NYT's Krugman Slips and Tells the Truth about 'Death Panels'
In a recent column, Hentoff writes:
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner in economics and an influential New York Times columnist, also has a blog, "The Conscience of a Liberal." On ABC's "This Week" (Nov. 14), during a discussion on balancing the federal budget against alarming deficits, he proclaimed the way to solve this problem is through deeply cost-effective health-care rationing.
"Some years down the pike," he said, "we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes." That would mean the U.S. Debt Reduction Commission "should have endorsed the panel that was part of the (Obama) health-care reform."
Sarah Palin was one of the first, and the most resounding, to warn us of the coming of government panels to decide which of us -- especially, but not exclusively, toward the end of life -- would cost too much to survive.
She was mocked, scorned from sea to shining sea, including by the eminent Paul Krugman for being, he said, among those spreading "the death penalty lie" as part of "the lunatic fringe." (Summarized in "Krugman Wants 'Death Panels'" Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (Nov. 15).
Soon after he had left the ABC Studio, someone must have alerted Krugman that -- gee whiz--- he had publicly rooted for death panels!
Swiftly, on his blog, Krugman admitted he had indeed said those dreaded words, but:"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.""Extreme care," Professor Krugman? To be defined by government commissions, right?
Holly Pitt Young is a frequently interviewed expert in Washington, D.C. who focuses on the crossroads between policy and political engagement.