Tags: Sebelius | GOP | Medicare | Post

Sebelius 'Should Be Ashamed' for Claiming GOP Medicare Would Make Cancer Patients 'Die Sooner'

Monday, 09 May 2011 11:25 AM

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “should be ashamed” about her claim that cancer patients would “die sooner” under the GOP Medicare plan, according to The Washington Post.  The claim is comparable to the allegation among that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law would create death panels, the Post reported.

Kathleen Sebelius, health and human services, GOP
Kathleen Sebelius accused of "outrageous charges." (Getty Images Photo)
Sebelius made her comment during while testifying before Congress in response to a question about what effect the Medicare overhaul proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would have on cancer patients.

“I think there's no question if you take a snapshot, people will run out of money, very quickly [under the GOP Medicare plan if you have cancer]. And if you run out of the government voucher and then you run out of your own money, you're really left to scrape together charity care, go without care, die sooner. There aren't really a lot of options,” the Post quoted her as saying.

In fact-checking the claim, the Post noted that there are “a number of unanswered questions about the Ryan Medicare plan . . . But the budget debate in Washington is fierce enough that senior officials should avoid the temptation to make outrageous charges.”

“Sebelius could have chosen to highlight the trade-offs people might face, or questioned the vagueness of Ryan’s proposals to deal with people who can’t afford to pay their bills. Instead, she decided to present a highly inflammable comment as a statement of fact — that there was “no question” people would run out money “very quickly” and then they would “die sooner.” She should be ashamed,” the Post concluded.

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