A recent Wall Street Journal article has brought up the fact that the same provision in last year’s Medical Coverage Law that would have allowed people to discuss their end-of-life wishes with their doctors has been added to the list of procedures covered by Medicare. Listed in the preventative care category, a person covered under Medicare would be allowed to visit their doctor to discuss their end-of-life options, and to have the visit covered by insurance. Republicans, who were comparing this to the institution of “death panels” are of course upset about this.

Oregon’s US Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3), the author of the original rider who then lobbied Medicare to cover the service, claimed a victory with the publishing of the regulation. Republicans accuse him of trying to slip one past them. Again, we have a case of where the Republican Party wants to politicize the minutiae of every health care provision out there.

In face, I am still confused as to how allowing patients to discuss their end-of-life wishes with their doctors (and having the visit covered by insurance) constitutes a “death panel.”

Is the problem that it is uncomfortable to discuss our eventual demise? We will all die someday. I certainly want to live as long as possible, but I have no desire to be hooked up to machines for the sole purpose of keeping the fluids running through my body a little while longer. Is it not reasonable to discuss this with (and ask questions of) my doctor so that I can make a reasonable medical choice?

Or is the problem simply an objection to having the insurance plan pay for such a visit? Is that what this is all about?

In either case, where does “Obama Care” talk about a panel of people deciding our fate? Where does it talk about people making decisions as to whether we live or die? If we are talking about a question as to whether or not the insurer will pay for the procedure, then the insurance system we have now already has “death panels.” Frankly, if we object to this, we should be doing something about that situation now.

It is disingenuous to complain that the insurance plan does not cover every possible medical procedure, then to complain that a plan with such complete coverage would cost too much. And then to complain about “death panels” being formed when the reply is that we will cut costs.

Sarah Palin and her ilk are great at coming up with catchy marketing phrases to communicate their displeasure with a proposal, but are completely and thoroughly unable to formulate a reasonable proposal that would satisfy them.

Each time an issue like this comes up, it just reinforces how ill-equipped the Republican Party is to actually govern. I have to compliment them on their ability to market themselves well to the masses of people who do not follow politics closely. They send a message to those who are not paying attention, yet deserve to be treated better. Too bad their message does not accurately reflect their agenda.

Perhaps are government is not doing as well as it should. There is certainly room for improvement. Yet it would seem to be the height of foolishness to put the people in charge who are openly trying to destroy us. Why can’t the Republicans discuss the issues rationally?