About this site

DeathPanels.org is a creation of online journalist Matt Thompson.

You might remember me from such projects as The Money Meltdown and EPIC 2014.

I'll be up front with you: I have a perspective on this. In case you can't tell, I'm very much in favor of changing the U.S. health care system. In keeping with my journalism training, I've made an effort to encounter a range of perspectives on all the issues I've presented here, and to write only what I know to be true. If I've gotten anything wrong, I'll correct it prominently and quickly.

That said, I urge you to be appropriately skeptical of all that you read, not only from me, but from everyone with a voice in this debate. Consider not just arguments, but evidence. Most folks in this debate are arguing in good faith, bringing the best of their knowledge to the discussion. But anyone who accuses health care activists of wanting to bring their grandmothers before death panels is decidedly not acting in good faith.

Why do I favor changing the health care system? Ever since entering the individual health insurance market in the US for the first time last year, I've been fascinated by how impossibly grotesque it is. I'm a young, healthy college graduate with a good income. I can't imagine what the system is like for people with chronic illnesses, or folks who don't have the training to parse the fog of health care policies with all their various deductibles, co-insurance options, exceptions, out-of-network providers, lifetime care limits.

In no other industrialized nation do citizens have to navigate this morass. That the richest nation on earth subjects its citizens to this rigmarole for something as basic and universal as health care astonishes me. This site is my tiny attempt to make these astonishing facts clearer and easier for anyone to obtain.

Contact me

Feel free to send email me with any comments, questions, corrections or suggestions.

For further study

Ezra Klein and Jonathan Cohn have been doing some of the clearest and most transparent reporting on this subject. Their blogs are at the top of my must-read list. Jonathan Cohn's book (Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Crisis - and the People Why Pay the Price) is an excellent overview of the crippling problems with the American health care system. Timothy Noah at Slate has done a fantastic job of aggregating resources for staying knowledgeable on health care and health policy. PBS' Frontline has produced two episodes - Sick Around the World and Sick Around America - that are fantastic, evenhanded chronicles of how the US system stacks up (or fails to). I recommend the former especially. NEXT: Selected letters to the editor (and responses).