You may not like her, but Sarah Palin was right. Remember when she said Obamacare included “death panels”? The media and the pundits mocked her relentlessly. But she was right, and now they have egg on their faces.
As the New York Times reported over the Christmas holiday, the original insertion of “death panels” in Medicare was dropped from the health care overhaul legislation after a public uproar, largely caused by Palin highlighting the issue. But now, the Obama administration has gone around congress and reinstituted them. They took effect Jan. 1.
The so-called death panels are government advisory boards that will give advice on “end of life” care, including advising doctors and patients to forgo life-lengthening treatments in some terminal cases. This effectively takes the decisions about health care out of the hands of the doctor/patient relationship and puts it into the hands of emotionless government bureaucrats that put concerns about cost above quality and length of life, the first dangerous step toward health care rationing.
Here’s the controversial statement that Palin made in 2009:
“And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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.”
If you think this statement is a stretch, then read what Obama’s top advisor on health policy, Ezekiel Emmanuel, said in a 1996 article about end-of-life medical care:
“Services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”
Who decides whether someone is a participating citizen? Kind of reminds me of a quote from Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”: “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
My grandfather has a form of Alzheimer’s. There are days when he doesn’t recognize me or anyone else, but other days he does. On those days, we sit and talk and remember the early days of his life and he imparts valuable life lessons and family history to me. No government bureaucrat can tell me that my grandfather isn’t a “participating citizen.”
We’re talking about the kinds of decisions only individuals, families and their doctor should be making, not a “government advisory panel.”
Palin may not be the right person to be the next president, and she may not be right on every point. But given the number of times she has turned out to be correct, the merciless persecution she faces from the media and pundits on both sides of the aisle is inexcusable.
She has a down-to-earth way of presenting things, but that doesn’t make them less accurate. What has Palin said that was any dumber than what Nancy Pelosi said during the week before the 3,000-page Obamacare bill passed?
“We have to pass the bill, so that you will know what is in it.”
I’ll take “I can see Russia from my house” over Pelosi’s ridiculous lies any day. (For the record, she never said that — it was part of a skit on Saturday Night Live; the actual quote was, “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska,” which is true.)
Palin has been vindicated. Unfortunately for the rest of us, Obamacare is already a reality. I hope the Republicans grow a backbone and repeal the whole thing.
Happy New Year, folks!
Editor’s note: Leland Conway is the executive editor and co-founder of www.conservativeedge.com and the host of the Pulse of Lexington on News Radio 630 WLAP.