23 Oct 2013

Slate Admits Sarah Palin Was Right About Death Panels

Health Legislation 58 Comments

Remember in 2009 when Sarah Palin warned that Obamacare would lead to “death panels”? People ridiculed her alleged right-wing paranoia; PolitiFact christened her accusation the “Lie of the Year.” In this context, it’s ironic that a recent Slate article admits that socialized medicine goes hand in hand with government death panels. What’s even more disturbing is that the author–Adam Goldenberg–applauds the practice.

Specifically, Goldenberg explains that “Canada Has Death Panels”; this is the very title of his piece. Here’s the news hook:

Last week Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that doctors could not unilaterally ignore a Toronto family’s decision to keep their near-dead husband and father on life support. In the same breath, however, the court also confirmed that, under the laws of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, a group of government-appointed adjudicators could yet overrule the family’s choice. That tribunal, not the family or the doctors, has the ultimate power to pull the plug.

In other words: Canada has death panels.

And yet Goldenberg’s purpose is not to warn Americans to turn back now, lest we follow Canada down this horrifying path. On the contrary, Goldenberg thinks this outcome is just swell:

Perhaps it is easier for Canadians to trust government-appointed panels, rather than judges, with decisions like these. For reasons that arguably go back to our respective foundings, Canadians tend to have more faith in our government and our bureaucratic processes than Americans do in theirs…

[T]he question is no longer whether we can “play God,” but when, how, and who should do so. When humanity demands haste, and justice demands expert knowledge, Ontario’s death panels offer a solution—whatever Sarah Palin says.

And there you have it. Whether or not the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) explicitly details the process, it is unavoidable that more government involvement in health care will lead to bureaucratic decisions concerning the proper use of “society’s” resources. Americans will eventually see that the problems with Obamacare go far beyond website glitches.

58 Responses to “Slate Admits Sarah Palin Was Right About Death Panels”

  1. Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

    “Americans will eventually see that the problems with Obamacare go far beyond website glitches.”

    No they won’t. Socialized medicine will become the norm, and people will get used to it. Isn’t the general satisfaction with the health system in Canada and England quite high. Sure, some people complain, just as some Americans complain about our current system.

    But you can’t imagine another, better, way that doesn’t actually exist. Well, SOME people can, but most won’t. It will be a classic case of the seen versus the unseen. The general public will see people getting medical care. Sure, some old people will die and wait times will be horrendous and technological progress will grind to a screeching halt, but folks will just assume that is the way of things and that it has nothing to do with government involvement, just like traffic jams and auto fatalities have nothing to do with the government building the roads.

    I certainly hope you have a better strategy in mind for fighting leviathan than “wait and people will see how bad it is.” People still haven’t seen how bad the federal reserve is over 100 years later.

    • Robert Fellner says:

      This seems pretty accurate, despite how depressing it is.

    • Sam Geoghegan says:

      People only see how bad things are when it serves as a foil to their personal freedom. Who speaks of the horrors of war, without letting conditions escalate to war? It would be remiss of a country’s citizenry not to elect a sociopathic purveyor of collectivist utopia before he steals their purchasing power and has them slaughtered for his political follies.

      Something unusual is needed. Foresight?

    • Lord Keynes says:

      “Socialized medicine will become the norm… and technological progress will grind to a screeching halt,”

      Written by someone utterly ignorant of the real world.

      Universal health care has existed in every industrialised country except for the US for many years, yet technological progress in medicine has soared in leaps and bounds in that time, and some of the best of it comes out of the government sector or state funded research (e.g., genetic research, new drugs, MRIs etc), or public-private partnerships (e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spin-off_technologies), and nor does universal health care stop private sector innovation.

      • valueprax says:

        Correlation vs. causation and all that. You’re always confirming what an astute economic mind you are, LK.

        • Lord Keynes says:

          And you confirm your dismal reading skills.

          Matt M says that “Socialized medicine will become the norm… and technological progress will grind to a screeching halt“: that is, stop.

          That is a straightforward synthetic a posteriori statement completely refuted by the empirical evidence.

          • valueprax says:

            I agree, Matt M should’ve said “ceteris paribus, socialized medicine will reduce the pace of technological progress which would’ve occurred in its absence.”

            The rest of your comment was an insinuation that because there is technological progress in the state-of-the-art in medicine, in the face of government intervention in this area of the economy, the correlation implies causation.

