September 29, 2010 | posted by Stephen Drake
Readers might have noticed that some other groups and individuals who oppose legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia spend a fair amount of time and energy warning about “pro-death” ideology on the left. You don’t have to search very far to find warnings about “Obamacare,” impending rationing and “death panels.”
While a lot of the rhetoric about “death panels” and rationing are overblown, it’s obvious that many self-identified “progressives” can be very “pro-death” when it comes to disability. What else explains the eager way in which the liberal Huffington Post, for example, has provided a home for the extreme (and often sloppy) polemics of self-described “bioethicist and medical historian” Jacob Appel, to offer up one example.
Where I – and other disability activists – part with politically Right-leaning opponents of assisted suicide is that we see cause for alarm on the Right as well. A lot of radical conservative rhetoric right now – like from the Tea Party – sounds pretty pro-death if you’re a person with a disability, chronic condition, etc.
If that sounds extreme and alarmist (as opposed to the “death panel” cries), please watch the video embedded below. It’s good old “Compassionate Conservative Christian Mike Huckabee” speaking at the “Values Voter Summit” – the site for the summit says the “values” they want to further are to: protect marriage, champion life, strengthen the military, limit government, control spending and defend our freedoms. Guess which one of those “values” Huckabee throws under the bus?
Check it out – and for those who need captioning, I tried the automatic captioning on this video and it works well. There are a couple of typos, but you get the full content of Huckabee’s remarks:
To summarize – Huckabee blasts the idea of requiring insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions. He compares those individuals – which includes me and just about everyone I know and care about – to both a burnt-down house and a wrecked car. And, of course, it would be ridiculous to expect an insurance company to insure a house that burned down yesterday.
This can be interpreted in no other way but as a blatantly utilitarian appeal to Tea Party folks who combine the scary traits of wanting as little government as possible, want to pay as little tax as possible, and resent “paying” for people on “entitlements.”
I guess they should amend that “Champion Life” to read “Champion the lives of young, healthy, nondisabled people.”
It’s a chilling message, given the context. Huckabee objectifies people like me, my loved ones and friends by comparing us to burnt buildings reduced to ashes.
He says we’ll raise the cost of health care for everyone. I’m guessing that he doesn’t want to expand government programs like Medicaid and Medicare, since the only “program” on the agenda that is targeted for increases in funding is Military Defense. Does he think that emergency room use by uninsured people won’t continue to raise health care costs?
Radical libertarians would eliminate that practice and only grant medical treatment to the insured or those who can pay in some other way. The rest of us can go find a publicly-owned bridge to crawl under and die quietly where we won’t bother anyone.
I’m sure Rev. Huckabee would be glad to pray for our souls, though, since that won’t cost him anything.
Well, speaking for myself, this burnt-out pile of ashes has a message for Huckabee and other “Values Voters” who agree with him.
I’ll take care of my own soul; making sure I can get affordable health coverage is what I’d like help with.
Mike Huckabee and anyone else who doesn’t like that can kiss my ash! –Stephen Drake