Ever since Sarah Palin's Facebook post about Obama's Death Panels, the Democrats have been scrambling. (Actually, before then, but even moreso, since.) The first response, of course, was to make out Sarah Palin to be some kind of nutjob. The problem is that her post had an air of truth to it that resonated with some folks.
So the Democrats caved. Kind of.
They decided to take out the "Death Panels." Those death panels that never existed in the first place? Yeah, those.
They removed the language from the bill requiring senior citizens over age 65 to have a mandatory discussion with a counsellor or doctor regarding end of life issues.
The problem is, this isn't the language in the bill Sarah Palin was referring to when she coined the term "Death Panels."
I actually don't have a problem with discussions of "end of life issues." Even though some have complained about this provision in the bill, the intent was to give seniors information about living wills, nursing care, hospice and other issues that we all may have to deal with when we get older. I have issues with the word "mandatory" in that provision, and there is also the likelihood that when implemented, things like doctor-assisted suicide would also be in the discussion. But aside from that, removing this provision actually made a bad bill even worse, in my opinion.
Now, however, the democrats have removed the "death panel" issue from the political discussion.
The problem is that Sarah Palin was more concerned about language in the bill that suggested that our health care options might be more limited if we had a poor prognosis, language that suggested rationing (without actually using that term), and also language from administration officials that suggested that after the bill was implemented the bureaucracy would be set up in such a way that terminal patients, very elderly and even children with diseases carrying a poor prognosis might not have access to live-saving or life-enhancing treatments because of economic considerations.
The logical assumption is that if these economic choices have to be made, somebody is going to make them, and more than likely that "somebody" would probably a panel or a committee of people who will evaluate, not on an individual basis, but more likely on a diagnosis/prognosis basis, who gets treatment and who doesn't.
Hence, a "Death Panel."
The bottom line is that while the Democrats are now going to go out and talk about how they listened to "the people" and took out the "death panels" that they denied were there in the first place, they really didn't do that. Death panels are still in.