No matter how many times this "death panel" myth gets debunked, you can count on Fox to do their best to continue to resuscitate it, as Fox's Neil Cavuto and one of their team of crackpot doctors, Manny Alvarez did this Thursday afternoon.
Leave it to Fox to take what otherwise looks like a pretty benign study by the University of California, San Francisco and turn it on its head as the new "death panels" in "Obamacare." Alvarez wrote an op-ed for the Fox News web site which you can read here which I'm quite sure was the basis for his appearance here with Cavuto: Dr. Manny: I am completely against this new medical ‘death test’:
Let me be very clear: I did not go into medicine to decide who lives and who dies.
I went into health care because I wanted to heal, to comfort, to educate and to study the illnesses that afflict my patients. And I don’t need a crystal ball to know when a patient is extremely safe or when he or she is going to die.
So I am somewhat confused as to the purpose of this new ‘mortality index.’ A new study from the University of California, San Francisco with funding from the federal government revealed 12 specific items physicians can use to help them determine whether costly screenings or medical procedures are worth the risk for patients unlikely to live 10 years or more.
Using a point system, the different factors include an individual’s age, weight, smoking habits, previous cancer diagnoses, whether or not he or she gets winded easily, and more. The more points a person has, the higher the chance of dying within the next decade. [...]
As to which doctors will be using this system, I cannot say for sure. Are these doctors going to be doctors in family practices and in rural America, or are these doctors going to be physicians employed by the insurance industry or perhaps federal medical boards like Medicaid and Medicare? It’s a question I’m curious about.
Alvarez sure didn't give the audience the impression he wasn't sure what the test would be used for during this interview with Cavuto. They were both quite clear that this was the return of the "death panels" in the Affordable Care Act. Here are a couple of recent articles on the study, without the fearmongering from Fox:
I'm not sure what the talking heads over at Fox used as their basis of the assertion that this new study is somehow part of the Affordable Care Act, but it looks like the fact that the government helped pay for the study was about all they're offering up. Whether the results of the study end up being used by some medical board in the future or not, it's just disgusting watching them scare their viewers that the government wants to kill grandma to save a buck and calling this Republican health care plan that our Democratic president got passed "socialized medicine."