Thank you for checking those links out. The bill language is difficult to slog through, I realize. I think the analysis at those links is helpful.
I'm sorry I misunderstood your comments earlier — I realize now you were talking about two different interpretations of the bill around the issue of undocumented immigrants. In rereading your comment, I see that the end-of-life planning portion of the bill was a separate matter for you.
As to anyone on the Dem side using the phrase "death panels," I'm guessing that would be the Blue Dog Dems. They are very likely in the pocket of the insurance companies.
I am a moderate, through and through. It's one of the reasons I supported Obama, because he is too. A lot people don't realize this about him, but if anyone looks at his actual policies and positions, he really is.
The Blue Dogs are moderate as well, and I like some of the things they stand for, especially fiscal responsibility. But I don't hold them in high regard when they are cowing to the insurers.
On the illegal immigrants issue, it is my understanding, that perhaps the conservative objection to the House bill when it comes to undocumented immigrants is that there aren't adequate checks in place make sure they aren't getting health care coverage. Having read the excerpts in question, I agree that's a problem.
What irks me is this taking that rather minor issue — which could be easily fixed by reworking the bill language — and instead making it into a huge issue by blowing it out of proportion and saying, "The president is lying when he says the bill doesn't cover illegal immigrants."
It's a red herring, hyperbole, and doesn't advance the debate. It's a waste of our precious time, further divides us when we can least afford it.
In short, it disgusts me.
I realize both sides play this game. It's politics. But I can still say it: it disgusts me.
One of the things I've learned in this process is that some people in this country are deathly afraid of their government. They are also in denial about their own mortality. This, combined, has made discussion of end-of-life planning in a government sponsored health plan impossible. And yet it would be required if such a plan were to compete with the private plans.
In other countries where national health plans exist, they have a more realistic approach to death and dying. They also don't fear their government, their government fears them.
Why are so many here so fearful of their government? After all, we get a chance to vote them out at regular intervals.
That was a rhetorical question. I already know the answer: they are fearful because some of the leadership stokes that fear in them. Fear keeps people down. Then that leadership can engage in self-preservation rather than lead; in this case, that involves keep the private health insurers happy and get some nice fat campaign contribution checks in return.
Lest anyone thing I'm harping on conservatives, this goes for the Blue Dogs too.