People Telling Sarah Palin To Shut Up Should Shut Up

Sarah Palin is the only politician reflecting, in plain language, the will of the American people. Charles Krauthammer believes she should “leave the room”. He is referring, specifically, to the concept of death panels and then goes into the provision in the House Bill about end of life counseling. He then comes out against, I think, the very counseling that Sarah Palin also rejects:

So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we’ve nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.

It’s not an outrage. It’s surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it’s intended to gently point the patient in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sickroom where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

Taken on its own, Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 is not a death panel. It’s more a death recommendation.

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Dr. Krauthammer forgets though, that this isn’t the only death-related provision of the bill or of this health care legislation generally. The counseling is an indicator of intent. While a doctor is financially incentivized to have a death discussion, the government program will, by nature of sheer numbers, want people to choose, as President Obama says, a “pain pill over surgery.”

Further, the government, and a bureaucratic board of 27 appointees will be deciding care for people. That is, 27 people will be answering questions like: who receives care? Who qualifies? Who doesn’t? In what circumstances? It will be a bureaucratic answer and bureaucrats, who cannot be sued and have no incentive beyond cutting costs and appeasing political special interests. Individual needs will get lost in the collective good. Some people will die because of these choices.

“Death panel” might be a bit of a rhetorical flourish but it captures the essence of the problem with Government-Run, Single-Payer, Socialized Medicine, whatever one feels comfortable calling it.

The fact is, America needs MORE plain spoken politicians, not less. Sarah Palin has managed to define the debate for Republicans and conservatives. She should be thanked, not shunned.

It is a mark of how effective she is that she’s hated so much. Any person who causes psychological problems on the Left, small government types should be embracing.


What Republican is seriously taking the administration to task on tort reform? Uh, that’s right no one. But it is a huge issue. Again, from Sarah Palin:

As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, “I feel your pain.”

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he’ll need to reform the economic structures in medicine–especially programs like Medicare.” [1] Two examples of these “economic structures” are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as “high health care costs”) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

You know, if other Republicans actually talked these issues, they’d have more of a following and people would take them more seriously.

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