ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called President Barack Obama's health plan "downright evil" Friday in her first online comments since leaving office, saying in a Facebook posting that he would create a "death panel" that would deny care to the neediest Americans.
"Who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course," the former Republican vice presidential candidate wrote on her Facebook page, which has nearly 700,000 supporters.
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil," Palin wrote.
An e-mail sent to Palin's spokeswoman to confirm authorship was not immediately returned Friday.
Obama, a Democrat, campaigned on a promise of offering affordable health care to all Americans. He has proposed a system that would include government and private insurers.
Republicans say that private insurers would be unable to compete, leaving the country with only a government-run health program. They warn that could leave Americans with little control over their health care.
Republican criticism has included claims that the reform plans will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have. However, millions of Americans already face rationing, as insurance companies rule on procedures they will cover.
Denying coverage for certain procedures might increase under proposals to have a government-appointed agency identify medicines and procedures best suited for various conditions.
In the posting, Palin encouraged her supporters to be engaged in the debate. "Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back," Palin wrote.
"Let's stop and think and make our voices heard before it's too late," the posting said.
Palin resigned as Alaska governor on July 26 with nearly 18 months left in her term. She cited not only the numerous ethics complaints that had been filed against her also her wish not to be a lame duck after the first-term governor decided not to seek re-election next year.
Palin, popular with conservatives in the Republican party, has said she wants to build a right-of-center coalition, and there is speculation she will seek the presidency in 2012. In the two weeks since she resigned, Palin has made only one public appearance, giving a Second Amendment rights speech last Saturday before a gun owners group in Anchorage.
Palin or her aides post notes on her Facebook account about once or twice a week, usually to set out policy statements, issue news releases or refute rumors circulating on the Internet.
Palin also has been largely silent before Friday's Facebook post. She was a voracious user of the social networking site Twitter, and promised to keep her supporters updated with a new private account after she left office. But that hasn't happened, leaving some of her fans begging for updates in the past two weeks.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Palin says Obama's health care plan is 'evil'
In the August 8, 2009 story "Palin says Obama's health care plan is 'evil'," Associated Press writer Mark Thiessen writes: