Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama on Death Panels: 'An Extraordinary Lie'

This conference call was truly extraordinary. The sad thing to note is how 30 religious organizations are labeled "liberal."

Obama on Death Panels: 'An Extraordinary Lie'

From Politics Daily

President Obama accused some health reform critics of "bearing false witness" during a live conference call and webcast Wednesday with tens of thousands of clergy and people of faith.

Using strong language, Obama told the religious leaders that some claims about health reform are "ludicrous." In particular, he said, "This notion that somehow we are setting up death panels" that would decide whether old people get to live or die is "an extraordinary lie."

The death panel idea has been advanced by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and dismissed as fiction by, among others, fact-checkers and some of her fellow Republicans. Obama said the provision in question -- allowing Medicare reimbursements for discussions of end-of-life care between doctors and patients -- is "entirely voluntary" and would provide an option now reserved for those who can afford "fancy lawyers."

Obama said that's only one distortion of many. He said it's also not true that the government would take over health care or fund abortions, or that illegal immigrants would get health insurance. "These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider a core ethical and moral obligation, and that is that we look out for one another," Obama said. He added that "in the wealthiest nation on Earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call."

The call was organized by a liberal group called Faith In Public Life and sponsored by more than 30 denominations and religious groups across the country. Speakers on the call spanned the political and religious spectrums. The denominations and groups on the call represented "millions of people of faith from the Evangelical, Catholic, mainline Protestant, Jewish and Muslim traditions," Faith in Public Life said.

Update: The group says 140,000 people participated in the call.

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