Saturday, August 01, 2009

Republicans frighten elderly in effort to halt health care reform. Surprisingly the GOP has discovered a new low.

A campaign on conservative talk radio, fueled by President Obama's calls to control exorbitant medical bills, has sparked fear among senior citizens that the health-care bill moving through Congress will lead to end-of-life "rationing" and even "euthanasia."

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."

Though the counseling provision is a tiny part of a behemoth bill, the skirmish over end-of-life care, like arguments about abortion coverage, has become a distraction and provided an opening for opponents of the president's broader health-care agenda.

I believe it is way past time for somebody to call the GOP out on these sleazy tactics.

How criminal it is to frighten people about their deaths? How inhuman is it to pay millions of dollars to buy commercials that are purposefully created to misrepresent a bill in order to make it appear that it injures our most fragile citizens?

Just take a look at this commercial designed SPECIFICALLY for that purpose.

They have pulled this shit before.

Remember how the inheritance tax suddenly became the death tax?

How pro -choice became pro-abortion?

How we had to "fight them over there, so that we would not have to fight them here"? And of course risk death.

This is how the GOP always frightens people into compliance. By threatening their lives, or the lives of their loved ones.

These are the tactics of cowards and the morally bankrupt. I cannot imagine how anybody can feel proud of a party that resorts to this sort of manipulation.

Health care reform is necessary and has been put off for too long by a group of people who have access to the best health care available in this country.

Too bad hypocrisy is not a life threatening condition.


  1. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Thank you for posting on this topic. All the GOP has to offer is fear. That's it. They can't stand change. And they would resort to torturing the elderly with these false ads.

    They are still the party of Rove. But it will prove to be their undoing. There are a lot less of them now than there used to be, thanks to GWBush and Dick "Shoot 'Em up" Cheney.

  2. In the past, elderly individuals who wished to speak with their physician re: end of life issues were required to PAY for the visit. This bill would cover the cost.

    The counseling is voluntary.

    Discussing end of life issues with a physician is NOT a death sentence. It is an important part of medical care and should be offered to all patients regardless of ability to pay.

    Offered to - not required of. It is up to a patient to determine if they want this service. Many do.

    It could be helpful for families who often have no idea what their family members desire as end of life care.

  3. Anonymous7:24 PM

    ahhhhhhh yes the party of Teri Schiavo - and we all know how well that turned out.

  4. Anonymous8:01 PM

    It's truly SICKENING that the fearmongers resort to these tactics. Everyone needs to speak to the elders in their families to explain the truth.

  5. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Good Job with the divorce revelation.

    This is huge. You got the Palinbots jumping out windows. Love ya Gryphen.

  6. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Please link to Jonathan Alter's column in this week's Newsweek called "What's not to like? Reform? Why do we need health care reform? Evertyhing is just fine the way it is."

    It's the best thing I've read on health care reform. It boils all the wonkdom down to the essential points. The column should be disseminated far and wide. It is important.

  7. Bravo!These GOP pukes need to be put in their place if anyone out there has a GOP Rep. call the puke and tell him your fed up with a party that cant stand on its own feet,a party that like the Nazi's would in a minute throw the whole country to the wolves.A party that if they had their way, Health care in any form that had to be payed for by the Govt.would be history and the hell with the sick.Dont believe a word they say ! They no longer have any credibility.Damm I'm mad scaring old people.I'm 72 and I dont believe a word of it!

  8. By the way I have a bad heart,bad kidneys and I'm certainly going to die of one or the other and if I need counseling I'd be grateful to get it! And I will remember to thank the Govt.for the help.Tom

  9. This kind of counseling is already being done. Sometimes nurses or social workers do the bulk of it. It is done for people of all ages and a required line of questioning if someone is admitted to the hospital. The point is to find out what people want if they should become unable to tell us. It needs to be documented in the patient's record. Without this information everything must be done. When I would get an elderly patient in the ER or have them code in the ICU I would say,"She's 99 by all means let's do a full code" exasperatedly. Then you have to proceed to start pushing on their chest, usually breaking their ribs, shocking them and sticking needles in them. Unless a family member is there to say, No there is no choice.

  10. I wish we had an Edward R. Murrow who could shame them with have you no decency at long last?? Instead, we only have commentators who have to follow the money-men, they are attractive and light weight. The GOPers are morally bankrupt and will do anything to further their political agenda and to win every news cycle. We can only hope the majority of Americans can see through this.
    I do not understand where the understanders are, why are they not protesting and marching in the streets?? Perhaps there is not the will on either side to get health care??

  11. crystalwolf aka caligrl3:54 AM

    Thanks Gryphen for posting that ad. When I saw it I couldn't believe it. GOP:insert (fear)(abortion) (birth-control)here.
    Thank you Basereet for your clean and concise translation of what the GOP is trying to bastardize.
    First off, most of these GOP senators & Leg don't care who has ins as long as they HAVE theirs! I would like to see all of them who are voting against it lost their gov health care.
    They want to f*ck up the bill so bad it will fail, so they can blame it on Obama.
    Also..too, Birth control consulting should be available for any teen, to prevent unwanted abortions/adoptions. Course the church has always been anti-birth control.
    I knew someone who was having her kid baptized and the priest has to "counsel" the parents first...Are you using Birth control the priest asked? (catholic church)"If that is any or your business... Yes, she said". The priest told her that was against church rules. She told the priest, "Well when the pope wants to take care of more children I can't afford...?" and that was that...the kid got baptized...!

