Tag Archives: end of life

Palin Once Favored End-Of-Life Counseling

Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Oregon's 3rd District, sponsored the end-of-life counseling amendment characterized by conservative politicians as the formation of 'death panels' to euthanize seniors.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Portland, Oregon's 3rd District, sponsored the end-of-life counseling amendment characterized by conservative politicians as the formation of 'death panels' to euthanize seniors.

Portland, Ore. – Health insurance reform continues to grip both chambers of Congress and the Obama administration; it also remains a focal point of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose criticism of Portland’s contribution to the House health reform bill fueled a conservative uprising.

President Obama this week noted that the end-of-life counseling amendment, sponsored by Portland’s U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, had been used by conservatives and a “prominent politician” to spread “cynical and irresponsible” charges. Obama referred to Palin and her claim that the amendment would lead to so-called death panels for senior citizens.

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Sarah Palin’s New Death Panel

The GOP is slowing down healthcare reform to a snail's pace.

The GOP is slowing down healthcare reform to a snail's pace.

Sarah Palin popped up again today on the Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed page to renew her accusation that President Obama was advocating “death panels.” Never mind that lawmakers have already abandoned the proposal that gave rise to the original “death panel” hysteria, namely, a provision allowing Medicare to pay doctors no more than once every five years to counsel patients about their options for “end of life” care. (Some top geriatricians think such counseling would actually give the elderly more control by encouraging them to declare their preferences while they’re still capable of doing so. But I digress.) This time, Palin attacked Obama’s proposal to beef up MedPAC — the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. The 17-member MedPAC makes recommendations to Congress about how much doctors and hospitals should be paid for the services they provide. To insulate these decisions from political pressure, Obama has proposed giving a new version of MedPAC the power to set reimbursement levels, with Congress retaining the power to veto those decisions before they take effect. To Palin, though, this amounted to giving “an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts” the power to make life-and-death decisions about care.

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Sarah Palin, Meet Hippocrates

Palin on Obama's Death Panels

Palin on Obama's Death Panels

As if you hadn’t heard, a gaggle of American conservatives is stridently charging that pending health care reform legislation will institute a mechanism for euthanizing selected members of the handicapped and elderly populations–that it would, in Sarah Palin’s formulation, establish “death panels.” It’s true that H.R. 3200, the bill that will eventually come before the House of Representatives, is still a work in progress. It has already been amended by three separate House committees, while two Senate committees are working on drafts of their own. All of the provisions to be included in the final bill are not yet known, but one thing is certain: There is not a single statement in the voluminous number of pages under study that contains the slightest consideration, no matter its remoteness, of death panels, euthanasia, or any such fearsome concept.

In reality, the legislation simply calls for the reimbursement of physicians who counsel patients on end-of-life decision-making–counseling that is already required by a 1990 law and that is now covered by many insurance plans. But the specifics of the present bill are irrelevant to the loony conversation the right has sparked during the August recess. After all, even if there were some provision before Congress that could conceivably be interpreted as establishing a “death panel,” centuries, if not millennia, of established medical ethics (in addition to existing U.S. law) would prevent its actualization. In the midst of this crucial debate on the future of health care, somehow, the proponents of the euthanasia talking point seem to have forgotten everything we know about the practice of medicine in America.

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The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists

GOP Death Panels

The GOP controls the strings of scare tactic 'death panels' myth.

In one of those awful collisions between public policy and real life, I was in the midst of an awkward conversation about end-of-life issues with my father when Sarah Palin raised the remarkable idea that the Obama Administration’s attempt to include such issues in its health-care-reform proposal would lead to “death panels.” Let me tell you something about my family situation, a common one these days, in order to illuminate the obscenity of Palin’s formulation and the cowardice of those, like Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate Finance Committee, who have refused to contest her claim.

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Ever The Shrewd Narcissist, Sarah Palin Again Pawns Own Child For Cheap Publicity

Sarah Palin holding Trig Palin out on the campaign trail during the 2008 Presidential race.

Sarah Palin with Trig out on the campaign trail during the 2008 Presidential race.

No Sarah, it was never about Trig or even about your “concern” for the elderly in our society. In typical and consistent fashion, you again showed America and indeed the whole world that not only is integrity far from you, but deceit, deception and disinformation are the hallmarks of your very being.

It would be funny were it not cold-hearted and incendiarily unbecoming for you to use a medium through which you would not have to answer any questions to forment hate and falsehood. Rather akin to your hypocritical display of “patriotism” (in accusing then candidate Obama of “palling around with terrorists” while you may actually be married to one) during the last presidential elections.

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Sarah Palin For ‘Death Panels’ Before She Was Against Them? Palin Endorsed End of Life Counseling As Governor

Gov. Sarah Palin favored

Gov. Palin favored end of life counseling in a proclamation on "Healthcare Decisions Day" last April 2008.

In recent weeks, right-wing groups have been pushing the myth that health care reform will somehow kill seniors. One of the most high profile voices pushing this lie has been Sarah Palin, who claimed President Obama will institute bureaucratic “death panels.” Today, again on her Facebook page, she continued the attack. Though some Republicans have rebuffed this absurd, inaccurate notion — like Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who called such talk “nuts” — others, like Newt Gingrich, have piled on to agree with Palin.

However, on April 16th 2008, then Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed some of the same end of life counseling she now decries as a form of euthanasia. In a proclamation announcing “Healthcare Decisions Day,” Palin urged public facilities to provide better information about advance directives, and made it clear that it is critical for seniors to be informed of such options:
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