During the 2009 debate about the new federal health care legislation created to cover uninsured Americans, Sarah Palin claimed that it would lead to a “Death Panel” of bureaucrats who would have the power of life or death over patients who needed urgent health care. She posted this to her facebook paged on August 7th of 2009:
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.
This of course was complete fiction and debunked by anyone who understood how Obamacare actually worked, but the label stuck and did an enormous amount of damage to the fledgling legislation that unfortunately persists to this day.
Palin’s gross distortion of section 1233 of the Affordable Care Act regarding “Advance Care Planning Consultation” was, according to FactCheck.org not just a complete fabrication, but the exact opposite of what it was actually set out to do. The ACA would, as FactCheck.org stated “require Medicare to pay for some end-of-life planning counseling sessions with a health care practitioner.” Furthermore, in Section 3403 the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (also known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board) is prohibited from making “any recommendation to ration health care”:
Of course this didn’t stop Palin repeating the lie given its enormous potential to scare Americans and prevent meaningful change in the country’s archaic health care system, but it died down when Obamacare was rolled out, and surprise surprise, no death panels appeared.
Palin however, has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to revive the “Death Panel” meme, and came out yesterday to declare them back in response to a story about a dying mother in California who was denied chemotherapy treatment coverage by her insurance company, but would be allowed drugs to end her life under California’s End of Life Option Act.
Claiming that her “integrity” was unfairly attacked by Obama who smacked down her lying back in 2009, she wrote on her Facebook wall:
After I spoke of Obamacare’s Death Panels, the President deceived the nation in his State of the Union address, claiming I was the liar: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/…/sarah-palinto-barbara-wa…/
Barack: tell that to patients now being refused health care.
The backlash from the President’s continued attacks on my integrity remains immense, but it’s nothing compared to the tragic hopelessness that formerly disillusioned Americans now feel. Ironically, Obama and Congress could have proved me wrong. Granted, the President and media’s obstinate clinging to the failed Obamacare boondoggle was a given, but an incalculable disappointment in this is knowing Congress held the purse strings for this disastrous government healthcare takeover, yet funded it anyway.
Media: why no accountability on this? Why ignore Hillary’s role in supporting Obamacare?- Sarah Palin
Ignoring the highly irritating butchering of sentence structure, Palin’s post is again a fact free assertion with no basis in reality. The woman refused chemotherapy treatment was denied by her insurance company, not any advisory board or “Death Panel”. In fact, the ACA was crafted to help stop this from happening, so pinning the blame on Obama isn’t just inaccurate, it’s incomprehensibly stupid.
It is likely Palin doesn’t actually understand what she is saying here, but if she does, she deserves a special place in hell for spreading one of the worst right wing lies in decades.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.