When an argument reaches the Pitts

WHEN AN ARGUMENT REACHES THE PITTS…. Rep. Joe Pitts (R) of Pennsylvania hosted a town-hall meeting this week, and made a brief concession to reality: “One thing I think is being misrepresented by my side of the aisle is death panels. There are no death panels in this bill.”

Sounds great, right? Here we have a very conservative lawmaker willing to note the truth in public. It’s a pleasant and welcome surprise.

But he couldn’t leave well enough alone.

“The danger here that is being raised, that some people are afraid of, is that seniors, when they get into a very vulnerable condition, and maybe even depression, can be pressured or feel vulnerable to being pressured to sign away certain medical treatments. There are not enough safeguards to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

I really don’t know what this means. As David Weigel asked, “Who’s pressuring the seniors, exactly?”

Pitts makes it sound as if government officials will be visiting individual seniors, encouraging them to forgo medical treatment. That’s crazy.

But you know what? Fine. We need more “safeguards” to prevent an imaginary scenario from happening? No problem. If Joe Pitts wants to write up some protections to make sure depressed seniors aren’t pressured by the government to sign away medical care, that’d be great. Will he consider supporting health care reform if Democrats add his “safeguards” to the bill?