August 9th, 2009
02:48 PM ET
12 years ago

Dean on Palin’s health care claims: ‘She made that up’

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told CNN Sunday that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had deliberately made up charges that the Obama administration’s health care bill would lead to euthanasia.

“About euthanasia, they're just totally erroneous. She just made that up,” he said. “Just like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ that she supposedly didn't support.

“There's nothing like euthanasia in the bill. I practiced medicine for a long time, and of course you have to have end of life discussions - the patients want that. There's nothing... euthanasia's not in this bill.”

Dean was referring comments Palin made late Friday in a post on her Facebook page. In her post, the former Republican vice presidential candidate said President Obama’s health care plan would create a “death panel” that would weigh whether her parents or son Trig were “worthy of health care.”

She discounted the administration’s view that the president’s plan would cut health care costs, saying the only path to lower costs 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."

Palin has mostly steered clear of interviews with reporters since leaving office last month. "Democracy depends on you. That is why our troops are willing to die for you," she told the media in her farewell speech. "So how about in honor of the American soldier, ya quit making things up?" She spent several days last week in New York, meeting with her book publisher.

Filed under: Howard Dean • Sarah Palin
soundoff (337 Responses)
  1. Conservative Voice

    Anyone who thinks the Nazis were socialists is clearly ignorant of history, politics and basically uneducated. Read Mein Kampf as a starting point. Nazis were the ANTITHESIS of socialist – essentially a brand of fascism and about as right wing as you can get in both philosophy and execution. For the record, both socialism and fascism have proven to be failed systems of government. Randy – you need to go back to school, get an education and stop making erroneous, uneducated, embarrassing comments on-line.

    August 9, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. William

    Well lets see if CNN will post this. If it is allowed then everybody will know that "truthteller" doesn't know jack! However if CNN doesn't post this then that tell's me that CNN IS nothing more then a Democratic machine, which I've been told but still dont believe.
    I am a Republican! You may even consider me a far right wing republican! and although I really liked Palin in the beginning there is no way I would vote for her to be president. She couldn't handle be the Governor of a state, how is she going to be president? Now to her comment A) I think the comment about euthanasia is going a little to far, however, the content of the comment is absolutely true wheather you want to believe it or not. The government will decide wheather a person recieves any health care or not as well as what type of care that person deserves. That's one thing Republicans are up in arms about, as well as a lot of Democrats. We've got Medicare and Medicaid, why not just revamp those systems. Is that a type of socialism, Yes, but it's not the type of Nationalism that Obama is trying to push on us. Most Americans dont realize that we have lived in a Socialistic Democracy since FDR's administration and we've done quite well until just lately. Now Obama wants to force the country into a new stronger socialism and it's not going to happen – anybody ever watch "For Whom the Bell Tolls"? B). Regardless of comments by confused housewives there are a lot of us that refuse to believe that Obama is leagally President. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that if Vice President Bidens birth place was in question that he would produce a birth certificate in a hot minute!

    August 9, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Dennis

    I really believe both sides are lying. I think the solution is somewhere in the middle. Health care does not need a complete overall. Changes are certainly needed, but the current system works well for a majority of the people. Let's find ways to get coverage for those legal citizens who don't have coverage, or are unsatisfied with current coverage and leave the rest of it alone.

    August 9, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Lois

    I urge all to actually READ the bill, and not take some private citizen's opinon. I predicted that Palin would now write hit pieces to show just how "intelligent" and "informed" she is. (actually, I don't believe this woman has written this comment, nor the op-ed piece) When the media insists she actually debate the issues she spews about and she does, why even take the time to read them? She will not debate because she does not understand them. READ the bill for yourself. This nutball only wants the press.

    August 9, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. anti liberal

    tired of fanatics,

    Are you serious??

    Every insurance company I know (i likewise work in an insurance agency) have HSA's with the highest deductibles.

    You know WHY they have them???

    Becuase they control costs the best, that's why.

    nice try!

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Adam

    Dear Kaydea –

    You're right. A "Death Panel" would be a terrible thing. Awful. Inhumane. Criminal.

    Except there's NOTHING LIKE THAT ANYWHERE IN ANY HEALTH PLAN being discussed. Not now, never was.

    The paragraph Ms. Palin refers to is merely one that requires Medicare to pay for long range planning counseling ONLY IF THE PATIENT ASKS FOR IT.

    Long range planning is a good thing. Everyone should do it. I've done it, and I'm only 50. You should do it too, Kaydea. It's simply the process of deciding in advance what YOU want the doctors to do if you're ever seriously injured or seriously ill. Do you want the hospital to keep you alive at all costs? Or do you want to refuse extraordinary measures to keep you alive? This is a very personal choice, and should be made by the patient, and the patient alone. And that's how it's written in the health care bill.

