Why Yes, Virginia there is a Death Panel

Sarah Palin’s comments about government rationing leading to “death panels” that would inevitably result in life or death decisions being made by a panel of unelected bureaucrats was laughed at, mocked, scorned, and held up as evidence of her parochial idiocy, hyperbolic extremism, and all purpose buffoonery.  For the record, here’s what she said:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Oh that Sarah!  She’s such a moron.  How does she manage to get out of bed in the morning? There are no such things as “death panels” in the legislation being proposed by Congress.  Hahaha

Except the Wall Street Journal editorial page agrees with Sarah while avoiding her incendiary language:

As usual, the most dangerous parts of ObamaCare aren’t receiving the scrutiny they deserve—and one of the least examined is a new commission to tell Congress how to control health spending

New commission you say?  Hmm, tell me more…

the various health bills stipulate that Congress will arbitrarily decide how much to spend on health care for seniors every year—and then invest an unelected board with extraordinary powers to dictate what is covered and how it will be paid for.

Well that’s not so bad.  No death panels there…

The commission is mandated to go after “sources of excess cost growth,” meaning treatments that are too expensive or whose coverage will boost spending. If researchers find a pricey treatment for Alzheimer’s in 2020, that might be banned because it would add new costs and bust the global budget. Or it might decide that “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller,” as President Obama put it in June.

Umm… I’m getting a little uncomfortable here…

the Medicare commission would come to function much like the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which rations care in England. Or a similar Washington state board created in 2003 to control costs. Its handiwork isn’t pretty…

So far, the commission has banned knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis, discography for chronic back pain, and implantable infusion pumps for pain not related to cancer. This year, it is targeting such frivolous luxuries as knee replacements, spinal cord stimulation, a specialized autism therapy and MRIs of the abdomen, pelvis or breasts for cancer. It will also rule on routine ultrasounds for pregnancy, which have a “high” efficacy but also a “high” cost.

Currently, the commission is pushing through the most restrictive payment policy in the nation for drug-eluting cardiac stents—simply because bare metal stents are cheaper, even as they result in worse outcomes. If a patient is wheeled into the operating room with chest pains in an emergency, doctors will first have to determine if he’s covered by a state plan, then the diameter of his blood vessels and his diabetic condition to decide on the appropriate stent. If they don’t, Washington will not reimburse them for “inappropriate care.

So you mean that a panel of unelected bureaucrats will sit and make life and death decisions about who receives what kind of care?  Kind of like a death panel?


Rationing! It's the patriotic thing to do


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12 Responses to Why Yes, Virginia there is a Death Panel

  1. Kind of like a death panel? Exactly like a death panel.

    There’s probably no public figure who gets to use the word “vindicated” more than Sarah Palin.

    • It’s not a “Death Panel” since they don’t kill you themselves they just refuse treatment and then you might happen to end up with a smaller carbon footprint that’s all. And isn’t that good for everyone? It’s more Brave New World than Logan’s Run, although all the posters of Obama remind me of a different Dystopian novel.

  2. Chuck says:

    You have hit the nail on the head here. Great post. I have worked with the government for over two decades now, first in the Navy, and now as a private business owner, and I can tell you through experience:


    This is the first rule for doing business with any government agency – and it is undeniable. I have been pushing this point on my blog Head Muscle for months.
    The problem with the pro-government option folks is that they are just Pollyanna enough in their thinking to believe that the government does care…again they do not.

    What will ultimately result are death panels. No matter what you call them that is what they will be. All decisions will be made based on a formula. I apologize for being gratuitous here, but I blogged about this formula a while ago, and would be thrilled for you to give it a read.

    Here it is:

    Great post again TBC. I am a big fan of your POV.
    Would you object to me adding you to my blogroll?

    • I don’t mind at all. Thanks for the linky love and for your thoughts on the issue. Government is not a person and therefore cannot have compassion. Institutions don’t care and governments most of all.

  3. Chuck says:

    I is truly one of the greatest associative errors that can be made.

  4. mainenowandthen says:

    Gives a whole new meaning to the old saw, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”, does it not?

    I do hope that Sarah Palin continues to light a fire under American voters by exposing just how ineffective and corrupt the government machine at all levels has become.

    “New Blood” and term limits are the only possible salvation for our country.

  5. Sarah Palin gets smeared across the cover of major news magazines because she is a prominent, conservative woman and she calls a spade a spade.

    But she is ahead of her time. Give this country 10 or 15 years of Obamacare and then they’ll see just how prescient she really was…

  6. BaldManMoody says:

    I like that last graphic a lot. I find little difference between government “death panels” and private healthcare’s denial of coverage once someone gets an illness or their refusal to pay for specific treatments. However, I ultimately prefer to keep the government out of industry so I will take that latter over the former anytime. Granted, I would like to see competition across state lines and coverage of pre-existing conditions pulled into the fold. I ultimately think the added competition would drive down any increases in premiums due to covering pre-existing conditions.

    Anyways, my unwanted two cents. Better to go with the devil you know than the devil you have seen implemented in other countries and how they are now dealing with the fallout

    • Here’s one major difference between government “death panels” and claim rejection in the private market: if I don’t like an insurance company decision, I can appeal and eventually sue if I have to. If I don’t like the government’s decision, what recourse do I have? Possibly an appeal process, but a law suit? Doubtful.

      Another difference? Government has no incentive to compete for your business. Today there’s news from the UK that a life-extending liver cancer drug has been rejected for NHS use due to cost. If it was a private insurer making that decision, outraged customers could apply pressure by threatening to switch to other insurers. How do you pressure the federal government if those decisions are being made by unelected panels?

  7. yttik says:

    People who have lived on the bottom, people who have been dependent on the government know there are death panels. They don’t dispute this, they live it. It’s interesting to me that you don’t hear a lot of people on welfare, living in public housing, waiting in line at health clinics, complaining about the horrors of capitalism. Most of them would trade anything for home ownership and a private insurance policy. The ones who complain the loudest about capitalism are wealthy liberals, Michael Moore, Jim Carey. Anytime they want to try out socialism, they’re welcome to give up their wealth and avail themselves of food stamps and medicaid. People don’t do that, they fight tooth and nail to get out from under the government’s care.

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