Radio hosts use Kennedy's death to fearmonger on health care rationing

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

Conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Tom Marr have used Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's death to attack health care reform, baselessly suggesting that if reform passes, elderly cancer patients -- like Kennedy was -- will be "denied" treatments or their treatments will be "rationed." Limbaugh claimed that Kennedy "chose to exercise as many options as were available to him to prolong his life" and asserted that "to put his name on a health care bill that denies that to other people" is "hypocrisy."

Limbaugh: "To put his name on a health care bill that denies" care to others "is hypocrisy." On his radio show, Limbaugh stated:

LIMBAUGH: I think it would be a tremendous disservice to come up with a health care bill that we have now in the House and is floating around the Senate, the one that Obama's talking about, where the government is going to decide whether people like Ted Kennedy get to go through every aspect of survival that he did. Exercise their spirit. He had a spirit for life; he wanted to live. He did not want to die.

Now, Obama has said, well, we can't look at that, because costs -- looking at somebody's spirit and will to live -- well, Ted Kennedy's spirit was to live, and he chose to exercise as many options as were available to him to prolong his life. And to put his name on a health care bill that denies that to other people and say we're doing this in his memory is hypocrisy, and it would be insulting to his memory. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/26/09]

Limbaugh later stated: "I think it suffices to say that it would be hypocritical as it could be to put his name on a health care bill that forces things on people that he was not forcing on himself. I think it would be an insult to his memory."

Marr said under public option, a "bureaucrat" would have told Kennedy, "77, brain tumor, bye-bye." Guest-hosting The Lou Dobbs Show, Tom Marr stated that "the government option that is in there that the late Senator Kennedy supported would never allow you to get the Bentley health care that Senator Kennedy got provided to him by the people of the United States." He later added: "[T]he Senator used everything possible to fight for over a year, and he fought a gallant fight. That is going to be denied and rationed if they get away with this government-run option. Yes, there will be a bureaucrat saying 'No, 77, brain tumor, bye-bye.' " [United Stations Radio Networks' The Lou Dobbs Show, 8/26/09]

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