Hang on a sec, Mr. President — Sarah Palin

August 13, 2009

Sarah Palin has issued a robust — and lengthy! — response to President Barack Obama after he accused her of trying to scare old folks for raising questions about “death panels.”

We’ll get to Palin in just a minute because when she talks, people listen. But first, what are death panels, you might ask?

Well, we read through a section of healthcare legislation being considered by the House of Representatives — section 1233 of H.R. 3200 called Advance Care Planning Consultation. It seems vague enough that you can read into it what you want. We’ll link to the section at the bottom for those who want to read more about it. It would allow Medicare to pay for consultations with physicians about end-of-life care while not requiring them.

The question that opponents seem to be raising is whether under this proposal, seniors would be advised that, if they have only so long to live, maybe they shouldn’t bother trying to get expensive treatment that might extend their lives a little bit. It has scared the dickens out of some seniors who, like everybody, generally want to live as long as possible. USA/

Obama at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Tuesday said the legislation is only for voluntary informational purposes and that he is not in favor of “pulling the plug on grandma.”

Back to Palin. She said it is wrong for Obama to say the consultations are voluntary because the legislation lets doctors initiate the chat “and gives them an incentive — money to do so.”

“Section 1233 of House Resolution 3200 puts our senior citizens on a slippery slope and may diminish respect for the inherent dignity of each of their lives…. It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen … should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner than he or she otherwise would, be required to be counseled about the supposed benefits of killing oneself, or be encouraged to sign any end of life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Take a read of Section 1233 — Advance Care Planning Consultation — and tell us what you think it says. 

Photo credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton (couple leaves remote area medical health clinic in Virginia)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I’d like to believe that these are Sarah Palin’s own words, she didn’t sound like this on the campaign trail.

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

Tundra Barbie will say anything, no matter how outrageous or false, just to keep her name in front of the ignoranti who believe in her.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

Finance Committee drops end-of-life provision

briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/08/13/fina nce-committee-drops-end-of-life-provisio n/

A victory for Sarah Palin and for all Americans that would be affected by this poison pill of a socialist health care bill.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Well the interesting twist is that Palin signed a bill with strikingly similar provisions, when she was Governor. Check it out :

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/13/pali n-deathpanel-flipflop/

Posted by RonniNY | Report as abusive

What exactly makes Sarah Palin worthy of so much attention? She is currently 1)not a public servant, 2)not a candidate. How is it that the media, and unfortunately the Obama administration are duped into playing along with her grandstanding and knack for garnering free press? Very discouraging.

Posted by Thad | Report as abusive

It is obvious that Sarah Palin has no idea about palliative care and end of life issues. As a nurse in critical care I have so often wished that the Physicians would have end of life discussions with patients instead of dragging them on through multiple invasive procedures needlessly. I am a firm believer in advanced directives, and feel that it is of the utmost importance that end of life care be adressed with every person. Perhaps she feels that people should spend the last days of their life suffering as much as possible,or perhaps Sarah Palin feels that she and everyone else will live forever.

Posted by Jose, RN | Report as abusive

i am nearly 83 and have been directly asked by a health care person what my plans would be. Since I had a living will we didn’t discuss it further. I was not bothered by the question and like most of my friends I would not to be hooked up to a machine living artificially. I don’t see why the fuss.

Posted by Ruth Tweed | Report as abusive

after having read this section there is no way that what Sarah Palin says has any relevance. It certainly does not indicate death-panels but more important give seniors who for whatever reason do not understand these ideas i.e. living wills etc.

Posted by max blumberg | Report as abusive

Why is Sarah Palin given so much press? She is doing nothing more than writing on Facebook as a private citizen. Her fear-mongering is based on far-fetched misconceptions and untruths. Wouldn’t it be correct for journalists to allow her to recede into the background until she actually does something newsworthy?

Posted by Simone | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin has become nothing less than a Political Terrorist. I am a medical student, and when I become an elderly person I will do an end of life consult with my doctor. This will include which family member will make decisions for me when I can no longer make them, will include, instructions by me on how to alleviate my pain,instructions by me as to how long and under what conditions I would like to continue to be treated and when do I want to be sent home. All decisions are made by the patient, the doctor is there to answer questions as far as what are the benefits of certain treatments, what works and what does not work but decisions to accept or reject will always be made by me or the person I designate to make them for me and no one else. If you have doubts as to what an end of life consultation call a doctor and he will debunk any myths you might have.

Posted by Angelou | Report as abusive

“When Sarah Palin talks, peoples listen!” Right, they only listen because she is so rediculously stupid you just cannot imagine her opening her mouth to speak period! After the ugliness she presented during the campaign, one wonders why anyone wants to continue to listen to her. Personally, I wish she would just go away but then you Republicans think she is just so wonderful! Really just shows the general public just how lacking in political judgement they are as well.

