RUSH: This VA Death Book, we had this for you from Los Angeles on Friday. All 52 pages of it, we posted it at RushLimbaugh.com. We went to page 21, all these end-of-life questions you’re supposed to ask yourself, and just to set this up — because they trotted out poor old Tammy Duckworth over the weekend to try to defend this thing. Tammy Duckworth, of course, the disabled Iraqi vet, big liberal Democrat supported Obama and so forth, they trotted her out to defend this. This administration, I don’t care if it’s their health care plan, I don’t care if it’s their VA Death Book, we’re looking at it. We look at the plan and we look at the VA Death Book and they say, ‘No, it doesn’t say what you see,’ but it does, we’re looking at it and they try to tell us that it doesn’t say what it says.
Next they’ll tell us we can’t read. I mean this administration is just amazing. Oh, no, it doesn’t say that, doesn’t say this. It does! Twenty-one things here to check off, ‘My life isn’t worth living ‘if.” Here’s Obama taking to the airwaves to sell this now.
(playing of Obama spoof)
RUSH: And so now we go to the audio sound bites. Yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, he talked to the VA Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Tammy Duckworth. Now, she’s a disabled Iraqi vet, an amputee, and they’ve given her this position, basically a spokesman. So they send her out there to defend the indefensible, the VA Death Book. And Chris Wallace says, ‘Do you have any problem with the VA asking elderly veterans whether life is worth living if they have a disability, if they live in a nursing home, if they’re unable to shake the blues?’
DUCKWORTH: When I was in Iraq and I was injured, thank goodness I had an advance directive, that I had both a living will and a medical power of attorney that my husband was able to use to really execute my wishes. I think any worksheet that any veteran wants to use that helps him make those decisions in advance for his family members so that they know what your wishes are, that you do want your life prolonged, that you do want to be resuscitated, those are all important.
RUSH: Okay. So then Wallace says, ‘When you look at the workbook, Your Life, Your Choices, there’s a disclaimer. It says the document is currently undergoing revision for release in the VA. The revised version will be available soon, but when the VA first reinstated the document six weeks ago, why did the disclaimer about the book only appear this week after Mr. Towey’s article appeared in the Wall Street Journal?’
DUCKWORTH: Actually that disclaimer has been there since 2007 when we pulled —
WALLACE: It wasn’t there before August 20th of — between July 20th — July 2nd and August 20th, the disclaimer was not on the website, because we checked.
DUCKWORTH: Chris, the disclaimer has been at the beginning of the Your Life, Your Choice booklet since 2007 when the Bush administration decided to pull it off and revise it on an — on an established time schedule.
WALLACE: The record doesn’t show that.
RUSH: Chris Wallace says, ‘Your website doesn’t have a disclaimer.’ ‘Oh, the disclaimer’s always been there.’ ‘No, we checked, the disclaimer wasn’t.’ ‘Yes, it’s always been there, ever since the Bush administration.’ The Bush administration pulled this Death Book. The Bush administration yanked it. It’s the Obama administration that put it back on there. We linked to it at RushLimbaugh.com on Friday, it’s there. And the disclaimer was and wasn’t there. This poor Tammy Duckworth, I actually have some sympathy for people that have to go out and represent this administration. So Wallace finally says, ‘If you feel so strongly about the value of life, although the disclaimer is on there, this document, Your Life, Your Choices, is still on the VA website. While it’s supposedly being revised, it’s still up there. Can you promise us that this will be taken down today?”
DUCKWORTH: It is still up there with the disclaimer that it’s under revision and do not use it.
WALLACE: It doesn’t say don’t use it, but why have it up there at all? Why not just say, ‘We’re going to take it down’?
DUCKWORTH: Because we are bound by federal law. It was developed with federal research grant monies and most of you our — all of our programs as a result of federal research grants are online for people to use for research purposes. The checklist that we’re actually using is a completely different checklist from this one because this one has been taken off for revision.
WALLACE: Well, it hasn’t been taken off. It’s been revised but it’s still on the website.
RUSH: It’s still up there! You can still go to the VA and get the Death Book. This is incredible. She’s trying to say the VA doesn’t recommend it even though it’s still on the website. What happened, they got caught. They of course recommend it, they of course want veterans to start asking themselves, ‘I’m depressed today, is it really worth living? I don’t know. I’m living in a nursing home. Is it really worth living?’ They want this. There will be rationing of health care for seasoned citizens in the Obama health care plan. There’s nowhere else the rationing can take place. Well, seasoned citizens and people who have very, very serious accidents or illnesses at whatever age, but primarily seasoned citizens. So it’s there. ‘But we don’t want people to look at it.’ Well, then take it down. ‘Well, it’s under revision.’ If it’s under revision take it down to get the revision. ‘Well, we can’t, because we’re obligated. Federal monies were used to put this together. We’re required by law to –‘ Well, the Bush people took it down, the Bush people didn’t put it up there. ‘Well, that’s different. The Bush people sucked.’ That’s about the only answer they have.
