(New York-NY) Once again, to my loyal five readers (though I believe it shot up to seven last week), I apologize for not cloaking my viewpoint in satire. Simply put, there are just some issues that need to be addressed directly. Healthcare debate is one of them, actually the lack of debate.
What is not open for debate is that the individuals who shut down town hall meetings were either directly placed there by conservative groups or through organizations sponsored by them. Before you go calling me left leaning, liberal groups have done their share as well. I'm fine with that. It's been part of politics. And it's not limited to politics. Be honest. The title of this got you to read. And now maybe you're just a little upset that I haven't drawn the line from Sarah Palin to Eva Braun…yet. We call this marketing.
There is nothing wrong with marketing as long as it leads to some fact. Let's take these "death panels" that Sarah Palin mentions. The fact is that this came from a minor provision in the House Bill that requires individuals to periodically review how they would like to have their end of life care handled. In other words, why wait until it happens? Make lemon out of lemonade. Decide ahead of time whom you don't want at your funeral. Considered it the final last word, screw you.
To quote from a person of science, who by definition of that word is objective, Douglas W. Blayney, MD, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, in his CNN commentary, "This provision simply provides for Medicare to pay for voluntary conversations between patients and their health care practitioners on the difficult but important subject of planning for care at the end of life." If this is a "death panel", it has been going on with private insurance for many years. The debate is if your and my tax dollars should be used for that line item? It's about money not morality.
That's where I take issue, because that's the debate. And it's not coming out. Should we pay for this, or can we save money on this to place said money in another healthcare category? When Sarah Palin, an elected official (well when she was an elected official) consistently clings to "death panel" she, and anyone who follows this road, is not leading the public to the facts to be debated. They are as much fulfilling their mandate as public servants as proponents of eugenics were fulfilling their mandate to the scientific method. I told you I'd get the Eva Braun connection in.
If I may borrow from that sage of our time Woody Allen, "I don't mind death. It's just the hours." I don't want to die. And I mean I don't want to die…ever. But seeing my sister die of ovarian cancer, working with her doctors at every stage (And I mean every stage), saying that a "death panel" will exist in Medicare is false. And further, it is denying individuals what already exists in the private sector, a resource I can tell you first hand that has use, deciding your own exit.
For those of you who think I'm secretly hiding a liberal agenda, I don't believe in absolutes. I'm neither left, right, Republican, Democrat nor even Libertarian. As my friend Jon Braunhut says, "I'm your typical post Holocaust, atheist Jew", or in my case agnostic. Hey, you have to manage your risk. I don't need an Old Testament God on me for eternity.
Finally, Sarah Palin has a new Twitter account. To my seven readers, start the actual debate. Tell her how you feel.