Obama doesn’t want to pull plug on grandma
This just in: President Barack Obama opposes pulling the plug on your sick grandmother.
In a sign of how twisted the healthcare debate has become, the president of the United States was forced to stand up in public and say definitively that he did not favor killing off the elderly when their care became too expensive.
The dramatic declaration came in New Hampshire in response to one of the wilder accusations circulated by opponents of his efforts to overhaul healthcare.
“The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that it’s too expensive to let her live anymore,” Obama said, taking the issue head-on.
It apparently arose from a provision intended to give people more information so they could handle end-of-life issues like setting up living wills and hospice care, he said.
“Somehow it’s gotten spun into this idea of death panels,” Obama said. “I am not in favor of that.”
He did not mention Sarah Palin, former Republican vice presidential candidate and ex-governor of Alaska, who got the ball rolling on “death panels.”
The fact that the president had to take a public stand on a rumor that at another time might appear absurd (it would be political suicide for anyone to suggest the government promote euthanasia) shows that the opposition is making inroads in stoking fear about healthcare overhaul.
Obama used some scare tactics of his own, saying that unless things change, health insurance premiums would skyrocket and the deficit would grow because of rising costs of government health programs for the poor – Medicaid – and elderly – Medicare.
One thing to watch is Obama’s increased reference to the healthcare plan as “health INSURANCE reform,” perhaps the White House believes that substituting insurance for care somehow makes it more palatable to the public.
Do you think Obama effectively addressed the criticism and put the rumors to rest? Did his comments in any way change your view on the healthcare debate?
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama at healthcare reform townhall in New Hampshire)