Posted by Jacqueline | Report as abusive

ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement for explanations under clause (i) to consultations furnished in a State–

It is listed as a requirement if the state meets the items listed below the above.

Posted by txgraybeard | Report as abusive

it would seem that sarah palin is right in her view. seems that older people will not be elgible for life sustaining treatment. the governmemt will be making all your decisions. socialism at its best or worst, depends on your point of view. big brother is in charge.

Posted by Ronald Ptak | Report as abusive

What baffles me the most is why do people believe Sarah Palin, a woman who uses her innocent handicaped child and elderly parents to advance her agenda on death panels. If she doesn’t care about her own child do you really think she cares about anything other than herself and getting more material for her 7-8 million dollar book deal?

Posted by Angelou | Report as abusive

Why does the outdated right wing of this country have leaders that lie and then lie about their lies. Anyone that would follow Palin is following her for two reasons. One, the women follow her because she is a woman, not too bright but still a woman. The men follow her because they all want to sleep with her. Give it a break Sarah, you are a quitter and quitters never win.

Posted by Mark Jensen | Report as abusive

It is NOT what the bill SAYS, it is what the bill DOES NOT SAY! Overall, Section 1233 included, are a blank slate for the government to absolutely control every aspect of our health care. We care for our elderly parents and can attest to the weakening respect for the lives of the elderly even without this ‘new healthcare’. This bill gives MORE MEDICAL COVERAGE to illegals than it does to American Citizens, especially the elderly or medically challenged.
If the President, Pelosi, Reed and all the other Government SERVANTS throw out their health care for ONE Government run plan then perhaps it would be good enough for the rest of America. If Mr. President isn’t willing to have all of the Federal Government on the same plan that says all that we need to hear. What is good for the Goose had darn well be good for the Gander.

Posted by lea anderson | Report as abusive

Anyone who has supported and endured a dying or declining family member and has been responsible for all of the end of life preparations and requirements, legal and financial, is aware that there is nothing new about Section 1233 other than those important issues must be presented in advance to interested parties. Nobody likes to hear that stuff but it won’t take care of itself, somebody has to be responsible. I am a Republican, but I am so tired of those in the Republican party constantly falling back on the slippery slope arguments. Discussion about abortion always is turned to late term abortion, Obama’s economic policy always turns to the extreme (socialism), Obama will take away everyones’ right to own guns, etc., ad nauseum. Many on the far right have lost their intellectual curiosity and follow bullet points espoused by self agrandising and irresponsible individuals who, in my opinion, are not patriots.

Posted by Dan Kelly | Report as abusive

I read the section and there was no where in the bill that supports the claims of Gov. Sarah Palin and her rumour monger likes. It’s either none of these people has read the bill or that perhaps they can’t read and therefore resort to spreading false rumours.

I also partly blame the media for all the misinformation. Perhaps, the Congress should create a task force for a national adult education program. I think that seems to be what this nation needs at this moment in our history.

Posted by KC | Report as abusive

I can’t believe that I work my whole life paying taxes and I have to worry that I’ll never see my social security benefits, I’ll never be able to retire, and when I can no longer produce, they will send me out to pasture. This Administration thinks we are all stupid, but I’m not falling for their LIES LIES LIES…Nothing, that the government ever does, works, without it being a hugh failure. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!

Posted by renee | Report as abusive

Would the End Of Life Plan be considered Suicide? Many religions forbid, euthanzia. So if a person is forced to choose this option, (since they are no longer a contributor to society) be committing Suicide, instead of trying to prevent their death?

Posted by Linda Heaslet | Report as abusive

I read this section. This is what it tells me. Seniors or anyone else who is facing a terminal conditions would be required to discuss with their provider end of life issues, period. This is a conversation that must occur. My parents have both passed, my sister had had these conversations with them. My mother took herself off all kidney treatment, she knew exactly what she was doing. She and my father both refused to live as invalids kept alive long past their ability to participate in the world. My father was equally clear that he did not want anything done if his mind was gone. He had a stokeand could not communicate, my sister and I knew that he wanted nothing done, including antibiotics. He given pallitive care and allowed to die peacefully. I have seem families torn apart estates squandered because Americans are to fearful to address what we know is going to happen, we die. I heard a dicussion on both sides the left said that it was better to have dicussion with doctors and govenrment panels, the right from the Cato Institute said the markets or who can pay should decide who gets care. If your not conservative and rich the right wants you to die apparently

Posted by David Haigh | Report as abusive

It sounds like Soylent Green to me!

Posted by Liu | Report as abusive

What nobody seems to talk about is the fact that some grandmas may not want life saving treatment. Sarah Palin and the rest of her ilk don’t want anyone hearing any options other than stay alive as long as possible. No living wills, no power of attorney, no DNRs. I for one would embrace being able to talk intelligently to someone about something highly personal–how I am going to die.

