Arizona’s Death Panels and the Craven Silence of the National Right to Life Committee

Arizona’s Death Panels and the Craven Silence of the National Right to Life Committee January 7, 2011

Tragic news out of Arizona: a second person has died after being cut from the transplant list to save money. This is a real life death panel, and yet passes almost unnoticed. The National Right to Life doesn’t seem to have anything to say about this, while spilling enormous amounts of ink trying to show that the Affordable Care Act is full of murderous health care rationing. It’s time to call out this corrupt and bloated organization for what it is – a partisan fund-raising outfit whose definition of “pro-life” is selective and relativistic. They see health care rationing as a huge issue, especially in Medicare. So where were they when the GOP sought to cut Medicare by 14 percent in 1995 and 13 percent in 1997? Where were they when the GOP voted against protecting or strengthening Medicare nearly 60 times over the past decade? Where were they when recent Republican budget proposals would practically destroy Medicare? Where were they when Paul Ryan presented his plan to cut Medicare by 76 percent?

Where were they when faced with evidence of pervasive rationing in the current system, with over 50 million uninsured and further 25 million underinsured? Where were they when faced with evidence that health costs were the leading cost of bankruptcy? Where were they when faced with evidence that rationing is far worse in the United States than in comparator countries, with 54 percent of people facing cost barriers to getting treatment for a medical problem? Where were they when presented with evidence that lack of insurance leads to 44,000 deaths a year? And where were they when people are dying because of budget cuts?

I’ll tell you where they were – cozying up to Republicans and pushing for repeal of healthcare reform. Shame on them.

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