Keith Olbermann said that on his Special Comment last night. He did a brilliant one on health care once again about his dad. He speaks about it the way only one who has gone through it could and I was in tears by the end of it. It was all familiar to me, hell, I even understood most of the medical terminology and procedures he talked about. Anyone who thinks this is hyperbole simply hasn’t been through it, especially with a loved one that you know is going to die, you just don’t know when.
Keith’s theme this time was the death panels the Right has been going on and on about. He had long talks with his dad about what he wanted and with his dad’s doctors, so everyone knew Keith had final say and what his dad’s wishes were. This is what those so-called death panels are, a chance to pay the doctor for having these very necessary discussions. He called these Life Panels. Keith said having all this squared away was the only feeling of comfort he had in the whole thing and that the real death panels were already happening when the insurance companies deny coverage that will save someone’s life.
I know Darcy and I - and her doctor - had these discussions, and I had fully expected for the last 16 years that someday I’d have to step in and tell them to disconnect the breathing machine and pull the intubation tube. I saw my roll as coming in to rescue her from a medical profession that is unable to let someone die when that is the better choice. Darcy’s greatest fear was being on intubation in a nursing home indefinitely.
Keith said that his out of pocket expenses were higher for HIM than they were for his dad because Dad had Medicare. The same was true of Darcy, no treatment was ever denied to her because she was on Medicare, in fact, according to her email lung-buddies it was all the people with private insurance who had nothing but problems and had to fight with those companies constantly. Let me assure you that fighting with your insurance company when you’ve just been diagnosed with a fatal disease is horrible. This idea of “socialized medicine” being a big boogie man is pure bullshit and designed to push people’s buttons, to get irrational, emotional reactions from them. Most of the people crying about socialism don’t even know what it is.