Still at it with the death panel thing

Death panel rhetoric is not quite working the way it did in 2010. I’m not sure what is more depressing: that a public official would make such a ridiculous statement, or that he might actually believe what he was saying.

PS: Now that President Obama has left office, I feel safe revealing that a vast conspiracy involving several teaching hospitals snuck my 87-year-old dad past the Medicare death panel for advanced cancer care in the era of Obamacare. Ironically, the conspiracy unfolded in the belly of the beast–liberal Massachusetts–where many people are saying that white heterosexual men older than 74 are no longer eligible for hospital care. Somehow, we pulled one over on the man. My dad is apparently cancer-free as of this week and doing well.

PPS: Bill Akins, the man in the video, is secretary of the Republican executive committee in Florida’s Pasco County. The Washington Post‘s David Weigel examined Akins’ Facebook page. It, um, wasn’t pretty. Just one example below. The GOP needs to do serious housecleaning. Its problems on matters of race didn’t start and won’t end with President Trump.

Perhaps Akins should have checked his privacy settings.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

4 thoughts on “Still at it with the death panel thing”

  1. "The GOP needs to do serious housecleaning." Any takers for a bet that the purge will not be of the few who are prepared to stand up against this sort of thing?

  2. Republicans have been getting a real pass on this death panel thing. The only real proposal for death panels came from Paul Ryan, who proposed replacing Medicare with a program that granted a fixed sum to seniors to buy insurance. The sum would rise over time, but slower than medical costs were expected to rise, so the only way for insurance companies to avoid losing money would be to deny necessary medical coverage–in short, death panels. (Ryan subsequently backed off from this proposal.)

    Now that Republicans control both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, they are struggling to find a replacement for Obamacare, but when they could count on the Senate and/or a Presidential veto to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, House Republicans were quite happy–indeed eager–to go on record voting to replace the ACA with the pre-ACA system, which would result in thousands of American citizens dying every year. As far as I know, none of the self-proclaimed “pro-life” groups even batted an eye.

    1. Don't worry, Ryan's "reform" plan is apparently back on the table now that there's a president who would sign it.

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