            Or were you trying to make the opposite point? That technological progress occurs despite government involvement?

      • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

        You’re right. I engaged in a bit of exaggeration to make a dramatic point.

        I’m curious though, you AREN’T disputing that the equivalent of “death panels” will cause some seniors to die from treatable conditions and you AREN’T disputing that wait times will get worse at all, are you?

        • Lord Keynes says:

          On the contrary, universal health care systems need not lead to such things at all. France has universal health care and does not have such problems.

          And the whole story Murphy refers to is a beat up.

          Canada’s supreme count upheld the right of the family against doctors to maintain life support.

          Ontario’s “tribunals” — which are a panel of independent people — would only have authority to determine instances of when to remove a person’s life support when the person in question is brain dead or in a long term coma and there is no hope and cannot give consent and where family members cannot give consent, or where the final decision has to be made in a legal dispute between doctors and families.

          If this constitutes a “death panel”, then any family members who decide to take a loved one off life support would constitute a private “death panel”, yet no libertarians are screaming hysterically about that, even though a family member can end a loved one’s life without their consent.

          • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

            Can you not create a “living will” for that exact scenario?

            Someone who wants to be kept alive at all costs and in all situations can have this legally documented, and it would then overrule the family’s wishes, would it not? The reason we let the family decide is because they would be the most likely to know what the individual would want, in the absence of any sort of direct request from the individual. If you think the Ontario Tribunal can do just as good of a job as the person’s family in that regard, I don’t know what to tell you.

            The concern about “death panels” relates to a very simple economic fact – that ultimately, medical care is a good/service that needs to be purchased, and that purchasing decisions are always made, in the end, by whoever is *actually paying* for the purchase. The payer has every right to make the decisions as to how their money is spent. By instituting a single-payer system in which the government is the payer, the notion that the government will not have a significant say in who lives and who dies is ludicrous and defies all economic logic.

          • Ken B says:

            France makes a nice contrast with Ontario. In France, as in most places with “universal health care” the gov’t pays for some things but allows private medical care as well. In Ontario private care is tightly restricted. How tightly varies from time to time, but enough to matter.

            • Lord Keynes says:

              “The concern about “death panels” relates to a very simple economic fact – that ultimately, medical care is a good/service that needs to be purchased, and that purchasing decisions are always made, in the end, by whoever is *actually paying* for the purchase. The payer has every right to make the decisions as to how their money is spent.”

              What idiocy.

              In a highly privatised system, you’d have a vast number of private “death panels”: private bureaucrats in HMOs and insurance companies deciding whose policy even gets honoured and deciding when to stop paying for life support for brain dead people: you have actually the same problem.

              In fact, it worse, because there no public oversight.

              • Ken B says:

                Don’t get me wrong, I’m keen to be persuaded, but I don’t see how your observations here show MF’s point is wrong, much less idiocy.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:



                “In fact, it worse, because there no public oversight.”

                Public oversight isn’t the only possible oversight.

                Your thesis collapses because you’re evading who oversees the overseers.

                In a private system, there is more opportunity for oversight, because no one overseer has final authority over all other overseers.

                A private system would be much akin to the world as it stands today, in a pseudo-anarchist system (there is no world government), but it would likely be even more efficient, since there would be far more overseers who can compete for protection services voluntarily, which means consumers have far more say.

                As of now, if a government decides you will be assassinated by drones, there is no other authority that one can appeal to.

                Yes, in a private system there would likely be “death panels”, but at least with these private alternatives, you’re not obligated to solicit business from any particular provider of healthcare.

                It’s far different when you’re forced to pay for healthcare from a monopoly, and thus forced to abide by their death panel decisions.

              • valueprax (@valueprax) says:

                Real businesses are in the habit of growing their market and the number of customers they can serve. The more they can find ways to serve new customers at lower cost, the higher their profits will be.

                Government bureaucracies work on a different principle because they have fixed budgets and strict mandates. They look to “reduce costs” by denying services.

                Governments and politicians always view people as the problem. If only there weren’t so many people to be taken care of, taking up our limited resources…

                Businesses view people as opportunities. You’ll never find a business complaining about having too many customers.

                If you find a business like this, my guess is it either won’t last long in a competitive market place with that attitude, or its not in a competitive but rather a regulated market. For example, insurance companies which by law are prevented from charging a competitive price for services and instead must charge an administered price determined by state and federal regulatory overseers. This results in them looking for ways to deny service to people and thereby lower costs in an effort to preserve profitability.

                Insurance companies in today’s healthcare system serve an awkward, uncompetitive regulatory administration sleight of hand purpose. Their operation and behavior can not be analyzed as examples of how private companies mistreat customers.

                Different types of interventionist animals and all that, LK.

              • Ken B says:

                MF: By MF I meant you.

                I’m not sure what you’re asking me. LK quoted you; I think your quote makes sense and I don’t see why LK’s remarks refute it.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                LK did not quote me. He quoted Matt M.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hahaha this is hilarious. “Socialized medicine has existed in every industrialized country except the US”, and then uses the US as an example of how socialized medicine produces technological advances. Good one.

      • Morry says:

        You say “Universal health care has existed in every industrialised country except for the US for many years, yet technological progress in medicine has soared in leaps and bounds in that time, and some of the best of it comes out of the government sector or state funded research (e.g., genetic research, new drugs, MRIs etc)”

        It’d be hard to make a more ignorant statement on health care. You should get a job lobbying against Obamacare.

        Yeah, most western nations have socialized medicine, and innovation continues. But the VAST majority of new patents, new procedures, new medicines, have been created in the US, where our medical system is only partly socialized. The more of the free-market element and the less of socialized element in a nation’s health care system, the more they contribute to the advances you mention.

        Nowadays, gov’t even in the US, is so enmeshed in ALL aspects of basic research that almost anything developed by a large corporation or research facility will have received at least some funds, so that puts the onus on you to justify your specific examples in parenthesese. I am not familiar with the details (the devil’s in the details, remember, which you omit) but the solution to solving the genome problem embarrassed our government and all the massive ongoing research it had been funding in major universities and elsewhere. Two scientists solved the problem in such an efficient way that it hastened the solutions to the myriad sub-problems associated with it (eg, finding out the exact atomic/molecular struction of every genome) from what had been an expected period of decades AFTER the “some day” solution of the basic problem to a matter of a few years. It has been well advertised and is common knowledge in the genetic research community that gov’t officials, often joined by envious academics also involved in the search which 2 men completed in less than 1/10 the time they’d all expected, let their envy overtake their objectivity and spent a long time sniping at the guys who beat them to the punch so handily, at every opportunity they had, instead of congratulating them and eagerly turning to the next step in the progress of human knowledge. It was a disgusting sight to watch.

        I don’t have time to address your basic premise, so I have resorted to one specific instance you cited about which I do know something. However, I think most intelligent readers understand from your expressed opinions that you know just barely more than absolutely nothing about the subject you offer your valuable opinions on.

        There is a well known tale about the blind men examining an elephant to determine his characteristics. The man at the tail thinks the elepant is like a snake, the one at his leg thinks the elephant is rather like a tree, etc etc. That seems to be an apt analogy with your understanding of socialized health care.

        And BTW, people are always happy with socialized health care at the start for reasons obvious to every informed student of its history except you. Most of those who have complaints are dead, and it takes time for young people to discover that all that money spent on free band aids and condoms probably weren’t worth it in exchnage for a denied operation necessary to prevent their death. Not exaggerating. Why else to 50,000 Canadians come here every year for serious medical care? Do you know how long wait times are for MRIs in Canada? In England? WEEKS AT LEAST, MONTHS IN MOST CASES. Here you can get one the same day if it’s urgent. Since Canada’s population is roughly 1/10 of the US’s, that 50,000 would be 500,000 or a half-million people if the two nations’ roles were reversed. Now, sure, that’s only about 1 person in 600. But, remember, that’s EVERY YEAR, YEAR IN, YEAR OUT. Over 6 years, it’s roughly 1% of the Canadian population which has come to the US for their care. Now recall that the need for urgent, life-saving care is concentrated amongst senior citizens, so that probably increases the ratio to somewhere around 5 in 100, give or take a little bit, and then ask how many seniors actually need life saving urgent care that often, and then of them ask how many MORE would come to the US if they could afford the transportation for themselves and family plus the accomodations during the stay in the US plus the other expenses of leaving home for a few days to a few weeks. That jacks the number up by a factor of a least a few and probably a good many hundreds of percent, ie several times the 5% we stand at now.

