The spectre of government death panels was clarified with Jim Towey's piece in the Wall Street Journal about the "Your Life, Your Choice" program mandated by the Veterans Administration. Today, Towey appeared on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace where Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Tammy Duckworth also appeared. Duckworth, by the way, wanted to be interviewed separately. Duckworth is one of our wounded warriors (she lost her legs in Iraq) and deserves to be honored as a hero for that. However, today she was simply a dishonest political hack who could not admit she was lying about the VA's use of the controversial materials. Kimberly Morin has been following the "Your Life, Your Choices" story for the Boston Conservative Independent Examiner and has extensive links to the relevant documents.
You can read the transcript of the Fox News Sunday interview here.
In the following segment, Senator Arlen Specter announced his support for Towey in regard to the VA issue, but again attacked the "death panel" straw man. The Dems' strategy for fighting this is to pretend that Conservatives mean that there will literally be a committee that votes on whether or not people will live or die.
There are two very real issues that give meat to the "death panel" concept. First, is the undeniable reality that health care rationing will be a part of any government managed program. This is true in every country with socialized medicine. It is a concept endorsed by Tom Daschle, Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel and other health care advisors to President Obama, so why are they surprised that Real America is alarmed by the idea?
Secondly, a party with a financial stake in the outcome (the government) would be "advising" people on very serious and personal issues about health care outcomes and their options. Leftists are right when they argue that there is no language in HR3200 that specifically discusses how these choices would be presented to people. That is part of the problem! The American people are being asked to place their faith in the federal government to create an independent bureaucracy that will supply people with information without pressure or suggestion. Yeah, that's how government agencies usually operate, right? The exposure of the VA's use of an "end-of-life" program endorsed by the Hemlock Society rightfully concerns folks that such is the judgment of the government in life-and-death matters.
The lies told today by Mrs. Duckworth will only exascerbate the public trepidation about allowing the federal government to stick its nose in these decisions for all Americans. Our veterans deserve better than to have the usefulness of their life questioned by the government they fought to defend. This practice should not be used to advise our "heroes." And it certainly should not be expanded to included all our citizens at the most vulnerable times in their lives.