At Stout Street Clinic in Denver, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Colorado Democratic Reps Jared Polis and Diana DeGette are scheduled to talk about health-care reform pretty much right now. They’ll be facing a throng of constituents more interested in each other, perhaps, than in the speakers. A central question: What will the opponents of the Democrats’ reform plan be protesting, exactly? Specifics based on the reality of the bill, available online, have been absent in much of the debate against it. “Government control is bad.” “The plan is socialistic.” Then there are those who think the system we have now is the best in the world and needs little change. One of these was the refreshingly frank protester at a town hall in San Francisco who reportedly yelled out: “What’s wrong with profit?”
Finally, there is the majority of the protesters we have seen on TV and YouTube, the people lost in regard to the facts. They believe a government plan will take away Medicare and Medicaid, that it will radically limit care and that it will legalize and encourage euthanasia by putting in place a cost-saving plan to eliminate American senior citizens. To put it in Balkan terms, they believe the legislation written by U.S. lawmakers will end in “generational cleansing.”
This crowd has been aided and abetted in their misconceived protest by conservative blogs and email lists and talk radio and cable TV, all but confirming the perception that powerful actors interested in maintaining the status quo in the U.S. medical and insurance industries are intentionally duping citizens to rile them up and get them to act against reform of any genuine sort.
The proposed health-care reform plan will not encourage euthanasia. It will ask people to do what smart people are already doing: think about how they want to die and plan ahead.
Who are the protesters at Stout Clinic today and what are they protesting?