Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pulling the plug on Granny

...or maybe just letting her decide if there should be a plug or not. Terrific NY Times piece by Timothy Egan discussing the notion that hey, maybe we can talk about reducing the country's end-of-life care expenses without veering immediately into OMG-plug-pulling-Kevorkian-death-panels-black-helicopters paranoia and political cynicism. As Egan says, "how do we reform a system that lavishes most of its benefits on a cure for the 'disease' of aging" when many studies as well as common sense show that most people want to die at home, yet Medicare will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for endless hospital procedures and tests but won't pay for non-hospice home caregivers.

And then I read about a guy who was basically lynched by a bunch of hillbillies in Kentucky. Not because he was black (he wasn't), but because he was... brace yourself... a FED! (a census worker, to be specific). And we know this was an issue in motivation for the murder because they painted his body with that three-letter word, just so the world would know what special brand of evil this guy was. What the fuck is wrong with these ignorant Americans that they HATE HATE HATE the meddling Big Brother federal government except when it's handing out Social Security/Medicare/food stamps? The ultimate absurdity, of course, was the frothing-at-the-mouth guy at one of the health care town meetings screaming "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!" What am I missing here?

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