It was one of the biggest arguments against Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, before the law was passed: Americans said that the law would give government officials the right to execute the elderly. Rumors posted on September 2, 2014, via social media, are now spreading, more than ever, as users continue to share the, supposedly fake, articles of a woman’s execution by firing squad. Though, according to sources, the first rumor started almost a year ago, it just didn’t seem to catch as much then. So far as anyone knows these are just rumors, but in their time the articles have caused quite the shock.
A little over one month ago an article was posted on American News of a woman’s planned execution through Obamacare. This article, marked as breaking news, suggested that they had executed a woman that day. The article posted is said to have been a piece from The Daily Currant, in which the original article was posted in January of 2014. In this article it was suggested that an “Obamacare Death Panel” had been set up after the law went into effect, and on that day they had chosen their first victim to execute.
In the original article there is a picture of an older woman (though the photo is credited to Getty Images and is just of an older woman having lunch). The article suggests that the woman in the photo is Dorothy Zborknak, an 86-year-old woman who was to be sentenced to death by the “Obamacare Death Panel” because she had outlived her usefulness. It stated that a man from the PREB (Patient Resource Efficiency Board) said that her healthcare had become to expensive and they were going to have to sentence her to death by firing squad.
According to The Daily Currant, the member of the Chicago PREB voted to kill her because she had diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. They wrote that the PREB decided that her medication cost enough as it was, which was only costing tax payers money. They also said that with kidney failure it would be too hard to take care of, as kidney implants cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” but, “bullets only cost a few cents apiece.” The quotes go on to say that Peter Johnston, the Chicago PREB member said that under Obamacare they had the right to make choices about end of life care. This person, who may or may not be real, also supposedly said that it would be a hard thing for the family to accept but for them it was an easy decision.
While some social media users were shocked and others were laughing, the rumor continued with several websites posting excerpts from the initial article on The Daily Currant. Thus, the rumor began being spread at a much faster rate. After it began to pick up speed a website know as snopes.com, where their tagline is “Rumor Has It,” posted the piece highlighting the flaws in the original article. The most obvious clue that this news article was fake, they stated, was because The Daily Currant has a knack for printing satirical pieces, which they say can be seen in every title. Second, the name Dorothy Zborknak was a character from NBC’s sitcom Golden Girls.
To most, who read any of the posts about the “Obamacare Death Panel” sentencing a woman to death, it is obvious that it’s a rumor. Still it continues to spread throughout the social media world bringing shock to many who catch the title, “Breaking: Obamacare Death Panels Have Arrived, First Patient Executed Today!”
Now, when backtracking amongst the rumors, though the articles have been the most popular, socialmedialites have often found that the rumor of the “Obamacare Death Panels” first started on TV, last November. Interestingly enough, a TV personality, Mark Halperin, who has had major issues over the things he says on television, received quite the backlash when he stated on The Steve Malzberg Show that the “death panels” are built into the Affordable Care Act, though he did not exactly say that they could execute anyone.
Whether it is in articles or television, the rumors seem to be growing on whether or not Obamacare truly has a death panel that can determine if someone should live or not, based on how much their healthcare costs. However, before the ACA even began it was rumored to many that allowing the law to be passed would mean that the government could execute anyone with serious health problems who had “outlived their usefulness.” All of these statements are apparently still circling the nation.
By Crystal Boulware
(Note: The last four sources are not reputable. Forbes is the only reputable source, but the others are simply the places where viewers can find the “rumored” articles that have been posted on social media and talked about throughout this article.)