Palin’s Death Panels: Health care crisis in Alaska, not DC

In July, Alaska became the only state ever forced to stop signing up disabled health care patients for a government-run health plan. Were the ethics complaints Palin says made her quit just a smoke screen hiding something much more serious? Like the deaths of elderly patients for lack of care (and the lawsuits accompanying them)? Sounds a bit like those “death panels” Palin says our parents and disabled will face…except this is real.

From the Anchorage Daily News [emphasis added]:

The common thread in the suits is that seniors and disabled Alaskans aren’t getting the services they are entitled to under the law, Davis said. In one big win, the state Supreme Court ruled last year that the state had improperly cut off or reduced services to more than 1,000 needy people. State officials say they are trying to settle those lawsuits.

I’m also certain she hasn’t released the amount of legal costs, inflated or not, related to these lawsuits.

As to the backlog, most of the people waiting for an assessment already are getting services but are overdue for their annual check by a nurse to see if they need more or less help, state officials said.

“Annual check”? We know Sarah Palin isn’t against all annual checks–she’s cool with writing them. Providing them is evidently not as important. What are they going to do, die?

Well, yes.

Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.

So some of these people may have died because the government blew them off. Whoa.

While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.

“Thus, if someone passed away because a (personal care assistant) did not show up, for example, there was no indication this would have been reported or investigated,” the report said.

The state plans to start doing fatality reviews.

I’m sure Palin would object to the fatality reviews, if she hadn’t quit her job. Hmm…appearing in front of a government panel and being judged by your potential: False. A state program that ignores enrollees, who may die for lack of care: True. Only in Alaska.

Palin bragged about the surplus in her state, but the only annual checks she care about were the bonuses she sent out. Why didn’t she care enough to fund the program?

Downright evil.

Troubled Alaska health programs face federal restriction: Health |

Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), has requested the feds lift their ban.