The Real “Death Panels”: Oregon Medicaid planned to cut off opioids to chronic pain patients

At the height of the Tea Party and Republican campaign against the Affordable Care Act, the GOP raised a false alarm about “death panels” that would purportedly kill the disabled based on a subjective judgment and “pull the plug on Grandma.”

But to real grandmothers like 60-year-old Wendy Morgan, who has suffered excruciating back and neck pain in the wake of two botched surgeries, degenerative disc disease and severe pain from MS for decades, there’s now a genuine death panel:  the Oregon Health Authority’s pain and evidence committees. They were slated on March 14 in Salem to finalize mandated opioid cut-offs to zero for Medicaid patients with chronic back and neck pain conditions, plus fibromyalgia.