In December of 2009, Politifact, a left-wing website that poses as an objective fact checker, awarded former Alaska governor Sarah Palin its “Lie of the Year.” Politifact claimed that Palin’s use of the term “death panel” to describe the rationing that will come with ObamaCare was the biggest whopper of ’09:
Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest.
“Death panels.” …
[Palin’s] assertion — that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care — spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, “Death panels? Really?”
And Democrat Howard Dean agrees. In a Monday Wall Street Journal op-ed, Dean writes:
One major problem [with ObamaCare] is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.
Here is what Palin wrote four years ago:
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.
If what Dean fears comes true, specifically that “IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them,” it takes no leap of logic or faith to fear which expensive and/or experimental procedures will not be covered.
Of course that kind of thinking is most likely to hurt those seen as the least desirable by bureaucrats — those unable to “contribute”: the elderly, disabled, and sick. (Palin forgot one group: the unborn.)
IPAB is what Palin directly referred to in her “death panel” post. And for spelling out the truth about the obvious human consequence of a rationing problem both she and Howard Dean agree is very real, she was awarded Politifact’s “Lie of the Year.”
What is important to remember, though, is that Palin was falsely smeared with PolitiFact’s “award” in December of 2009. At the time, ObamaCare was still four months from being signed into law and still not a sure thing to make it that far.
But in order to help Obama win passage of his signature legislation, the media as a whole not only ignored the many troublesome parts of the bill (like 15 bureaucrats given the power to ration America’s health care — IPAB), but launched an industry-wide campaign to falsely smear ObamaCare opponents as liars and racists.
Only now, after ObamaCare has been signed into law, are critics being heard in the media as they are proven right about everything from death panels, rationing, the impact on the deficit, the devastating effect on job creation, and the assault on our religious freedoms.
Apparently, we are all racists and liars now — including the unions and clergy who supported ObamaCare, and Democrat Senators who helped to write it.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC