Friday, August 14, 2009

GOP Voted for Death Panels in 2003

This is now a non-issue because the end-of-life counseling provision in the health care reform bill which gave rise to the "death panel" mythology is now out of the bill, but while the GOP tries to protect its health insurance backers by fighting against Universal Health Care, Time Magazine recalls that the GOP voted for a similar provision in 2003. For "death panels" then, and now conveniently against them now when it suits there needs. Hypocritical.

The end-of-counseling provision not about "death panels." But what about the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill. That passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators. Oh, and that includes U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who railed against "death panels" recently.
Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care? Ding ding ding!!

Let's go to the bill text, shall we? "The covered services are: evaluating the beneficiary's need for pain and symptom management, including the individual's need for hospice care; counseling the beneficiary with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and advising the beneficiary regarding advanced care planning."
Rachel Maddow pointed something else out on her Thursday night show. Grassley told a Panora, Iowa crowd on Wednesday that end-of-life planning “ought to be done within the family and considered a religious and ethical issue and not something that politicians deal with.”

Except that in 2005, Grassley supported government intervention in the case of Terri Shiavo. I'm sure you remember that case. Shiavo was a Florida woman who had suffered brain injuries and had been in a vegetative state for 15 years. Why was it OK for politicians to "deal with" that case?
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