Government Run Health Care Inevitably Leads to Rationing

Posted: Jul 07, 2009 10:49 AM
Today, the House of Representatives returns to work after a week of district work – outside of the beltway – and the next challenge facing the body will be making crucial reforms to our health care system. As the American people struggle to make ends meet, too many also live with the challenge of affording basic health care for themselves and their families.  Any time a child or a parent goes without the care they need, it is a personal crisis for that family. However, there are two very different views emerging from the Democrats and Republicans as to the appropriate and most effective course to take in making these essential reforms.

Democrats are pushing for a government takeover of health care that sounds nice but would have devastating consequences for families and small businesses.  A government takeover of health care will raise taxes, ration care, and let government bureaucrats make decisions that should be made by families and their doctors.

Republicans want to make quality health care coverage affordable and accessible for every American, and let those who like their current health care coverage keep it. Republicans support health care reform that puts patients and their health first, and protects the important doctor-patient relationship.

The Democrats' government-takeover of health care will deny access to medical care and life-saving treatments. An estimated 100-million-plus Americans would lose their current health care under the Democrats' government-run plan. Government mandates in health care already encourage waste, fraud and abuse that result in higher costs and more families without care.  We cannot allow politicians and special interests to stand between patients and the care they need. The American people deserve the freedom to choose the health care that is best for their families.

Last month when speaking to the American Medical Association, President Obama praised countries that "spend less" than the U.S. on health care. For instance, the British system is often touted as spending half as much per capita on health care as here in the U.S. But as the Wall Street Journal explained today, you get what you pay for. The very real consequence in the U.K. is the rationing of specific drugs, tests, and treatments dictated by a government-regulatory body known as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

As the WSJ notes:

"Mr. Obama and Democrats claim they can expand subsidies for tens of millions of Americans, while saving money and improving the quality of care. It can't possibly be done. The inevitable result of their plan will be some version of a NICE board that will tell millions of Americans that they are too young, or too old, or too sick to be worth paying to care for."

Clearly, this isn't the path to effective reform we should be choosing.