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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?”

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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.

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.

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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.

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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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I think Trump’s people sit around ‘thinking up new ways to be cruel’: Senator

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On Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) tore into the Trump administration for its treatment of migrant children, as yet more reports come in of children being denied basic services in squalid conditions, and as Trump considers ways to get around the federal consent decree placing limits on how long they can be detained.

"We already know from so many child specialists that detaining children in these kinds of facilities does irreparable damage to them," said Hirono. "There are alternatives to family detention this administration could care less about ... the only way to get around the consent agreement is by getting around it by proposing or having this rule, which will be immediately challenged. They want to detain families indefinitely, children indefinitely, held in situations that do them absolutely no good when there are alternatives."

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Maddow: You have to watch what the lying White House does — and not what they say

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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow opened her show with a quick assessment of her thoughts on the ridiculous that the president of the United States regurgitated into the mouths of his supporters Wednesday.

She began by noting that they don't do press briefings at the White House anymore; instead, they've turned to talking to the president directly as he enters or exits the building to go off on his campaign trips or vacations.

"Today the president held a long one of these," she said. "One of the ones where he tried to push everyone's buttons, the president is denouncing the prime minister of our allied Denmark. He's calling her nasty. That will get some headlines. The president attacked American Jews for a second straight day today, saying they have dual loyalty because they're Jews. Americans of other religions don't have that dual loyalty or his suspicions of dual loyalty, Jewish-Americans do, because of their religion."

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