But like every other civil liberty, Sarah Palin is against leaving that decision to me. Less government all right–as long as it can still tell me what to do.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

You published the comment below. I think you went against your own House Rules. Shape Up!

August 13th, 2009
4:01 pm GMT Tundra Barbie will say anything, no matter how outrageous or false, just to keep her name in front of the ignoranti who believe in her.

Posted by Liu | Report as abusive

If Palin had never been picked as McCain’s VP norminee last year, if she had never been brought to the stage representing GOP’s last year, and if she is just an ordinary AK governor, would she ever bother to make comment attacking the Mr. Prez’s proposals and Democrats? Would she have to quite the governor’s position? She’s now just one mad puppet from GOP folks, who just don’t care about ordinary American peoples’ health care. How many hockey moms out there are actually struggling everyday to keep their kids and family in good health and grow up normal? Perhaps, Palin can still bring a gun out and shoot the animals to keep health that way.

Posted by gagalala | Report as abusive

Jose: “It is obvious that Sarah Palin has no idea about palliative care and end of life issues.”

Amen. Also, she obviously doesn’t realize that lying is a sin.

Posted by Otto | Report as abusive

no one can understand this, so I vote Nay

Posted by sally Harris | Report as abusive

I don’t want govt experts nosing into birth, death and child care issues. Choice is my decision, not the govt!Talk to your family, clergy, etc. There is no such thing as the warm arms of the govt.

Posted by ez | Report as abusive

The referenced Section says your Doctor has to remind you every five years or more of all of your options for how you would like to be handled later down the road when the going gets rough. There are many complicated options. Most people, including your family, don’t know the first thing about these choices. If you are the kind of person who regularly finds yourself saying, ‘Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know…” then this probably won’t make you very happy. The rest of us, who prefer to have all the information we can get our rheumy old hands on… sounds like a good idea.

Posted by Geoff | Report as abusive

Not that I necessarily prescribe to Sarah Palin’s point of view, but what a lot of the comments seem to miss on this issue is that once the government is involved in anything, you, me, everybody loses just a little bit more freedom. When the government says we have to do something, whether it comes from the left or the right, you lose a choice. Ultimately, freedom is a choice. A choice to vote or not to vote. A choice to carry a gun or not carry a gun. A choice to protest or not to protest and yes, a choice to die or not to die. When the government says we must, we all lose!

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Does everybody forget that the great Dwight Eisenhower gave us the socialist interstate highway system?

Posted by e.whips | Report as abusive

Ironic! Sarah Palin has become what she claims to disdain! The blogger siting in her basement writing lies on her computer!

Posted by Simone | Report as abusive

I’m amazed at the confusion of the current health care debate. I just don’t understood why any middle class American would want to accept the status quo of health care. The conservative arguments about why they would not want a government public option are the same arguments you could apply to the current health care system. What confuses me, this should not be a conservative or liberal debate. It should be a debate about what is best for Americans health needs v.s. profit orientated decisions made by insurance companies looking out for their bottom line.

Rationing – health insurance companies do that now. If you have coverage and your level of sickness is beyond the expense they are willing to cover, they will drop you in a heart beat. It happens to thousands of middle class families after years of paying their premiums. They find themselves with a serious illness that is beyond the threshold of what an insurance company is willing to pay and they drop you. To stay alive your only option is to go bankrupt. Lets not create false facts for a bill that does not even exists. Instead, lets stick to the facts that are now part of insurance companies’ decisions to ration health care based on profit and greed so insurance CEO’s can afford their million dollar mortgages and million dollar expenditures to buy out politicians. Just think of how many lives those millions could save if their insurance policy would of not been dropped by greedy CEOs and conservatives who live off of middle class premium payments that turn out be nothing more but donated money to insurance companies to do with what they want (reminds me of how wall street handled my 401K money). Yes, insurance companies want to maintain the status quo and is willing to spend millions of your premium dollars to do so, but if your degree of sickness is beyond their threshold of expenses, they won’t spend another dime to take care of your health needs.

I had a friend who had a very serious illness that required his leg to be amputated. The insurance company said they would not cover him because when he was a young boy he had broken that same leg. Yep, they got him on some pre-condition clause in his contract. After years of paying his insurance premiums, he lost his leg and had to foot the bill. Maybe you screamers should spend more time reading your insurance policy fine print and be asking Insurance Companies CEOs the same tough questions you are asking Obama. But then again, insurance companies are going to tell you what you want to hear until the time comes when you need coverage and they say “we never said that”. Remember, they have the best lawyers money can buy. Meaning, you will always lose any argument with an insurance company.

