She’s Back…

If not for Sarah Palin (and Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, et al.), where would we find humor in our political lives?

It’s not like she seeks facts on which she can base her opinions. No, she continues to deliver her opinions and tries to force facts to seem to support her positions.

So, what’s new for the darling of the not-so-Republican right? These tidbits, from her latest Facebook blog entry:

  • Harry Reid’s Senate—nice touch, but Senator Reid, no matter what you think of him, doesn’t own the US Senate. Otherwise, we would have called this institution “Trent Lott’s Senate” not so long ago.
  • Shady backroom deals—Sad to say, but inter-party and bipartisan meetings not open to the public have always been used by members of Congress to craft legislation, going all the way back to the administration of George Washington.
  • No one is certain of what’s in the [Senate health care reform] bill—No one, that is, but the Senators, the Congressional Quarterly, the Library of Congress, and any citizen who bothers to download and read the bill. (You can get it here!)

Death Panels? Again?

Ms. Palin (again) uses the “Death Panel” label to describe the Independent Medicare Advisory Board that HR 3590 (Senate) uses to control costs. The purpose of this Board is:

…to, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending—

(1) by requiring the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to determine in each year to which this section applies…the projected per capita growth rate under Medicare for the second year following the determination year…;

(2) if the projection for the implementation year exceeds the target growth rate for that year, by requiring the Board to develop and submit during the first year following the determination year…a proposal containing recommendations to reduce the Medicare per capita growth rate to the extent required by this section; and

(3) by requiring the Secretary to implement such proposals unless Congress enacts legislation pursuant to this section.

There is nothing in this section that even hints at requiring physicians—or anyone else—to end the life of anyone for any reason.

Bureaucrats?

Well, there she goes again. Ms. Palin describes the Independent Medicare Advisory Panel as:

…a panel of bureaucrats…

Hmm. Here’s how the Senate legislation describes members of the Board:

The appointed membership of the Board shall include (but not be limited to) physicians and other health professionals, experts in the area of pharmaco-economics or prescription drug benefit programs, employers, third-party payers, individuals skilled in the conduct and interpretation of biomedical, health services, and health economics research and expertise in outcomes and effectiveness research and technology assessment. Such membership shall also include representatives of consumers and the elderly.

Excuse me, but do you read any requirement that the Board be comprised of government employees, or bureaucrats, whose expertise is with the administration of government bureaus?

Bipartisanship

Ms. Palin decries the lack of bipartisanship in the health insurance reform debates, writing:

“The administration’s promises of transparency and bipartisanship have been broken one by one. This entire process has been defined by midnight votes on weekends, closed-door meetings with industry lobbyists, and payoffs to politicians willing to sell their principles for sweetheart deals. Is it any wonder that Americans are so disillusioned with their leaders in Washington?”

Republicans have consistently refused to contribute materially to health insurance reform legislation debates in the House and the Senate. I have earlier commented on their apparent definition of bipartisanship—both of you, my readers, remember this.

Ms. Palin writes of closed-door meetings and sweetheart deals, as if either of these—no matter how shady they are—are maneuvers used exclusively by Democrats.

(A short history of back-office compromises or deals and political payoffs to obtain votes would exhaust the best writer and take far too much space in the Internet.)

Ms. Palin still needs to do her homework and get her facts straight.