Sarah Palin has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, just in time for Obama’s big speech in front of a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. Just as she has done in the past regarding Obama’s push for a government takeover of health care, she will drive the discussion with her latest article. In today’s piece she addresses the massive bureacracy that Obama’s and the Democrats’ health care plan will create, which will cause more problems in the long run than it will solve.
She begins by addressing the strawman Obama pulls out as a prop at every opportunity. Over and over he accusses Republicans and opponents of his view of reform of wanting the status quo. That is far from the truth. What opponents of Obama’s reform want is for government to get out of the way so real reform can begin:
Writing in the New York Times last month, President Barack Obama asked that Americans “talk with one another, and not over one another” as our health-care debate moves forward.
I couldn’t agree more. Let’s engage the other side’s arguments, and let’s allow Americans to decide for themselves whether the Democrats’ health-care proposals should become governing law.
Some 45 years ago Ronald Reagan said that “no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds.” Each of us knows that we have an obligation to care for the old, the young and the sick. We stand strongest when we stand with the weakest among us.
We also know that our current health-care system too often burdens individuals and businesses–particularly small businesses–with crippling expenses. And we know that allowing government health-care spending to continue at current rates will only add to our ever-expanding deficit.
How can we ensure that those who need medical care receive it while also reducing health-care costs? The answers offered by Democrats in Washington all rest on one principle: that increased government involvement can solve the problem. I fundamentally disagree.
Common sense tells us that the government’s attempts to solve large problems more often create new ones. Common sense also tells us that a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan will not improve the workings of a nationwide health-care system that accounts for one-sixth of our economy. And common sense tells us to be skeptical when President Obama promises that the Democrats’ proposals “will provide more stability and security to every American.”
With all due respect, Americans are used to this kind of sweeping promise from Washington. And we know from long experience that it’s a promise Washington can’t keep.
Sarah then goes into the nightmare scenario that Obama himself introduced when he discussed his idea of an independent panel of experts that would make medical decisions with cost cutting in mind for those who are chronically ill and heading toward the end of their lives. When she referenced death panels in an earlier column and again in this article, it was this body of experts she was refering to.
Sarah Palin is a very important voice in this debate. It is because of her that the end of life counciling was dropped, for now at least, from the Democrats’ health care plans. We should all hope Sarah’s column strikes another chord with Americans.
Update: Don Surber offers his take on Palin’s piece.
Update: On a related note, Sarah Palin submitted written testimony to the New York State Senate Aging Committee. Here’s a portion:
It is unclear whether section 1233 or a provision like it will remain part of any final health care bill. Regardless of its fate, the larger issue of rationed health care remains.
A great deal of attention was given to my use of the phrase “death panel” in discussing such rationing. Despite repeated attempts by many in the media to dismiss this phrase as a “myth”, its accuracy has been vindicated. In the face of a nationwide public outcry, the Senate Finance Committee agreed to “drop end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.” Jim Towey, the former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, then called attention to what’s already occurring at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, where “government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.” Even Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, a strong supporter of President Obama, agreed that “if the government says it has to control health care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending.” And of course President Obama has not backed away from his support for the creation of an unelected, largely unaccountable Independent Medicare Advisory Council to help control Medicare costs; he had previously suggested that such a group should guide decisions regarding “that huge driver of cost . . . the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives….”
Read all of it.