Death Panels – Why are middle class Americans listening to Insurance company mouth pieces like Fox news, Shaun Hannity, Bill O’Reilly who are millionaires (or at least far from being considered middle class) with the best health insurance money can buy. You really think they are facing the same problems middle class families face? Besides, Fox news is a PR dream for conservative and insurance CEO’s agenda of maintaining the status quo. As long as this PR propaganda machine is supporting their million dollar scams over middle class families, do you really think insurance companies are not going to take care of their golden boys’ health needs. If anything, insurance company CEOs are smart business people (or crooks depending on how you look at it) and they are going to take care of the health needs of their PR promoters so they can continue to make millions off the backs and suffering of middle class Americans. For you, Mr and Mrs middle class, your only worth is as good as your premium payments until the insurance company’s death panel decides your life is not worth paying for when your expense for health care is beyond their boundary of coverage. In other words, Ms Palin, we now have death panels who decide what illness they will and will not cover and we even get the privilege of paying premiums for years before they decide our fate. These death panels are called insurance companies.

Status Quo – If the screamers at town hall meetings want to continue the status quo of paying their insurance premiums to make insurance company CEOs millions by rationing what illness they will and will not cover, my hope is that the screamers’ fate is not placed in the hands of the death panel boards at health insurance companies. If that is what conservative screamers want, than keep listening to the lies and distortion of Fox news and the paid mouth pieces of Insurance Companies. Your dream, or should we say nightmare, may come true. I have one question to conservative screamers. Why would you put your life in the hands of million dollar corporations whose decisions are profit driven over the government? Why would you trust them, over a non-profit public option? With so much evidence of how the status quo is killing Americans for profit (not even reasonable profit, but outlandish greed), I don’t get why middle class, Republicans and Democrats, would not demand health care reform. This is not a Party problem, not a well to do American problem, but a middle class problem that is being taken advantage of by Corporate CEOs whose bathroom is probably bigger than most middle class Americans’ homes. Besides, remember the last time we listen to conservative Karl Rove scare tactics of lies and distortion. It got us in an Iraq war based on lies that cost millions of tax payer dollars. Yep, conservative tactics are pretty obvious or did we all forget. I’m not ready to put my trust in whatever agenda the party of do nothing but complain without solutions may have in mind other than keeping the rich, richer so they can continue getting lucrative campaign donations to maintain the status quo. I spent 23 years in the military. Had the best health care money could buy. Guess who ran it? The government, not some profit orientated health insurance company who decides if my health needs are too expensive for their bottom line.

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

I would be willing to bet serious money that the loudest critics of this section of the health bill do no have a living will, medical directive or any other end of life document defining what decisions to be made if they are physically and/or mentally incapacitated.

I’d even go furthur and suggest that they don’t even know what these documents are.

How did we become such a nation of uninformed people?

Posted by Hudson Ramsay | Report as abusive

how anyone, with at least more then two brain cells can get a ”de.th pa.el” and other such nonsense out of this is beyond belief.

i am so tired of the insurance and right and pundits, news com mentors (who dont know how to read) and who do this JUST FOR RATINGS. is really getting me upset, they are not going to stop until someone gets killed and then they will blame the person who did it has a fringe lunatic. they will never take the blame for what they are doing.

as far has palin, shes is beyond stupid, even her gop friends are even against her.

they are praying on fears of old people, and i am 60 so i guess i am one of them….but i am not so dumb that i will not investigate it for myself.

so again, it will take a killing of a congressman or senator for this to be exposed has the farce it is. it is so sad that this is what we have come to.

Posted by hobbes | Report as abusive

Ok, here’s what I see from posts…I have to respond because it’s just plain common sense to read the bill before you comment on it. I have put my comments in caps, I am not yelling. I am trying to talk sense to people that seem to not want to use theirs.

Would the End Of Life Plan be considered Suicide? Many religions forbid, euthanzia. So if a person is forced to choose this option, (since they are no longer a contributor to society) be committing Suicide, instead of trying to prevent their death?

I can’t believe that I work my whole life paying taxes and I have to worry that I’ll never see my social security benefits, I’ll never be able to retire, and when I can no longer produce, they will send me out to pasture. This Administration thinks we are all stupid, but I’m not falling for their LIES LIES LIES…Nothing, that the government ever does, works, without it being a hugh failure. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!


it would seem that sarah palin is right in her view. seems that older people will not be elgible for life sustaining treatment. the governmemt will be making all your decisions. socialism at its best or worst, depends on your point of view. big brother is in charge.

Not that I necessarily prescribe to Sarah Palin’s point of view, but what a lot of the comments seem to miss on this issue is that once the government is involved in anything, you, me, everybody loses just a little bit more freedom. When the government says we have to do something, whether it comes from the left or the right, you lose a choice. Ultimately, freedom is a choice. A choice to vote or not to vote. A choice to carry a gun or not carry a gun. A choice to protest or not to protest and yes, a choice to die or not to die. When the government says we must, we all lose!
It sounds like Soylent Green to me!

