Joel Stein: If I Ran the Death Panels

If there are going to be death panels, you're really going to want me on yours. Me and Paula Abdul

Photo-Illustration by John Ueland for TIME; Abdul: Jason Merritt / Getty

I have never determined whether anyone would live or die, which I consider a gaping hole in my résumé. So when I heard a rumor that the government was creating a death panel to determine which sick people get to receive medical care, I knew I had to be on it.

I am not an obvious choice for any panel that doesn't involve amateur performers and a large gong. But you need me on your death panel precisely because, unlike politicians and doctors, I can admit that we already have death panels; they just prefer to go by the name insurance...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!