Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sarah Was Right About Death Panels
It seems that I stirred up some raw emotions from some by not following lock-step with the popular interpretation of Sarah Palin's Facebook statement.
I will argue that many, including some Conservatives and Republicans, have been tricked by the Obama forces slight of hand. They have used Governor Palin's use of the the term "Death Panel" to call attention away from the rest of the statement. In context the term is appropriate.
Here is the "death panel" part of the statement again:
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.
The President and others have purposely misinterpreted and maligned the meaning of the statement for their own agenda. They claim that she has taken the "living will" provision of the health care bill to scare the elderly.
But just read the statement - she is NOT talking solely about euthanasia - she says "And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course."
Now Boys and Girls, you need to know, that there is rationed health care right now in America as Salon.Com has skillfully pointed out in an article entitled "The Death Panels Are Already Here."
Coverage of Palin's remarks, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's defense of them, over the weekend did point out that the idea that the reform plans would encourage government-sponsored euthanasia is one of a handful of deliberate falsehoods being peddled by opponents of the legislation. But the idea that only if reform passes would the government start setting up rationing and interfering with care goes beyond just the bogus euthanasia claim.
Opponents of reform often seem to skip right past any problems with the current system -- but it's rife with them. A study by the American Medical Association found the biggest insurance companies in the country denied between 2 and 5 percent of claims put in by doctors last year (though the AMA noted that not all the denials were improper). There is no national database of insurance claim denials, though, because private insurance companies aren't required to disclose such stats. Meanwhile, a House Energy and Commerce Committee report in June found that just three insurance companies kicked at least 20,000 people off their rolls between 2003 and 2007 for such reasons as typos on their application paperwork, a preexisting condition or a family member's medical history. People who buy insurance under individual policies, about 6 percent of adults, may be especially vulnerable, but the 63 percent of adults covered by employer-provided insurance aren't immune to difficulty.
I urge you to read the article - it gives example after example of "death panels" making decisions in health care. It is something that The Government will necessarily take over if there is a public option.
The question becomes twofold -
1) Do you want the Government Bureaucrats to make those life and death decisions in you or your families health?
2) Will we be allowed to suit the Federal Government if they make the wrong decision?
The second question is an important one because right now you can sue your Insurance company for denying coverage, but the Federal Government is immune from those suits.
So, when the Federal government says NO - it really can be a death sentence - with no means of appeal.
Now, let me address people like Bill Hess, a good man who took exception to the previous posting about Sarah Palin's "death panel" comment. Bill wrote:
You're very funny! And what nerve you have! Trying to say heads is tails. Sarah Palin's comment about death panels is meant to derail the Obama effort to end this practice by the private insurance industry. In tearing down Obama, she was jumping to the aid of such rationing by the insurance companies (who have done it to me) and it is perverse of you to now try to pretend that the argument that most strongly argues against Palin is exactly the kind of thing she was attacking.
Bill, I read your blog, and I am so sorry you had to suffer and that your Insurance company was not there for you.
Everyone agrees that the current health care system must be fixed. But Government run health care is an over-reaction. And make no mistake - that IS what is being proposed.
So it is not me, or Salon.Com, that is saying heads is tails and black is white. It is the people who are pushing for Government controlled health care. They purposely used Sarah Palin's use of the term "death Panel" to obscure its real and deeper question - Do we want the Government making these life and death decisions?
That is the #1 issue with the public option - an option that companies and individuals will gravitate to because it is cheaper without considering the real cost.
Bill, you seem to be a thoughtful man, as I am certain many others are on the Obama side of the health care debate. I just encourage everyone to try and see through the fog of war at what is really at stake.
Sarah Palin used strong words to bring this issue to the forefront. It worked.
Now lets allow the emotions to subside and really discuss the future of health care without the political tactics that have just soured the debate.