There is a formula for instant success in our nation’s great health care town halls: So you, the congressperson, mention some constituent whose medical condition would definitely take a turn for the worse in the event of the mere existence of the public option. What follows is death—irrecoverable death by death panel. Maybe even you have a photo of said constituent, hey that’s great! That is… it. Tragically, things went terribly awry the other day in Texas, as Republican Congressman Pete Olson’s town hall turned violently factual.
Everything was par for the course: Olson recited the tale of “Britney,” who was turned down by several doctors because her unborn son had a heart defect. Sad! And also: socialism! Except instead of denouncing individual doctors and private insurance companies as organs of communistic socialism—liberal socialism—some guy pointed out that in fact this was not at all a case of the government ordering Britney to send her unborn son to a poorly run hospice kibbutz to die. Because it was the doctors who turned her down, no? Olson is literally speechless until some other guy yells out “But… Death Panel!!” and everything gets back on track.