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Sarah Palin Clarifies Death Panels…Again

John on September 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Sarah Palin gave a speech in Hong Kong in which she touched on health reform:

I seem to have acquired notoriety in national debate. And all because of two words: death panels. And it is a serious term. It was intended to sound a warning about the rationing that is sure to follow if big government tries to simultaneously increase health care coverage while also claiming to decrease costs. Government has just got to be honest with the people about this…

The fact is, Sarah Palin never suggested the bills in Congress contained “death panels”, though that’s probably what you’ve heard. Commentators on both the right and left have insisted on misinterpreting her words for their own purposes.

The left, from the President on down, have simply dubbed her statement a lie since there are no “death panels” in the bill. The right pointed to an end-of-life counseling measure (which was subsequently removed from the bill) as proof that Sarah Palin was on target all along.

But again…She was never commenting on provisions in the bill.

Palin’s use of the phrase was always intended to refer to the results of rationing care on future individuals (including her son). People on both the left and the right read the mention of Trig Palin as a statement about aborting Down’s Syndrome babies. It was never meant to be that. It was a statement about what her infant son might face in the future, as an adult.

As Palin said in Hong Kong, death panels was a warning about the possible downside of putting bureaucrats in charge of life and death decisions. Unfortunately, both sides of the debate found it easier and more advantageous to twist her words to their own political advantage than to look at what she actually said. For the right, this is probably a first regarding Palin. For the left, it’s really par for the course.

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Category: Politics |

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