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August 13, 2009


The GOP has banked so hard to the right so that GOP politicos have no choice but to take part in the craziness (birthers, deathers, marxers) in order to survive in their district or state. Wow.

Why does it seem like the crazies on the right get so much more media time than the crazies on the left did, during the Bush years?

Well, here you go:


The Death Panel is officially dead.

So now, more and more families can endure a Terry Schiavo-like scenario.

bonncaruso, IMHO there is virtually no right today. The left favors bigger government. The right would favor smaller government. Today's Dems favor a rapidly increasing government. Today's Reps favor increasing government, but not as fast. E.g., Bush got NCLB and prescription drug coverage in Medicare. Romney got more or less universal health care in Mass. In short, today's Republican Party is slightly on the left.

Raleighite, IMHO the crazies on the right get much more media time because the media uses them to invalidate the entire right. E.g., an excited constituent at a Town Meeting (I think it was Spector's) gave a good list of reasons for not adopting Health Reform. He demonstrated a reasonable understanding of some of the flaws in health reform. He finished his tirade by predicting that God would punish the Senator. I saw the whole thing on the web. The Lehrer Newshour played a clip which included only this constituent's prediction of God's punishment. That clip made him sound like an ignorant religious nut.

Raleighite, I agree with you that end-of-life care ought to be restricted. It's just not affordable. Furthermore, regardless of what's in the current Senate bill, I think end of life restrictions will be added, because otherwise the system will go bankrupt. I wish the Administration and its lackeys would have admitted that end-of-life restrictions will be part of the law. Then there could have been an honest debate about what these restrictions should be and how they should be determined.

Raleighite, I'm afraid you've been misled by Brendan's failure to explain that what he refers to as the "death panel" myth relates not to end-of-life counseling but to allocation of scarce medical resources. (See the links in my comment to Brendan's previous post.) That issue remains, even though the end-of-life counseling provision may be dropped. And it's a fair issue about which reasonable persons can differ, one that inevitably will arise when efforts to bend the medical cost curve down get to the meat rather than the fat.

Those who want a health care bill passed urgently (even though it largely won't take effect till after the next Presidential election) would prefer not to have these issues aired. Perhaps that's to be expected. The surprise is that any health policy scholars endorse this attempt to stifle discussion of the implications of bending the cost curve down.

Rob, point taken. While not actually confused about the difference between the consultations and the supposed death panels, I see where I was misinterpreting the Senate's action today.

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