Obamacare Denies Hospital Choice for Blind Child With Rare Bone Disease

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2013   |   12:56PM   |   Washington, DC

The adverse effects of Obamacare are greater than the problem of more than 5 million Americans losing health insurance. The next wave of Obamacare problems involves health care rationing, that pro-life advocates predicted would be an issue, in the form of losing access to doctors and hospitals patients prefer.

Consider the case of Zoe Newton. Like many Americans who face sever medical conditions and problems, her family is losing access to the hospital that has been providing their daughter with top rate care.

As the Washington Post reports, “A number of the nation’s top hospitals — including the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and children’s hospitals in Seattle, Houston and St. Louis — are cut out of most plans sold on the exchange. In most cases, the decision was about the cost of care.”

Here’s how Obamacare is hurting one family:

In Seattle, the region’s predominant insurer, Premera Blue Cross, decided not to include the children’s hospital as an in-
network provider except in cases where the service sought cannot be obtained anywhere else. “Children’s non-unique services were too expensive given the goal of providing affordable coverage for consumers,” spokesman Eric Earl­ing said in an e-mail.

For example, a pediatric appendectomy at Children’s costs about $23,000, he said. At another community hospital, the cost is closer to $14,100. Melzer said his hospital often bills more than community hospitals for comparable procedures because the children it treats are often gravely ill, so even a routine tonsillectomy may be more complicated.



But as a result, families like Jeffrey Blank’s, which has relied on Seattle Children’s since his daughter, Zoe, received a diagnosis of a rare bone disorder, face difficult decisions. Under some of the new law’s health plans, the family would no longer be able to take Zoe to Children’s for her routine checkups, or it could count as an “out-of-network” visit, saddling the family with huge bills.

As the pro-life movement warned during its adoption in Congress, health care will be rationed and health care access will be limited when the government gets involved. These lessons have been seen for decades in nations like Canada and England, and the United States is now following suit.