By Dave Andrusko
One of the great stories—and absolutely true—that came out of NRL 2011 was a genuine scales-falling-from-the-eyes moment. A reporter heard National Right to Life President Carol Tobias laying out the rationing components of ObamaCare—new news to him–and was wowed.
Like most scribes, he knew pro-lifers had persuasively made the case that ObamaCare was riddled with abortion-promoting features. But his point was in a conversation in the news room that “Right to Life” was talking about something he’d never heard about: that (to quote from Mrs. Tobias) “the law contains multiple provisions that will result in government imposed rationing of life-saving medical care.”
If someone that informed is unaware, clearly we have additional educational work ahead of us. NRL’s Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics has compiled an exhaustive explanation which you can read at www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/LifeatRiskLongform.pdf.
To make this vitally important information more accessible, I asked Jennifer Popik, JD, who is legislative counsel for the Center, to boil the rationing dangers of ObamaCare down to four brief points.
· The Obama health care law will limit what health care providers can do to save the lives of your family members. It does so by telling doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers just what diagnostic tests and medical care are considered to meet “quality and efficiency” standards. Key point. This applies not only for federally funded programs like Medicare, but also for health care paid for by private citizens and their nongovernmental health insurance.
· The Obama health care law can limit senior citizens’ right to use their own money to save their own life. It does so by eliminating an option added to Medicare due to NRLC’s persistent efforts to assure that seniors could choose health insurance whose value was not limited by what the government might pay toward it.
· State insurance exchanges will limit your right to use your own money to save your family members’ lives. It does so by denying consumers the right to choose plans offered by insurers who allow their customers to spend what state bureaucrats deem an “excessive or unjustified” amount for their health insurance.
· New “Shared Decisionmaking Resource Centers” and “Patient decision Aids” may attempt to persuade patients they’re better off without treatment. Although not named in the law, there is a pattern in the former state efforts to utilize group that discourage patients from choosing treatment that may be extensive or costly.
As I mentioned you can read about this in greater detail at www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/LifeatRiskLongform.pdf