers who want to appear fair and balanced give him an outlet for his stupidity.

peacenprosperity on August 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM

they need to bring back PE in schools. Obesity is a serious problem in this country. Instill an exercise routine when they are young and they’ll be healthier.

ThackerAgency on August 12, 2009 at 12:30 PM

After a lifetime of dieting, I actually, agree with Rush on the exercise myth for losing weight…it’s about limiting calorie intake.

If these Libs, really cared about the children, what really should happen, we should stop school lunches altogether, let the kids starve so they can be ultimately healthier./s

luvstotango on August 12, 2009 at 3:01 PM

In a government-run system, those choices get stripped from consumers, both directly and indirectly.

a) single payer is not what’s being voted on

b) this outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion, and will be determined entirely by the initial circumstances…circumstances we’re not aware of right now, as there is no finished bill.

ernesto on August 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM

Medicare isn’t constitutionally guaranteed. However, as a society, we decided that it was how we wanted to handle the problem of healthcare in the elderly.

And that most definitely is allowed by the constitution.

AnninCA on August 12, 2009 at 2:18 PM

First and foremost, the elderly are the responsibility of their children, not the government. Throughout human history families took care of families.

When the government thrust itself upon the scene and promised to start looking after various classes of people familial responsibility was slowly thrown off to the government.

I actually want to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, babies and the elderly … however, care should only be given to the truly needy and alone.

Social Security needs to be parred back to care of those senior citizens who actually need it and more responsibility needs to be given back to that families of those seniors.

That’s beside the point. This DeathCare bill must die. All of it. It must be crushed and every copy burned.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 3:07 PM

a) single payer is not what’s being voted on

ernesto on August 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM

That will be the eventual outcome of this bill. That is the goal. If it wasn’t government would simply provide “public insurance” and compete like the US Post Office competes against FedEx and UPS.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 3:09 PM

a) single payer is not what’s being voted on

You’re kidding yourself if you think not. Once the government gets its nose under the tent, there’s no stopping it, especially as the Congress has to overstep its Constitutional bounds ten ways from Sunday to even do this, to begin with.

b) this outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion, and will be determined entirely by the initial circumstances…

These are the initial circumstances. Perhaps you meant to say “future circumstances”, though that still isn’t true. Government moves in one direction and one direction only, and that is towards the accumulation and application of power. That’s why the Constitution disallowed Congress from doing anything so idiotic as being able to just open up a company to “provide competition” to the private sector.

circumstances we’re not aware of right now, as there is no finished bill.

ernesto on August 12, 2009 at 3:04 PM

If there’s no finished bill, then what is the Traitor-in-Chief, or his useful idiot minions, trying to defend?

Interestingly, the same treasonous morons passed a Crap&Trade bill that wasn’t really finished, either. In the regular world, this would be fraud and all of these criminals would be sitting in prison.

progressoverpeace on August 12, 2009 at 3:10 PM

King asked:

I’d ask you this: Suppose it was your private insurance provider who was incentivizing the counseling. Would you object? I think it’s hard for a doctor, trained to save lives, to talk about what happens when they decide you can’t be saved. I’m going to go out on a limb — you’re welcome to saw it from under me — to say this service is underprovided in the private sector.

My Medicare Advantage Plan covers hospice care, and I’m fine with that. The difference is, not one’s incentivising anyone to offer it. If I want it, it’s there. If not, not government plan is going to pay anyone to talk me into it.

bgoldman on August 12, 2009 at 3:10 PM

If it wasn’t government would simply provide “public insurance” and compete like the US Post Office competes against FedEx and UPS.

darwin on August 12, 2009 at 3:09 PM

In defense of the federal government and the Post Office, at least the Constitution actually charged Congress “To establish Post Offices and Post Roads”, unlike the left’s insane idea about health insurance.

progressoverpeace on August 12, 2009 at 3:16 PM

STOP PAYING FOR ILLEGAL ALIEN HEALTHCARE AND GET THEIR CRIMINAL PARASITIC A$$E$ OUT OF HERE…..
HornetSting on August 12, 2009

OK…then where are democrats supposed to get voters from and who are all of those “shovel ready” jobs supposed to go to? If all of the 20 million illegals left we might have to take people OFF of welfare and into a job to EARN their money which might in turn make them feel better about themselves…..and self reliant people don’t vote for big government liberals….so just think about that hornet before you go suggesting extreme right wing solutions. Enforcing the laws and doing things to relieve burdens on people working hard and paying taxes is lunacy.

Goodeye_Closed on August 12, 2009 at 3:23 PM

a) single payer is not what’s being voted on

Single payer is the inevitable result, as the sponsors of this legislation know quite well

They intend to finance it either by taxing employers who supply more expensive private insurance, or by taxing high income earners. It has to be highly financed because it is going to add tens of millions to insurance roles. Even if illegals are ;not covered’ they are covered by judicial mandate and they will be integrated to recieve (if not pay for) the gov plan benefits

Taxing private employers who supply private insurance pushes employers to drop private insurance. My state taxes healthcare premiums paid by private employers, creating disincentive to insure. Benefits in my state are for the privileged, union members, government workers and employees of large entities.

Taxing high income is taxing the employers and the result is the same. They will protect their income, except those so wealthy (like bankers collecting 30 mil bonuses) they have more then they can spend. Even at that, the high income group targeted cannot supply the revenue needed. The high income tax wil have to increase and private benefits will be tossed

This healthcare comes with a big fat lie attached but the lie is not fooling those whose only retirement benefit may be the private policy they worked their whole lives to get

That explains the large number of white haired retirees at these Townhalls. Their retirement is about to get clipped

entagor on August 12, 2009 at 3:31 PM

World Government black helicopters coming closer by the minute.

I don’t know the color of their helicopters, but wouldn’t this guy have to admit that World Government is coming closer by the minute?

What was the deal with the 33 nations voting not to recognize the Honduran Constitution all about?

Buddahpundit on August 12, 2009 at 3:38 PM

If even Robinson, who almost does everything to toe the Democratic line, says there’s a problem here, there’s definitely a problem here. (I never expected him to address it. This should be a red alert to the One.)

BurmaShave on August 12, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3