Death panels have always existed. Case in point, in the early 70's my mother came down with an acute kidney disease, which ultimately led to renal failure. The cause of the disease was never discovered. But the outcome was a death sentence for her. Her doctor explained the situation to her. If she could get into a dialysis program, her life would be longer. If not, she had at most, a few months to live.
At this point in time, there were not a lot of open slots for this program. She was in her 60's, which did not bode well for her because of the age criteria. Somehow, she got into the program and lived another 3 years. At one point I spoke with the program director concerning some problems she was having. The good Dr. informed me that because of her age and other medical problems that developed in conjunction with the dialysis, "HE" should have not accepted her into the program.
He was a singular death panel.
In the ongoing discussions about the death panels, I realized that because of my mothers getting into the program, someone else was going to die. At the time, I didn't think of it in this way. Actually, I didn't think of it at all.
Today, most death panels consist of clerks..seriously....clerks. When you call your insurance provider with a problem, even life threatening, you will speak to a clerk. The job of the clerk is to just say "no." You wouldn't believe how many people will accept that, even if it means that a loved one will die.
Of course, they have there review boards which can be utilized and most of theses boards will be made up of medical people. Most of the time, they to will just say "no." Unlike the clerks though, their response is not scripted , it is based on money.
Health care was, is and always will be limited...There will always be death panels.