Following the president's deficit speech Wednesday, CNN's Erick Erickson quickly grasped at straws to revive one of the right-wing media's go-to falsehoods about healthcare: death panels.
From Erickson's RedState.com post, “Barack Obama Fully Embraces Death Panels” :
While everyone else was focused on Barack Obama bashing Paul Ryan, I noticed that he took full ownership of death panels yesterday. Naturally, Obama did not call them death panels. He called them “an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers.” But his description hits dead on with what his death panels will do.
According to Barack Obama yesterday, the death panels “will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”
We already know what they'll recommend as “the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending” . Barack Obama's own advisers have told us. They will prioritize giving health care to healthier people and let sicker people die. At end of life, they will deny people life sustaining treatment because, after all, they're going to die anyway. Note his phrasing: “protecting access to the services seniors need.” Dying people, according to Obama's advisers, need hospice not hope. They certainly do not need expensive treatments that may buy them time to see the birth of a new grandchild or other reasons.
You may not like the use of the phrase “death panel,” but make no mistake about it -- at the end of your life, in Barack Obama's America, his death panel will throw you under the bus in a way much closer to reality than metaphor.
Basically, while “everyone else” was coming up with new things to criticize Obama about, Erickson phoned it in and put his blog on 2009-talking-point auto pilot. Death panels. Really? Aren't we over that falsehood yet? Never mind that the phrase was coined by Sarah Palin, or that “death panels” don't exist (nor have they ever). As we all know, “death panels” are just another right-wing fabrication that exists for the sole purpose of baselessly striking fear into the hearts of the people. You'd never know that, however, since the right-wing media have enthusiastically and shamelessly jumped on the Palin “death-panel” bandwagon and never looked back.
Grasping at straws and fearmongering are certainly what the right-wing does best, but it might be time to lay the “death panel” horse to rest. It's been beaten enough.