Sarah Palin Warns of Death Panels From Debt Commission

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 10, 2010   |   12:29PM   |   Washington, DC

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin says the death panels that stirred up so much controversy concerning the ObamaCare legislation may be coming back.

But, this time, she warns they are the work of the bipartisan debt commission.

Writing in an opinion column in the Wall St. Journal, the former Alaska governor highlights the cuts the commission proposed saying it “implicitly endorses the use of ‘death panel’-like rationing.”

The pro-life advocate says the commission’s proposal for an Independent Payments Advisory Board would create a committee she worries will make “bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.”

“Worst of all, the commission’s proposals institutionalize the current administration’s new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen’s report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar,” Palin adds.

Instead, Palin endorses the Roadmap for America’s Future produced by Rep. Paul Ryan  a pro-life Wisconsin congressman.

“On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit—the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish,’ she notes.

The column comes on the heels of new York Times columnist Paul Krugman saying death panels may be needed as a solution to fix the troubled economy.

Krugman appeared on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” during a roundtable discussion about the economy and the recent conclusions from the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission.

Krugman said the death panels won’t come into play now but would down the road.

“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. It’s going to be that we’re actually going to take Medicare under control, and we’re going to have to get some additional revenue, probably from a VAT. But it’s not going to happen now,” he said.

Krugman said if the debt commission “were going to do reality therapy, they should have said, ‘OK, look, 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, it should have endorsed the panel that was part of the healthcare reform,” he added.

Palin first wrote about death panels on Facebook in August 2009 and she elaborated on her first post a week later.