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GOP Recycles ‘Death Panels’ Lie of the Year, You Betcha.

December 24th, 2009, 06:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Some of the usual right-wing suspects have decided that what Politifact called the “Lie of the Year” is so delicious that they’re going to use it again. “Death panels,” the label effectively applied in August to health insurance legislation by half-term Gov. Sarah Palin on her FaceBook, is now being attached to the proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Board.

The first time around, according to Politifact, the web site run by the non-profit St. Petersburg Times, Palin’s claim managed to cow the easily cowed Senate into dropping the voluntary end-of-life counseling that is included in the House’s version of the health-insurance bill. Who knows what luck the purveyors of this slime will have this time. The real objective is ammo for November.

The latest salvo from Palin’s FaceBook page was noted by our friends over at Think Progress:

No one is certain of what’s in the bill, but Senator Jim DeMint spotted one shocking revelation regarding the section in the bill describing the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (now called the Independent Payment Advisory Board), which is a panel of bureaucrats charged with cutting health care costs on the backs of patients – also known as rationing. …

In other words, Democrats are protecting this rationing “death panel” from future change with a procedural hurdle. You have to ask why they’re so concerned about protecting this particular provision.

This recycling didn’t start with Palin, but rather with RedState’s Eric Erickson and Weekly Standard editor John McCormack. But Palin takes it another step, declaring that the IMAB provision proves she wasn’t lying four months ago about “death panels,” and that this is “precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor.” No surprise to anyone who’s opened any random page of Going Rogue, she’s lying again.

When Palin defended her “death panel” claim on Facebook in August, she specifically cited “Advance Care Planning Consultation” in the House bill.

Additionally, as McCormack actually acknowledges, the Senate legislation specifically says that IMAB “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums…increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility standards.”

There is plenty in (and not in) the Senate health bill to decry, to fight against, to hope is altered in the House-Senate conference bill. But no matter what happens to that legislation, you can expect the “death panel” lie to join all the other soundbite propaganda that now makes up the Republican manifesto.  

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