President Obama’s Health Care Plan Could Require Rationing, Warnings Begin

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Obama’s Health Care Plan Could Require Rationing, Warnings Begin

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 27
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama and his Congressional allies haven’t yet announced a universal health care plan, but warnings are already beginning that it will likely include health care rationing. That’s a concern for the pro-life movement because it can lead to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In a powerful column written in the Washington Post, noted author Charles Krauthammer notes "the math doesn’t add up" on covering Americans without cutting back on medical care.

"His universal health-care proposal would increase costs by perhaps $1 trillion," Krauthammer says.

"The hard part is Medicare and Medicaid. In an aging population, how do you keep them from blowing up the budget? There is only one answer: rationing," he explains.

Krauthammer points out that the stimulus package pours $1.1 billion into medical "comparative effectiveness research," which he calls the "perfect setup for rationing."

"Once you establish what is ‘best practice’ for expensive operations, medical tests and aggressive therapies, you’ve laid the premise for funding some and denying others," he says.

England and Canada are often used as the examples of the problems and abuses that show up when nations move to governmental-based health care and rationing what patients can receive.

"Britain’s National Health Service can deny treatments it deems not cost-effective — and if you’re old and infirm, the cost-effectiveness of treating you plummets. In Canada, they ration by queuing. You can wait forever for so-called elective procedures like hip replacements," the columnist says. "A nationalized health insurance system would ration everything from MRIs to intensive care by myriad similar criteria."

Krauthammer says voters have been sold a bill of goods — with Obama making promises to voters without talking about consequences.

"Obama, the consummate politician, knows to offer the candy (universality) today before serving the spinach (rationing) tomorrow," he writes. "But there is no escaping rationing. In the end, the spinach must be served."

Rationing may not only affect the elderly, as Fred Barnes notes in The Weekly Standard.

He points out that the recent death of actress Natasha Richardson occurred in a Canadian hospital that had neither scanning equipment nor a neurosurgeon. Nor was there a helicopter available to take her there from the popular ski slopes where she was injured. The Canadian government had decided not to pay for these medical services.

While rationing would curtail lifesaving medical treatment and encourage euthanasia, it would promote abortion says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

"The only way for Obama to pay for his health takeover will be through rationing of health care to the elderly," he says.

"The plan Democrats envision will include a seductively framed ‘government option’ that will prescribe covered services, including abortion in all likelihood, with low cost and coverage mandates that may draw as many as 130 million Americans to it," Perkins adds.

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