On C-SPAN this morning, Richard Land, president of that arm of the Southern Baptist Convention that concerns itself with national issue, was asked by a caller to justify his opposition to President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
”I don’t think Jesus would support the rationing panels that are in place for Obamacare. I’m getting letters every day – every day – from people who are already being rationed care since the new head of Medicare came in. They’re being told if they have terminal conditions, they can’t get treatment for other diseases.
“Even Mr. Obama said that perhaps it wasn’t the best allocation of resources to give his grandmother, who was dying of cancer, a hip replacement. So I guess she can hobble around in terrible pain with a bad hip while she was dying of cancer. I don’t think that’s very Christian, ma’am.”
The president’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died of cancer at age 86 in 2008, two days before her grandson’s election victory. Following her diagnosis, she had a hip replaced. Months later, in a New York Times magazine article, Obama wondered out loud whether high-cost operations for the terminally ill could be justified as “sustainable” public policy:
”I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question. If somebody told me that my grandmother couldn’t have a hip replacement and she had to lie there in misery in the waning days of her life — that would be pretty upsetting.”
The problem, the president continued, is that not everyone can pay for a hip replacement out-of-pocket:
“… So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?
“I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.”
On the same topic, Attorney General Sam Olens said Monday that Republicans need to have their ducks in a row if and when the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling on the new health care law. From the Augusta Chronicle:
“Let’s assume we win the case. The Republican Party better have a bill that’s immediately filed to improve health care in this country or it will be detrimental in the November election.”
The Athens Banner-Herald reports that prominent Democrats, including Mayor Nancy Denson, are funneling money to Regina Quick, who’s mounting a GOP primary challenge to state Rep. Doug McKillip.
McKillip, a former Democrat, sponsored this year’s aggressive anti-abortion bill, which shortens the period during which a woman can seek to end her pregnancy. From the newspaper:
Denson gave Quick $500 on Feb. 22, according a campaign finance disclosure filed last week with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission….
McKillip angered Democrats by switching parties in 2010 and other elected officials by pushing a controversial Athens-Clarke Commission redistricting plan.
Republican former mayor and Athens Area Chamber of Commerce President Doc Eldridge, who has publicly feuded with McKillip over redistricting, and Democratic former state Sen. Doug Haines also contributed to Quick’s campaign, as did a number of her fellow lawyers and some Republican activists.
During the same C-SPAN session, Land also suggested that likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney could name U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as his running mate, as a means of “pivoting” on the illegal immigration issue — and proposing a comprehensive reform package.
The New York Times this morning dissects the false Internet rumor about an indictment that, 10 days ago, sent South Carolina’s governor scrambling:
It took only two minutes. An unfounded report on a little-known blog claiming that Gov. Nikki R. Haley was about to be indicted rocketed from South Carolina political circles into national circulation, along the way becoming the latest lesson in the perils of an instantaneous news culture.
The item’s rapid journey from hearsay to mainstream journalism, largely via Twitter, forced Ms. Haley to rush to defend herself against a false rumor. And it left news organizations facing a new round of questions about accountability and standards in the fast and loose “retweets do not imply endorsement” ethos of today’s political journalism.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia this morning takes a look at state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s defense of “lean, finely textured beef” – pejoratively known as “pink slime.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider