Krugman: About those death panels . . .
Sometimes, these things just make your jaw drop:
Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.
— Paul Krugman, This Week, November 14, 2010
Wow, so Sarah Palin was right after all?
Well, maybe she’s wrong because she was talking about the health care bill, and he’s talking about proposed solutions for the future. Fair enough, until you consider the fuller text of his statements:
KRUGMAN: If they were going to do reality therapy, they should have said, OK, look, Medicare is going to have to decide what it’s going to pay for. And at least for starters, it’s going to have to decide which medical procedures are not effective at all and should not be paid for at all. In other words, it should have endorsed the panel that was part of the health care reform.
If it’s not even — if the commission isn’t even brave enough to take on the death panels people, then it’s doing no good at all. It’s not educating the public. It’s not telling people about the kinds of choices that need to be made.
So, is Paul Krugman admitting that Mrs. Palin was right? Does he owe her an apology for statements like this:
Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course.
Here’s what Mrs. Palin said to which Krugman was responding:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. 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.
Here’s Krugman explaining himself on his blog:
So, what I said is that the eventual resolution of the deficit problem both will and should rely on “death panels and sales taxes”. What I meant is that . . . health care costs will have to be controlled, which will surely require having Medicare and Medicaid decide what they’re willing to pay for — not really death panels, of course, but consideration of medical effectiveness and, at some point, how much we’re willing to spend for extreme care.
So, I guess one man’s “medical effectiveness board” is another (wo-)man’s “death panel”. And so it goes . . .