Abortions Need More Funding Than Medical Surgeries Oregon Health Plan Says
by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2009
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — A new analysis finds that the Oregon Health Plan is perhaps the first government-run health care plan in the world to draw up official procedures for rationing. The plan ranks various surgeries and diseases and conditions in order of importance and places abortion high on the list.
Linda Gorman, a senior fellow with the Independence Institute, produced the analysis, which comes on the heels of concerns about similar rationing in the Congressional economic stimulus bill.
Gorman says Oregon officials made the rankings following public comment and used a scale to place them in order of priority from 1 to 680.
She says the order has changed over the years and she’s perplexed as to the reasons for the new rankings, which appear to make little sense for patients.
"Surprisingly, between 2002 and 2009 there was a fairly radical reordering of priorities. That is, procedures that were in the middle of the pack in 2002 climbed to the top of the list in 2009, and vice versa," she writes.
"A great many life-saving procedures that ranked high in 2002, such as treatment for Type 1 diabetes, have been relegated to a much lower position in 2009, while procedures that are only tangentially related to life and death have climbed to the top," Gorman adds.
The change appears to focus on moving preventive care higher on the list and "the rapid and complete treatment of medically correctable problems and diseases" are now lower.
Surprisingly, abortions rank 41st on the list of 680 most important surgeries and conditions to consider.
That indicates "the state considers using public money for abortions more important than treating" other things, Gorman said.
Abortion is listed ahead of treating an ectopic pregnancy (43), sexually transmitted diseases (56), or an infection or hemorrhage resulting from a miscarriage (68).
Abortion also ranks ahead on the priority list before surgery to repair injured internal organs (88), a closed hip fracture (89), or a hernia showing symptoms of obstruction or strangulation (176).
Gorman blames the change in rankings and the priority of abortion on the priority list to the influence of interest groups, presumably those such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
"In 2002, when treatments through 566 were funded, there was far more emphasis on actual medical care and measurable interventions that save lives and improve individual functioning," she says. "Various interest groups have spent the last seven years reordering the political priorities embodied in the list."
"Before ceding control of health care rationing to government, Americans should consider the priorities of the political bodies in charge of health programs in Oregon and Britain," she concludes.
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