Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Death Panels – Revisited and Renamed

In Health Care Reform on February 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal gives a great history lesson and defense of Sarah Palin’s use of the term ‘death panel’ during the debate on health care reform (Link Here).  She is wrongly (and dishonestly) criticized for lying about the creation of “death panels” (HER quotation marks, clearly indicating that she was speaking figuratively).  Mr. Taranto, in a more lengthy treatment of the topic, sets the record straight.  Her point is/was quite simple:

All health care decisions are ultimately about [quality of] life and [delaying] death.   In those decision-making moments, substituting the whims of politicians in the place of free market forces will lead to a frightening form of rationing.  Absent government intervention, we ration health care and all finite, good things by letting millions of market players set a price for them.  Government intervention will put a disinterested “panel” in charge of matters that free men and women are capable of managing, and better.  To say, as many defenders of the new law have, “at least it will help control costs” is a lie, unless “costs” are only measured in dollars and cents.  If we put any value on our freedom and quality of life, the costs of this law are incalculably enormous.

The intent of the law is to make health care equally “affordable” for everyone.  The rich, the poor and everyone in-between (meaing YOU!) MUST be in the same system.  Consequently, for the law to work the way they intend it to work, it will be against the law to save grandma, even if you have the money to save her.  You see, the panel, the experts who will write the laws that will spread health care around evenly (rationing it) will have decided long before grandma gets sick that those health care dollars (i.e. her doctor’s time and attention) are better spent giving your next-door-neighbor’s daughter her annual check-up.  So, indeed The Life Panel (yeah, that sounds better) will decide who gets the hip replacement (lives) and who doesn’t (dies).

NOTE:  We’re not taking a position on Mrs. Palin’s views in general, just pointing out that the truth matters.  Taranto often serves the role of truth finder, and I recommend his work – he posts daily, usually late afternoon.


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