Palin Renews False ‘Death Panel’ Charge

By Caitlin Taylor

Aug 13, 2009 12:03pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: Sarah Palin is standing by her discredited charge that House Democrats are proposing to create "death panels". The former Alaska governor's statement, which she posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening, came one day after President Obama implicitly took issue with her stance during a Tuesday town-hall meeting in New Hampshire. Referring to Section 1233 of the House Democratic health care bill, Palin writes: "With all due respect, it’s misleading for the president to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients." The truth, however, is that the end of life counseling contained in the House Democratic bill would be voluntary. As the Associated Press has reported, the House bill would permit Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. The doctor-patient discussions would cover living wills, making a close relative or a trusted friend your health care proxy, learning about hospice as an option for the terminally ill, and information about pain medications for people suffering chronic discomfort. Palin first leveled her "death panel" charge in a Friday message on Facebook. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil,” Palin wrote last week. Palin's "death panel" claim has been debunked not only by ABC's Jake Tapper but also by FactCheck.org and Politifact.com. A Palin spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. –Teddy Davis

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