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Snyderman, Douglass: Skepticism of ObamaCare's End-of-Life Counseling is 'Cruel'

Are you wary of the federal government using taxpayer dollars to advise senior citizens on “end-of-life” issues? If so, you’re just “cruel,” according to former ABC reporter Linda Douglass, now the communications director for the White House Office of Health Reform.


Douglass appeared on MSNBC’s Aug. 12 “Dr. Nancy,” with host Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman pointed out that some of the discussion about end-of-life care is just craziness and these “rumors” are difficult to combat (even though there is precedent for governments involved heavily in health care to take such measures, as Michelle Malkin pointed out.)


“I think the criticism about this euthanasia and death panels is just craziness,” Snyderman said. “That, in fact, we should be talking about death and dying earlier, but these are rumors that aren’t going away.”


The perplexed Snyderman asked Douglass what she was going to do about the “misinformation, wanting to knock off old people.”


Douglass said, “It is obviously terribly incorrect, even cruel to say that, to give seniors the opportunity to get some professional advice when they want to write a living will, when they want to figure out what they want to do with the end of life if anything were to happen,” Douglass said.


According to Douglass, the federal government does have a legitimate role to play, intruding into families as a Medicare-financed death counselor.


“These are such hard conversations for people to have inside their families,” Douglass continued. “Adult children sometimes say, ‘Oh mom, oh dad – you’re going to live forever, let’s not talk about it.’ I mean, all this is, is the opportunity, voluntarily if a senior wants to have a conversation about a living will, to have this conversation conducted with a medical professional, covered by Medicare.”


Opposing this intrusion on any grounds is, according to Douglass, just an effort to “prohibit” seniors from having access to professional advice.


“And it’s very, very unfortunate that for whatever reason, this has been so misleading and distorted and as I say, it really is cruel to try to prohibit seniors from having access to professional advice that would be very helpful for any family,” Douglass added.


And guess what! Snyderman agreed with Douglass’ talking points. “You know,” she said, “that’s the first time I’ve heard anyone use the word ‘cruel,’ talking about health care and I happened to think you hit the nail on the head,” Snyderman said. “I think it is cruel. I don’t think we’re talking about the smart stuff and there’s nothing more frightening than losing power to make your own decisions when you’re infirmed. Better to make those decisions when you have all your faculties. I agree with you.”


But it should come as no surprise that Snyderman is in the tank for ObamaCare. According to an Aug. 5 Media Reality Check about TV news doctors’ donations to Democratic politicians and tilt in favor of ObamaCare, Snyderman gave two contributions totaling $800 to Democratic candidates while working for Johnson & Johnson (after leaving ABC News and before joining NBC). Following Obama’s July 22 press conference, Snyderman even said “I was rooting for the President to hit a home run.”


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