GOP “Deathers” Use Scare-Tactics to Deceive on Health Care Reform
July 30, 2009
(ChattahBox)—You may not have heard, but our very own government is hell bent on the mass euthanasia of senior citizens. You heard it right. According to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), Rep. Eric Cantor, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and many other Republicans, the health care reform bill includes a provision that would require the killing of our elderly.
This insane claim is patently false of course, not based on anything resembling fact and has been debunked numerous times, but that has not stopped Rep. Boehner and others from shamelessly repeating it to scare and deceive the American public about health care reform.
These fear-mongering grim reapers have been aptly dubbed “deathers” by MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow. The deathers claim an innocuous provision in the health care bill requiring Medicare to pay for advanced care consultations with practitioners to discuss end of life care issues, translates into bureaucrats knocking on Senior citizens’ doors to force them to decide on how their lives will end.
Sec. 1233 of the bill entitled, “Advance Care Planning Consultation” would pay for consultations that, include “an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.”
It’s voluntary, not mandatory, as the Republican deathers are claiming. The only thing mandatory about the provision is that Medicare must pay for it, if a patient decides they may need such services.
The provision simply provides guidance to seniors on complicated issues, such as living wills, durable power of attorneys and health care proxies, which are services Americans have been requesting for quite some time.
Both Republicans and Democrats have long supported end of life care. In 2003, a Bush administration agency even released a report advising doctors to discuss end-of-life care with their patients.
Congress has also required health-care providers to discuss state laws on advance directives with patients since 1990.
It all seems simple enough, but the deathers insist the health care bill will kill our seniors. Rep. Boehner, House Minority Leader said, the provision “may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) exclaimed on the House floor that the provision would put our seniors “to death.” The Republican health plan “…is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government,” said Foxx.
Right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham said the provision meant that “old people could be visited in their homes and essentially be told, all right, sweetie, you’ve had a good life.”
View a compilation of the deathers’ scare-tactics below prepared by Think Progress, The Wonk Room: