Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bob Wachter throws down the gauntlet in the health care debate

The normally affable Bob Wachter adopted an uncharacteristic tone in Thursday’s post:

It’s time to fight back. The “death panel” nonsense is not a harmless and amusing political canard – it is modern McCarthyism: the shameless, heinous use of lies and distortions to scare and confuse people…

Then came Sarah Palin and the other hypocritical asses who have managed to take a serious, even profound, issue and turn it into a mockery…

There can, and should, be reasonable disagreements about health reform, but the Fox News/Town Hall crowd is not interested in negotiation, or progress, or bettering the lives of our citizens – they are ideologues hell bent on destruction, gamesmanship, and Neilsen ratings. It is time to use all the tools at the Administration’s disposal to out the truth and fix what’s wrong with American healthcare...

It can be done, but it’ll take a fight. So let’s have one.

Though my disappointment about this debate is more tempered (I’m a little to the right of Bob, you see) I understand his outrage. I remember how I felt in 1994, 1996 and 2000 when the Democrats had a few Nazi references of their own and tried to scare elders into thinking the Republicans would force them to choose between food and medicine. This is politics as usual. Among those of us who disapprove of hype the intensity of reactions, like the pain scale, can range from 1-10. Personally, I think a 2 or a 3 from participants on both sides of this debate would get the job done more effectively (the job being thorough, reasoned debate).

In support of such a cause I hope to come up with a more lengthy post on rationing and end of life issues soon, to address some of Bob’s points as well as Orac’s challenge to come up with a more nuanced analysis of Zeek Emanuel’s Lancet paper.

That may be slow in coming, as I am about to head out to this meeting followed shortly by a trip to St. Louis to help with an EMR go-live (yes, I’m turning to the dark side for a few days).

No comments: