It is becoming more evident that Obamacare will ration health treatment and Kathleen Sebelius –with breath-taking powers as HHS head in the reform provisions — is misleading the public about rationing and her support for it.
Sebelius would not respond Thursday to media questions about the expressed affinity for health rationing by the new nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid, Donald Berwick. She instead praised him, although Berwick has spoken favorably about Britain’s notoriously rationed government-run health system.
A 2002 article Berwick co-wrote on end-of-life care said, “Most people who have serious pain do not need advanced methods; they just need the morphine and counseling that have been available for centuries. Last June, Berwick said,
“The decision is not whether or not we will ration care–the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open”
And last week, Sebelius was excoriated by Kansas lawmakers for her politicized mailer to seniors asserting a glowing outlook for them under new health care reforms. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts challenged Sebelius why her mailer states that Medicare and Medicare Advantage benefits will not change when the government actuary reported the new law will “result in less generous benefit packages.”
Obamacare had been promised as producing enough cost-savings to support all the millions of new insured citizens, without rationing care. In fact, the New York Times recently debunked the Dartmouth study cited in support of that claim.
U.S. Congressman (and candidate for the U.S. Senate) Todd Tiahrt said the Sebelius mailer paints a very unrealistic picture of how seniors will actually be impacted. “[Sebelius] will be the most powerful woman in Washington,” Tiahrt said. “She is going to control a lot of money and control a lot of Americans and their health care.
There are more than 2,500 references to Sebelius as secretary of HHS in the new Obamacare law, with 700 instances in which the Secretary is instructed that she “shall” do something, over 200 cases in which she “may” take some form of regulatory action, and 139 occasions in which the “Secretary determines.”
The full breadth of her powers will be known only over time, due to the ambiguity of the language in many sections, but the wide-ranging powers already given to Sebelius include:
- determining what type of insurance coverage every citizen must have;
- influencing what hospitals can participate in certain plans;
- setting up health insurance exchanges within states against their will;
- establishing Democrat pilot programs in an effort to control costs;
- doling out billions of dollars in grant money.
National Right to Life warned about impending rationing in Obamacare and the ways seniors would be prevented from using their own money to purchase supplemental health plans and now our predictions are coming true.
“President Obama’s CMS nominee Dr. Berwick will be the man who cuts health care costs by putting the rationing plans into practice,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We will call it cost containment, but it will be rationing.”