Mark Halperin: I Don’t Believe Obamacare Contains ‘Death Panels’

Mark Halperin on Tuesday sought to clarify his comments about “death panels” in the Affordable Care Act. 

In a pair of tweets, Halperin said he does not believe the health care law contains “death panels,” but said the Independent Payment Advisory Board faces political challenges ahead. He quoted former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), who called the board “essentially a health-care rationing body.” But the Affordable Care Act explicitly bars the IPAB from rationing care.

During an interview on Monday, Halperin seemed to agree with right-wing shock jock Steve Malzberg’s assertion that “there will be rationing, a.k.a ‘death panels.'”

“It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin said in the interview.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at