Posted by hobBES | Report as abusive

I’m having trouble finding the kill all the old people part of this bill. Can someone show me just one bad part in this bill please?

Posted by FreeDumb PhiDrrr | Report as abusive

Does anyone else fell a bit uncomfortable with the photo choice? It looks like a prison.

Posted by JP | Report as abusive

It’s time to stop discussing all that’s wrong with politics (Palin) and start moving beyond Joe the Plumber type citizens. I’ve never seen so much press be given to Quitters as I have over the past 60 days. It’s amazing!

I think President Obama needs to have his handlers spend their time correcting the myths being thrown around by ex. Governors who don’t remember what periodicals she reads to stay up on current events.

I support President Obama keeping his campaign promises to reform healthcare, improve the economy, promote education and be as bi-partisan in decision making as possible. That’s leadership we can believe in.

The America I know and love will unify to fight uplifting it’s people, protecting its borders, and embracing the very diversity and freedoms that our forefathers had envisioned.

A house divided cannot stand against itself.

God Bless President Obama and America

Posted by Amanda | Report as abusive

Here’s the funny thing, the Government rules the way we live in every aspect of our lives. It cracks me up to hear people scream “Get Your Hands out of my Medicare” Get the Government out of lives! Why so you can have anarchy? Is that better? Well that would be a little tough.

Let’s face reality. The government runs all aspects of your lives. You only THINK you have choices. Government has laws for taxes, rules of the road, businesses through licensing,child care facilities through licensing, what’s criminal, what’s not criminal, food standards, cleanliness standards for air, water, environment, get the picture?

Freedom isn’t free. Your government is what keeps you in a civil society. Don’t you think the forefathers knew that? They only wanted to be free from G.Britain. Their self-rule became the rules….of American government. The Government will never be out of our lives. And why should it?

I love this country! I love our government. I love education and I love ignorant people who don’t get it!

God Bless America

Posted by Amanda | Report as abusive

there has been a consistent barrage of insults thrown at people by politicians,because the people were exercising their constitutional rights,a classic example,is speaker Nancy Pelsoi. It is an eye opener for people who were expecting to see different behaviour from them ,as they pledged a new partnership of openness and transparency. this government health care plan is about control and centralized power to washington,but the people have seen through the ruse.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

All the proposed bills call for a federal plan “option”. But this “federal option” will compete with current insurance plans in a manner that will soon destroy
the private health plans thru undercutting of actual costs until the private companies are gone, at which time the REAL government control starts in order to control costs thru rationing of care and overbearing taxes to recover the deficeit financing. Why do you think we have such huge unfunded medicare costs?

Federal control will lead to rationing of care to control costs, higher taxes (partially to cover the illegals allowed in the plans), and loss of free choice on medical decisions. Just look at Cananda and Britain. Any comparison to medicare is invalid since you still have options of different doctors, hospitals, etc., but a complete take over of the health system by the Feds will make all doctors, nurses, and hospitals agents of the state. The proposed bills even say that hospitals must request federal government approval in order to expand. Do you want a bureaucrat deciding just how many hospitals are located in your area and how many doctors are assigned to your community. Do you think politics might enter into those decisions? Obama says that he can’t take the prposed plan because he is President and must have a doctor near at times, but what about after he leaves office. Will he vow to take whatever the common federal plan is at that time for himself and all family members and also vow never to seek care outside of the US. He would be the very first politician in DC to do this! The worst problem to all this is that once the US goes down this path to socialzed medicine there is no return. This is indeed scary.

Posted by richard | Report as abusive

I think the ongoing prominence given to Palin’s views is journalistic opportunism, with a view to keeping her potential right wing political life on corporate support.

Many people posting here have it absolutely “right” (you can infer a pun here!) when they connect the dots between relative ignorance, fear, and “agents provocateurs” activity by insurance companies. In case you are well intentioned but don’t get the meaning of the French expression for paid undercover propagandists who exploit a group of people.

Same people who are keeping Palin “alive” are fomenting anger and aiding and abetting the rant like noise in certain venues.

Posted by Albert Krauss | Report as abusive

Everyone knows that Sarah Palin cannot read, so it is understandable how she can miscontrue words. She can only stir up the Republicans like her. But at the end of the day, we will have HEALTH CARE REFORM……

Posted by Sarah Can’t Read | Report as abusive

Does anyone remember the fiasco revolving around Terry Shaivo?
Seems to me that the right wing was very much involved in her life and death.
How things have changed.

Posted by John K | Report as abusive

Ha ha. This is a joke, right? Either that or Palin never read the section.

