Videos: Specter calls for suspension, investigation for VA “death book”

posted at 8:48 am on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Chris Wallace dismantles the VA’s Tammy Duckworth over the reintroduction of the pamphlet “Your Life, Your Choices” in this Fox News Sunday interview yesterday. She followed the Wall Street Journal’s Jim Towey, who revealed the VA’s new directive from July that doctors use this book to discuss end-of-life care for vets with a variety of conditions. Wallace makes a great point when he asks Towey why doctors have to discuss end-of-life decisions when veterans are confined to wheelchairs or have emotional and financial issues when most people only consider those in cases of irreversible comas or the like. Duckworth tries to defend the indefensible, and gives it her very best effort:

The argument didn’t woo Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), who showed up at Fox to debate health-care reform with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Wallace started by asking about the VA program, and while Specter took care to praise Duckworth (herself a wounded vet), he also said he would demand an investigation of the booklet this morning when he returned to the Senate, and called on the Obama administration to immediately suspend its use:

Specter said that the current bill did not include any such booklet, but neither does the legislation authorizing the creation and maintenance of the Veterans Administration. It got imposed by the bureaucrats running the single-payer system, who apparently think that referring vets to the Hemlock Society is a pretty good idea. These are the kind of decisions that we’ll see in GovernmentCare, and we know that because (a) the decision has already been made by a version of GovernmentCare — the VA — and (b) Duckworth got on TV to defend this decision.


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jon1979 on August 24, 2009 at 10:16 AM

No argument here. I can’t stand Specter. I guess I just liked watching him squirm on national TV. Faced with the preceding segment, I found it enjoyable to watch him rattle off all the things he was going to undertake. I have to think that Obama’s aides were hoping he’d shut up because he was undercutting Duckworth without reservation. Ryan’s grins while all that was going on were great. I’m not sure Ryan needed to say a word during the entire segment because Specter provided all the criticism.

Circling back to Towey’s segment, something he said really ties into Specter’s segment. At one point, Towey said that he doesn’t blame Obama–yet. That is, the longer that Obama soft-pedals this booklet as they tried to do with Duckworth and to the extent that Obama tries to pressure grandstanding Specter to shut up about the issue, I think Obama will just be pouring gasoline on the fire.

Dems have the MSM criticizing Palin about Death Panels, but this booklet brings the issue back up for a second round of criticism.

BuckeyeSam on August 24, 2009 at 10:49 AM

When Bush found out about it, he ordered it dropped. Bozo re-instituted it.

It got imposed by the bureaucrats running the single-payer system

Which is exactly what HR3200 is set up to do if you connect the dots between pages 30-31 and 427-464.

Yes, they will use this on grandma. Remember, these are bureaucrats and politicians RATIONING HEALTH CARE and Political TRIAGE..

Now there’s a new term and I want credit for coining it:

POLITICAL TRIAGE. Someone please send that to Mrs. Palin! She seems to be the only one out there with the grit to take on Bozo…

dogsoldier on August 24, 2009 at 10:49 AM

If I could describe this book in one quote, it would be the final sentence from the section on why you should NOT receive a ventilation tube:

“If you have a terminal illness, mechanical ventilation will only prolong dying.”

BohicaTwentyTwo on August 24, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Chris Wallace gave the most diplomatic example of calling someone a liar to their face on national tv I have ever seen. That she continued with the lie tells us all we need to know about her.

DanMan on August 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Remember the same people thought that military service people wounded in the line of duty should have their secondary insurance charged for their wounds…what did people really expect? I was neutral on Shinseki before but as time passes he is turning out to be a big disappointment. I think he was right, when we went to war with Saddam, that we needed a whole lot more troops. But this is the same man that insisted the entire Army’s headgear be changed to the beret so everyone could be “Equal” and no one would be special, like special units that up till then used the beret as distinction. They would no longer be – well special…sound familiar? kind of like participation awards.

Dr Evil on August 24, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Duckworth is a throw away disabled veteran pinup girl for the left. There’s a set of Obama bus wheels in her future.

Fletch54 on August 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Stimulus money time/ Buy snarlin arlen a rocking chair. Let him go in peace.

seven on August 24, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Ah Ha!!! Sounds like a Death Panel to me. People on both sides of the aisle have been demeaning Palin ever since she typed those two words on her Facebook account. However, conservatives usually go on to use some flowery expressions and euphemisms to describe the exact same thing Palin brought attention to with two little words.

Oh the irony and complete hypocrisy…

joedoe on August 24, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Just another cost savings measure.

We’ll see plenty of those.

Handicapped children, for example, are very expensive, and could live for 70-80 years.

Luckily, the government is able to keep emotion out of the calculus, thus saving the country billions.

