WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama held a nationally televised address Tuesday to "clarify any misunderstandings" about his health care proposal, assuring Americans that under the new bill senior citizens—and not the federal government—will have the right to choose how they are executed.
"Let me dispel these ridiculous rumors once and for all and set the record straight: Under my plan, seniors are going to be killed the way they want to be killed, end of story," said the president, who acknowledged that "wiping out" the nation's elderly population has always been his No. 1 priority. "If your grandmother would rather be euthanized in the privacy of her own home than be gutted and hanged on a high school soccer field, she is entitled to that right."
"Once again, let me be perfectly clear," Obama continued. "Seniors, rest easy knowing that I will never, under any circumstance, sign a bill that doesn't give you the option of being murdered by my administration in a manner of your choosing. I promise you that."
During his 45-minute address, the president repeatedly stressed his deep and abiding respect for the nation's 65-and-over citizens, saying that murdering them in ways they wouldn't want to be murdered would be both un-American and "flat-out wrong."
Obama also accused his opponents of using scare tactics to score political points, manipulating seniors' fears with misinformation about their upcoming state-mandated deaths.
The president said he sympathized with and related to the fears of older Americans, adding that if a politician told him he could only be killed by being forcibly removed from his home and shot in the street like a dog, but left out the fact that he could also be put down by painless lethal injection, he would be scared, too.
"Folks' concerns over my plan are all based on bogus claims that we intend to set up death panels to kill off senior citizens," Obama said. "Well, that is preposterous. A death panel is only one of many ways we can exterminate the elderly. Under my plan, they can be beaten or poisoned to death. They can be murdered by the Marines or the Air National Guard. They can die fast or they can die slow. They can even be drowned in their own bathtubs."
"The point is," Obama continued, "there is a way to die in this plan for everyone."
According to the 970-page bill, seniors would have access to more than 600 methods of execution, all of which would be covered by Medicare. The legislation would also allow aging Americans to keep their own primary care physicians if they prefer to be euthanized by their family doctor.
The bill also calls for the creation of government-run carbon monoxide poisoning clinics, termination chambers in all YMCA basements, and a new giant pit in the Nevada desert where seniors can be dumped and buried en masse.
"Let the record show, I am opposed to the government getting more involved in people's lives," Obama said. "But in times of great change government has typically stepped in to lend a helping hand. That is why free shuttle buses to school gymnasiums pumped full of sarin gas will be provided for all of our seniors."
Following the speech, White House sources said they expected full party support for the proposal. However, some far-left-leaning Democrats have openly criticized the president for backing down from his initial policy of death panels, arguing that a system offering multiple execution options completely undermines their ideal of a single, universal senior-killing policy.
"The president has watered down a perfectly reasonable plan in hopes of placating the opposition," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said. "Look, we started this health care crusade because we believe that death panels are the very best way to eliminate the senior population, and I, for one, stand firm in that belief."
The Republican reaction was even more sternly worded.
"Seniors!" House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) said. "Run for your lives! Obama is coming to kill you! He will kill all of you!"
However, many older Americans lauded the president for finally speaking to them like adults on the matter, and said that for the first time in months they felt they weren't being taken advantage of.
"It was refreshing to feel like I wasn't being used as a pawn to settle one political party's score against another," 74-year-old Florida resident Rose Benzio told reporters. "I didn't agree with everything President Obama had to say, but I think there is probably an option in his plan that will suit me. Decapitation sounds interesting."