        The record is RIFE with reports of Canadians who have, to mention one case, strong symptoms of a brain tumor but who are told they need to confirm it by MRI, with the next appointment being 3 months distant. With brain cancers, 3 months delay would almost surely mean death. If not in his case, then if the MRI showed a tumor, there would have been equally llong delays getting surgery approved, or whatever the treatment prescribed, other than pain killers. This fellow was fortunate enough to be able to raise the money to cross the border where he got an instant MRI that did confirm the tumor, and an operation immediately thereafter, which saved his liife. Last I heard, he was suing the Canadian Gov’t for recovery of his healht care expenses based on his right to life and deprivation of it by teh Canadian system. He is one amongst 50,000 every year, many of whom undoubtedly do not have a story that makes such a stark comparison between the 2 systems. However, there are sure to be many more that show the Canadian system in an even worse light.

        My recently deceased (at age 88) “better half” was born in Vancouver and came to the US shortly after graduating nursing school to work as a nurse at Sloan-Kettering in NYC, which most experts generallly regard as the best cancer hospital on earth, and many regard as THE best hospital, period. Within a few years, my very intelligent and competent better-half had risen NOT merely to a postion of head nurse,but was promoted above others with far more years of serviice to the p[osition of Nurse Supervisor of 3 floors, supervising several head nurses. She then switched to research assistant in the breast cancer division of the best cancer hospital in the world, where she was the 1st person at that hospital to get a personal computer, which she then used to create a data base of all cases of breast cancer from the hosptials’ day 1, including having to decipherr the oldest records (written on parchment, no doubt). She included in the properly and logically created enormous date file she built, every relevant aspect of each case and the chronology of the case in such a user friendly manner as to make virtually any idea that might have occurred to any of the researchers (who had been lucky enough to win a residency or researrch appontment at Sloan Kettering against the competition from other doctors around the world) could be readily and promptly investigated, based on the evidence of the past. She became the #1 far-and-away “in demand’ research assistant at the hospital, with doctors vyinig for who would get her next for their own research project once she completed the one she was on. Because they had access to what’s probably THE best info on case histories of breast cancer in the world, and because the doctors even in breast cancer were specialists in sub-categories of that area, andbecause she worked for MANY of the different sub-specialty experts and had assembled all the data in the data base herself, intimately examining every little fact for proper filing in the data base, she probably knew more, overall, about breast cancer than any living person on earth. She knew and was loved by some of the best cancer specialists on earth in all areas of cancer diagnosis and treatment, men renowned as geniuses in their profession. After her retirement, she maintained personal contact with many of them, most of whom died before she did. I told you she was intelligent — that’s an understatement. I could tell you things that would easily prove it — many things. A phenomenal memory (she remembered most of the great poetry learned in high school, eg). A couple years before her death, a brain MRI or CAT scan showed her doctors that her brain could not be differentiated from that of a youth – she had ZERO of the signs of aging that such tests start to show on most people decades younger than she was at the time. She was of Icelandic descent and had quite a few relatives who lived to over 100 fully self-sufficient. She also had virtually ALL of her extended family residing in Vancouver, BC, CANADA, where there is perhaps the BEST MEDICAL CARE available in Canada, since it’s a desirable destination for many doctors for reasons of personal lifestyle. Her sister and nephews and nieces and cousins had myriad experiences with Canadian medical care, and they would all approve of it, and she would be non-plussed by the many instances of gross incompetence, which they did not realize was negigent or incompetent because they had no experience with anytning better. Her sister developed a very, very incapacitating condition due to GROSS incomeptentce, the administration of an antibiotic that every doctor knows MUST be given ONLY to a patient who is fully hydrated because it destroys the inner ear if that’s not done. That drug is actually banned altogether in some nations, and in Scotland any doctor who administers it will permantly lose his license to practice. Her sister got it, she was CLEARLY AND OBVIOUSLY dehydrated, and she has never reoverred from the inability to walk without major assistance, and plagued by constant dizziness and a whirling world around her. There are other tales, just with her family, that are as chilling, one far more so. She once saved a family member when told about the “recurrent flu” one of them had, for which a SERIES of house calls had resulted basically in “take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” — from a SERIES of diferent doctors. When she heard the symptoms, she told her relative to get the ill one directly to emergency NOW, and . . . had that not been done, the relative would have died. The operation was botched, however, and caused a major problem later from improperly securing certain organs. But her family would never be less than praising of the canadian healthcare system. Why? Possibly patriotic nationalism, possibly because they were so impressed with all the doctor visits to their home (with the wrong diagnoses that would have been fatal if my better half had not intervened from 3,000 miles away), and if her sister had died, you can be sure it would have been seen as a case where “they did all they could for her, but in the end it was just not enough.” Right. In the city with probably the best or near best med facilities in ALL of Canada, they were getting care they thought was great, and which my better half knew would be inexcusably inadequate in the US, and worse even than that.

