New legislation introduced today in the U.S. Senate would repeal some of the health care rationing components of Obamacare, including the controversial death panels.
Senator Pat Roberts (R-Ks) today introduced the “Repeal Rationing in Support of Life Act,” which targets the four key rationing components of Obamacare identified in a March 6, 2014, report by the National Right to Life Committee’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics, “The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Access in the United States,” available at www.nrlc.org/communications/healthcarereport.
“Obamacare has made many Americans fearful that cost-cutting and rationing of care will limit their options for health care at a time when they are vulnerable–when they are sick or battling a life threatening condition,” Roberts said. “By introducing this bill, we are fighting against hidden barriers to treatment and life-saving medicine.”
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee.
“Senator Pat Roberts, who has been a tireless campaigner for the right to life, has since 2009 repeatedly taken a leadership role in fighting rationing of life-saving medical treatment, food, and fluids,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Although Americans are waking up to many of its flaws, too few are aware of what Senator Roberts has consistently highlighted – how Obamacare limits the right to use one’s own money to get health insurance less likely to deny life-preserving health care.”
This is the third in a series of bills, part of a comprehensive effort by Senator Roberts, to prevent the federal government from limiting access to life-saving medical care for patients at all stages of life.
The Roberts bill targets four rationing provisions of Obamacare for repeal:
1) the “excess benefit” tax coming into effect in 2018,
2) the current exclusion of adequate health insurance plans from the exchanges,
3) present limits on senior citizens’ ability to add their own money on top of the government Medicare payment for health insurance in Medicare Advantage, and
4) federal limits on the care doctors give their patients to be implemented as soon as 2016.
Excess benefits tax. Starting in 2018, Obamacare will impose a 40% excise tax on employer-paid health insurance premiums above a governmentally imposed limit that does not keep up with medical inflation. Consequently, insurance companies will be forced to impose increasingly severe restraints on policy-holders’ access to diagnostic tests and treatment—limits that will make it harder to get often-expensive treatments essential to combatting life-threatening illnesses.
“Keeping employers from spending relatively little more to buy better insurance impacts us all, not just their employees,” stated Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life. “When those who can afford to spend more on health insurance are prevented from doing so, it severely dampens the costly research and development that gives those at all income levels access to innovative drugs and treatments that improve the ability to save lives and improve health.”
Excluding Insurers from Exchanges. Under Obamacare, consumers using the exchanges may only choose plans offered by insurers who do not allow their customers to spend what government bureaucrats deem an “excessive or unjustified” amount for their health insurance.
“We are already seeing most exchange plans deny access to top specialists and medical centers,” Culp noted, “but few reports explain this is because insurers who provide greater access to care are excluded from the exchanges.”
Medicare Limits. Most senior citizens know that Obamacare will cut half a trillion dollars for Medicare over a decade, but they may not be aware of the law’s provision allowing Washington bureaucrats to prevent them from making up the Medicare shortfall with their own funds by limiting their right to spend their own money to obtain insurance through Medicare Advantage less likely to limit treatments that could save their lives.
Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). IPAB is directed to recommend measures to limit spending on health care to a growth rate below medical inflation – not just for Medicare, but also for all private, nongovernmental health care spending. The federal Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is then authorized to implement these measures by placing limits on the treatments providers may give their patients by imposing so-called “quality and efficiency standards.”
“Obamacare authorizes Washington bureaucrats to create one uniform, national standard of care that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend to save their own lives,” stated Culp. “We are convinced most Americans do not believe that the government should limit the right of Americans to use their own money for health insurance that is adequate to save their lives. We commend Senator Roberts for his bill and his consistent leadership to end Obamacare’s rationing. ”
“Under Obamacare, Washington bureaucrats can dictate one uniform standard of health care that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend, with our own money, to save our own lives,” Roberts said. “This is not right.”
Earlier this year, Senator Roberts introduced the Restoring Access to Medication Act, which repeals the provision of Obamacare limiting a patients’ right to purchase over-the-counter products with their own money. He also introduced the Four Rationers Repeal Act, which repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board; it repeals the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center; it repeals the changes made to the Preventive Services Task Force; and it makes sure any comparative effectiveness research is used by the doctor and the patient, not coverage providers or CMS, to determine the best care for patients.
Senator Roberts is an outspoken opponent of Obamacare. Senator Roberts is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance and is the ranking member of its Subcommittee on Health Care. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Health,