Sunday, December 26, 2010

NY Sun: Gov. Palin's beat on ‘Death Panels’ is confirmed by NY Times

Is she smarter than the media and the Congress, or just more honest?
Sarah Palin scooped the corrupt media in August, 2009 with a series of Facebook statements warning that the Obama administration intended to ration health care. Now, sixteen months later, we learn that since Obama won't be able to achieve rationing by legislative means (since the next House of Representatives with its Republican majority, would never go along with it) , it will do so through regulation. An editorial in today's New York Sun credits the New York Times with confirming Gov. Palin's warnings:
At the time, Mrs. Palin’s prophecy touched off an enormous hue and a cry among the liberal intelligentsia, so much so that the scheme was dropped in Congress. Yet even though it was dropped by Congress the New York Times is reporting that “the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation” and will start doing so January 1. The Times says that the government “will now pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.”

It seems to be the administration's conception of democracy that after the Congress so pointedly left this out of the Obamacare legislation the scheme can be advanced by regulation. The point is underscored in Robert Pear’s dispatch in the Times, which quotes one of the congressmen originally advocating for the so-called death panels, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, as saying of the regulatory approach, “we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet” and warning that the regulation could yet be “modified or reversed.”

No doubt the defenders of Obamacare will argue that this kind of advance directive is hardly a death panel. Participation is voluntary; it’s but “advice.” However, since the “aggressive life-sustaining treatment” being decided upon would be paid for by the same government that is funding the advice on whether to go for it, one can see that this is a step toward exactly the kind of death panel that Mrs. Palin warned about. She used as a proxy for all of us the fate of down-syndrome children like her own son Trig.
So how was Gov. Palin able to see this coming when so many others could not and many more were in denial? The Sun's editors say it doesn’t matter:
It’s enough that she was just ahead of the others, and the point is one to mark. She has become, at a relatively young age and by whatever means, a savvy woman. We noticed it, say, when she suggested the best way to handle the question of the West Bank settlements was to let the Israelis decide, a policy the administration is now following. We noticed it when she went to Hong Kong and warned about the collapse in the value of the dollar and spoke of the importance of gold.

It was apparent when she dove in before other politicians and the intelligentsia and warned about the dangers of the Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing. And when, in advance of the BP oil-spill disaster, she’d been campaigning to develop our onshore energy resources. And when she began branding as her own the idea of commonsense, conservative constitutionalism — a year before a resurgent GOP is preparing to open the 112th Congress with a reading of the entire text of the Constitution.
Even though Sarah Palin was not the first politician to discuss these issues, The Sun's editors point our that she did manage to elevate a number of them to the national debate. Gov. Palin, who earned a degree in journalism, say the editors, understands one of journalism’s core principles: "It’s not a scoop until it’s played like a scoop."

- JP

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