The GOP Death Panel
The death panels are real and they’ve been found! Back in 2009 when the healthcare debate was at its most crazy, Republicans warned us that once Obamacare was passed, government officials would get to ration health care, and as a result, have control over the life and death of millions of Americans. They called the group of bureaucrats who supposedly got to make these decisions “death panels.”
The idea of death panels had actually been swirling around the right wing media echo chamber for a while, but it really crossed over into the mainstream when Sarah Palin talked about it in an August, 2009 Facebook note. Palin said that if the healthcare bill became law, people like her disabled son would “have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats [could] decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”
Soon everyone, pundits and politicians alike, was talking about death panels. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, for example, told a crowd of supporters on August 11, 2009 that the House version of the healthcare bill would allow government “to decide when to pull the plug on grandma." Grassley’s warning about a grandmother-killing socialist plan was just one of the many such scare stories told by Republicans that summer.
It’s easy to laugh at them now with 8 million more Americans getting health insurance because of Obamacare and people's lives actually being saved by Obamacare, but the ironic thing is, people like Sarah Palin and Chuck Grassley who warned us about death panels were actually kind of right. All across the country right now, people are literally dying because politicians are denying them the healthcare they need to survive, and it does have something to do with Obamacare.
But it’s not President Obama or some evil communist plot that’s putting politics over lives - it’s Republicans. Republicans have created their own death panels. Activists connected with MoveOn.org showed up at the largest of these GOP death panels in New York City yesterday. It’s called the Republican Governors’ Association, and its members - people like Nikki Haley and Rick Perry - are the real healthcare killers.
That’s because right now, 24 states, all of which are either led by Republican governors or controlled by Republican legislatures, are refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. As a result, approximately 4.8 million low-income working Americans do not have health insurance - just because Republican governors and legislators in red states refuse to take the federal money that would pay for it.
These 4.8 million people work at low-paying jobs, typically earning between $4000 and $11,000 a year, but even at that they make too much money to qualify for normal, non-expanded Medicaid and they’re too poor to qualify for free or subsidized health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.
They’re caught in what’s known as the Red State “doughnut- hole,” which was drilled into Obamacare by John Roberts and the other four right-wing "justices" on the Supreme Court when they said states could refuse money to expand Medicaid. The death panels Sarah Palin went on and on about four years ago aren’t real, but the red state doughnut-hole death panel actually is real and it actually is killing people.
Back in March, for example, Charlene Dill, a hardworking single mom who worked three jobs to help make ends meet, collapsed and died from an untreated heart condition. Like approximately 750,000 other Floridians stuck in the Red State doughnut-hole, Charlene knew she was sick and needed medication, but couldn’t get it to save her life because Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Scott now has Charlene's blood on his hands. Charlene probably isn’t the only person killed by the Red State doughnut-hole death panel and she certainly won’t be the last.
In fact, according to a new study out of Harvard University, as many as 17,000 people will die in America just this year as a direct result of the GOP’s refusal to expand Medicaid. These Republicans should rot in hell - and probably will. By saying “no” to expanded Medicaid, they’ve said “no” to the right to life of the people who put them in office.
Make no mistake about it - this is all about politics. Republican governors like Rick Perry say they’re "worried about the cost" of Medicaid expansion, but since that expansion would be covered almost entirely by the federal government, they’re just flat-out lying.
This is about one thing and one thing alone: sabotaging the Obama presidency. As the mid-term elections inch closer and closer, it’s going to be harder and harder for Republicans to explain to voters why they’ve decided to sacrifice the healthcare of 4.8 million Americans to try to make Obama look bad.
That’s why it’s time to call out the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare for what it is: The GOP death panel.
After all, if the myth of Obamacare death panels was enough change public opinion back in 2009, who knows what the truth about the GOP death panels could do, especially during an election year? Now you know - pass it along!