Now We Finally Know What Sarah Palin Reads

Death_PanelSarah Palin has been getting justly picked apart by the sane portion of the media all week for her “Death Panel” crazy talk, which she posted on her Facebook page last Friday.  Curiously, she has not offered much in the way of elaboration or defense of the outrageous and dishonest claim.  That is, until now.

Palin has posted a response to President Obama’s Tuesday remarks on Palin’s lie.  Why the day-and-a-half delay in responding to Obama, and the 5 day response time to the sane people of the world?  I’m guessing it took her that long to cobble together the strained defenses that others have mounted for her, both those she cited (Charles Lane and Eugene Robinson), and those she didn’t (Camille Paglia) but obviously read.  All of them suffer from an inability to distinguish between a description of a medically recommended service, as it would appear in any private insurance company’s Specific Plan Document, and a call for euthanasia.

She twists mightily to spin their overreaching, highly disclaimed agreement with her into affirmation of her lie, but falls short right at the end.  The linchpin to her death panel lie is an article that was co-written by Zeke Emanuel and 2 others.  Here’s how Palin puts it:

My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens….An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

Even granting the idiotic premise that two cherry-picked sentences from the collected writings of Zeke Emanuel have some relevance to the health care reform currently being debated, Palin’s assertions are false.  Both articles are ethical treatises about the allocation of truly scarce resources like donor organs, decisions which are made by “death panels” (the pros call ’em “Transplant Committees”) every day.  Nothing in either article has anything to do with end of life counseling or services, nor the establishment of any kind of panel.

Will the media bother to read either article in full, or the dreaded section 1233?  We’ll see, but my instinct is that the waters have been sufficiently muddied so that Robert Gibbs can look forward to some more “he said/she said” coverage.

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3 Comments

  1. While trying to open the NCPA PDF Palin cited (citation #10), I keep getting the error “The file is damaged and could not be repaired.”

    Conspiracy.

  2. Also – and I offer my expert opinion as a student and enthusiast of practical graphic and web page design – the NCPA website itself looks like it came straight out of 1997. All it needs is an animated GIF of a dancing banana. There is absolutely no cohesiveness to the graphics, no unifying visual motif save for the single-pixel black outline bordering all of the thumbnail graphics. Even the sidebar looks like it was put together by an eighth-grader – the list of links switches to graphic buttons halfway down with no explanation or reason as to why. My high-school Computer Graphics teacher would give this a C- at best.

    I’m sorry. I’m a design snob.

  3. Its not about euthanasia, its about convincing seniors that they shouldn’t use every single resource available to extend their life as long as possible. The whole goal of Obama’s plan is to reduce cost, and as he himself has admitted, keeping elderly alive at the end of their lives costs a whole lot. “Advising” on end-of-life could easily become “well, you don’t REALLY need this care, because you don’t have long anyway.” And, guess what, she struck a nerve, because the Finance Committee removed the provision in question.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/13/breaking-finance-committee-drops-death-panel-provisions-from-senate-bill/


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