Pro-Life Advocate Takes Issue With Secretary Sebelius Over Health Care Rationing

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocate Takes Issue With Secretary Sebelius Over Health Care Rationing

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 30
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — A pro-life advocate who is considered one of the foremost experts on health care is taking issue with weekend comments from pro-abortion Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The Obama administration official claimed that the governmental health care plans in Congress won’t lead to rationing.

Sebelius, the pro-abortion former Kansas governor who now heads the Health and Human Services Department, told Fox News Sunday, “I don’t think there’s anything about the public option that would ration care."

"Unfortunately care is being rationed each and everyday right now. Often private insurance companies stand between a patient and a doctor deciding what treatment can be provided,” she told Fox News. “We also have a situation where a lot of people are told that they can’t have insurance because they have a preexisting condition.”

But Burke Balch, an attorney who is the head of the medical ethics department at the National Right to Life Committee, tells that Sebelius was misleading.

"It is not the presence or absence of a public option that will cause rationing, but the fact that the financing proposed will be wholly inadequate to extend health insurance to the uninsured," he told

"Under the bill now under consideration by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Finance Committee, all qualified health insurance plans would have to follow payment policies of Medicare and Sebelius would be empowered to require all doctors and hospitals to follow essential whatever treatment regulations she might impose, on pain of being unable to be reimbursed by any of the qualified plans," Balch explained.

He added, "This means that the government, because of the gap between promise and available funds, will be forced to ration, and because of the broad power the government will have, through Medicare and over physicians, it will have the authority to ration."

That a governmental health care plan could lead to euthanasia and assisted suicide is one of the top concerns of pro-life advocates.

National Right to Life and other pro-life organizations asked the Senate to stop rationing in the Kennedy health care plan.

The Senate HELP Committee, last week, defeated a pro-life amendment that would help stop the rationing of health care in the Kennedy restructuring bill. The amendment concerned the section on comparative effectiveness research, which pro-life advocates say prompt euthanasia concerns.

Critics say the section would allow the government to create an arbitrary means to determining when medical treatments are allowed or could receive government funding.

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