Posted by CNN’s Andrea Elazegui
(CNN) – In a recent Twitter post, Sarah Palin expresses that she has been vindicated, arguing that she was right when she claimed that the Affordable Care Act would create so-called “death panels” of bureaucrats, deciding who would be “worthy of health care”.
On August 7, 2009, Palin published on her Facebook page:
“And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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 first coined the political term, “death panel” during a 2009 debate regarding federal health care legislation and coverage for the uninsured of America. Because of this claim, she has received criticism from mainstream news media, fact-checkers, academics, physicians, Democrats, and some Republicans, who have reported that her argument is false. Her “death panel” claim has been rated four Pinocchios on the “The Pinocchio Test” of the Washington Post’s The Fact Checker and even awarded PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” Award.
Palin’s claim has had a noticeable impact both politically and socially, stirring great popularity among the American public and the mass media. According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans have heard of the “death panels” charge after only a week from her Facebook post.
When making the claim, Palin was referring to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) as the “death panel.” However, primary job of the IPAB is to help reduce the rate of growth in Medicare spending, not rejecting and approving health care for ill individuals. The legislative proposals do not mention anything that calls for the creation of “death panels” or any governmental body that would decide an individual’s worthiness of health care.