Today's must-read: A touching -- but hard-hitting -- column by Joe Klein on health care:

In one of those awful collisions between public policy and real life, I was in the midst of an awkward conversation about end-of-life issues with my father when Sarah Palin raised the remarkable idea that the Obama Administration's attempt to include such issues in its health-care-reform proposal would lead to "death panels." Let me tell you something about my family situation, a common one these days, in order to illuminate the obscenity of Palin's formulation and the cowardice of those, like Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate Finance Committee, who have refused to contest her claim.

Both my parents are 89 years old. They have been inseparable, with the exception of my father's service in World War II, since kindergarten. My mother has lost her sight and is quite frail. My father takes care of her and my aunt Rose, lovingly, with some — but not enough — private help at their home in central Pennsylvania. One night in early August, I had a terrible scare. I called home and Aunt Rose was freaking out; she didn't know where my father was. All the worst possibilities crossed my mind — it turned out he was just getting the mail — as well as a very difficult reality: if he'd had a stroke, I would have had no idea about what he'd want me to do. I had lunch with him the next day to discuss this.

Read the whole thing.

--Dana Goldstein

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