This section actually offers patients more choices. It requires your health care provider to inform you of your rights to determine if you want to stay in your home and be cared for or go to the hospital and be cared for and to what extent you want the medical teams to intervene to keep you alive.

I have one of these directives myself and it is just smart to do it to claim control of your own destiny. There is nothing wrong with having a doctor or nurse practitioner be required to advise you of your health care rights every five years or sooner if your health conditions worsen. In fact, it is a responsible thing to do.

Where does anyone get from this that there would be a government panel pressuring a person to not get the care they want or need?

Posted by Skip | Report as abusive

Does anyone remember when the rail road, air lines and telephone companies were regulated by the federal government? It cost a fortune to fly. There are two realities to business. One: to make a profit and Two: to have the competitive advantage. The federal government has concern for neither nor the quality of service you recieve. This should be a big concern to Americans when it comes to the health care reform bill. The next time you visit your city hall or court house’ rate the quality of service you recieve.

Posted by Todd | Report as abusive

People really do see what they want to see. Selective reading, as my mother says. Calling an advisory board of practitioners a “death panel” isn’t a scare tactic? These medical practioners aren’t there to tell Grandma she needs to pull the plug, but there to advise, not coherce, Grandma and Grandpa on possible treatments, wills, lifestyle changes, etc. Palin’s choice of words are deliberate and intended to scare easily misled, gullible automotons who continue to listen to verbal terrorists like her and others (see what I did there with the use of the word “terrorist”)who offer only fear-mongering tactics, not even constructive critisism or alternative proposals, of the Health Care Reform overhaul.
It saddens me that people would rather have the insurance companies dictate the type of care they should be getting and are eligible for instead of doctors. Oh well.

Posted by KRichardson | Report as abusive

First, let’s consider whether it’s voluntary or not. Recently I purchased some software. After I had paid for it and opened the package, and loaded it, the first thing that appeared was a long disclaimer. After the disclaimer, I had a “voluntary” choice of whether to “accept” or “decline” the disclaimer. The problem is I only get to use the software (which I already paid for) if I “accept”. I can see certainly see a point where the senior (or guardian of a mentally challenged patient) is informed that “this is a procedure we can do, but for it to be covered, you have to ‘accept’ this consultation.”

Now, let’s turn to the real problem. I think the main issue is not that a consultation will occur, but what the consultation will contain. I can certainly see a time when the government will dictate the specifics of what the consultation will contain (and not contain). Also, I can certainly see how the “spin” of the consultation will be to push people toward the desired option, (and we all know what the desired option is.)

Posted by John G | Report as abusive

Can somebody please explain to me why it would be wrong for a doctor to ask how I wish to be treated once I am too incapacitated to make the decision for myself? Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and many other diseases affect our ability to make the choices we would have little trouble with in younger years. It only makes sense, therefore, to make those choices when we are still competent enough, instead of having strangers make them for us.

While it may raise controversy, I would like to point out the case of Terri Schiavo. How many politicians did it take to keep a woman on life support despite the wishes she communicated to her husband seven years before. Had she been consulted, and her wishes recorded, by a physician, the drama, the posturing, and especially the pain to the family would not have taken place. I for one do not wish to end up a vegetable. I want my kids to remember me for who I am now, and not for what I may become once age takes its toll and I am no longer able to recognize my family or even know who I am. I have thus created a living will, and encourage others to do so. My understanding of section 1233 is that doctors explain the availability of this option to those seniors not familiar with it, and explain to them just what choices they really have.

I also take issue with those sawing panic that this is the first step to government control over the end of our lives. How is it government control? From what I can see this is us taking control away from insurance companies, doctors, strangers, and in some cases politicians – all of whom certainly have less understanding of our wishes than we ourselves do. This is not relinquishing control – this is winning it back from an insurance bureaucracy that is eating 20% of our GDP with no clear benefit in sight. I say to Palin “you keep your end-of-life decisions in the hands of doctors and bureaucrats. I will make mine myself, thank you very much.”

Posted by Warren | Report as abusive

I am so glad Gov. Palin is taking the time to write so clearly and thoroughly about this topic. It is nice that we have somebody like her, who is willing to look beyond all the smoke and mirrors and see what’s really being proposed in this health care bill, then fearlessly (even amidst all the ridicule that always comes her way) speak out. Thank God for Sarah.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

