The face of anger

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Now, this is very interesting. Katy Abram has become the face of anger and outrage. She was the one at the town hall meeting who basically yelled at Arlen Specter. Now, I’m not saying that Senator Arlen Specter does not deserve to be yelled at. He has changed parties. He’s had as much backbone and spine as a jellyfish. But that’s another topic.

Lawrence O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews on Hardball, begins to engage Ms. Abram. This is interesting. Because she was such a rabid obstructionists, I would have thought that it would be very difficult to engage her in an actual conversation. She has a health savings account, which brings up is one of the huge problems, in my opinion. We have so many different varieties of permutations of health insurance it is frankly dizzying. Insurance must be simpler. She states that for some reason she wants to hold on to a health savings account. Why? Why don’t you pay a premium and have no co-pays and no deductibles? Put your money in a real savings account instead of this quasi-savings account. She has several misperceptions which Lawrence O’Donnell tries to correct. He does a remarkable job of not embarrassing this woman who does not have her facts correct.

Where did these death panels come from? From NYT:

Rather, it has a far more mainstream provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton’s health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement (and ultimately, New York’s lieutenant governor).

There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure. But over the course of the past few months, early, stated fears from anti-abortion conservatives that Mr. Obama would pursue a pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia agenda, combined with twisted accounts of actual legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other “end of life” services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the debate. (more…)

It looks like this simple clause that would help fund the conversation between you and your doc about end of life issues is going to be cut from the bill. Why? Who is making policy – the center or the far right fringe? From DK:

The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.

The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as “death panels” to encourage euthanasia.

“On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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