"Death Panels" For Dummies

When are we going to stop electing people, like Sarah Palin, who say "the government is bad?" They do everything they can to prove it, and Alaskans have died due to lack of health care.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

In the world of Palin Wack-a-Mole, you need steroids to win. Facebook press releases seem to come on Fridays. Yesterday was no different. This week's word salad had the crazy dressing on the side; a link to Michele Bachmann's health care rant. The crap croutons had quote marks around them; "death panel," and "level of productivity in society."

If you ever needed proof our current health care is deficient, or for that matter, our education system, try to make sense out of either woman's position. For all the fear mongering and "bearing false witness" as this is:

"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."

As weirdly elitist as this:

"I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors."

And as "grab your torches and pitch forks" this is:

"Let's stop and think and make our voices heard before it's too late."

There is a much bigger problem. Sarah Palin has a history of fudging about health care.

While being vetted by the McCain camp:

At one point, trying out a debating point that she believed showed she could empathize with uninsured Americans, Palin told McCain aides that she and Todd in the early years of their marriage had been unable to afford health insurance of any kind, and had gone without it until he got his union card and went to work for British Petroleum on the North Slope of Alaska. Checking with Todd Palin himself revealed that, no, they had had catastrophic coverage all along. She insisted that catastrophic insurance didn't really count and need not be revealed. This sort of slipperiness -- about both what the truth was and whether the truth even mattered -- persisted on questions great and small.

During the vice-presidential debate, Palin stated:

About times and Todd and our marriage in our past where we didn't have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care? We've been there also so that connection was important.

WHAT? There are 228 federally recognized tribes in Alaska. According to the Indian Health Services website:

IHS-funded, tribally-managed hospitals are located in Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kotzebue, Nome and Sitka. There are 37 tribal health centers, 166 tribal community health aide clinics and five residential substance abuse treatment centers. The Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage is the state-wide referral center and gatekeeper for specialty care. Other health promotion/disease prevention programs that are state-wide in scope are operated by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), which is managed by representatives of all Alaska tribes.

Todd Palin's heritage as an Alaskan Native was a curiosity to many during the 2008 campaign.

According to public disclosure forms that Sarah Palin filed with the state of Alaska, her husband and their children are BBNC (Bristol Bay Native Corporation) shareholders, meaning they would likely qualify for the health service program.

So between Todd's union job insurance, the governor's state coverage and the FEDERALLY FUNDED health care through Native blood, when did the Palins ever sit around the kitchen table and discuss their "out-of-pocket" health care costs? There are millions of people who don't have ANY options to provide for the health care needs of themselves or their children, let alone THREE!

And that's just the personal hypocrisy.

While under contract to govern the state of Alaska, Palin's administration failed to keep up on the state's Medicaid obligations and was ordered to cease signing up new patients. No other state in the country had been put under such a moratorium, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

July 14, 2009 ADN:

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn't responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls "has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients," the federal review said.

While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.

Seriously, when are we going to stop electing people who say "the government is bad"? Once elected, they do everything they can to prove it. It can only be one of two things; incompetency or sabotage. Either way, Alaskans have died due to a lack of health care.

The point of this post is not to point out the never ending hypocrisy of Sarah Palin. Nor is it to point out the blatant lies of one person -- but how the intention, manipulation and lies of one person can affect the lives of ordinary people.

Perhaps Citizen Palin should take her own advice, "honor the American soldier", "Quit makin' things up" and "leave the kids alone."
Alaskan cartoonist Peter Dunlap Shohl.

For the latest "Facebook" release interpretation.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community