RUSH: I know it’s such a moot point. Obama himself favors end-of-life pain pills. He said this to the woman with the 100-year-old, now 105-year-old mother. She needed a pacemaker. ‘Does spirit of life matter when you make decisions, Mr. President, on who gets medical treatment?’ ‘No, don’t think pacemaker. (garbled) Costs too much. Take a pain pill!’ So I mean he’s in favor of end-of-life pain pills, end-of-life government counseling, all this is right in front of our eyes, and they want to deny it all they want, and all he’s doing is destroying even more trust with people.
RUSH: Conroe, Texas, Diana, hello, and welcome to the program. It’s nice to have you here.
CALLER: Well, thank you, Rush. Big Texas dittos. I’ve been listening a long time. My dad turned me on to you, oh, gosh, years ago, and it’s actually because of him that I’m calling. I wanted to kind of give a firsthand account of our Death Book experience. He was diagnosed with cancer back in 2005 and did quite well with treatment from the VA hospital in Houston, and for about a year-and-a-half he was doing great with it, really no other health problems besides the cancer that he had. He became ill and started feeling poorly. We took him in, and within about two days they told us that his cancer had spread to his liver and reproduced his Death Book that we had gotten actually at the beginning of his treatment. Now, he and I had discussed for a long time what his wishes were. And his wish was to live as long as he possibly could. He’s a very strong man. His wish was, ‘You treat me any way you can, I don’t want to die. I want to be with any grandkids and with my daughter.’
RUSH: Now, wait. You mentioned a Death Book. Did he come to that conclusion after looking at the VA Death Book?
CALLER: Well, no, he didn’t. Actually he was very incensed when he first saw it because he said, ‘I’m coming in for cancer treatment and they hand me this before I even get my treatment.’
RUSH: Ah. I get it. I get it.
CALLER: Well, when we were told the cancer had spread to his liver, we were told there really wasn’t any more that could be done, and because of that information with the VA, the VA worked hand-in-hand with MD Anderson, biggest cancer research hospital there is, and so we’re trusting the information that we were given. And so at that point we decided to take hospice care and he passed away about two-and-a-half weeks later. Fast forward, a friend of mine was starting an oncology rotation about a year later, and so I was talking to her. She was actually asking me about my dad’s cancer and I told her, and she said, ‘Well, you know, do you have any of those testing and reports that — something that metastasized because there was treatment that they were doing at MD Anderson and at the VA for that type of cancer, for stage four metastasized cancer —
RUSH: But your dad didn’t get it, is that your point?
CALLER: He never did. Not only did he not get it, he was not offered it, and I have no doubt, no doubt, when I heard Friday — I was listening to the way back, actually, from the Medical Center in Houston — when I heard what you were talking about I had to stop and pull over, and I just wept because there’s no doubt that he would have said, ‘You give me what you can, and I’ll try it.’
RUSH: But he wasn’t given the option —
RUSH: — because it was the VA, it was government, but there are other patients at MD Anderson which — it’s in Houston, it’s a tremendous cancer research center and hospital.
CALLER: Yes. And he has supplemental insurance that said we could have gone to MD Anderson. He chose the VA initially because he was a veteran. To him, he served his country, it is what they owed him. And when we were told that they worked hand-in-hand with MD Anderson, most of the oncologists rotate through the VA that end up there, and so you’re talking extremely good care, and we received good care while he was being treated.
RUSH: I understand. I understand. At some point the care was terminated when additional treatment was offered to others. Well, that’s a good story. This is a great story. You were not given the option to pursue the other treatment that MD Anderson was engaging in with other patients in similar circumstances to your dad and we can only assume it was because the VA is government and they just decided to shut it down even though you had supplemental insurance to cover it. So it’s an interesting story. The point about this is, folks, is not that the treatment might have worked and who knows if the father might have lived another few weeks or months. The point was they got no say-so in the decision. The point is that Diana and her father had no say-so. They were just cut off. So hello, Obamacare. There might not have been a death panel that sat around and decided. There was a book policy that some panel came up with to come up with that end-of-life decision, money, is it worth it, no. But they were not given the option to decide on their own. And these are very personal questions and decisions that you want to make with your family and your doctor. You don’t want to be just be told, ‘Sorry, hospice for you over there, pal. That bus will take you there.’