Hey, that’s what big government is there for.

notagool on August 24, 2009 at 12:13 PM

The Washington Examiner is reporting that the VA has pulled the death book from its website. Not sure if that means they are no longer encouraging vets to off themselves or if they are just embarrassed that they got caught.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 12:16 PM

So if it really has been pulled does that mean that the law has changed or that Duckworth was lying?

blink on August 24, 2009 at 12:22 PM

It has not been pulled. The link in my post at the bottom of page 1 still works.

gh on August 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

Obama’s VA pulls so-called ‘Death Book’ from website
By: David Freddoso
Commentary Staff Writer
08/24/09 11:56 AM EDT
Jim Towey wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal that Obama’s Veterans’ Affairs department had revived a controversial and previously discontinued 53-page pamphlet on end-of-life issues for wounded soldiers. The debate over what Towey calls the “Death Book” bodes so poorly for the president’s position in the health care debate that, after two segments on Fox News discussing the pamphlet this morning, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has apparently pulled the booklet from its website. link

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

It has not been pulled. The link in my post at the bottom of page 1 still works.

gh on August 24, 2009 at 12:32 PM

I’m getting page not found.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Duckworth claimed that the law requires VA to keep the book on the website?????

blink on August 24, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Then either the VA is breaking the law and/or Duckworth is a liar on top of being a traitor to the vets.

When you think about it, it is an absurd claim to make that there is a law that specifically calls for the death book to be online.

highhopes on August 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM

With Arlen’s numbers in the toilet,he is grasping at any straw he can find.Buh- bye, Arlen.Good riddance.

DDT on August 24, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Chris Wallace gave the most diplomatic example of calling someone a liar to their face on national tv I have ever seen. That she continued with the lie tells us all we need to know about her.

DanMan on August 24, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Don’t be too hard on Duckworth; she sacrificed a great deal for her country and is now being used as a tool by Obumma and lead henchman, Rahmbo. Let’s be thankful we still have journalists like Chris Wallace, who believe in holding the powerful accountable and know the craft of letting politicians and thier flunkies expose themselves for the liars they are.

Goldy1 on August 24, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Just change the name http://conservativehq.com/uploads/Image/cs090814b.jpg

scrubjay on August 24, 2009 at 2:27 PM

I saw Specter trying to defend health care reform on that same program – he claimed that most people are opposed to it because they are uninformed or mis-informed – and that they can’t possibly be informed because THERE IS NO BILL to be informed about! Ryan corrected him and even told him the number of the bill. It is obvious Specter is for this – I hope he will be out in 2010. He’s a giant flaming ass!

Queen0fCups on August 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

“A viler evil than to murder a man, is to sell him suicide as an act of virtue. A viler evil than to throw a man into a sacrificial furnace, is to demand that he leap in, of his own will, and that he build the furnace, besides.”

–Ayn Rand

fusionaddict on August 24, 2009 at 3:40 PM

After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated “Your Life, Your Choices.”

Bush did know about it.

piglet on August 24, 2009 at 8:57 AM

I thought there was a required reading comprehension test in order to become a poster here.

After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use.”

Yes, Bush found out about it and stopped it, according to the quoted article. As opposed to “knew about it and did nothing.”

fred5678 on August 24, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Too bad the foundation for Wallace’s accusations is pure lies.

Other than the complete falsehoods, it’s another great day for journalism on Fox News!

orange on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Too bad the foundation for Wallace’s accusations is pure lies.

Other than the complete falsehoods, it’s another great day for journalism on Fox News!

orange on August 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Uh, wrong, you tard. Wallace’s point was that the VA was denying that they were referencing the booklet in any form whatsoever. This was clearly not the case. The VA was continuing to offer it as an option to recommend to veterans.

fusionaddict on August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Queen0fCups on August 24, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Its HR3200. There is a version in the Senate too.

dogsoldier on August 24, 2009 at 5:48 PM

Helicopter pilots in the Army at that time Lt. Duckworth was flying were either required to have 20/20 vision or be corrected through lasic surgery.

Either Mrs. Duckworth’s eyes have deteriorated since then, or someone she was connected to fudged her vision tests to allow to be a pilot.

Given her political advancements, first given by Rod Blagoevich, then by Barry Obama, I’m guessing someone fudged her results or pulled some strings for her to become a pilot. Given that assumption Mrs. Duckworth endangered her bird and the lives of her crew by not being medically qualified to operate that aircraft.

Blarg the Destroyer on August 24, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Here you go.
I whipped this up with my photoshop.

http://i871.photobucket.com/albums/ab276/justltl/Rules_for_Understanding_Radicals_2.jpg

justltl on August 24, 2009 at 9:29 PM

Comment pages: 1 2