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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jan Brewer's Death Panel

Nov 20th, 2010

by F. Grey Parker

We never had the real conversation. We had months of extreme right wing propaganda and a concerted effort to obscure the dubious complexity of decisions that are already made by insurance corporations every day. Thus, we failed to have any of the legitimate national debates we needed preceding the passage of Health Care Reform. We heard a great deal about "liberal death panels" and "Democratic death panels" and "Progressive death panels." In fact, the right was so busily and effectively lying about it that the left was fully occupied rebutting those lies. The Democratic Party's failure of politics in this fight is nearly as unforgivable as it is mystifying, but that is another conversation. The point is that the truth was always on our side. 

Fast forward to now. As a consequence of the 2010 election and the corresponding rise of neo-Bircherism, the real face of the Republican party is being unsurprisingly revealed.



As was shown last night on MSNBC's Countdown, the majority Republican Arizona State Legislature passed a Republican drafted bill modifying AHCCCS (pronounced "access"), the Arizona Medicaid program. The bill was then signed into law by Republican Governor Jan BrewerThe effects of this law have resulted in the cancellation of organ transplant procedures for 98 Arizona patients so far. Every one of these prospective recipients had already been approved for the procedures, including one who had a viable donor liver waiting.

From The Daily Kos:
"$5 million dollars was cut from AHCCCS, Arizona's name for Medicaid. Because of these cuts, Arizona also lost out on $10 million in matching federal funds."

Gov. Jan Brewer has been called upon to convene a special session of the state's legislature to address this. She has refused. She has also been asked to use a portion of Arizona's remaining unspent federal stimulus money to offset the "savings" that was "gained" by the legislation in question and live up to the commitments her government made in good faith. That has also been refused.

There you have it.

Every right wing operative and misinformed citizen who has dared over the last year and a half to smear Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as a group trying to establish "death panels," take note: the very suggestion that liberals would be more likely than conservatives to put someone to death for reasons of financial expediency is only slightly less plausible than Flat Earth Theory. 

We are the "bleeding-hearts," remember? We are the ones who would allegedly just spend, spend and spend for all kinds of ridiculous and unnecessary touchy-feel-good things. Things like hearts. And lungs. And livers.

I wonder if Sarah Palin considers this to be more evidence of the "cojones" she has applauded Gov. Brewer for having possessed in the past. After all, it was Palin who used the "death panel meme" to remain relevant after the crushing defeat she brought upon John McCain. It was Palin who made the term a fundamental in last year's lexicon. She fashioned herself as a veritable expert on the issue. Perhaps, deep down, she actually understands what the Arizona situation means. More likely, I think, is that she will excuse this as "making the tough decisions on budget" that we liberals won't. Maybe she'll even call it a "freedom panel."

Whatever the defensive spin turns out to be, you sure are showing us, Gov. Brewer. You are showing us that what once seemed to be the American Left's worst hyperbole regarding the essential viciousness of the American Right was correct all along.


Contact Gov. Jan Brewer HERE.
Or call her directly -- (602) 542-4331
Donate to NTAF HERE -- transplant fundraising assistance and advocacy group.

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