        When Obamacare first was presented, she told me she almost hoped she would die before it went into full effect becasue she knew what a horror it was destined to be — that the DIFFERENCES between it and the Canadian system (which is offered as one of the best of the socialized systems) were, according to her, such as would make the US system even worse than the Canadian one. She was very very frightened for herself, being already in her ’80s and with several medical conditions. She herself had had 14 operations in her lifetime, including treatment for a brain tumor that was benign, but crowding her optic nerve in one eye. She lost her vision in that eye. She had become totally deaf in one ear and almost totally in the other, but she used a hearing aid sometimes, and she learned to read lips very well. She’d had breast cancer treated by a lumpectomy. Sinus operations. 3 hip operations. 2 knee operations. Etc Etc. Anyway, the point is that she also had PERSONAL experience AS A PATIENT, as well as professional experience at a world class hospital for decades. She also worked a few part time jobs berfore and after retirement working for doctors, clinics, or MRI/CAT/PET scan private facilities associated with a nearby hospital. She had intimate knowledge of the Canadian system’s operation through her closest and extended relatives.

        She was scared to death, almost literally, by the prospect of Obamacare when she became familiar with its provisions. She had a very clear image of exactly what it’s going to look like. A lot of her opinions have sofar proven 100% on the mark. The rest will be tested as the provisions of the law are implemented, and I have no doubt she’ll be proven right about them as well. She foresaw some of the problems that even its greatest critics didn’t get an inkling of until later on in the debate. Perhaps fortunately for her, she got her wish and died a few months ago. For me, it’s been more than devastating.

        You and other intellectually impaired people who can’t even understand the obvious will find out when it’s too late. The incompetence in the way the law was created, the way it was passed, the errors in the writing of it, the obvious total blindness to some of the simplest and most obvious logical consequences of the law which its authors were too stupid to anticipate, the problems with every single phase of its implementation so far, and yet people — like you — are not only willing to place your own lives in the hands of such incompetence but feel you have a right to gang up in a voting booth and force it on others who are trying to save YOU from it. And even that is a generous statement, because the majority of Americans have been against Obamacare since they were first permitted to find out some of the facts of what was in the law. You must be in the bottom tier of Americans, well below the average, intelligence-wise. I think you’d have to be, judging by the statements you make with a tone of authority which are patent falsehoods, and obviously so even to someone who can’t think but who is acquainted with facts and is intellectually honest. When I observe the couple instances of your attempt to provide reasoned argument for your position, well, I’m sorry, but you force me to conclude you can’t possibly possess an average level of intelligence. Did you get good grades in school? Did you do well on your IQ or college board scores? How many times did “correct answers” you were so sure of in school prove to be the wrong answer? Don’t bother telling me — I know it had to be fairly regularly. Yet you presume that you know it all, now that you no longer have to face formal tests that show how very little you do know, and what difficulty you have with logical reasoning.

        It’s a travesty of justice and of human endeavor to achieve progress. The only thing that permits me to remain optimistic about the human race is that such stupidity often destroys itself. And the fact that we can do genetic modification now, means that in the near future parents willhave the option of selecting some of the basic traits they want in their child before it’s conceived and the fertilized ovum placed in the womb. Undoubtedly, many will choose above average intelligeince for their child rather than have a child with your level of intelligence, and that will, I hope eventually improve life on earth, when men are freed from the albatross around their necks of the “faceless, mindliess mob” of ignorant and unthinking people who tfeel they have a right to foist the conclusions drawn by means of their inablilty to think, onto and into the lives of those who can — ie, people like you.

        • Harold says:

          “But the VAST majority of new patents, new procedures, new medicines, have been created in the US, where our medical system is only partly socialized” I wonder where this sort of thing comes from.

          Which country has by far the greatest per capita medical devices patents? It is one where “Health care is universal and participation in a medical insurance plan is compulsory.” Yes – it is Isreal.

