Friday, August 7, 2009

Sarah Palin = Not Truthful

A quote that would be funny if only people didn't take her seriously:

"Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama's health plan 'downright evil' Friday in her first online comments since leaving office, saying in a Facebook posting that he would create a 'death panel' that would deny care to the neediest Americans. 'Who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course,' the former vice Republican presidential candidate wrote on her Facebook page"

Where to start, where to start...

First: I clearly missed the Death Panel Clause in the current legislation. Didn't see it at all. I challenge her, or anyone else, to show me where this is written. Not some worried projection, not some doomsday scenario, not some outside-the-mainstream opinion. Show me where it is written. I'd wager anything on the fact that it is not there.

Second: Although her concern for the elderly, sick and disabled is laudable, would it be rude of me to point out that many of these very same patients are already covered under public health plans (Medicare and Medicaid)? You remember them--some of the most efficient health plans in the US? Medicare, as you might know, is the health plan that politicians are scared to mess with because it's so popular with older patients. If Sarah is right, we should be kept awake by the howls of injustice from those who Medicare and Medicaid have failed. Instead, I care for them daily in my practice as they take advantage of their available health care options. In some cases, I see patients who have delayed or deferred needed medical care until they could qualify for Medicare or Medicaid because no private options were available for them. Not that the plans are perfect, mind you, but I haven't had to send anyone to a Death Panel.

Third: Is Sarah aware of the fact that health care is rationed every day? Granted, not by the nefarious "government bureaucrats" that the right wing likes to demonize. Instead, it is for-profit middle managers and executives who make these decisions. Is that really any better than the right's nightmare scenario? As of now, healthcare legislation that has been proposed does not include any layer of bereaucrats who would dictate coverage. So why are we so terrified of something that isn't even on the table yet?

Finally: private-only insurance markets have failed and show no signs of righting themselves. A robust public plan might put some private plans out of business, but these would presumably be the less efficient and less responsive plans. Isn't that the point of competition?

Sarah Palin: at least she keeps things interesting. Maybe she's an expert because she's been to a doctor's office before? At least her healthcare experience trumps her foreign policy experience.

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