TPM Reader KS reminds us of the sobering, bleak realities beneath the din of nonsense over ‘death panels’ …

I have much sympathy for the folks that are saying crazy things about death panels. I also have much sympathy for the people that staff the evaluation committees that have had the nasty tag of death panels hung on them. My wife died of cancer 8 years ago. From initial diagnosis to her death was 5 1/2 increasingly awful years. We spent a lot of time researching treatment options. It gave us a calming sense of control. During the last 2 years we sought a few experimental treatment options most of which our very solid corporate health insurance judged not worthwhile. We talked them into one experimental surgery. It turns out their dispassionate judgment was correct. It did no good and left her debilitated for 4 months of what turned out to be her last year and a half. I’ve followed the threads of the experimental treatments we put our hopes on. Several have progressed, none are useful for my wife’s illness. We should have gone to Venice.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of