As Americans Lose Both Their Insurance and Their Doctors, The Rationing Built into Obamacare is Being More Widely Acknowledged

 

By Burke Balch, JD, Director, Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics

obamacarerationingreAs the mainstream media is now commonly reporting, and as NRL News Today has repeatedly documented, individuals whose health insurance policies are being terminated against their will are finding that the replacement policies available in the state and federal “exchanges” typically severely restrict the doctors and health care facilities in their plan networks, omitting many specialists and highly rated health care centers. The replacement policies often force people to leave their current physicians for others from a small pool of doctors accepting bottom-of-the-barrel reimbursements. It’s as though your minivan was suddenly repossessed and replaced with a subcompact.

Also being reported in the mainstream media are acknowledgments of rationing elements in Obamacare that the National Right to Life Committee has been warning of since its original proposal in 2009 and 2010. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, a prior Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is a physician who has been a presidential candidate as well as an Obamacare supporter.  Last summer, he was widely quoted as saying the Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by Obamacare is “essentially a health care rationing board.”

Now Time magazine political analyst Mark Halperin has chimed in.

During a November 26, 2013, interview on CNBC, he noted, “The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a big part of the Affordable Care Act that is central to cost control, is something that hasn’t been debated in a real way . . . we need to have that debate in this country. . . . Those decisions that are made by that board are going to lead to what I think could be described perfectly reasonably as rationing.”

On a Newsmax TV program the previous day, Halperin said that rationing is “built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.”

It is said that as Benjamin Franklin was departing from the Constitutional Convention, he was accosted by a woman who asked whether under the newly drafted Constitution ours was to be a monarchy or a republic. “A republic, Madam,” Franklin is reported to have said, “–if you can keep it.”

Americans can keep our freedom – including our freedom to spend our own money, if we choose, to save the lives of our family members – only if we inform ourselves about the laws enacted in our name, and seek action from our legislators based on that information. Candidly, how many have carefully read National Right to Life’s factsheet, “Routes to Rationing”? You need to study it well enough to be able to recount the four key ways by which the federal government, under Obamacare, is limiting what we are allowed to spend, out of our own private funds, to get life-saving health care?

Any who have not read and studied it owe to their family – and to their children’s children – to go to www.nrlc.org/medethics/healthcarerationing before it is too late.

Editor’s note. Another outstanding resource from National Right to Life is “Yes, It Is Rationing,” which is also posted today.