Yesterday, on ABC’s “This Week,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman addressed the subject of escalating health care costs. He said, “Some years down the pike, we’re going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:
It was not necessary for Paul Krugman to “clarify” what he meant yesterday, but he took the opportunity to do so anyway on his blog. He wrote 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.” Indeed, he is calling for death panels. In fact, he even characterized his comments on “This Week” by saying that “the eventual resolution of the deficit problem both will and should rely on ‘death panels and sales taxes.'” (My emphasis.)
Krugman has written 19 columns mentioning “death panels,” almost all of them in a mocking tone. He has spoken of the “death panel smear”; the “death panel lie”; and the “death panel people” as being part of “the lunatic fringe.” Similarly, there was a New York Times editorial in September that took to task “the cynical demagoguing about ‘death panels.'” Two weeks ago Times columnist Maureen Dowd blasted those who engaged in “their loopy rants on death panels,” and one week ago Times columnist Frank Rich talked about “fictions like ‘death panels.'”
So it turns out that all along Krugman’s ridicule was just a smoke screen: he’s wanted death panels from the get-go. Whether he speaks for the editorial board, Dowd and Rich is not certain, but it’s time for them to stop the antics and tell the public what they really believe. Krugman has. Catholics, especially the bishops, would love to see them all come clean.