(CNN) - Sarah Palin is accusing President Obama’s health care plan of looking to create a “death panel” that would weigh whether her parents or son Trig were “worthy of health care.”
"Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!" the former Alaska governor said in a post on her Facebook page late Friday.
In one of her first public policy statements since leaving office late last month, Palin discounted the administration’s view that the president’s plan would cut health care costs. The only path to lower costs, she said, was less treatment.
"And who will suffer the most when they ration care?" she wrote. "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."
Conservatives - including Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who Palin references in her post - have pointed to a provision in the House health care bill that calls for “advance care planning consultation.” The measure would make available to individuals the option of a consultation with a medical provider who would explain “advance care planning,” if they have not met with a senior medical practitioner within the previous five years. These sessions would be an optional benefit, and would not be mandatory under the legislation.
During these consultations, the doctor would answer questions about care, suggest other professionals to speak with, and offer an explanation of the legal definitions of living wills, powers of attorney and the role of a health care proxy. The doctor would also provide a list of national and state resources devoted to assisting individuals and families with advance care planning; inform people of existing end-of-life services like hospice care, and what sorts of financial benefits are available to help them take advantage of that support; and explain the meaning of different orders that relate to life-sustaining treatment.
The White House has not commented on Palin’s statement, which also takes aim at bioethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Palin spent most of the past week in New York City with her family, sightseeing and meeting with her book publisher.