  12. These Republican scare tactics may work but, only to a point. The same seniors with whom Sarah Palin was a huge hit, like those at the retirement communities here in Florida, already vote Republican, are more recalcitrant to change; and, have different racial attitudes than most young Americans. So, these fear tactics preach at those already converted IMHO.

    My personal experience with universal healthcare when I lived and worked in Japan was positive. I prefer it to my HMO here in the U.S.. I was pregnant with my first child in Japan and I had the best care, no long lines, choice in doctors, choice in clinics/hospitals, and never had to pay out of pocket. And, Japanese senior citizens are some of the healthiest most lively seniors I have encountered, (I believe their life expectancy is the highest in the world).

  13. Anonymous5:45 AM

    great reporting on the Palin stroy and the idea of fear from the GOP.

    there is a great book you should read or recomend.

    its called "The POlitics of Fear"

    you would enjoy it.
    My National GOP strategist friend uses it as his bible.

  14. Well Gryphen I am gone for a few day and all hell breaks loose! I actually read all of the comments in the last blog post. I do find it very interesting that none of the devoted will address the issues of Todd holding a gun on Levi or Sherry's court case. Hmmmmmm.

    I had my yearly physical in April, I have HMO care in WA state. My doctor addressed the issue of a Living Will. I am 47 and in good health. Kind of shoots the GOP fear mongering in the foot. As my Doc stated "You don't want to end up being a Teri Shiavo for the politicians to use and abuse." That about says it all.

    Husband and I are both working on ours now along with a will.

    The fear mongering is getting very old and I think Americans are finally starting to understand. At least I hope so.

    I personally am starting to believe that the GOP keeps the fear mongering going to push more people into asking for anti-depressants therefore funneling more money to big Pharma and Health insurance companies. (My own little conspiracy theory). It makes about as much sense as the we're all going to die at the govt hands message.

    Why is no one seriously looking at how many people have died at the hands of the Insurance companies by denying care? Real Statistics and stuff. Happens everyday.

  15. As Cilia said, health care agencies have been pushing Advance Directives on patients for a while now. And so does the VA.

    Politics of Fear, indeed.

  16. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Wait, so these folks are mad because the government won't pay for their surgery? Under the Republicans that would be left to the 'free market' to figure out. Oh, and grey haired couple, good luck trying to get affoardable private insurance once you retire - it ain't gonna happen.

    Republicans are NOT offerning a plan that will pay for everyone's medical bills. Or is this ad suggesting that Republicans offer a plan that only pays for old people's medical bills? I really don't understand what their point is here.

    Judging by the age of the people in this Ad they are not the "greatest generation" they are part of the generation that bankrupted America. They are probably 70, meaning they came of working age about 50 years ago when the national debt was less than $500 B. Now they will hand off a country to their grandkids that has $11T in debt all because they wanted the services but they also wanted the tax cuts. Sorry old folks, we need to save $$ because you were too cheap to pay taxes back when you were working. This is what St. Ronald and tax cuts has given you!

  17. bonefish9:57 AM

    Doggone, Gryphen. The crazies are getting crazier and the GOP is truly demonstrating why they should be called ReTHUGlicans. Gads. Their tactics are lower than a snake's belly...

    Keep up the good work but watch your back...

  18. A Question for Anonymous said....Wait,so these folks are mad..ETC.ETC.What are you talking about ???? They are probably 70,...And we are responsible for $11 Trillion debt. Please justify this very broad error filled statement.I PAID TAXES,I HAD PRIVATE HEALTHCARE WHICH I PAID FOR.What are you talking about exactly.

  19. This is the ad I was talking about on another post, that is put out by Focus On The Family. You really should check out
    put on by who else FOTF. They plan to implant as many lies, fears, and ways to fight President Obama on every issue as they can come up with. There is a video they are going to show - Speechless - Silencing the Christians, they even have people claim students are forced to recite the Koran. I Googled that and other than this "Christian" who did the video and other countries no mention of it. Some guy did write a book that it happens at Harvard, but that has been debunked. How are abortions and hundreds of millions of premature deaths related to global warming? they will tell you. $P is an invited speaker they better get a letter from her brown nose. She answered Katie Couric's question if she considered herself a feminist and she said "I do". At the summit they are going to speak against feminist, but you know theas story she was for it before she was against it. After this summit the Repugs will feel even more empowered with talking points against everything. The insurance companies are spending over a million dollars a day fighting a public option. I'm sure James Dobson and Tony Perkins are some of the biggest contributors. Just like almost every other "Christian" with a public platform they are really working for someone other than God. These people are either evil, greedy or both. I hope God can save us from these people.
    OT but I felt like $P was the one to get the birther story started and MSMBC confirmed it. She should be so proud to have such supporters that are so vile to everyone she is outspoken against. The things they say are nothing compared to anything that has been said about her. I also figured Levi needed the security guards because of the Palins.


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