The Media's ObamaCare Dodge
Way back in 2009, when the world was young and the website healthcare.gov was just a gleam in the glass eye of a government computer programmer, I had lunch with a Big Foot of the mainstream media. Congress was slopping together the dog’s breakfast that we have come to know as ObamaCare, and Sarah Palin was warning that the new scheme would impose “death panels” to ration care for the terminally ill or infirm.
Her claim inspired universal scorn. By “universal,” of course, I mean universal among people like my lunch companion. As a committed mainstreamer, he had little choice but to share in the contempt, which he expressed by frequent use of the word idiot and its variants. Gingerly I offered a dissent. Rationing of expensive medical procedures was already taking place, I pointed out, fingering my imaginary stethoscope. At the moment, I said, those end-of-life decisions are made by insurance companies, doctors, or families. But it wasn’t unreasonable to think that the centralizing tendencies of ObamaCare, together with its need to control costs, could in time shift such decision-making to government specialists. “Death panel” was a too colorful and provocative phrase, I agreed. Still, Palin had a point.
About the Author
Andrew Ferguson, who appears monthly in this space, is the author of Crazy U, now out in paperback and on the Kindle.