The term “Death Panel” originated in 2009 during the debate over health care legislation, now known as the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Former Governor of Alaska, and former running mate of John McCain, Sarah Palin coined the term.
Her inference that a panel of bureaucrats would decide who would live and die according to the age or particular health issue of an individual, was used as a scare tactic in the fight against healthcare reform. She pointed to a part of the legislation that would have Medicare patients receive counseling about living wills, advance directives and end-of-life care. While counseling for the above reasons are normal, and helpful for those who need it, they are not necessary, but would have available.
Nevertheless, Palin’ assertion about this part of the healthcare legislation leading to death panels that would judge who is, and is not, worthy of health care, spread like a wildfire over the news and social media. A poll later showed that 80 percent were familiar with the term death panel and that 30 percent believed it was true.
Due to public concern, the provision regarding counseling was stricken from the Senate bill and never included in the ACA. Fact checkers quickly marked the death panel idea as the biggest lies of the year.
Recently, due to the Republican’s promise to repeal the ACA (Obamacare), some have tried to dust off the old lie and use it again. Repeat a lie often enough and people begin to believe it to be true. However, when Gus Bilirakis, a Florida legislator, brought the issue up at a townhall meeting in Port Richey Florida, he ran into a Buzzsaw, a 77-year-old woman who rebuked him for spreading false information.
Watch the video.