          It is difficult to pick out medical advances from all technological advances, but number or patents per capita should be a reasonable proxy. Switzerland, S. Korea and Sweden stand out. US is 12th.

          Taking Sweden, it is responsible for the pacemaker, ultrasound and ECG’s – all pretty central to medicine today.

        • Lord Keynes says:

          “But the VAST majority of new patents, new procedures, new medicines, have been created in the US,”

          Even that statement is false.

          In terms of absolute numbers of patents, Japan is *first* and the US second:


          And even the number of patents in the Western European nations together almost equal those in the US.

          And once we add the total patent number of the EU to those in Japan and China, the US accounts for less than half of all patents.

          So much for your factual accuracy, Morry.

          • Andrew Keen says:

            Wow LK, You are a colossal (censored). Not sure what your impetus is for even commenting here, but you always appear to have yourself worked up into a blind rage. For the good of your blood pressure and the good of society’s collective health, please take a break from FA.

            Also, your link has absolutely nothing to do with medical advancement, you silly silly man.

    • Gamble says:

      Which industry will they target after healthcare, we should start a poll.

      .gov will be the only website…

    • John4637 says:

      As time goes by, the old pass on and new generations are born into the glorious world of serfdom and subservience, in order to survive. Those poor souls will know no better and look for nothing but their next meal. That is what we today leave for our future grandchildren etc., and all because we are too selfish to care or we are a nation of cowards, who let one man a Marxist, destroy the greatest nation ever on the face of the earth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why debate the foibles of the health care system in far off Canada? Why not look to the experience of Oregon with its attempt to expand Medicaid coverage by explicitly rationing the scope of covered services? For an interesting recital of the rise and fall of that “noble” experiment, see: “Health Reform Interrupted: The Unraveling Of The Oregon Health Plan” by Jonathan Oberlander at HealthAffairs.org

    • bill says:

      i spoke to a UK man about how he liked socialized medicine in London last week at court days. He explained it was ok unless you were older than 50. People older than 50 are not a good investment so they get poor care. If you are 20 you get the best care. He explained that he smashed his foot at age 20. they did a beautiful job of putting it back together with a couple operations, therapy etc. “But had i been 50 or older they would not have operated on me”, he said. That to me is worse than so called death panels. Why not just legalize euthanasia? I would rather ME say when i can die than government officials.

    • jason says:

      Actually no. My grandparents have several friends that live in canada, and they come here for healthcare. One had a tumor, they gave him 4 months to live unless he got an immediate operation. Because the bureaucracy and the “death pane’, they knew he wouldn’t make it the 6 to 12 months they wanted him to wait. He was forced to use the Open Market in the US. Too bad, he couldn’t just go to the doctor there, and pay the cash. They wouldn’t accept it, because it HAS To go through their system. Sorry, it is a myth that these countries LOVE their rationed healthcare.

    • VickiD says:

      Sorry Matt… I have Friends and Family In Canada AND in the UK and they ALL HATE the So Called Health Care “Process” there!!
      My GF in the UK has had her son on a “Waiting” list for 3 years to see a specialist… at the time he was put on this List- he was #10 in line… after 3 years, he is now at #3… She did say, it’s NOT the Nurses OR Dr’s… that it’s the “PROCESS-
      Her husband had meningitis. She had to Stay at the hospital and give him water from a water bottle, cuz it cost $$$ for the IV and Solution… after NOT getting the proper hydration and he started hallucinating, they finally gave him and IV- that was after 4 days of her trying to give him water from a bottle…
      My Friends Uncle in Canada finally got in after 11 months to see his Dr for Chest pain and Shortness of Breath… The Dr told him he needed either Bypass surgery or stents put in… and because of his AGE, Canada wouldn’t approve of it… His Dr told him to go to Florida for vacation and go to Disney… while there have his wife alert someone of him having shortness of breath and chest pains… that they would call an ambulance and rush him to the hospital and THEN do the surgery he needed… They did that, and his Dr was right… He got his heart bypass surgery in Florida… Wonder where the Canadian Dr’s are gonna send their patients NOW??
      I Pray you never NEED the health care ” SYSTEM” or your family…
      But maybe then, you’ll understand- We’re all Screwed here with this “Law”…

  2. GabbyD says:

    “it is unavoidable that more government involvement in health care will lead to bureaucratic decisions ”

    what in that slate story tells you that it is unavoidable?

