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Conservative pundits behind false 'death panel' claim

A New York Times article tracks down the origin of the false claim that a government "death panel" will decide whether the elderly or disabled live or die. It determined that the claim emanated "months ago from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton's health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of the Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey, whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative movement." It reported that "over the course of the past few months, early, stated fears from anti-abortion conservatives that Mr. Obama would pursue a pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia agenda, combined with twisted accounts of actual legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other 'end of life' services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the debate."

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