Yet another prominent Republican has endorsed former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s astonishingly false claim, which she doubled down on today, that health care reform will lead to “death panels.” At the “GOPAC” political action committee convention in Illinois today, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said that though there are no “death panels” in any legislation, they would probably happen any way:
While the health care reform bill passed by the U.S. House may not spell out “death panels,” Giuliani said simple economics hint to him that the panels would happen under the plan.
“President Obama says he will cover 30 to 40 to 50 million people who are not covered now — without it costing any money,” Giuliani said. “This is absurd. Health care — in case the Obama Administration hasn’t noticed, is very expensive. They will have to cut other services, cut programs. They will have to be making decisions about people who are elderly.”
Pressed on whether he himself believed the legislation calls for “death panels” to recommend hospice instead of treatment for the elderly, Giuliani said, “The only way in which you can save money the way the president and the House claims is by reducing care. So it is natural that some people would believe, particularly since they have these provisions for end-of-life decision-making councils, that it is natural that people would suggest that one of the ways you would do that is to cut off care for the elderly. Whether they will do that or not I don’t know. … People assume these Death Panels will be created. They [Democratic legislators] have created that suggestion in the ambiguity of the legislation.”
There are no “end-of-life decision-making councils” in any of the legislation in Congress. The only end-of-life provisions is in the House bill and it would allow Medicare to pay doctors for voluntary counseling sessions that address end-of-life issues. Additionally, the Senate Finance Committee has ruled out any such provisions.