Palin Sticks to Her Guns in WSJ Op-Ed -- Says ObamaCare Would Give Government 'Life-and-Death Rationing Powers'

September 9th, 2009 7:48 AM

She's been ridiculed by the so-called masters of the universe in the mainstream media for warning President Barack Obama's health care proposals could result in one of one of her loved ones having to stand in front of one of "Obama's death panels" to determine their "level of productivity in society" to see if they are worthy of health care. But despite the criticism, she's not backing down from those statements.

Aside from submitting written testimony to the New York State Senate, as Noel Sheppard pointed out for NewsBusters on Sept. 8, Palin wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Sept. 9 Wall Street Journal explaining that Obama has in the past said he wanted to eliminate "inefficiency and waste" in the system, including in an Aug. 15 New York Times op-ed.

She pointed out the president wanted to create a bureaucracy called the "Independent Medicare Advisory Council," which is as she says is "an unelected, largely unaccountable group of experts charged with containing Medicare costs." She wrote it is policy gestures as such as that and other cost-cutting suggestions that have her concerned.

"Given such statements, is it any wonder that many of the sick and elderly are concerned that the Democrats' proposals will ultimately lead to rationing of their health care by-dare I say it-death panels?" Palin wrote. "Establishment voices dismissed that phrase, but it rang true for many Americans. Working through ‘normal political channels,' they made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration."

The former Republican vice-presidential nominee maintained the real solution would be to employ policy that would be "market-oriented, patient-centered, and result-driven" and not the bureaucratization of health care that is being driven by the administration's interpretation of polling data.

One left-leaning pundit has questioned if Palin was qualified to interject herself into the debate. Marc Ambinder wrote on the Atlantic Web site on Sept. 8 the media shouldn't take her Journal op-ed seriously because she doesn't have the policy "chops" to take on this issue.

"Palin has policy credibility problems. Big ones," Ambinder wrote. "A few op-eds aren't going to help her. But if the media treats her as as [sic] a legitimate and influential voice today, she won't need to do the hard work that will result in her learning more about policy and actually becoming conversant in the issues that she, as a potential presidential candidate, will deal with."

However, the argument could made that Palin, with a baby with Down Syndrome, does have real-life expertise dealing with the American health care system. And her position as governor of Alaska makes her qualified to give insight into the bureaucratization of any part of the public sector, despite Ambinder's calls to dismiss her as a serious voice in the health care debate.