    The long-range planning provision simply requires Medicare to cover the cost of preparing a living will every five years. It doesn't REQUIRE you to make one, and it doesn't REQUIRE you to make any choice for or against prolonging your care. It's completely up to you.

    Oh, and one last note. This particular part of the Health Care bill was suggested and written by a REPUBLICAN member of Congress. It's a good, smart, helpful part of the bill, and an example of how, despite all the stupid political bickering on the surface, the Dems and Repubs are actually working quite well behind the scenes to craft an important and useful health care reform bill.

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Molly Weasley

    The language in this bill about having end-of-life discussions was actually written years ago by a Republican congressman who is a physician. It's about doctors getting paid for what many of them are already doing.

    Think about it. When Republicans in Congress rushed through the Terry Schiavo legislation and Bush flew back to Washington to sign it, people were outraged (except for some right-wing loonies) that the government would step in and tell them how to make decisions about treatment. That was done by Republicans, not Democrats. Does everyone remember how appalled the country was at that legislation?

    There is no slippery slope. The language in this bill specifically says that Medicare will pay for consultations between physicians and patients IF patients want to discuss end-of-life care. This is the same kind of discussion that doctors have with patients now. (And don't forget - the number of living wills went up greatly after the Terri Schiavo incident.)

    This has nothing to do with nonsense about "death panels." This is a payment issue for doctors - that's all. Congress periodically adds more services to the Medicare program so that seniors will get more comprehensive care. This is one of those instances.

    Of course, it adds to the overall cost of health care, and we all pay the price. Which is why we need to restructure the system and why we need health care.

    I'm amazed that people can be so dumb and listen to nonsensical talking points.

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Elizabeth Morris

    I believe that the Republican Party and John McCain did Mrs. Palin a huge disservice in bringing her into national politics. She was comfortable and in her element; her constituents (most of them) loved her even though she was beginning to get the reputation of using her political position to punish those who she percieved were somehow wronging her so she would probably have won re-election for a second term.

    So where is she now? Having tasted "fame", she just can't seem to get it that her time in the spotlight is done. They coached her, tarted her up, bought her some beautiful clothing and thrust her into instant celebrity; her ignorance was painful to watch.

    The Republican Party, emulating the "dirty tricks" era, are now sending their people to disrupt town hall meeting designed to inform and answer the questions we all have about the "health care bill". Sarah is still yearning for the spotlight by making outrageous statements that are terrifying folks – these last comments on euthanasia are the worst. The Party is being run by a bunch of thugs who are as dangerous to our way of life as any outside threat with Hannity, Limbaugh, Newt and the rest on the air every day spounting lies, twisting words and undermining a sincere effort on the part of the current administration to address the concerns affecting millions of us. This amounts to subversion; this is what we should all be afraid of.

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    This is the real hope for the Republican party.Michelle Bachman will make a good running mate.

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Mark

    " former Republican vice presidential candidate said President Obama’s health care plan would create a “death panel” that would weigh whether her parents or son Trig were “worthy of health care.”

    I think Dean is the one making stuff up. I don't like Palin one bit, but she didn't say euthenasia, she was referring to denying them health care that would help them avoid death. And the proposed bill does imply that.

    Perhaps both could both shut up and do us all a favor.

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Jeri

    Ok, I just have to say this to Sarah Palin.... As a Veteran, the ex wife of a Veteran, the sister of two Veterans, the daughter of a Veteran, the grand daughter of a Veteran, the Great Grand daughter of a Veteran etc...(my family has had a member in the service for every war this country has engaged in) AND as a member of the Libertarian Party.....

    To use her own words: "So how about in honor of the American soldier, ya quit making things up?"

    August 9, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. gwen

    Again Palin is so ignorant she isn't even worth addressing, why do we keep giving this woman a platform?? She represents a small, very small, uneducated portion of the country who will believe any outlandish claims she makes...

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. United we stand...

    Brian August 9th, 2009 10:59 am ET

    ........ Obama said that if your old and need a heart pace maker, just go take a pain pill. Screw Him. Our health care system is the best in the world. Why would I want to go to a system like Canada that rations care....

    And Americans wonder why other countries think they are idiots.

    Brian, do yourself a favor and show a smidgen of intellectual curiosity.

    The American healtchare system althought hte MOST EXPENSIVE in the world is ranked 37 overall, not first. not close to first.

