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Palin resurrects bogus ‘death panels’ and ‘rationing’ claims

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Sarah Palin infected the health care debate with damaging misinformation last year when she claimed the package includes “death panels.” And as Democrats make their final push to enact the bill, she has reiterated it.

Palin coined the term in a Facebook entry last August, leading to heated controversies about the reform effort. Republican lawmaker Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) echoed the former Alaskan governor, telling constituents that they “have every right to fear” such a bill.

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But the notion that the concept exists in any form in the legislation has been debunked by The Associated Press and FactCheck.org, among other organizations. The nonpartisan PolitiFact awarded it “Lie of the Year” in 2009, a testament to its inaccuracy and far-reaching impact.

On Sunday, Palin took to Facebook to revive the claim as it purportedly pertains to the “rationing” of health care.

“Government health care will not reduce the cost of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay it,” the former vice presidential candidate wrote. “And who will get left behind when they have to ration care to save money?”

“Please ask yourself: who will be left behind?” she continued. “And who will decide — what kind of panel will decide — who receives the health care that government will obviously have to ration?”

Palin argues that the Democratic package would lead to rationing of care by a federal government “panel,” which she suggested would have the power to strip treatment for needy patients. But the legislation does not allow this to occur as it contains no expansion of government-controlled insurance.

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In fact, the objective of the bill is to minimize the rationing of care presently carried out by the private sector. Insurance companies are legally able to deny coverage to patients on the basis of pre-existing conditions and drop sick people from plans, even if they’ve paid their premiums in full. The Democrats’ reform effort would put an end to these practices.

Along with stiffer insurance regulations, the bill contains subsidies for low-income individuals and an individual mandate that they purchase coverage. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says it would cover an additional 31 million legal American residents and reduce the deficit by $118 billion over ten years.

In other words, the legislation allows the federal government to help fund health care coverage for those who lack it, but not assume control of any private-sector insurance programs. As a result, it precludes the government from being in a position to ration health care treatments.

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The prospect of expanding government-based insurance has been debated in the form of a public insurance option and a Medicare buy-in program, but neither made the cut for the Senate bill, and neither is in the final reconciliation package.

In Sunday’s Facebook note, Palin blasts the Democratic health reform bill as damaging to the United States and a betrayal of the public’s will. “[W]e have to kill this bill before November,” she writes.

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President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod and spokesman Robert Gibbs expressed confidence Sunday that it would pass within a week.


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Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’

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Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance

Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.

Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.

"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.

"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.

"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"

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California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report

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On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.

"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."

Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.

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‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation

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Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a

"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."

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