Mark Halperin: Obamacare Contains 'Death Panels'

Monday, 25 Nov 2013 05:07 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for "death panels," which decide which critically ill patients receive care and which don't, says Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine.

"It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled," Halperin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"We do need to do some of that in this country, because we can't afford to spend so much on end-of-life care. A very high percentage of our healthcare spending is for a very small number of people at the last stages of their life," he said Monday.

"I'm not saying the system shouldn't allow that, but there's too much cost. There're judgments have to be made."

Halperin, coauthor of the bestselling book "Double Down: Game Change 2012," said the U.S. media was not effective in reporting about the effects of the Affordable Care Act on Americans.

"It's clear that at the time of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and in the context of the presidential campaign, the press did nothing like an adequate job in fly-specking and scrutinizing the whole law," Halperin said.

"Not just the provisions that have already become controversial, about which the president was misleading . . . but other aspects.

"I would hope that as we chronicle what's going on now with the political controversy of the law and scrutiny of the president's past statements on some issues that we all learn a lesson from that."

On the historic and controversial nuclear arms deal between the United States and Iran, Halperin thinks it strains America's ties with Israel.

"The relationship between both Israel and the United States and between President [Barack] Obama and Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu are both pretty fraught," he said.

"There's no doubt that President Obama believes the right way to proceed in Israel's interest is to have these secret talks . . . and it's no doubt that Netanyahu is much more skeptical of the Iranian government and what might happen."

Halperin thinks it will be tougher for Obama to even keep fellow Democrats in line on the Iran deal, as well as on healthcare, as next year's elections approach.

"The Democrats don't trust that the president has their political interests, their political future, at heart, and that's going to make it tough for him to get things done,'' he said.

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