One of the fundamental principles of medicine is that a doctor “do no harm,” and a U.S. senator believes Obamacare should do the same, so he’s introduced legislation that would eliminate what he see as the law’s hindrances to that aim.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on Tuesday introduced the “Repeal Rationing in Support of Life Act” to “protect life-saving medical treatments threatened by rationing in Obamacare.”
“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,” said Roberts. “By introducing this bill, we are fighting against hidden barriers to treatment and life-saving medicine.”
WND reported last month that patients will be denied access to certain treatment because Obamacare won’t allow them to supplement payment with money out of their own pockets. The provision was revealed in a special report by the National Right to Life titled “The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Access in the United States,” which analyzes four fundamental policy areas of Obamacare.
The report found the law will “drastically limit access to life-saving medical treatment.”
“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.”
The senator from Kansas is joined in his effort by cosponsors Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.
His proposal would repeal provisions in Obamacare “that authorize federal bureaucrats to deny patients the ability to access care that may save their lives.”
It would repeal the “excess benefits” tax on comprehensive coverage, which would enable insurers to continue to provide coverage for plans that cover medical treatments that may be costly and increase plan costs that have been chosen by the patient and doctor to save the patient’s life.
It also would repeal provisions that prevent plans from participating in the exchanges if they offer benefits that government bureaucrats arbitrarily deem “excessive or unjustified.”
And the bill would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is made up of 18 unelected bureaucrats who will recommend what treatments and services health care providers are allowed to give their patients.
It also targets the authority of the secretary of health and human services to review insurance bids and to deny Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D bids that prevent senior citizens from making up for Medicare cuts with their own funds.
With the mid-term elections looming this fall, many Democrats – the only ones who supported Obamacare originally – are fearful the problem-plagued federal program will harm them politically.
Consequently, changes in Obamacare, although not a full repeal, are much more likely to gain support from both parties.
“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.”
National Right to Life called it a needed move.
“Although Americans are waking up to many of its flaws, too few are aware of what Sen. 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,” said Carol Tobias, president of NRLC.
The group noted that starting in 2018, for example, Obamacare will have a 40 percent tax on employer-paid health insurance premiums that exceed a government-imposed limit, which will not even keep up with medical inflation.
That will mean insurance companies will demand “severe restraints” on access to diagnostic tests and treatments that could be required to save a 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,” said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.
Most consumers know that Obamacare dramatically cuts back on what the government will spend for health care for senior citizens. But the analysis points out that the law allows bureaucrats to prevent patients from spending their own money for needed treatment the government plans won’t cover.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board had been described by many as Obamacare’s “death panel,” since decisions by the group would determine whether patients will be allowed to have certain treatments.
Roberts, with a separate plan, also is trying to repeal Obamacare provisions that limit a patient’s right to purchase over-the-counter products with his own money.
WND reported in March some of the new government restrictions.
The NRLC report said that the law restricts access to what people may need to live.