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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Obama answer to staged Townhall question: I won't "pull the plug on grandma"
By Andrew Walden @ 6:01 PM :: 8936 Views :: National News, Ethics

by Andrew Walden

Obama answering a question written by a campaign worker and given to her daughter to read from a card.  Today at the New Hampshire Town Hall meeting, Boston Globe:

Responding to Julia -- an honors student entering grade 6 at the Cheverus School -- Obama said:

"Well . . . I've seen some of those signs,'' prompting laughter. "Let me just be specific about some things that I've been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that's been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for "death panels" that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that we don't -- it's too expensive to let her live anymore. And there are various -- there are some variations on this theme.''

According to a White House transcript, Obama continued:

"It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, et cetera. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready, on their own terms. It wasn't forcing anybody to do anything. This is I guess where the rumor came from.''

Compare this to June 24th, ABC National Town Hall on Health Care:

WSJ: At one point in the town hall, broadcast from the East Room by ABC news, a woman named Jane Sturm told the story of her 105-year-old mother, who, at 100, was told by an arrhythmia specialist that she was too old for a pacemaker. She ended up getting a second option, and the operation, for which Ms. Sturm credits her survival.

OBAMA:  I don't think that we can make judgments based on people's spirit.  Uh, that would be, uh, a pretty subjective decision to be making.  I think we have to have rules that, uh, say that we are gonna provide good quality care for all people.  End-of-life care is one of the most difficult sets of decisions that we're going to have to make.  But understand that those decisions are already being made in one way or another.  If they're not being made under Medicare and Medicaid, they're being made by private insurers.  At least we can let doctors know -- and your mom know -- that you know what?  Maybe this isn't going to help.  Maybe you're better off, uh, not having the surgery but taking, uhhh, the painkiller.

Source for transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/remarks-by-the-president-in-abc-prescription-for-america-town-hall-on-health-care-6-24-09/

 

And the question was staged by an Obama Campaign worker....

 

Juliahall.JPG

 

From Boston Globe article:

Julia's mother was an early Obama supporter in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia's mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn't miss a beat when Obama called on her.

"It was surreal," said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.

STAGED BY OBAMA CAMPAIGN WORKER--and the best Obama could do is: Trust me, I won't "pull the plug on grandma".

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