From Joan Walsh at Salon:
I’ve said this before: It’s getting past time for President Obama to spell out specifics about which healthcare reform plan he supports, given the five House and Senate bills and umpteen other proposals circling Washington. And unfortunately for Obama’s dreams of bipartisanism, it’s way past time for him to give up his hopes that he can bring “sensible” Republicans on board with a smart, fair bill.
I’ve suspected that was true for a while, but today is the day to, well, pull the plug on that project. Unbelievably, one GOP senator who’s been held up as a paragon of reason and bipartisan comity, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley — one of three Republicans negotiating with three Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee — trashed Obama’s plan today in terms that went beyond Sarah Palin’s ignorant rant.
“There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life,” Grassley told a town hall crowd. “And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you’re going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don’t have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.”