A new report by the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics at National Right to Life warns that one of the Obamacare provisions that ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Americans would discover if Congress passed the bill is that some seniors will not be allowed to spend as much as they wish on their health care.
The extreme position was revealed in a special report by the NRLC titled “The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Access in the United States,” which analyzes four fundamental policy areas of Obamacare.
It finds several ways that the federal health care law “will drastically limit access to life-saving medical treatment under the law.”
“These four areas include: the ‘excess benefit’ tax coming into effect in 2018, the current exclusion of adequate health insurance plans from the exchanges, present limits on senior citizens’ ability to use their own money for health insurance, and federal limits on the care doctors give their patients to be implemented as soon as 2016.”
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said that “for pro-life Americans concerned about the impact on innocent life – both born and unborn – the policies of Obamacare couldn’t be worse.”
“Americans are just as concerned with the law’s impact on our ability to access life-saving medical treatment for ourselves, our family members, and our loved ones as with Obamacare’s funding of abortions. Obamacare is bad medicine for America,” she said.
Pelosi famously said Congress should pass the law so Americans could find out what was in it, and its unpleasant surprises have been shocking citizens ever since.
The study finds, for example, that the “Independent Payment Advisory Board,” which starting next January is supposed to make “recommendations to slow the growth in national health expenditures,” will set “quality and efficiency” standards for hospitals and demand that doctors meet government minimums in order to contract with any qualified health insurance plan.
“Essentially, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers can be told by Washington just what diagnostic tests and medical care are considered to meet ‘quality and efficiency’ standards. These standards will be enforced not just for health care paid for by federally funded programs like Medicare, but also for health care paid for by private citizens and by the health insurance they or their employers purchase,” the study explains.
“These standards are specifically designed to limit the funds that Americans may choose to spend on health care so that they cannot keep up with the rate of medical inflation. Treatment that a doctor and patient deem needed or advisable to save the patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health, but which runs afoul of the imposed standards, can be denied, even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it,” the study warns.
The study says that means that Washington “bureaucrats” will set a national standard for care “that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend to save their own lives.”
“On its face, the law maintains that this limitation does not amount to ‘rationing.’ Indeed, the [law] states, ‘The proposal [by the IPAB] shall not include any recommendations to ration health care.’ … However, the law never actually defines what it means by the word ‘ration.’
“Obamacare authorizes federal bureaucrats to impose limits on what life-saving medical treatments Americans are allowed to get. It may not call this ‘rationing.’ But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t,” the report says.
The report addresses several other limits on life-saving care in Obamacare, including the 40 percent excise tax on some employer-paid premiums.
“Consequently, insurance companies will be forced to impose increasingly severe restraints on policy-holders’ access to medical diagnosis and treatment – limits that will make it hard to get often-expensive treatments essential to combating life-threatening illnesses.”
Third, “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 – regardless of whether the insurers offer such plans.”
And fourth, there are provisions “allowing Washington bureaucrats to prevent [senior citizens] from making up the Medicare shortfall with their own funds by limiting their right to spend their own money to obtain insurance less likely to limit treatments that could save their lives.”
Burke Balch, director of the Powell Center, said 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.”
“We are convinced most Americans do not believe that the government should limit the right of Americans to use their own money for health care necessary to save their lives. Yet, that is exactly what Obamacare does,” he said.
In the study, Dr. Marc Siegel warns that Obamacare is threatening the future of health care and, consequently, the lives of Americans.
“The kind of insurance that is growing under Obamacare’s fertilizer is the exact kind that was jeopardizing the quality of health care in the first place: the kind that pays for seeing a doctor when you are well, but where guidelines and regulations predominate and choice is restricted when you are seriously ill,” he said.
“How can quality of care not be affected if the antibiotic or statin drug or MRI scan I feel you need isn’t covered under your plan?”
Obamacare’s limits on Americans’ health care often is done through trickery, the report says.
The law says Health and Human Services can “negotiate” premiums to be charged by private Medicare plans, but the government had no power to impose a premium price control on private fee-for-service plans.
“Thus, under the law before Obamacare, senior citizens could choose, if they wished, to add extra money of their own on top of the government payment in order to get health insurance less likely to ration, and Washington bureaucrats could not limit their right to do this,” the report says.
But that’s changed. Obamacare has a new provision that says: “Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the secretary to accept any or every bid submitted by an MA organization under this subsection.”
“This means,” says the report, “that the pre-existing law that effectively forbade the secretary to exclude a private fee-for-service plan on the basis that CMS considers its premiums to be too high has been trumped by the new ability of the secretary to reject ‘any or every’ premium bid submitted by a private fee-for-service plan.
“Thus, under Obamacare, Washington bureaucrats are given the authority to limit – or even eliminate – senior citizens’ ability, if they choose, to spend their own money on health insurance less likely to ration.”