Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) isn’t a moderate Republican. He’s not even really a “reasonable” conservative. But he does have a special interest in end-of-life planning and he was one of the drivers behind the idea that Medicare ought to cover voluntary end-of-life counseling sessions for seniors who are interested in such services. This is the molehill out of which Sarah Palin and others built the dishonest mountain of “death panels.”
How did this become a question of euthanasia?
I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.
Of course the answer is that it “got so mixed up” because the conservative movement is committed to destroying health reform by any means necessary. Relatedly, Alex Koppelman has a great piece in Salon about the smear campaign against Zeke Emanuel.