Sarah Palin Bashes Rationing in Health Care Bills

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has penned an opinion column running in the Wall Street Journal that again bashes Obama and Congress. She expands on her previous comments about “death panels” by saying that the bills wrongly endorse health care rationing.

In her Wall Street Journal column yesterday, Palin acknowledged the vociferous criticism of her description of “death panels,” but says the thrust of her argument was right on point.

“Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans,” she wrote.

Speaking of every-day Americans, she wrote that they “made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context.”

She also wrote, “But the fact remains that the Democrats’ proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we’ve come to expect from this administration.”

LifeNews.com reports that “Palin points out how Obama previously asked Congress to create an Independent Medicare Advisory Council, which she describes as ‘an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs.'”

Palin says, “In an interview with the New York Times in April, the president suggested that such a group, working outside of “normal political channels,” should guide decisions regarding that “huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives.”

Palin responded: “Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats’ proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by—dare I say it—death panels?”

LifeNews writes, “Although some have attacked Palin for using a little hyperbole to make a point about rationing, others have ultimately agreed with her analysis.”

“Congressional Quarterly columnist John Edgill(sic), in a column he wrote late last week, said there are ‘nuggets of truth’ in Palin’s concerns,” according to LifeNews.

“Palin’s move was pure brilliance: in but a few keystrokes she synthesized the underlying suspicion at least half of Americans have about a government role in health care delivery and created a visual metaphor from which the Obama White House and congressional Democrats still haven’t fully recover,” he said.

“So would it surprise you that Palin has a legitimate point?” the a former Democratic congressional staffer asked.

“There actually is a government-appointed panel, named MedPac, which is made up of health care experts — those pesky pinheads — who analyze and make policy decisions, including policies about death. MedPac oversees and evaluates Medicare’s costs, physician payments and quality controls. Its decisions affect health care coverage for 40 million American elderly and the medical institutions involved in end-of-life care — in this case, hospice care,” Edgell wrote.

“In other words, there is a government panel which makes decisions that affect when (but not how) a hospice can ‘pull the plug on grandma,” Edgill continued.

He adds that “there actually is some truth that changes in Medicare’s reimbursement methods for hospice care will affect how and for how long millions of senior citizens spend their final days.”

Today, my friend, Gary Bauer, President of the Campaign for Working Families writes, “Tonight, President Obama will deliver an address before a joint session of Congress in a last ditch attempt to resuscitate his healthcare reform plan. But a just-released Associated Press public opinion poll suggests that the president’s efforts may be misdirected and could backfire politically.”

Bauer points out, “According to the poll, 52% of American adults now disapprove (43% strongly disapprove) of the president’s handling of healthcare. Only 42% approve. When asked about the healthcare reform proposal under debate in Congress, only 34% support the congressional package, while 49% oppose it. A strong plurality (42%) believes the best option is for Congress to scrap this plan and start over, which explains why the president is delivering a prime time address to salvage it.”

“Now, the big news of the day is that the president will reportedly defend the public option in his address tonight. If that’s true, the only bi-partisan aspect of the bill will be the opposition to it. The public option is a deal breaker for virtually all Republicans. Dozens of congressional Democrats have expressed opposition to the public option as well. So many oppose it because the public option is a Trojan Horse for a socialized ‘single-payer’ government-run system, which Obama said he wants.”

But according to the Associated Press poll, 79% of Americans say it is important for any healthcare reform bill to have bi-partisan backing, and just 28% believe Obama should ram healthcare reform through Congress with just Democrat votes.

According to Bauer, “Unfortunately, House Republican Leader John Boehner said today that the White House has not reached out to House Republicans in more than four months. Is Obama listening or is he dictating? We may find out tonight.”

Also, don’t miss the Republican response after the President’s speech.

According to a report in LifeNews, ” A pro-life physician who is a member of Congress from Louisiana has been tapped to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s health care speech tonight. Rep. Charles Boustany is a cardiothoracic surgeon who has a perfect pro-life voting record in Congress.

“The official response will be aired on all three of the big television networks, and likely some of the cable networks, immediately following the speech as is done after the State of the Union.

“‘As a doctor, I know we must lower costs and improve care, which we can accomplish by focusing on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship and working in a bipartisan way,’ Boustany said in a statement on Tuesday.

“’Health care is a kitchen table issue that affects all Americans, and I believe we need an honest discussion about how we come together to fix what’s broken, while building on what works,’ he added.

“Boustany is expected to criticize Obama for supporting the public option, the government-run health care system that the current bills in the House and Senate set up in a way that would open the door for massive taxpayer funding of abortion.

“He is expected to lay out some conservative ideas for reforming health care and challenge Obama to work in a more bipartisan manner rather than pushing through a pro-abortion government-run plan with only Democratic votes.

“House Minority Leader John Boehner praised Boustany as ‘a tireless advocate for reform that lowers health care costs and expands access for the American people at a price our nation can afford.’

“’He understands why a Washington bureaucrat – as Democrats have proposed – should never get between a doctor and his patient,’ Boehner said.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, Boustany has a perfect 100 percent pro-life voting record dating back to 2005 on both abortion and bioethics issues.

That is important given the debate over abortion funding that is taking place concerning the health care reform bills.

Both the House and Senate bills include abortion funding in both the public option and the taxpayer subsidies to Americans to purchase health insurance.

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