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 August, 2009


 The Falsehoods in Sarah Palin's "Death Panels" Comment

Thinning Out the Herd

Have you heard the latest? Barack Obama is planning to send a firing squad to your house on your 60th birthday.

Republicans are hinting that’s what’ll happen if any form of Health Care Reform gets through Congress.

There’s nothing, of course, in any health care proposal that would create a federally funded plan designed to end the lives of anybody. That still hasn’t stopped the opponents of anything Obama does from simply advancing that fiction.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) recently claimed the provision that would allow for people to have consultations with their doctors regarding their end-of-life decisions would, “could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide.”

In other words, Barack Obama wants to kill your grandparents. Boehner’s assertion was preposterous. He knew it was. He still stated it emphatically.

He and a variety of Republicans have fanned the flames that have led to senior citizens flooding town hall meetings claiming they don’t want the government to kill them.

Yet, that didn’t stop Sarah Palin from piling on. “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,” Palin recently told her adoring followers.

That led to a Republican, who’d proposed a similar doctor/patient consultation plan a few years ago, to publicly rebuke Palin.

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia called Palin’s reading of the current proposal “nuts.”

Sen. Isakson also points out that while all of this talk about “death panels” persists, every state in the country already has some form of end-of-life provision, or power of attorney plan, in place.

Palin’s fellow Alaskan, and Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski was even more direct in her refutation of Palin’s “death panels” characterization. “Quite honestly, I'm so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn't (in the bill),” she’s said.

No matter how many people (including the president himself) come forth to deny the ridiculousness of a government enterprise that would be set-up to thin the herd of senior citizens, the lie has led to even more talk that Obama is an out-of-control Fascist, Socialist, Communist, Tyrant, Dictator, Nazi, Satanist, Marxist, Racist, Terrorist and Muslim.

They’d call him a Plagiarist, but they already did that last year.

Trading in deliberate misinformation cheapens any real effort to conduct an honest and open debate on one of the most important issues currently confronting this country – health care.

That’s why there are still people who think federal health reform money will be used for abortions. It will not.

There are still people who swear that a public option means you’ll be forced into some kind of government mandated insurance program. It will not.

That it will lead to “rationed” care. It will not.

That it will lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates getting forced lobotomies. It will not. Although...

Even after the president keeps saying, “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance,” it’s always the cue for Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck to repeat the ridiculous (but appropriate for their purposes) claim that Obama is really Adolf Hitler incarnate.

He’s not one of us, you know. He’s trying to kill all of us. He wants the country to himself!

It never stops.

It doesn’t take much to feed the frenzy. Newt Gingrich defended Palin’s “death panel” malarkey, until he was reminded there’s nothing in any health care proposal that would call for one.

Gingrich didn’t miss a beat. He immediately implied that since the bill is a thousand pages long, that it creates new agencies, and that since the government can’t be trusted, (the same government he’d served in for 20 years) well, you’d better hide granny.

I still haven’t figured out just how you’re protecting senior citizens against those imaginary death squads, by scaring them to death.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net