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“death panels”

September 19, 2009

We already have “death panels” — they’re called health insurance companies

By probabilityZero | August 18, 2009

So, the new talking point from the far-right is that Obama’s health care plan is a secret plot to kill your grandma (as seen on Fox News and Sarah Palin’s Facebook page). They claim that the bill will create “death panels” to decide whether elderly people are worthy of care or not.

There’s no truth to this conspiracy, of course. The provision they point to is one for voluntary end-of-life counseling, which was actually proposed by a Republican and is overall a pretty good idea.

However, there already is an entity that will sit in judgment of you when you get sick, deciding whether you are worthy of treatment. It is official policy among the private health care providers in the US to look for ways to deny care to sick people.

They are perfectly happy taking your money when you aren’t sick, but once you try to make a claim they will scour through your record looking for any reason to deny your claim. A small error on your application form, even an insignificant one or one that you could not have known about or fixed, becomes justification for revoking your coverage and handing you the hefty bill for your treatment. For many patients unable to pay for the treatment, this is a death sentence.

Forget a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor; this is a profit-driven corporation standing between you and your doctor.

Why does the right worry about their fake, hypothetical “death panels” when a more serious and sinister problem already exists, and is already killing innocent people?


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