McCain defends bogus ‘death panel’ argument

MCCAIN DEFENDS BOGUS ‘DEATH PANEL’ ARGUMENT…. How far gone is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? He isn’t even willing to reject the “death panel” nonsense pushed by his former running mate.

As promised, McCain appeared on ABC News’ “This Week” and George Stephanopoulos asked whether he could defend Sarah Palin’s most infamous and scurrilous attack on health care reform. Would the self-described “maverick” take a stand in support of reality? Take a wild guess.

Asked about the “death panel” lie, McCain said he doesn’t endorse the phrase, but argued the government, under reform measures, would “have groups that actually advise people as these decisions are made later in life.” When Stephanopoulos noted the phrase of the month — “That’s not in the bill” — McCain said the language in the legislation “made it a little bit ambiguous.” To his credit, Stephanopoulos pressed further.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t think that’s correct, Senator. The bill, all it said was that, if a patient wanted to have a Medicare consultation about end-of-life issues, they could have it at their request and the doctor would get reimbursed for it, no panel.

MCCAIN: There was a provision in the bill that talks about a board that would decide the most effective measures to provide health care for people, OK? Now, we had amendments, we republican have said that in no way would that affect the decisions that the patients would make and their families. That was rejected by the Democrats and the health committee.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s not a death panel.

MCCAIN: So what does — what does that lead to? Doesn’t that lead to a possibility, at least opens the door to a possibility of rationing and decisions made such are made in other countries?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, every single independent group that looked at it said it just wasn’t true.

It’s a good thing McCain was invited back onto another Sunday morning public affairs show — his 11th appearance since January, and his second on “This Week” since May — or we may have missed insightful policy analysis like this.