The figure comes from Britain's National Institute for Clinical Evidence, which evaluates treatments in terms of the average increase in life expectancy. If the cost of prolonging someone's life for a year exceeds more than £30,000, then the NHS will not pay for that treatment. In other words, although there are no "death panels", the fundamental point is correct. The NHS does decide that some treatments are too expensive. And if that means you die? Our condolences, says the Government.
Despite the myths from the Left about the American system – that you have to take your credit card to the emergency room and if you can't pay you won't be treated – it is beyond dispute that treatment in the US is better. Diagnosed with prostate cancer and want to survive for the next five years? In Britain you have a 74 per cent chance. In the US, it is 98 per cent. For leukaemia, the American survival rate is close to half, while in Europe it is a third.
I would for the record like to point out that my husband's cousin from the UK who was a doctor before switching to teaching was essentially on one of those "Death Panels" as Sarah Palin put it so precisely. This cousin was truly sickened by the arbitrary life-and-death decisions she was forced to make because the NHS would not invest in the necessary equipment that would have saved lives.
In the interests of privacy I will not go into any more detail but suffice it to say that her speciality is quite common here in the US and I can think of at least three location in a 15 mile radius that provide the services that she could not provide to her patients.
So when someone says Palin's statement is overblown, do not believe them. That is how the NHS works. That is how any and all government run single-payer plans work. And that is how Obamacare would work if allowed to exist here in the United States. Healthcare determined and provided by distant beaurocrats, not doctors.