As I recently predicted, right wingers are rolling out scare tactics to turn people against health care reform. The creepiest of the lot is the myth that Obama’s socialist government is planning to create the setting for euthanasia. This has special resonance with Catholic and fundamentalist protestant groups, which the Republican right always want to assuage. Drawing in more and more Catholics is especially important to keeping this base alive and festering. The phony euthanasia scare could also give new energy (and new funding sources) to the right-to-lifers, who are caught between a pro-choice federal government on one side, and on the other a radical fringe that thinks shooting doctors outside their churches is heroic act.
Former Operation Rescue head Randall Terry, forever trying to resuscitate himself, is a leader in the drive to stop the President’s “death care.” The Washington Post on Saturday reported how Betsy McCaughey, the whacko former New York pol and health care reform assassin, told former senator and flopped GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson on talk radio that the health reform bill contained mandatory counseling sessions for seniors how to “to end their life sooner”‘–by showing them how to “decline nutrition..and cut your life short.”
What is all this about? According to the Post:
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.”…
In the past two weeks, AARP has fielded a few thousand calls from people who mistakenly think the legislation would require every Medicare recipient to “choose how they want to die,” said James Dau, a spokesman for the organization.
At a recent AARP session on healthcare reform, Obama was asked about “rumors” his reforms would include the so-called death care initiative. The President answered the question by discussing living wills, which both he and and his wife have.
That makes sense, right? Getting a living will to kill yourself?