Disco. DJ Bruce Chapman wonders Does Obamacare Provide for Euthanasia?
This is the simple answer to that stupid, offensive, and intolerable question.
Here’s Chapman’s claim in all its glory:
Our Sr. Fellow Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute Center for Human Rights and Bioethics is asking the question that Bill Donahue of the Catholic League and others also are raising: Is there language under consideration that could lead to “end of life care” that includes intentional termination of life? Outrageous? Well, then, the Obamacare bill should be clarified to make sure the meaning is not obscure or doubtful.
It isn’t obscure or doubtful. It’s a piece of legislation, no more confusing than any other. What’s interesting, though, is that Disco. is running not just with widely debunked nonsense and lies from the Catholic League, but from James Dobson’s crew the evangelical right (the same group Disco. blogger Logan Gage recently promoted and which helped promote Disco.’s creationist bills in Louisiana and Florida).
Furthermore, this isn’t Obama’s bill, it’s a bill drafted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Calling it Obamacare is not just inaccurate, it’s stupid. The President’s approval ratings remain higher than Congress’s, so linking the bill to the President won’t make it less popular, but more. It isn’t like calling it “Hillarycare” in the ’90s, when Mrs. Clinton was fairly unpopular.
And if you look at Smith’s linked article, the stupid gets even more caustic:
Smith proceeds by taking a paragraph from the bill, omitting context, and saying “I rightly labeled this gobbedlygook [sic].” Nothing is rightly labeled “gobbedlygook.” It isn’t a word. The word is spelled “gobbledygook.” And the bill itself is no more complex than any other piece of legislation. It refers to existing provisions, and adds a new section to existing law to allow Medicare to cover consultation with a doctor about legal and medical planning such as a living will or an advanced directive for medical care in case the patient can’t make his or her own decisions. These are the sort of documents which would have saved Terry Schiavo’s family a lot of trouble.
Smith is only confused about the bill’s meaning because he didn’t do one simple thing; knowing the truth of the matter “would require exploring the referenced statues I quoted above,” he writes, without doing it.
A bill on the books since 1990 requires hospitals and long-term care facilities to make this information available to patients. A report issued by the Bush administration in 2003 describes how doctors should discuss this with patients. The language under discussion now was introduced as an uncontroversial stand-alone bill earlier this year, sponsored in the House by a Democrat and a Louisiana Republican, and in different form in the Senate by Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Collins (R-ME).
Wesley Smith may not care for living wills, but that’s hardly a reason to call them euthanasia. Health insurance reform is to important for bullshit like this.