Rep. Harris Defends "Death Panel" Lie With A Wink And A Smile

November 07, 2011 2:00 pm ET — Julia Krieger

GOP freshman Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) made a splash last year by stamping his feet over his government health care not kicking in fast enough. Since then, he has not been sheepish about hypocritically attacking "Obamacare," saying the law will make cancer death rates in the U.S. like those in "socialist countries."

This weekend at Americans for Prosperity's Defending the American Dream Summit, Harris garnered applause by alluding to the idea of "death panels" in the Affordable Care Act. Political Correction caught up with Harris afterward, where Harris justified his nod to Sarah Palin's PolitiFact "Lie of the Year," saying, "The Independent Payment Advisory Board comes as close as you can to a death panel."

POLITICAL CORRECTION: But you would still characterize IPAB as a death panel.

REP. ANDY HARRIS: The Independent Payment Advisory Board comes as close as you can to a death panel. Because it will decide whether something necessary in the treatment of an elderly patient with a severe disease — serious disease — is reimbursed by Medicare. So you can characterize that whichever way you want — I'm thinking don't characterize it as a death panel, but I'm telling you it's the closest you're ever going to come to what people characterize as a death panel.

Overhearing the exchange, a conference attendee told Harris he must be "just dying to say Sarah Palin was right," to which Harris responded with an animated wink and a laugh. 


Perhaps what's most disconcerting about Harris' grinning agreement with Sarah Palin is that members of Congress continue to perpetuate lies about government health care that they know to be false and — in Harris' case — find it funny.  

Read the facts about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) HERE.