THE BIGGEST ZOMBIE LIE OF ‘EM ALL…. Looking back over the last six months of debate over health care reform, the right-wing allegations of “death panels” have practically become notorious. No other lie was as insulting or as ridiculous, and those who repeated it deserved to be labeled disreputable hacks.

To their credit, House leaders decided to embrace the common-sense idea that has long generated bipartisan support. The NYT reported yesterday, “Undaunted by the August uproar over ‘death panels,’ House Democrats would authorize Medicare to pay doctors for providing advice to patients on end-of-life care. The new bill says such consultations are ‘completely optional.’”

You know what comes next. Sean Hannnity told viewers last night, “The death panels are back.”

Apparently so. On one of Fox News’ straight news segments yesterday afternoon, analyst Peter Johnson Jr. interviewed Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and asked, “So with regard to the death panel, nothing much has changed.” Cornyn responded that it’s “certainly something we’ll be focusing on.”

I don’t doubt that. Yesterday was a banner day for Republicans anxious to re-embrace their summertime favorite. Hannity talked it up, of course, as did GOP sites like and BigGovernment.

The claim has been debunked repeatedly, even by news outlets reluctant to draw policy conclusions based on objective facts. That, of course, only matters to those approaching the debate in good faith.

The House bill intends to reimburse seniors for voluntary counseling, which means the right’s favorite nonsensical talking point is back in play. Lucky us.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.