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Paranoia runs deep in the heartland,

but I think it’s all overdone.

–Paul Simon

Of course it’s overdone. More than that, it’s orchestrated. The latest example is that Republicans are putting out the lie that the health care bill mandates euthanasia. IT WHAT? Come. on. now. But this gentleman, who spoke at the town hall Monday night (Right wingers venting about healthcare reform and

Who Opposes Health Care Reform and Why: The Culture of Opposition) unfortunately believes them:

He’s been duped. Talking Points Memo gives us the straight information:

The provision at issue would require Medicare, for the first time, to cover advanced care consultations for seniors once every five years, or more frequently if the patient has a life threatening disease. These consultations include “an explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.”

Seniors are in no way required to take advantage of this benefit. (…)

Nor is there any reasonable basis for believing that these consultations, if chosen, would do anything to promote euthanasia — which is illegal in 48 states anyway. Discussions between sick or elderly people and their doctors about end-of-life treatment have long been an accepted part of modern patient care.

To think that the government would mandate euthanasia is beyond paranoid. It’s delusional. While I’m disgusted that people are so easily duped, I can muster some pity for fools like that. I save outrage, though, for those who deliberately spread this horse manure. Those purveyors of lies include not just John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, et.al., but the media outlets who pretend that this propaganda must be treated seriously.

Politico’s headline about it is “‘Will proposal promote euthanasia?'” They’re sensationalizing the issue to “win the morning” (grab the most readers), and TPM takes them to task for leaving the important info out of the headline and the first seven paragraphs:

The only basically accurate way to cover this self-evidently phony controversy would be to frame it as something like: “Congressional Republicans Take Cues From Limbaugh By Misleading Americans on Health Care Bill.” But that wouldn’t fit into the conventions of mainstream political journalism, wherein assessing the facts of a partisan dispute and clearly calling out one side is forbidden.

So instead we get: “Will proposal promote euthanasia?” Hope you guys won the morning.

Is it any wonder President Obama wanted this bill passed before the August recess? He knows his Mark Twain: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Until the bill is law, Democrats had better go to bed with their track shoes on, because the GOP is made up of liars.