Mitt Romney: ‘Death Panels! Death Panels!’

Mitt Romney: 'Death Panels! Death Panels!

“Just what to do with the nation’s healthcare system has been argued time and again – but it always seems to come back to the ‘death panels.’

Such was the case at the debate in Denver on Wednesday night, when moderator Jim Lehrer asked the candidates whether Obamacare, one of the most contentious issues this election season, should be repealed.

Romney said it should, telling Lehrer that President Obama’s healthcare overhaul was too expensive for small businesses, that it cut funding for Medicare, and finally, that ‘it puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.’”

— “Presidential debate: It always comes back to the ‘death panels,'” Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times

This is the Independent Payment Advisory Board they’re talking about. As Politifact puts it:

“Board members aren’t elected, but it’s a stretch to say they’re … unaccountable. They’re appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The president can fire them for neglect of duty or malfeasance.They’re required to recommend cuts to Medicare in years that other cost-saving measures don’t meet growth targets — but Congress can overrule their recommendations.”

Back to last night:

“Obama countered that ‘what this board does is identify best practices and says, let’s use the purchasing power of Medicare to institutionalize all these good things we do.’ But the president made a point of adding, ‘Let me just point out that this board we’re talking about can’t make decisions about what treatments are given. That’s explicitly prohibited in the law.’”

— “About that unelected Medicare board,” N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post blog


“Pat Boone says health care advisory board can ration care and deny Medicare treatments,” Politifact. “Pants on Fire.”


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Image (“Sheriff Andy on Health Care Reform”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “Mitt Romney: ‘Death Panels! Death Panels!’”

  1. phillipberkun Says:

    Why does no one counter that the panels in the Affordable Care Act are better by a long shot than the “death panels” we have now staffed as they are by underpaid insurance company drones accountable only to overpaid insurance company executives interested only in profit, not people’s health?

  2. Mitt Romney’s ‘Death Panel’ Nostalgia « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] Read more actual, reality-based facts here. […]

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