As I was walking out of my town’s poling place for New Jersey’s big fat election this past Wednesday, I couldn’t help but think about why people support the politicians they vote for and why we do in fact vote for… who we vote for. And for some reason that got me thinking about “death panels” and how that phrase came about and why there are still so many people who believe that it is actually a true part of the Affordable Care Act and as a consequence are against the ACA and the Democrats who support it.
It all started back in 2009 when Sarah Palin coined the term and told the nation that if President Obama’s healthcare reform were passed it would create “death panels” of bureaucrats who would then be in charge of deciding if the elderly or infirm or disabled should live, rather than receive healthcare.
Of course it was immediately proven to be a false statement and an outrageous lie but that didn’t stop Ms. Palin and other right wing Republican politicians from repeating the claim over and over and over again. And to this day Ms. Palin still insists that the ACA establishes actual honest to goodness “death panels”… and polls have shown that a full 30% of Americans still believe her and name this as being a reason for their opposition to the ACA.
So I thought to myself…let’s just imagine for a wild and fanciful moment that their truly were such an outrageous thing as a death panel, approved and authorized by a government agency. Who would be the political party most likely to do such a thing?
Liberal Democrats? Really? We’d say, “Give them more food stamps! or Provide better housing and care and raise taxes to make rich people pay for it!”…wouldn’t we? Why would a “bleeding heart liberal democrat” sponsor legislation that would provide healthcare for everyone and then suggest that we also kill more people?
Wouldn’t a Conservative Republican Tea Party member, someone who wants to limit healthcare, is against food stamps, hates the very thought of undocumented immigrants receiving any kind of government anything, wants to privatized and limit Social Security, be more the likely candidate for such an idea?…someone exactly like Sarah Palin…more the kind of person who would think that a “death panel” could actually be a good thing, especially when it comes to weeding out the weak and impoverished and those who can’t “pay their own way” or “pick themselves up by their bootstraps”?
You know, the party that believes that 47% of Americans are freeloaders?
Yet the 30% who believe that Sarah Palin is still telling the truth, have it the other way around. They think that we liberals want death panels.
That just makes no sense to me at all.
Couldn’t you see Sarah Palin shooting illegals from a helicopter on national television as they try to run back to Mexico while shouting “You betcha you’d better run!” Or Ted Cruz at an anti Obamacare photo-op at the foot of a bed in a hospital’s geriatric ward where he says, “We’re not gonna let this old lady face a death panel!” Just as he pulls the plug on her life support?
Why would President Obama create a death panel? He’s the guy who likes to give things away, and tax and spend up the wazoo right? And besides isn’t he an illegal immigrant too? (23% of Republicans sill believe that one!)
The Affordable Care Act may not be the greatest legislation to ever come out of Congress but it’s a start and certainly a step in a better direction than we have been headed. And those who are against it are really in favor of keeping 50 million Americans in what already amounts to something of a death panel…that being America’s mega-rich insurance companies who have been deciding for years who does and who does not have the right to healthcare.
Death panels indeed! Who died and left them in charge?