Opinion

Liberals embrace death panels

Photo of Derek Hunter
Derek Hunter
Freelance writer

When Congress was debating Obamacare, the left needed cover against those who pointed out that the bill, in many places, would lead to health care rationing. The media happily provided that cover.

Liberals needed cover because the law created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which will be comprised of 15 “experts” who will basically decide which treatments seniors on Medicare will be allowed to get. Sarah Palin, among many others, took a lot of media heat for calling the IPAB “death panels.” The gang at Politifact, the self-proclaimed political truth-keepers, declared that the term “death panel” was the political lie of the year for 2009. But now liberals no longer need political cover and are rising up to not only defend the idea of death panels but to openly promote them. Politifact, call your office.

As usual, Paul Krugman is leading the liberals to the briar patch, calling death panels a necessity to help balance the budget. In a roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week,” Krugman said of what recently came out of the president’s deficit commission: “Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.” He also said, “Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for. And at least for starters, it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words, [the deficit commission] should have endorsed the panel that was part of the health care reform.”

Once Krugman pulled back the curtain, other liberals started talking about the “lie of the year.”

Writing for the Atlanta Constitution, Jay Booker admitted that death panels exist and defended their goals in a column entitled “Why ‘Death Panels’ are a necessary evil.” He said:

By law, the panel is prohibited from recommending health-care rationing; its role is simply to find the most cost-effective approaches to health care, with Congress given the power to override its decisions.

Inevitably, that proposal revived talk of “death panels.” It’s an emotionally powerful phrase, but only because it strips things down to uncomfortable truth: Death panels exist, they will exist in any conceivable system of health-care delivery, and we all know they are necessary but prefer to ignore it.

The only problem is, when it comes to medicine, what works for someone else may not work for you. But if the IPAB deems something unworthy of payment, it doesn’t matter that your doctor thinks is may work for you. You won’t get it, unless you’re wealthy and can pay for it yourself.

Leftist columnist Cynthia Tucker also joined the crusade, proclaiming: “Yes, we need death panels.” In Tucker’s world, the government would pick winners and losers in the health care arena. She writes, “If we keep spending our health care dollars disproportionately on the elderly, we will have little left to spend on children. That makes for an upside-down society that cannot thrive for long.” Kids win. Seniors lose.

These liberals are giving cover to the bureaucrats who are beginning to implement their vision of a new health care system in America. While this may seem a ways away, the bureaucrats at the FDA are already moving to deny the cancer drug Avastin to breast cancer patients. This is just the fist volley in the fight over rationing, and the IPAB hasn’t even started yet.

  • Ridingcrops

    What are you a Palin clone? Something a half term quitter made up and you go with it. And for you repubs, socialism is taking from the many to give to the few. So you take from the middle class to make sure the rich and corporations get more and they can avoid taxes and send your jobs overseas.

    • BigRmv

      Didn’t you read the article, whip? He cites the liberals who justify Sarah P’s early appraisal of the situation. They said, “Yeah, she was right.”

      The rest of your statement it incoherent at best. This leads me to believe that you’re one of those people who didn’t score well on the SATs and now enjoys the high pay of a union job–one that won’t be subjected to the health care fiasco and death panels that you helped your uberlord create.

  • jjsmithers

    Of course, this is the clear pattern of liberals… During any debate on the issue, lie, lie, and lie some more. The ends justify the means, nothing matters except getting what you want, lie, lie, lie.

    Then, after the law is passed, so what ? Also recall the lies about how you will be able to keep your doctor and nobody will take your healthcare plan away from you if you like it.

    If liberals were to ever tell the truth, they could never get a law passed, let alone get themselves elected. Fortunately, America is starting to catch on.

  • vmd1798

    Do the Socialists who want these Death Panels know they’ll also be killed by them, with the exception of the elitists?

  • truebearing

    Progressivism, Socialism, Communism….all derivations of the mortacratic political gospel of Marxism. With every incarnation of this untenable, evil political religion, procrustean method is the chosen solution to all social/economic problems. Anyone who doesn’t fit the plan, for economic or ideological reasons, is given the thumbs down by the designated statist death panels. Today it’s the elderly for costing too much, tomorrow it’s the “enemies of the people” who criticize the state and cling to their Bibles and constitutions (the guns will have already been taken away).

    The left has no problem with carving up human life in pursuit of their political utopia, and ignore the irony of the egalitarian misery they inevitably create.

    Leftists appear to be nothing less than political sociopaths.

    • russ311

      Damn, I’m a fan! Well said!

  • mpstopa

    Derek,
    Nice article. It was inevitable but I’m still stunned to see Krugman just admitting it. I like to think I had a part in the evolution of this with my op-ed in the Boston Globe (liberal home turf) on Death Panels in January: http://www.mikestopa.com/2011/01/the-reality-of-death-panels/.
    Best,
    Mike Stopa