On Thursday, President Barack Obama finally got the bipartisan cooperation he sought for seven years as Congress authorized death panels to hear requests from citizens eager to have their life-saving medications withheld.
Signed into law in a morning Rose Garden ceremony, the so-called “Just Kill Me Now” legislation immediately went into effect. By late afternoon, the first applicant had met with a death panel in Cleveland, Ohio.
‘Now I can die with dignity, preferably before November 8’
“It’s such a relief to be denied my medication,” said Mary Schnegel, 91, whose mucopolysaccharidosis II requires drugs costing more than $300,000 annually. “Despite my scratch golf and active social life, I’m really suffering. Now I can die with dignity, preferably before November 8.”
Off the record, numerous citizens admitted their pleas for dignified deaths were a sham. “We just don’t want to live in a country where Hillary or the Donald is president,” confessed one 89-year-old-man. “At our age, dying is easier and less expensive than moving out of the country.”
Angry young voters left to clean up mess
That attitude angers young voters like Olive Wood who lack the illness profile and age to be considered by the death panels. “The baby boomers and their greatest-generation parents are screwing us again,” she said. “They get to check out, while the rest of us get stuck with a president we didn’t vote for.”
In fact, Bernie Sanders, the candidate many young people preferred, was quick to apply for death panel consideration, citing gout, laryngitis and esophageal reflux. “These illnesses may not be fatal, but I feel a terminal disease could happen in the first hundred days of the next administration.”
Death panel legislation, which Senator Sanders voted for, was not on anyone’s political radar until it became clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would receive their respective party nominations. Lobbied by the AARP, though, attentive legislators pushed through nearly identical bills in both houses of Congress.
“I never thought I’d thank Sarah Palin for coining the ‘death panel’ term, but in this case it actually applies,” said President Obama. “As president, I’m not going to stand in the way of the American people getting what they deserve.”