    • Matt Tanous says:

      Nothing. Economic theory is that government involvement (i.e. state monopolization) leads to political, then bureaucratic decision-making. Someone has to make the decisions, and we have already – via creating the system – ruled out individuals, insurers, and doctors, as well as the market process that recognizes a limit to resources that can be used.

      • GabbyD says:

        So bob is wrong when he said that slate admitted “X”, so and so?

  3. Major_Freedom says:

    “Death panels” is only hyperbole when a GOP/Republican/Conservative says it.

    • jason says:

      When your grandma is denied care, and you lose a loved one – Guess you can blame a conservative too

  4. Major_Freedom says:

    Economic theory cannot tell us what we ought to do.

    • Tel says:

      It can tell us that some actions will have undesirable consequences (if you believe the theory).

      • Harold says:

        No. It says some actions will have certain consequences. Whether or not they are they are desirable is outside the theory.

  5. Rick Hull says:



    Remember, we have to pass the bill to know what’s in it. Six in 10 dun got hoodwinked! I wonder if those 6 generally share any political affiliation.

    > Obama, Aug. 11: The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for “death panels” that will basically pull the plug on grandma … this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, et cetera. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready, on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything. This is I guess where the rumor came from.

    Or maybe it arose out of the fact of death panels.

  6. skylien says:

    A few days ago in Austria a hospital sent an old woman back home who had a stroke (she had clear signs of a stroke) because there were no free beds available… After her condition worsened significantly at home she was transported to the hospital again, and only after her relatives complained and protested heavily she got treatment.

    Scarcity is a bitch, no matter how cheap you “force” stuff to be, it suddenly bites you in the ass..

  7. Bothered says:

    What’s always bothered me is how when the fact of scarcity in health care is acknowledged vis-a-vis a free market, it is taken as proof of the immorality of free markets that some people will go without health care that they would be willing to buy if they could afford it. Then, when the fact of scarcity in health care is brought to the fore vis-a-vis the government, it is a sign of intellectual sophistication and maturity to acknowledge that some people will have to go without health care that they would be willing to pay for it they could afford it and it was for sale.

    • valueprax says:

      Related point:

      It is hilarious to promote government provisioning of healthcare in order to “increase access” to said resource, and then to later acknowledge the need for means-testing and other forms of rationing to limit people’s access to said resource. Why is access being limited if the point of government provisioning is to increase access?

      • Ken B says:

        The worst part of health care in Ontario is not panels deciding that the gov’t won’t pay for X for patient Y. It’s the laws that forbid anyone else from providing X for patient Y. As Valueprax notes *access is artifically restricted* under Ontario’s health laws, in the name of “fairness”.

        • valueprax says:

          Awwww, Ken B, you shouldn’t have. I know how uncomfortable it must be to agree with a disgusting Rothbardbot, I appreciate it 🙂

          Anyway yeah, I would actually add that under a “related-related point”:

          There isn’t a whole lot of flexibility in these bureaucratic systems so that even if you WANTED to pay extra to get extra care (say, you have a family member in a coma and you prefer keeping them going to pulling the plug) you can’t really “opt in” for extra care for more money and you can’t really “opt out” to go see someone who will give you what you want… assuming it’s fully nationalized at least.

          But my “related point” was to me the funny one because before you have the government intrusion you have these shlock-shock cries of “Oh, great, now poor people can’t get medical care because their lack of resources denies them access!” and then once you have the government intrusion you get “Well, we’ve got A LOT of sick people around here and some of them are worse off than others and we’re just going to have to let a few of the terminal/useless ones go to make room for the people who still have a shot at it”

          I guess I don’t get why a terminal/useless person doesn’t deserve access like everyone else?

          • Ken B says:


            One thing few Ontarions know is that the shortage of doctors we have suffered is also artifically induced. I don’t just mean by limiting income etc. I mean that 30 years ago the provincial govt decided health costs were “doctor driven” so they deliberatly cut places at medical schools to reduce the supply of new doctors!

    • Bharat says:

      There’s a good article on this by this guy that Murphy is friends with:


  8. Dale Alber says:

    Palin is one of the smartest wowen I know. She has called many situations The way a President should. I think she would make one Hellava President. She can run rings around this TURKEY we now have.

