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Howard Dean admits that Sarah Palin kinda-sorta might have been right about the Obamacare ‘death panel’ thing

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By Doug Powers  •  July 29, 2013 01:30 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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Almost four years ago, Howard “YEAARRGGHH!!!” Dean said Sarah Palin’s “death panel” (“who lives and who dies” decisions caused by rationing) allegation was made up.

Dean even said at the time that Palin’s allegation could be an “incitement to violence.”

Fast forward to today. Dean, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, draws closer to Palin’s warning:

That said, the law still has its flaws, and American lawmakers and citizens have both an opportunity and responsibility to fix them.

One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.

In 2009, Palin wrote that Obamacare rationing will lead to a panel deciding which people “are worthy of healthcare.” That’s not much different from what Dean wrote, though Howard will go to great lengths to never admit Palin had a point.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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