Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Death Panels’ Exist in the United States Now

Newly elected U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said Sunday that “death panels” currently exist in the United States. She said that the operation of the private health insurance market in effect condemns millions of people to sickness and death.

This happens if sick people don’t have the money to pay for care, and if for-profit insurance companies decide not to pay for life-saving treatments.

The term “death panels” was used almost a decade ago by 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Ocasio-Cortez made her comments about “death panels” in response to Jim Hanson, the president of the right-wing think tank Security Studies Group. She and Hanson exchanged Twitter posts about government intervention in the health care market, and what role government should play in providing healthcare to Americans.

“Actually, we have for-profit “death panels” now: they are companies + boards saying you’re on your own bc they won’t cover a critical procedure or medicine.”

“Maybe if the GOP stopped hiding behind this “socialist” rock they love to throw, they’d actually engage on-issue for once.”

Hanson immediately responded by tweeting:

“Nice try, But commercial insurance gives people choices about what coverages they want & decide to pay for. Your single payer nightmare will replace that with a one size fits none “choice” decided by faceless bureaucrats. Coverage for all, Treatment for few.”

“Ask the Brits how they love the #NHS,” he wrote in a second reply. “You’re all playing the Other People’s $$$ will pay for it game.”

“Free Healthcare ain’t free.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who, like Bernie Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, supports “Medicare for All,” a system that would extend government Medicare coverage to every American.

There is now a “Medicare for All” caucus in the House, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who also leads the House Progressive Caucus. They are pressing presumed future Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to bring the  “Medicare for All” legislation (H.R. 676) to the floor of the House for a vote next year.

Ocasio-Cortez is in touch with the complaints of average Americans about their healthcare plans. She said on Twitter on Sunday:

“People don’t want overly complicated choice between pricey, low-quality plans. We want an affordable solution that covers our needs, like the rest of the modern world.”

“Medicare for All:
– Single-payer system
– Covers physical, mental, & dental care
– 0 due *at point of service*”

“Death panels” was a term used by Republicans in 2009 to describe governmental panels that ration care. Palin and others in her party used the term to negatively (and incorrectly) describe provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Conservatives also use the term to lie about imagined negative results from government-run healthcare systems in other countries such as Canada.

What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doing is continuing the fight begun in 2016 by Bernie Sanders to provide truly affordable healthcare to all Americans. She is valiantly using her new position of prominence in the national spotlight to further the progressive agenda. She is engaging conservatives in discussions about the issues, and thus performing an invaluable service for the country.

It is only by speaking out and holding a national dialogue on issues such as healthcare that we will move forward as a nation. The message is clear: People want the programs that progressives are promoting, and they want them now.