  9. Dale Alber says:

    This is my opinion. Look at all the problems we have had for 5 years!

  10. Bill says:

    My only objection to obamacare is that it is mandatory, not voluntary.
    Whenever you grant a service backed by a gun, that’s when the problems start.
    USA is supposed to be a republic, which means that every individual has the option to ignore the law so long as it harms no one else.
    Obamacare is being implemented as a if the USA is a democracy, which means that if you ignore government dictates, you go to jail or pay fines, even though no one else is hurt.
    See www 1215 org for a more detailed description of the difference between a republic and a democracy.

  11. Brenda says:

    Subtitle D-Patient-centered outcomes research of the Affordable Care Act addresses comparative clinical effectiveness research. This is the path to rationed care. England, Canada use the results of CER to control cost and there by ration care. Wake up and read the law people. Brenda

  12. Innocent says:

    If the ACA was not a forced system I would not care about it nearly as much as I do.
    Second, I read Lord Keynes note that there are many industrialized nations that have single payer, which is VERY true, however I disagree with the concept that they have had them for very long. To me, when it comes to real implementation of socialized ANYTHING it will take 100-200 years to really feel the effects of it. Some times the effects are good, others are bad. For instance Social Security has been bad and it has been around for about 80 years now. Going from an initial 1% tax rate to a whopping 12.4% today with talk of increasing it EVEN MORE!!!

    Look I know how great people like single payer because they don’t have to think any longer about cost and choice. Well I happen to like those factors in my decision making process.

    Second, I do not want a stronger Federal Government that controls healthcare. This is a personal preference, so even IF it lowered costs I would prefer that the Federal Government went the opposite direction than what it is going currently.

    • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

      I disagree.

      We never see the true costs of any government intervention, whether it’s Obamacare, social security, or anything else. Once again, this is exactly what Bastiat described as the seen versus the unseen.

      What we see is people getting health care who didn’t have it before. What we see is grandma getting a $500 check in the mail from the government. But the costs are almost totally unseen. The fact that Grandma COULD have enjoyed an extra few hundred bucks a month for her entire working life if social security didn’t exist, which she could have used in any way she chose, is an unseen. It requires one to think and to extrapolate and to imagine.

      100 years later, the same type of people who defend Obamacare now will continue to defend it, regardless of how awful it is. They won’t see the costs, only the benefits. Whatever problems our medical system has will be blamed on greedy capitalists, with the state worshippers offering their standard argument of “Think how much worse it would be WITHOUT government! Obviously the solution is to have even more!”

  13. joe says:

    Admits? Maybe you mean Slate agrees. Just because Slate says Palin was not a liar, that does not mean she is not a liar.

    Death Panels are not in the ACA. Palin is a liar.

    • Bill says:

      joe, I’m a person that has experienced socialized health care first hand. I have also read the ACA. Death panels are indeed inserted into the bill. You need to read the entire bill and attempt to understand it.

  14. Bill in NC says:

    In this particular case, the patient has been in their coma for a full 3 years – even requiring a ventilator to live.

    Here in the U.S. if the patient didn’t have long-term care insurance they would be on Medicaid, paid for by tax dollars.

    At some point families need to step up and assume the cost of care IF they wish to keep a loved one alive who has no realistic chance of recovery, as in this case.

    It is morally wrong to demand taxpayers continue to pay indefinitely simply because the family can’t accept the reality of their loved one’s condition.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m interested, can you please give me some more details?

  16. Cody S says:

    1) Leftists whine for decades that Insurance companies are deciding who can live or die based on cost-cutting instead of ‘need’.

    2) Leftists take over the healthcare sector and implement a single-payer healthcare system.

    3) Slate tells us how awesome it is that the benevolent state cares enough to decide who can live or die based on cost-cutting instead of ‘need’.

  17. John Galt says:

    What this dishonest article refers to is the ending of a life where the patient has no chance of recovery.
    What Sarah Palin refers to as “Death Panels” and what the Obamacare ACA mandates is the “The Complete Lives System” , s decision to treat or not treat patients based on age and financial contribution/burden to Government resources.
    Yes, Canada does have the “Death Panels” that Sarah Palin and others have talked about. My father-in-law at 74 needed a bone marrow transplant. His Physician filled in the appropriate forms and submitted them to the Bureaucrats in Ottawa for considerations Their answer was that he was too old and was denied the procedure.

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