It's always such a shame when stupid wins out. And it looks increasingly like stupid will win in the battle whether the health care reform legislation will include a provision that pays doctors for helping patients devise their end of life plans. Similar provisions had been included, and overwhelmingly passed with bipartisan support, in previous health care legislation, but that was before the GOP decided the quickest way to kill Obama's health care reform objective was to scare the shit out of people. And if it look some flat out lying to scare them...well, so be it...
It's not a big surprise, then, that the Senate Finance Committees will likely eliminate a "living will" provision from their version of a health care reform bill . Too much trouble. Too much confusion. In other words, too many lies have successfully riled up the numbskulls who consider folks like Sarah Palin as fair arbiters.
It's not the end of the world. I do feel bad for folks who really would benefit from the provision, but the big objectives for health care reform stay the same; more coverage and less cost.
The excerpt above is from a well-written commentary by Jay McDonough at Swimming Freestyle, with which I hearily concur. The proceedings to date do not eliminate living wills; they just remove an incentive for discussing them. I share Jay's disappointment that the provision was defeated not by reasoned discussion among rational lawmakers or by an informed public mandate, but by blatant fearmongering. It's a sad reflection of the frank ignorance of a vast number of Americans that they are so susceptible to such chicanery.