From February 2017: At a healthcare townhall rally in South Florida, a Republican Party chair said that the reason he and his party were opposed to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was because it created Death Panels. The crowd saw through the lies and erupted in anger over the bogus remark. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


Bill Akins is a name that most people in the United States don’t know, but it’s a name that most people in the United States are beginning to learn. He is the chair of the Pasco County, Florida Republican Party. This past weekend at a town hall event attended by 250 people, sponsored by Republican Representative, Gus Bilirakis, they were discussing the Affordable Care Act when Bill Akins, Pasco County Florida Republican Party Chairman, told the crowd that the reason the Republicans are against the Affordable Care Act is because of all those darn death panels that it created.

In 2009, PolitiFact rated the death panel as the lie of the year. There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, that refers to any kind of death panel, but here we have Bill Akins telling us that, “Hey, once you hit the age of 65, sorry, you have to go up in front of a death panel and essentially plea for your life.”

The only good thing to come out of that South Florida rally or town hall, whatever you want to call it, is the fact that the mostly senior citizen crowd there did not buy into what Akins was saying. As you saw from the video, they became angry. They started jeering, and so Akins responded in the most mature way possible by calling these elderly citizens concerned about losing their health insurance, he called them children.

Now, when you’re in a position of power, like the Republicans in Washington are and Representative Gus Bilirakis, who sponsored this town hall, when you’re in a position of power and you know that every two years you have to face reelection … not a good idea to piss off the constituents in your county. Probably not a good idea to insult them and call them names and lie to their faces when they know that you’re lying.

Hopefully, Bill Akins just caused Gus Bilirakis his seat in the 2018 midterms because that’s what he deserves. That’s what Bilirakis deserves. Republicans are hosting these little town halls all over the country now trying to convince Americans that, “Hey. Look. Trust us. Republicans have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. You just got to trust us. We hate the Affordable Care Act and we’re going to give you a bunch of bullshit reasons as to why that is.”

There are no death panels and Republicans know it and the public knows it. The only reason Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act is because it raises taxes slightly on 400 families within the United States. That’s it. 400 families have their taxes go up slightly because of the Affordable Care Act. That’s how we pay for some of the subsidies.

400 people have their taxes raised, so that we can give tax breaks to 20 to 30 million people in order to afford healthcare. You have to 20 to 30 million people who are going to lose their healthcare coverage if Republicans repeal these tax subsidies just to give a tax break to 400 different families.

Now, I don’t care if you’re left, right, center, green, Libertarian, or whatever you want to call it. There is no way that you can justify that. There is no way you can justify screwing over 20 to 30 million people just to benefit 400, and I think both Republicans and Democrats and Independents would agree on that.

I don’t think anybody thinks that it’s a better idea to give more money to the top 1% of the 1% while screwing over millions of people who are literally going to end up dying, according to studies about 48,000 a year, because they can’t afford health insurance coverage.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced