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.
It's goes without saying that this statement is an outright demonstrable lie. And it's coming from a former candidate for Vice President of the United States.
But that said, Palin is sort of right on one point -- there are people who weigh whether children like Trig are worthy of insurance. They're called insurance companies, and they have decided that these children are not in fact worthy of coverage. That's because Down Syndrome is a "pre-existing condition."
Christian Science Monitor, 10/21/08 (Lexis):
Margaret Demko of Albany, Ohio, agrees everyone should be responsible for themselves. But she also believes the free market has failed the healthcare system miserably. That's left too many people, like her family and every other family that lives on her rural road in Appalachia, without healthcare coverage.
. . .
Ensuring that everyone has access to care has become a full-time cause for Ms. Demko. She and her family have been without insurance since her daughter was born four years ago with what doctors say is Down syndrome. Her husband is a self-employed contractor so the family had relied on her job as a substance abuse counselor for their health insurance.
But Demko said she couldn't keep working full time with an infant with special needs. When she quit, she didn't realize that would result in her family's being unable to get health insurance.
Ohio does not require insurance companies to cover children with disabilities considered to be preexisting conditions.
Georgetown Univ., Center for Children and Families:
Margaret Demko, the mother of three-year-old Emily, testified before the Ohio Finance Committee on February 27, 2008, on how waiting for health care coverage has impacted Emily and her future.
Emily was born with Down Syndrome. After receiving Emily's diagnosis, the family decided that it was important for Margaret to stay home in order to best meet the needs of their child. They explored numerous options after losing their employer-sponsored coverage, but due to Emily's pre-existing condition, the Demkos were denied private coverage. Luckily, they qualified for Medicaid. However, by their 6-month reauthorization meeting, the monthly family income was $135 over the allowable limits.
The medical bills, in excess of $3,500 a month, were devastating, forcing the family to make difficult decisions regarding therapy. Emily's medical condition requires orthotic shoe inserts, physical therapy, and corrective eye treatments, as well as hearing and blood tests. The Demkos cannot afford to incur all the expenses at once.
Harold Pollack also wrote a good piece on these issues during the election.