If our political discourse were in any way sane, the “death panel” nonsense would be a punch line, evidence of ridiculous people making up pathetic lies. The very phrase would be evidence of a bankrupt, comically desperate movement. It would be, to borrow a phrase, the right’s “Waterloo.”
And yet, conservatives not only take this insanity seriously, they’re actually using it as the basis to oppose health care reform. You would think that if Republicans wanted to totally mischaracterize a health care provision and demagogue it like nobody’s business, they would at least pick something that the vast majority of them hadn’t already voted for just a few years earlier.
Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? End of life counseling!!
Chuck Grassley, who yesterday pulled the measure on end-of-life counseling from consideration, voted for the ’03 bill. John Boehner, the first GOP leader to raise the specter of “government-encouraged euthanasia,” also voted for the ’03 bill. John Mica (R) of Florida voted for the 2003 bill, and last week he denounced the current House measure for creating Medicare-funded “death counselors.”
If reality had any meaning in modern politics, these “death panel” clowns would be laughed out of government, and humiliated for life. Instead, they’re not only taken seriously, they’re getting media attention, they’re influencing GOP activists, and in Grassley’s case, they’re shaping health care reform policy. There will be no consquences for their reckless stupidity. There never are. The American public has the attention span of a cable television commercial break.

We have become a nation of Katy Abrams.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

If you’ve never been to a Veteran’s hospital, please take a trip to one. After that, go to Methodist, Shriner’s or some other private hospital and make a fair comparison of the two.

That is the difference between Government controlled healthcare and free market healthcare.

Now make your choice.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Since the MAJORITY of seniors at these town hall meetings do not appreciate my biweekly contribution in FICA tax to their current lifestyles, maybe I should elect officials to office who will allow me to decide the ALLOCATION of my taxes. When their Social Security payments cease and health insurance is cancelled, maybe they will understand the need to revamp the healthcare industry to efficient use my taxes.

Posted by Simeon | Report as abusive

Would never trust anything she says.

Posted by cabbie | Report as abusive

If Advance Directives are “evil,” why did Sarah Palin praise them last year?


http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009  /08/14/sarah-palin-advance-directive-ad vocate/

Posted by Mike Licht | Report as abusive

Why are you attacking Sarah Palin? Have you read any part
of this proposal? Among other things, it gives the government the right to access your financial records etc. They are also not telling the truth when they say
that you will be able to keep your own insurance plan
that you currently have. In time, the govt. will drive
the private plans out of business and you will be forced
to take their plan. You will not have a choice of doctor
and will have to wait an extremely long time to see one.
Take a look at the VA hospitals and how they are run
because this will be what they want to shove down our
throats. I know quite a few vets who deal with the VA
hospitals and it is next to impossible to get any care in
a timely manner. Some don’t even use the VA for this very
reason and choose to pay out of their own pocket for their care.
And finally, if this is such a GREAT proposal, why won’t
the members of Congress pledge that they will also be
covered by this plan????? Maybe if they would allow all of us to join theirs plan it would be a different story.
These people (congress) are supposed to represent the
people who elected them and put their trust in them. As
I see it, they are a bunch of self serving misfits who
are only interested in enriching themselves on the backs
of those who put them in office. SHAME ON THEM!

Posted by Amy R. | Report as abusive

Scarah Palin Scare Tactics. How much money did SHE get from the insurance industry to say that? People are falling hook, line, and sinker for in$urance company LIE$!!!

The real problem with the health insurance bill is that it doesn’t go far enough. Millions of elderly are very satisfied with their Medicare – it should simply be extended to the rest of the population. It will be far cheaper than providing bonuses to rich insurance execs, who ration care based on whether it will impact their year end profits. And if there are any additional costs they can be easily borne by those making more that $250K per year. (No new Mercedes this year.)

HR676 simply extends Medicare. But it is being ignored because the insurance industry is lobbying to expand its profits, at the expense of Grandma’s heart pills.

Posted by anthony | Report as abusive

I’ve been to a VA hospital, I’m a retired Vet. I have not seen any difference between the “private” hospitals and the VA run hospitals.

Other than I have access to people who can make the VA hospitals answer for their mistakes. You can’t do this in the “private” hospitals unless you want to sue them. But your ability to sue them is being curtailed by their washington lobbies who demand congress put a cap on lawsuit rewards. Now what do you do smarty?

Posted by bob | Report as abusive

I think both sides are a little ridicules where this bill is concerned. It doesn’t matter what it says, it’s still an intrusion into our lives by an over-grown government that only wants to get bigger. If we let it keep going it will look like Jabba the hut and be as evil.

When I was a kid, people got polio and were disabled for life. The research that stopped polio costs. Somebodie’s got to pay for it and it’s not going to be industry. It may be goverment, but who pays for government? You and me, the ones that work for a living and play by the rules.

Posted by Virginia Gudermuth | Report as abusive

Hey Simon; Do you really work? President Bush wanted to do just that with your social security tax but I’ll bet you were against it. I don’t believe anybody is really looking at this bill. They’re either for because they’re democrat or against because they’re republican or non-partisan conservative.
BTW: Social Security and Medicare was a brought to you by the DEMS. I wish we didn’t have to pay $80 a month for my husbands medicare. Before he was eligible we only had to pay $295 a month for insurance coverage for both of us. This is a benefit from his employer.
Save your money buddy. You may live to be 68 someday too. Of course, if you get a really bad illness when you’re 55 the government could let you die.

