Arizona Governor Jan Brewer did something good —
She vetoed the “birther bill,” as she should.
But when it comes to birther bill signing,
Not everyone’s declining —
Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal says he would.
The number of signatures of Arizona voters that must be collected by the end of May in order to force the recall of Gov. Jan Brewer, whose defunding of medical assistance for low income residents of the state has been likened to a “death panel” for the poor.
Faced with the need to cut government budgets, Republicans reflexively start with programs for the poor, the ill, the elderly and children. In Arizona last year, the state’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer — best remembered for pushing the state’s “papers please” anti-immigrant law and then getting caught lying when she asserted that the Arizona deserts were littered with headless bodies — and the GOP state legislature chose to cut a $5 million state program that provided transplants for uninsured Arizonans.
These Republicans could have covered the shortfall by directing funding from the Stimulus for this life-saving program, but chose instead to spend over $1 million in Stim money to repair the roof of a sports stadium. What’s worse, had they applied the Stim money to save the transplant program for the uninsured, the state would have been eligible for an additional $15 million in matching funds from the federal government.
During the debate over health care reform, insurance company lackeys like Betsy McCaughey and Sarah Palin floated the lie that a beneficial aspect of the legislation — its coverage of the costs of living wills and end-of-life counseling — was something evil: a “death panel” of bureaucrats who would decide whether patients were too ill or elderly to receive certain procedures, even if the procedures might save the patients’ lives.
The GOP’s Fox channel promoted the death panel allegation so heavily that a poll during the debate found that about three-quarters of Fox viewers believed the lie to be true. Faced with the outrage ginned up by the Republicans’ pernicious lying, Democrats removed coverage of end-of-life counseling from the law.
While this represented only a small victory for the giant private health-care corporations, whose multi-billion dollar annual profits were left untouched, it was a big defeat for middle-class and poor Americans who will continue to have to pay out of pocket for counseling during what it arguably the most difficult time in anyone’s life.
But the McCaughey-Palin-Fox death claim was a lie — those death panels were not real. What the Republicans in Arizona have done is real — and it is eerily the same thing they falsely accused Democrats of doing: letting government bureaucrats choose whom should live or die. And, tellingly, the criteria of the GOP death panels is typically Republican: Income level. People in need of transplants who are ineligible to buy private insurance or who can’t afford it, will not be covered.
Because of the GOP death panel law, about 100 people in need of transplants are facing death today in Arizona. In the video above, Keith Olbermann interviewed two of them, both fathers of young children.
Rough transcript from MSNBC, with some corrections:
From Liberal Viewer.