Chuck Lane’s piece on the end-of-life counseling provisions in the House health care bill is such pitch perfect contrarian, on-the-other-hand wankery that it ought to be put in a time capsule. Lane, you may recall, is the TNR editor who oversaw the Stephen Glass fiasco; he’s now a member of the Washington Post editorial board.
On the far right, this is being portrayed as a plan to force everyone over 65 to sign his or her own death warrant. That’s rubbish. Federal law already bars Medicare from paying for services “the purpose of which is to cause, or assist in causing,” suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. Nothing in Section 1233 would change that.
Still, I was not reassured to read in an Aug. 1 Post article that “Democratic strategists” are “hesitant to give extra attention to the issue by refuting the inaccuracies, but they worry that it will further agitate already-skeptical seniors.”
If Section 1233 is innocuous, why would “strategists” want to tip-toe around the subject?
I can answer that one: it’s because we live in a country where batshit crazy people have a lot of influence. Next question.
The whole “I’m not a teabagger but reasonable people can dispute blah blah blah” shtick passed into the land of self-parody around the turn of the century.