Try as he might, Obama simply cannot run from his own words on the subject when he hypothetically suggested just such a solution for the 105-year-old spry mother of an audience member in a recent "town hall."
The president can't run from his top advisors' beliefs on health care either. Ezekiel Emmanuel, brother of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm and an advisor to the president on health care costs, has written that care
for non-participating (read permanently disabled) citizens should not be guaranteed. Science Czar John Holdren publicly mused about forced abortions for some single mothers and other population control measures. So excuse me if I'd like to ask a few questions of my representative in congress. Maybe all of this nasty stuff that is hidden in a 1,000-plus page bill has a justifiable explanation.
But with legislation this important, the voters deserve a chance to have the air cleared in a setting that provides more accountability than a sound bite or a press release. Once the government decides to take responsibility for our health care, they, by extension, take responsibility for our lives. Consider the results of other decisions by government to take over major programs in the past. Do we really want bureaucrats to have the responsibility for our life or death?
Health care reform is needed, but not in the form of a take over by the government. I've heard that Chandler may be against the bill as it's currently written, but I'm personally still appalled at his failure to stand up for Kentucky on the cap and trade legislation despite the huge outcry from the citizens. Given his last vote, how can we be sure he'll listen to his constituents this time if he doesn't have to face them?
Granted, I encourage civility in all public discourse, and this instance should be no different. But the only negative reaction I've seen at the town hall meetings has been when elected officials provide inadequate answers to good questions.
So, if Chandler has a good answer for what's in the bill and can give us a good answer as to how he plans to vote, then he should expect nothing more than a respectful back and forth at a town hall meeting.
The health care issue has sweeping ramifications for every American. That means every American should be involved in the decision. Could it be that those in congress have gotten so used to our prolonged silence that they fear our sudden voice?
Columnist's note: According to Sunday's Danville Advocate Messenger, Ben Chandler is holding a "public meeting" at the Boyle County Senior Citizen Center on Friday — hardly a town-hall and hardly matching his earlier statement, but certainly a step in the right direction. I hope that he will schedule many more of these during the congressional recess.
Editor's note: Leland Conway is the executive editor and co-founder of www.conservativeedge.com and the host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP.