Former Obama Adviser: 'We Need Death Panels'
Steven Rattner, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, called for “death panels” in a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, proving that liberals and the mainstream media were apoplectic when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin threatened Obamacare would lead to health care rationing because they knew Palin was telling an inconvenient truth.
“We need death panels,” Rattner simply wrote. “ Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”
Rattner wrote Obamacare “regrettably includes severe restrictions on any reduction in Medicare services or increase in fees to beneficiaries."
“In 2009, Sarah Palin’s rant about death panels even forced elimination from the bill of a provision to offer end-of-life consultations,” Rattner wrote.
He said "Medicare needs to take a cue from Willie Sutton, who reportedly said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was."
“The big money in Medicare is not to be found in Mr. Ryan’s competition or Mr. Obama’s innovation, but in reducing the cost of treating people in the last year of life, which consumes more than a quarter of the program’s budget," Rattner wrote.
According to Rattner, because “no one wants to lose an aging parent,” it is “natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy” and that “imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear.”
He cites countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that ration care and writes, “at the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs. We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable.”
Before the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare by deeming it a tax, Palin wrote in a Facebook post, "I reiterate what I wrote in my first post on this topic nearly three years ago. I stand by everything I wrote in that warning to my fellow Americans because what was true then is true now, and it will remain true as we hear what the Supreme Court has to say."
Palin said even though her original post was substantive and lengthy, her detractors only read two words of it: “death panel.”
“Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is, many of these accusers finally saw that Obamacare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life and death decisions about health care funding,” Palin wrote. “It’s called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and its purpose all along has been to ‘keep costs down’ by actually denying care via price controls and typically inefficient bureaucracy. This subjective rationing of care is what I was writing about in that first post.”
In her initial post on the matter, Palin wrote:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. 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.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.
She also wrote:
We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.
The center-left fact-checking site Politifact, though, called Palin's "death panel" post the “lie of the year” in 2009.
Nearly three years later, The Washington Post’s “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, who tried to falsely claim that Marc Thiessen was wrong when he wrote Obama had missed nearly half of his daily intelligence briefings because Obama got the reports on his iPad, accused Palin of not even “quoting herself correctly” when Palin did. Kessler then wrote “Palin is fooling herself if she thinks she can justify such inappropriate terminology to describe an effort, however imperfect, to address a serious problem that politicians on both sides of the aisle say they want to solve.”
Kessler felt the need to fact-check Palin again on June 27 of this year after Palin's Facebook post before the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax.
Last Friday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said the reason why the mainstream media and the left went apoplectic over Palin’s words was because “she was right.”
“She revealed what was supposed to be a hidden truth,” Limbaugh said.