Talk show host lets Gardner appear to agree with Palin without asking him for clarification

On Fort Morgan’s KFTM radio this week, host John Waters missed a chance to pin down Rep. Cory Gardner about whether he agrees, in retrospect, that Sarah Palin was right that Obamacare put the fate of Americans in the hands of “death panels,” with the power to decide who lives and who dies.

Remember Palin said her own child with Down Sydrome would “stand in front of Obama’s death panel” for a verdict.

As you can see below, Gardner neither stared down this craziness nor embraced it. Gardner managed to leave the casual conservative listener with the impression that, yes, he agrees with Palin. And unfortunately Waters didn’t ask him to clarify.

It’s a pattern with Gardner that a right-wing host like Waters should want to dig into. In front of conservative groups, Gardner presents himself as one of them, but when a mainstream audience is peeking in, he moderates. Where does he really stand?

Will Gardner stand behind his support for the personhood ban on abortion, for rape, for example, even as he says he wants more women in the GOP tent?

Will Gardner continue to stand with the Tom Tancredos of the GOP in opposing in-state tuition for young undocumented immigrants? Or a borader path to citizenship?

These are the questions I’d be asking if I were Waters. Instead, Waters lets Gardner slide:

Host: I remember, Cory, three or four years ago when Sarah Palin came out and talked about “death panels” that would be put in place as part of Obamacare, she was absolutely crucified and vilified in the media because of this assertion of death panels. And now it’s come out that she was absolutely right.

Gardner: Well, you have this Independent Payment Advisory Board that was set up to look at how healthcare is going to or is not going to be delivered. It’s not a decision that’s going to be made between a patient and a doctor but it’s a decision that’s going to be made between the bureaucrat and the health care provider, and what they can do and what they will not be able to do, particularly the case for Medicare. The Board is an unelected group of bureaucrats. It actually has a bipartisan opposition, both Republicans and Democrats have tried to repeal the IPAD board, but so far without luck.

Listen to Cory Gardner on KFTM 3-11-2013

In case you’re wondering, the 15-member Independent Advisory Payment Advisory Board, appointed by the president and the U.S. Senate and established under Obamacare, would recommend Medicare cost-savings measures, which could be rejected by Congress. explains:

The health care law directs a new national board — with 15 members who are political appointees — to identify Medicare savings. It’s forbidden from submitting “any recommendation to ration health care,” as Section 3403 of the health care law states. It may not raise premiums for Medicare beneficiaries or increase deductibles, coinsurance or co-payments. The IPAB also cannot change who is eligible for Medicare, restrict benefits or make recommendations that would raise revenue.
What it can do is reduce how much the government pays health care providers for services, reduce payments to hospitals with very high rates of re-admissions or recommend innovations that cut wasteful spending. Some argue that because the IPAB can reduce the money a doctor receives, this could lead to an indirect form of rationing. But the board wouldn’t make any health care decisions for individual Americans. Instead, as PolitiFact Georgia reported, it would make broad policy decisions that affect Medicare’s overall cost.

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