In a clear case of sending the absolutely worst signal to his rabid opponents, President Obama has caved in once again on a vital health care issue: end-of-life care discussions with medical professionals, which have just been deleted as eligible costs under the 2010 health care legislation. While one might think that discussions of such options as hospice care would be automatic whenever appropriate, removing their eligibility sends a clear signal to doctors that they are not ranked as a top priority for those in need of end-of-life care. Thus, already-weak health care legislation is made even weaker, and its opponents are given even more encouragement to gut what remains in the bill.
Some of us had hoped that our President would find his spine in Hawaii, something he has not managed in Washington, but that appears not to have happened. While his opponents cavort over their victory in taking over the House of Representatives, Obama caves in once more.
This pattern would not be quite as despicable had it not become a way of life at the Obama White House. From the continuation of those Bush tax breaks for the rich and super-rich, which were due to expire,
to the continuation of our two endlessly-costly and meaningless wars,
our President has shown himself to be weak-kneed as well as spineless.
While there is no easy cure for cowardice, it will make a real difference for each and every progressive to stand up and tell our President: the American people did not elect you to cave in and cop out on vital issues. It is not yet too late to salvage your presidency and even your dignity. You will never placate those determined to destroy that presidency, and you desperately need to stop trying to do so.
End-of-life care options are a vital issue, one which will affect each and every one of us sooner or later. Discussion of such options needs to be clearly covered in the new health care legislation, as it was when that admittedly-weak bill was passed last year. If President Obama cannot stand up for the dying, then indeed he is unlikely to stand up for the living, either.