Posted by Virginia Gudermuth | Report as abusive

It is interesting to note from the article, and I have seen the actual statement on the news, that the president doesn’t say he would not sign a health care bill or send a bill back to congress that resembles any of the fears about “pulling the plug on grandma”. The only thing he says is that he “not in favor” of it.

I know a lot of people don’t pay attention to the words he uses (and he is good at it…), but all he is saying is that he opposes it…but will sign it if even if it is in there. So the fears are valid. In 1930’s Germany, the same kinds wording and assurances of fears were there like they are today…and look what happened to Germany? We don’t need to risk going that again.

He also uses words like “efficiency” when it comes to health car decisions. That is just another word for rationing when the government cannot pay for the health care when people (seniors) need it most. My Canadian relatives love to get the letters from the government when they reach an age milestone informing them of the care and procedures they are not longer eligible for. Don’t think the same thing won’t happen here.

I also don’t see how the president can make any assurances about what will or will not be in his universal government health care program. There are so many versions running through congress that no one knows what will emerge. So, all his flowery town hall meetings just prove he is a salesman, but we don’t know what he is selling us. The majority of people agree with me because they don’t know or want what he is selling either.

So, Sarah Palin is providing a service to the majority of Americans who are rightfully afraid of what the government is trying to force on us. Regardless of what the media wants you to believe, this is a debate and the people are speaking loudly and clearly.

It is interesting to note that when a conservative speaker is speaking at a place, such as Columbia University, the students don’t speak while he is speaking…they scream loudly and continuously so the speaker cannot speak a word. That hasn’t happened at the congressional town hall meetings. No matter what, words are being spoken unlike the liberals who disrupt conservatives from speaking.

So, beware of this health care plan, you will be disappointed with the result…but then it will be too late to change it….

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Here is the current Rasmussen polling regarding the congressional health care town hall meetings:

“As for the protesters at congressional town hall meetings, 49% believe they are genuinely expressing the views of their neighbors, while 37% think they’ve been put up to it by special interest groups and lobbyists. One surprising by-product of the debate over changing the system is that confidence in the U.S. health care system has grown over the past few months. That may be because when it comes to health care decisions, 51% fear the government more than they fear private insurance companies. Forty-one percent (41%) hold the opposite view.”

Further proof the majority of Americans don’t want anything to do with the current health care reform proposals mucking about in congress.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a health care provider initiating a conversation with a senior patient about advance care directives or end of life decisions. This information would be helpful to the family and the physician anytime that an individual is not able to communicate (stroke,etc). An advance directive was invaluable to me during my mother’s last years when she was in and out of hospitals and a nursing home, because I knew her wishes regarding life support. Sarah Palin is tiresome.

Posted by sandy keirns | Report as abusive

All of this proves the Sarah Palin does indeed wear a tinfoil hat and knows she can see Russia from her house. This is all so much BS. Do you really think the government is going to form ‘death squads’ (idiot Palin’s words) and that would stand the light of day….Really?

Posted by Scott MInium | Report as abusive

Unlike many people, I did survive the current Social Security ‘Death Panel’. My doctor told me I had NASH and without a liver transplant I had 0-12 months to live.

Although I was clearly eligible for SS Disability, Social Security did their waiting game. On the average, this takes at least 2 years and 2 appeals and you may still lose. Everyone knows that the government procrastinates, hoping the taxpayer will die and forfeit a lifetime of taxes. I did survive and now collect disability but you will never convince me that government ‘Death Panels’ don’t exist.

FIGHT against the dying of the light!

Posted by Faye Tilly Ill | Report as abusive

So sad that the next topic down from this is about the war in Afghanistan and has received only 3 comments. While this thread is overrun by screaming from both sides. As far as I know no bill has been finalized and most people haven’t read what has been proposed, which in my mind nullifies all 66 or so comments previous to this one.
Another case of people arguing about something which they know little about.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” Albert Einstein

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive

My Eldest brother passed away recently, during one of his many lengthy stays in a Kansas hospital, one of the Physicians blatantly told my Mother, “Why not just let him die, He is taking up space needed by others (in dialysis)! He is not a productive person.” My brother had brain damage caused by two County Hospital nurses who kept him from being born and deprived him of oxygen. Oh yes, they will try to save money over lives any day of the week. He lived about 8 years after the doctor would have pulled the plug.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Actually Eric, I already said there were many versions running through congress and that the president can’t really tell us what a health care bill will look like, so that makes him a salesman.

You are only echoing what I have already said before about the health care bill and the volume of comments to other blog stories. Thanks for echoing what I have already said many times….

Posted by TC | Report as abusive