Friday, February 4, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Death Panels Revisited, How Sarah Palin Helped Defeat ObamaCare's Deceptive Advertising

It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.

~ From Judge Roger Vinson's decision on the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare

As you know, Judge Roger Vinson has declared that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. James Taranto makes the case, quite convincingly, that Sarah Palin almost single-handedly brought down ObamaCare. This isn't to take away from the hard work that millions of people put in trying to stop this government take over of almost every facet of our lives. No they were key. But with two little words, Sarah Palin brilliantly framed the entire debate.

Of course, in that same now famous Facebook post, Sarah also went on to explain that under government run health care, rationing of that care was inevitable. In every nation that has government run care, there are more people needing care than resources to provide them. In these government boondoggles, there is always a board, made up of unelected and unknown bureaucrats who decide who gets care and who doesn't. Literally deciding who lives and who dies, hence, "death panels."

Sarah also introduced the nation to Dr Ezekiel Emanuel and his "Complete Lives System." Dr Emanuel, Obama's health care adviser, wrote the entire blueprint for the allocation and rationing of health care. How these "death panels" would work. The official title of this horrific piece is: "Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions."

This is a truly evil little document. It makes the case that only those who are "productive" to society deserve the best care. And of course, the government gets to decide who is "productive" and who isn't.

Such is life in a communist utopia.

Taranto writes in part:

"At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled 'The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' " Judge Roger Vinson observed Monday in his ruling in Florida v. HHS, which did just that.

It would have been a lot harder had ObamaCare enjoyed wide political support. But it did not and does not. Americans never bought the bill of goods that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their supporters in the formerly mainstream media tried to sell. A good deal of the credit goes to Sarah Palin, for coining the phrase "death panel" in an August 2009 Facebook post.

Four months later, a project of the left-leaning St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, named the phrase "lie of the year":

Her assertion--that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care--spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, "Death panels? Really?"

In truth, PolitiFact was more vulnerable to the charge of lying than Palin was, for its highly literal, out-of-context interpretation of her words was at best extremely tendentious. What she wrote was this:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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 put the term "death panel" in quotes to indicate that she was using it figuratively. She was not lying but doing just the opposite: conveying a fundamental truth about ObamaCare. Proponents were describing it as a sort of fiscal perpetual-motion machine: We're going to give free insurance to tens of millions of people and reduce the deficit! As a matter of simple arithmetic, the only way to do that is by drastically curtailing medical benefits.

This is a much longer piece and a great read. You can do so here.

While Sarah didn't do it all by herself, it was her strong stance, cleaver wit, and never say die attitude that inspired millions to stand up and joined the fight. The fight isn't over, but when ObamaCare is finally dead and buried, America will owe Sarah Palin one big debt of gratitude. She literally helped preserve the American way of life.

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