From our friends at Newshounds, the death panels and Betsy McCaughey are back fearmongering over end-of-life counseling. Sweet Jesus, these people make my head hurt. I thought we had seen the last of this shyster once the health care bill passed, but apparently I was wrong.
As The New York Times reported yesterday, the Obama administration has enacted Medicare regulations to include an end-of-life planning provision similar to one struck out of the health care reform bill after Sarah Palin “touched off a political storm over ‘death panels.’” Palin’s “death panels” accusation wasn’t just a lie, it was PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009. But good ol’ Fox News resuscitated the lie and gave it new life by just “asking” if the new regulations mark the return of death panels. Fortunately, Democratic Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers and liberal pundit Caroline Heldman forcefully rebutted the suggestion.
The possible return of “death panels” was all over Fox News today with segments with such FoxNews.com titles as, ‘Death Panel’ Comeback? Return of Death Panels? and ‘Death Panel’ Deception? The ‘Death Panel’ Comeback? segment, on The O’Reilly Factor, featured Media Matters 2009 Health Care Misinformer of the Year: Betsy McCaughey. [...]
But substitute host Eric Bolling distorted those details in his introduction to the O’Reilly Factor segment (the first video below). Bolling said, “Now the reports that President Obama is bringing back end of life planning with the Medicare regulation set to go into effect next week. The White House says, ‘No, that’s not true,’ issued a statement blaming a law signed by President Bush. So what’s really going on?” Bolling later said, “Whether or not this was brought up in the Bush Administration, who cares?”
Bolling made no pretense of independence, supposedly a hallmark of The Factor. “I thought we were done with this (death panels)… but they’re back.” Bolling offered no challenge to McCaughey’s misinformation (government will be scripting end-of-life decisions, the Obama administration is enacting via regulation what it could not enact via legislation) but asked her to “take our viewer exactly what this regulation says… It incentives them to discuss end-of-life decisions.” To Heldman, he asked, “Do we really need to incentivize doctors to ask Grandma whether she wants to pull the plug year after year after year? Isn’t once enough?”
Heldman, already a News Hounds Top Dog, was in especially good form in the segment.
Yeah, heaven forbid the government might pay to help you take the burden off of your family about what to do with you if they don't feel it's worth keeping you alive and longer and you would have agreed if given the chance. The horror!