Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pelosi’s Health Insurance Reform Bill Establishes Waiting Lists

Even Canada Said These Were Illegal
By Michael P. Tremoglie

Tremoglie's Tea Time Blog

H.R. 3962, the Democrats’ health insurance reform bill, to be voted on this week by Congress, contains a provision to establish waiting lists as a mechanism to control costs. Such waiting lists have long been a characteristic – and a bane - of socialized medicine.

Indeed, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled them illegal in June 2005. "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care," wrote Canada’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin at the time.

Yet, this is exactly what the Democrats’ plan has in mind for Americans if their proposed bill becomes law. Called the “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.- Ca., unveiled it with great fanfare last week. The bill is sponsored by Rep. John Dingel, D. Mich., and is co-sponsored by Democrat Representatives Charles Rangel of New York, Henry Waxman, Fortney “Pete” Stark and George Miller of California, as well as, Representatives Pallone and Andrews of New Jersey. It is more than 1900 pages long.

But one need only turn to page 26 to find the provision for waiting lists.

There, listed in Title I ‘Immediate Reforms,’ Sec. 101 ‘National High Risk Pool Program,’ paragraph (3)(g) ‘Covered Benefits Cost Sharing Premiums and Consumer Protection’ is paragraph (7) (h)(2) with the heading ‘Insufficient Funds.’

This states, “If the Secretary estimates for any fiscal year that the aggregate amounts available for payment of expenses of the high-risk pool will be less than the amount of the expenses, the Secretary shall make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums, or establishing waiting lists. (Emphasis added)

The High Risk Pool Program is designed exactly for those uninsured individuals who health insurance reform proponents say are the neediest. Estimates are such people comprise one to two percent of the population.

Jane Orient, M.D., Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), believes that if the government is willing to deny benefits to those who they purportedly consider the most deserving, then eventually waiting lists will be applied to everyone enrolled in the government’s plan. The Democrats’ promise to increase the amount insured, decrease costs and increase benefits is a chimera according to her.

“It’s just inevitable if you make everyone dependent on the system and you make promises you can’t keep. This will be the fate of everyone dependent on the public option - and they (Democrats) want everyone in the country dependent on this program,” she said.

The AAPS, ironically, was established to be the “voice of private doctors” in 1943. That year the Wagner-Murray-Dingel bill was introduced to establish a government run health insurance system. The Dingel of that bill was the father of Rep. John Dingel the author of H.R. 3962.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Robert Kaufman, Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University in California. He too believed that although this policy is limited to only this one specific group it will eventually apply to everyone.

“Rationing is the inevitable consequence of this monstrosity. There is no way that anyone can administer anything like this without waiting lists - de facto or otherwise,” he said. “Given the trajectory and logic of the Obama administration, it is a reasonable surmise to expect that this establishes waiting lists as a policy and that the burden proof is with the Obama administration to show it is not."

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