    As for rationing care in Canada – don't be a fool. I have lived the Canadian system for most of my adult lif and it is WAY BETTER and CHEAPER – WAAAAY CHEAPER than the privatized Insurance run joke of a system right now. My American cousins (yes, the rich ones) send their parents to Canada for surgery. It cost $0.00, and is just as effective as surgery here and you don't end up paying through the nose.

    But fools like you will keep shouting at clouds... You are a sad, unintelligent person who should listen more and speak much less.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Palin lied. I am shocked. Are you sure it was a lie and not just the fact that she is not very bright. She couldn't figure out that the political group Todd was with wanted to break away from the United States when that was on the front page of their website. The only state with worse politicians is Louisiana (At one point Louisiana's choices for governor were the head of the state KKK and a former governor convicted of taking bribes while in office. The crook won).

    Never mind, even Sarah can't be stupid enough to believe the crap she is saying is true. She is lying.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. ross berg

    Now I'm getting sincerely worried that we're going to lose Sarah Palin as an occassional player on the national stage with these increasingly wacko comments.

    This kind of fantasy will quickly move her so far to the right side fringe that the news media ( yes, even CNN) will stop covering her.

    Then we'd all be the poorer ( certainly us males) as she is a beauty to behold!!

    Please Sarah, get a grip and count to ten before you speak!! Thanks.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Lou

    The media reports the exceptions to the norm. Being an exception to the norm, Palin and her organized "angry mobs" cohorts know they will get the media's attention so they pull the strings and the media puppets dance to the music played by the right wing fringe. Small number appear amplified. Disturbing yes, overall impact, only in the moment. In the long run, more damage to the Republican Party; recently tea bag, followed by birthers, now a health care smoke screen; all equaling the uprising of the radical, racist Omama haters driving themselves into a smaller and more dangerous fringe sub group.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Steve from AK

    Pailin is an idiot! I am glad she is no longer my governor.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. Tim

    Does anyone know if Sarah's insurance covers appears she could use some help.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. Hankers

    Mir says: "The government should not mandate end-of -life conversations especially when the MD is paid extra for doing it ("incentivized") ".
    Not having these discussions is also a conflict of interest as when the patient is receiving life supporting treatments without quality of life for ever, the doctor still gets paid, likely a multiple of the sums he/she will receive from the interview. This is an MD responsibility!

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  20. Kenwes

    This is in response to Kaydee (2nd comment in thread).
    I don't think Sarah Palin has a right to say whatever she wants when it is obviously so false. If she had quoted directly from any of the bills and connected that to her interpretation that would be different...then we would be able to see her faulty thinking.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. fed up with politicians

    I wish all of these politicians would just shut up. Come up with a plan, post it in detail and let the people read it and vote on it. I talk to friends in Europe and Canada and there are many many bad things about national health care, but there are some good things to. So I say to the politicians, SHUT UP and let us read the details for ourselves.

    August 9, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  22. Rumsfeld

    There you go again Sarah, inciting riot and propagating fear with your own ignorance. If you really feel that you are qualified to speak on behalf of the public, then you need to understand that your words should speak truth from facts. You are a part of the problem.
    It is easy enough to find the transcribed bill. I suggest you read it.

    August 9, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Ed in Reno

    Man are people stupid. No one is going to put Sarah Palin's baby to death because the medical costs are to high.

    The so called "Death Panel" Palin is referring to is nothing more than you being able to sit down with your doctor and discuss a living will, hospice care, and pain management when all treatment options are exhausted and your illness is terminal.

    They are helping you prepare yourself and your family for the inevitable, not strapping you down, injecting you, and turning you into Soylent Green.

    This is the same thing I went through when my wife's cancer had spread too far and all treatment options had been tried and were not working. They helped us set up hospice care in our own home she could spend her last 11 days of life at home with her family instead of in a hospital room. They also prescribed pain medication so that while she suffered through her last days she wouldn't have to feel much.

    I am tired of hearing people who have no idea what they're talking about scream about how this plan will require the euthanization of the old and the sick. I know it may be asking too much but, please, try to get a clue.

    August 9, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Anonymous

    OK, it's time to publicly issue an edict to the American People about these people like Palin and the Repugnant Party:

    US Citizens: If you hear it on Fox"News", Limbaugh, or from a Republican "Politician" take it on faith that it is either an outright lie, it's taken out of context, or it's simply incorrect. Take the two minutes it will take on the internet to verify that it is a lie, and then make your political decisions accordingly.

    That would pretty much cover the lunacy of these statements from the wingnuts and it would be a pretty trustworthy way to live your life in general.

    August 9, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. RR

    Michael wrote
    "The problem isn't palin it is those that are so ignorant that they will follow every word from this person as if God himself has spoken"

    I could not agree more, what are we going to do to Educate people about Obama?

    August 9, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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