Time’s Mark Halperin: Death Panels Are 'Built Into' ObamaCare

When former Alaska governor Sarah Palin famously said years ago that ObamaCare included death panels, the liberal media went nuts declaring her a kook while defending the law.

On Monday, Time magazine’s senior political analyst Mark Halperin, appearing on Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg Show, agreed that this was the case saying, “It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

STEVE MALZBERG: I think they focused on the death panels which will be coming, call them what you will. Rationing is part of it.

MARK HALPERIN: I agree. Huge. It’s going to be a huge issue, and that’s something else about which the President was not fully forthcoming and straightforward.

MALZBERG: Alright, so you believe that there will be rationing, AKA death panels.

HALPERIN: It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled.

MALZBERG: Yeah, okay.

HALPERIN: But I’ll say something else about that issue which is we do need to do have some of that in this country because we can't afford to spend so much on end-of-life care. A very high percentage of our healthcare spending is for a very small number of people at the last stages of their life. I'm not saying the system shouldn't allow that, but there's too much cost. There are judgments have to be made. We have to decide…

MALZBERG: Made by who, Mark? Mark, made by who? The government?

HALPERIN: By individuals. No, by individuals. And health insurance companies.

MALZBERG: But it’s not going to be made by individuals if you say it’s included in the healthcare…

HALPERIN: It’s not now for many people who have insurance, their insurance companies make those decisions.

MALZBERG: But they don’t pull, it’s very rare that they, in other words, if someone needs a bypass, the insurance company doesn’t say put them in a hospice or give them a pill like Tom Daschle told that he would do. I mean…

HALPERIN: Sometimes, sometimes people run up against caps and costs with their insurance that make it impractical to get certain kind of coverage. But don’t, don’t draw me into a false argument here about what I’m saying. All I’m saying is as a society, we need to have this discussion in an honest and straightforward way because we can’t afford everything, every instance that people would like to have?

MALZBERG: And has, okay, and has the President been forthcoming that we need to have that argument? No.

HALPERIN: No he was not, and Democrats were not when the law passed. But I’ll say again, there should have been more scrutiny by all the press including the conservative press of the specifics of this. I’m not saying there was none. But there’s going to be a lot of journalism done across the board on this issue coming up just as there has now on the issue of whether people with individual plans could keep them.

There’s going to be a lot of scrutiny. It should start now. It should have started a while ago, but it needs to start now in a serious and substantive way with investigative reporting and explanatory journalism rather than waiting until the crisis is upon us because the law’s the law, and we’re going to have to have a discussion as a country about what kind of healthcare we can afford, particularly at the end of life when a lot of expensive medicine is often done that as a society we’ll have to decide – do we really want to spend that money?


Actually, the conservative media was all over this issue.

It was the liberal media pushing back against this aspect of the bill just as they did everything within their power to misinform the public about everything in this awful legislation.

In fact, just this past September, Halperin's own magazine said Palin was wrong on this matter.

As such, it's nice to see Halperin coming clean, but he certainly shouldn't blame the conservative media for misleading the public on healthcare rationing under ObamaCare.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.