Sarah Palin Doubles Down on Obamacare-Death Panels Charge

National   Steven Ertelt   Jun 25, 2012   |   3:03PM    Washington, DC

Three years ago Sarah Palin made waves with charges that the Obamacare health care bill would lead to “death panels” that would rationing medical treatment and lifesaving medical care for patients.

In August 2009, Palin posted a well-received note on Facebook saying she worries the health care bill will be paid for on the backs of the elderly and disabled, who could be pushed into euthanasia and assisted suicide via rationing of medical treatment.

“And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course,” she said.

“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,” Palin said then. “Such a system is downright evil.”

The Obama administration, joined by liberal groups and Internet activists, attacked Palin for the comments and claimed the bill did not contain such concerns.

Now, the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee is back with another scathing rebuke of the “death panels” in anticipation of the Surpeme Court’s decision on Obamacare on Thursday.

As we wait for the impending Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, 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.

It was a pretty long post, but a lot of people seem to have 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. 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:

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.

Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.

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.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t strike down Obamacare entirely, then Congress must act to repeal IPAB and Obamacare before it is indeed “too late.” All of Obamacare must go one way or another.

In March, the House voted to repeal a portion of the Obamacare law that pro-life advocates strongly opposed because it could lead to rationing of health care for patients across the nation. Democrats in the Senate did not move the legislation further.

Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance told LifeNews she appreciated the vote.

“ObamaCare was signed into law in 2010, and its ramifications are astronomical, with IPAB being one of the most contentious portions of the health care law. Although the reasoning behind IPAB was to keep Medicare spending down, the facts show that it will ignore the essential problems associated with Medicare and lower costs by rationing treatment to seniors,” she said. “As a result, unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats will decide what treatments our elderly parents receive.  No longer will we be able to make decisions in conjunction with medical professionals about our parents’ needs; these decisions will be decided by reimbursement rates set by an inauspicious board. CWA views this as a small victory on the long road to stopping this egregious health care law that tramples economic freedom and religious liberties.  We will continue to shed light on the wrongheaded health care law until it is fully dismantled.”

Pro-life NRLC attorney Jennifer Popik talked previously about the pro-life rationale for ending the program.

“Integral to the Obama Administration’s stated mission to drive down what Americans choose to spend for life-saving and health-preserving health care, the IPAB is charged with a key role in suppressing health care spending by limiting what treatment doctors are allowed to give their patients,” she said. “While the focus throughout this debate has been on the IPAB’s  authority to cut Medicare with very limited Congressional authority to override or alter those cuts, National Right to Life has been emphasizing a still graver concern – one at the core of rationing in ObamaCare.”

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“The health care law instructs the IPAB to make recommendations to limit what all Americans are legally allowed to spend for their health care to hold it below the rate of medical inflation.  The health care law then empowers the federal Department of Health and Human Services to implement these recommendations by imposing so-called “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers,” Popik continued. “What happens to doctors who violate a “quality” standard by prescribing more lifesaving medical treatment than it permits? They will be disqualified from contracting with any of the health insurance plans that individual Americans, under the Obama Health Care Law, will be mandated to purchase.  Few doctors would be able to remain in practice if subjected to that penalty.”

“This means that treatment a doctor and patient deem advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health–but which exceeds the standard imposed by the government–will be denied even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. Repeal of IPAB is critically important to prevent this rationing of life-saving medical treatment,” she added