Palin 'effects change' - one tweet at a time

Her Friday post on Facebook, which called Obama's healthcare plan 'evil,' has thrown her back into the national conversation.

By , Staff writer

Sarah Palin said she resigned as Alaska governor last month so that she might “effect change” from outside of government.

She is already stirring the pot.

On Friday, she stepped squarely into the national debate on healthcare reform.

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Writing on her Facebook account, she said that under President Obama’s version of healthcare, her son, Trig, who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome, would “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."

She called the plan "downright evil."

Only she and her closest confidants will know if this is how she sought to “effect change” – though a few keystrokes and web post. But there is little doubt that it has again put her in the national conversation.

On Sunday, the two panelists of ABC’s “This Week” were asked to respond to Ms. Palin’s comments.

Predictably, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, a doctor, dismissed the claim as delusional. Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said “turning power over to the government” could lead to “selective standards” and euthanasia.

The debate Sunday was the latest twist of an increasingly frequent Republican attack: that the so-called government option that Mr. Obama favors would give government bureaucrats the ability to deny treatment, thereby effectively condemning some people diagnosed with certain conditions to death, they say.

With her Facebook post, Palin is simply fulfilling the promise she made upon the dais of the Republican National Convention in 2008, when she likened herself to a political attack dog in lipstick.

The charge that Obama-inspired health plans would essentially condone euthanasia centers around a provision in one of the House reform bills. It would oblige the government to pay if a patient wants to consult a doctor about end-of-life care.

The author of the provision, a Democrat, is adamant that it simply enables patients to charge the government for consultations that are already common – a good thing for consumers.

Republicans are arguing that it is an insidious ploy by the government to reserve the right to deny care to the sick and elderly.

This is not the first time Palin has interjected herself into the national spotlight with online postings.

After she announced her resignation as Alaska governor, pundits combed her Twitter feed trying to divine the slightest hint of her intentions from seemingly random bursts of observation.

The absurdity was such that late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien had William Shatner recite Palin’s tweets to musical accompaniment, Beatnik style. Perhaps now Mr. O’Brien will contact Mike Myers to reprise his role from "So I Married an Axe Murderer" and do a sequel.

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