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  • Video: On "This Week," the Obamacare Rationing Debate Grows Heated

    Earlier this week, The Foundry’s Conn Carroll wrote that under the Senate’s version of Obamacare, insurers and employers would have justification to refuse coverage for annual mammograms as a cost-cutting rationing measure, pursuant to the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

    On Sunday’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the debate on mammogram rationing grew heated when Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained that the Task Force’s guidelines on mammograms “become the law” under the Senate bill, meaning that rationing would occur. In response, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) accused Republicans of politicizing the issue of breast cancer.

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) noted that while a “cost” argument for the guidelines could be made, “from a patient standpoint, they’re atrocious. And that’s the problem with a bureaucracy stepping between a physician and their patient.”

    As Caroll wrote:

    [W]hen the Obamacare health experts conclude that the “medical science” dictates that your mammograms must be cut to meet “the goal of … lowering costs,” then you’ll be out of luck.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to Video: On "This Week," the Obamacare Rationing Debate Grows Heated

    1. Roger S., Ma. says:

      The video is cute! It shows how assertively Democrats engage in subterfuge ( a nice way to say: not too subtle lying) by accusing their opponents of the exact thing they themselves do.

      Ms. W-S (short for Wassermann-Schultz) accuses Republicans of "politicizing breast cancer". —LOL— Who is proposing the actual complete politicization of the entire U.S. health-care industry, let alone breast-cancer?

      When the government uses its physical force monopoly to prescribe certain practices while prohibiting certain others, both at hazard of the law and both arising from administrative edicts loosely justified by the alleged mandate of a "democratic voting process", where the largest or most vocal faction gets to call the shots, now that IS politicization!

      Republicans, independent minded Democrats (there are some), and independent Conservatives (there are many), must oppose such a power grab. As should every citizen in possession of even a micro-ounce of self-esteem! Little could be more political than the talk of Ms. W-S and her Democrat "buddies".

      As Senator Tom Coburn pointed out, this must not become an issue of cost control according to statistical results and objectives. Which is what it becomes the instant government gets involved in a primary or, worse, dominant way.

      That IS the very ESSENCE of any collectivized medical care scheme: that the afflicted individual is denied appropriate attention unless he fits some preconceived pattern(s). The whole thing is about as "politicized" as it can get. The "progressive" idea of a "streamlined modern administrative" state is just window-dressing. Its essence is "herd"-control. You will be one of the "sheep"!

      The argument: "What's the difference, my insurer is also a bureaucracy. All they care about is my money. All the government cares about is — my money. So what. So long as I pay taxes, I might as well get something for them (and save the insurer)", is a bad one. True: both are bureaucracies. Also true: both are costly. Not True: both control my behavior. That last conclusion omits the fact that the government does this in a very different way from the insurer, namely at the "muzzle of a gun" — which has always been its most compelling argument, and not necessarily one of last resort. A private insurer has no such option. Sue the government if it "mishandles" your case? Fat chance. Sue the insurer? It can be done and has been done successfully, and not only in John Grisham stories! That's a giant difference. Likewise, "misstep" toward an insurer? You could lose your insurance. "Misstep" toward the government? You'll wind up in jail!

      The private insurer must compete with other insurers. He must also compete with and for the uninsured: those who have the means (financial or health) to do without him. He will also attempt to compete (at least some will) for the "market's margin", those who can barely afford insurance, but would afford themselves at least some if it could fit their budget. He must offer some form of predictability and accountability that "makes sense" to his market(s). He may have to compete with private cooperative initiatives. He will rarely, if ever, be effective if he tries to sell just one product, or tries to force all of his diverse customers' needs into one and the same mold: which is exactly what government always gravitates toward doing.

      Were it a government's actual desire to "help", then it would seek to enact only those provisions which enable competition and make transparent and objectively discernible (and enforceable) a market's performance criteria. Admittedly, there is little "glory" in such a course. Even less money, especially for one's "friends". Least of all much need for any "input" once the set-up works stably. Which bodes ill for future "employment opportunities", also for said "friends". (But would be good for a whole forest of trees now gone into printing 2000page bills!)

      — Now YOU be the judge of who's been "politicizing"! Whose "statistic" you would rather be! Who is more likely to "play straight" in the future! Who is less likely to make you "mortgage" your health, your finances, even your children' and grand-children' finances to "their plan". Last, by no means least, who is least likely to make of you a "common criminal" should you "pursue other choices"? — So far, the choice is still yours!

    2. Paul Rinderle says:

      It took guts to impliment this by the Democrats. If they get away with this then the sky is the limit on interceding between the doctor and patient. Pre-authorizations from ten dollar an hour administrative clerks interpreting guidelines will fast become a way of life.

    3. mindy from chattanoo says:

      this is my question and the question of all American women….were these decisions made by the government "task forces" OR OUR DOCTORS? if they were made by government "task forces" this is just the beginning of our government, national, socialist, communist medical care…you and big government! good luck, ladies!

      mmm! mmm! mmm! we're getting rid of seniors what should we do now?

      mmm! mmm! mmm! we're getting rid of women what should we do now?

      mmm! mmm! mmm! we're taxing them to death what should we do now?

      mmm! mmm! mmm! we have dismantled their Republic and put them all in chains what should we do now?

      not so funny and cute when mmm! mmm! mmm! is applied to everyday Americans!

    4. Joe AZ says:

      Think about this, the Constitution was written on four sheets of parchment paper. Counting all 27 Amendments there are 20 typed pages, none of these Amendments make a full page and many are single sentences long. Look at the First Amendment; in 45 words you get freedom of religion, press, assembly, speech, and to be able to petition the government for redress of grievances. The Constitution and the Amendments have been instrumental in guiding this country to greatness.

      Take this bill that just passed the House of Representatives, 1200 plus pages and tens of thousands of words, it’s not to give you rights and freedoms but take them away from many. Just a quick side note, the Constitution is approximately 4500 words, that with the Bill of Rights empowering people, you can see 4500 words and the Bill of Rights are far more powerful than 1200 plus pages and tens of thousands of words.

      Now the senate has 2000 plus pages of discrimination againstyour basic rights. The wtiters of these bills have a different vision of this country than the writers of the Constitution,in this case less is really more.

    5. Mary Allan says:

      The politicians who are trying to pass this bogas health care bill still think the American people are stupid. Is Schultz going to get on this health insurance plan……I think not! If this passes (and I think it will) our animals will get better health care then we will. It is time Americans set aside the political divide and start looking at individual politicians. Those who are not doing their job whether it be democrat or republican need to be voted out!

    6. DW Coleman, Richland says:

      I offer this quote from the 1983 report "A Nation at Risk."

      "Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people."

      Ask yourself – has the situation improved since 1983? One out of seven Americans cannot read. Our students continue to perform poorly in comparison to those of other countries. The U.S. educational system continues to fall further behind.

      Is it any wonder Democrats engage in this type of subterfuge? They know their constituency. Poorly educated people will vote for anyone who promises a nanny state.

    7. Renny Gazy Baltimo says:

      AMEN!!!!!Comments are very good and well taken.But, when this "thing" passes, can it be derailed somewhere along the future line???

    8. Alice Urban Jamestow says:

      I am appalled by the lies the Democrats are willing to try to pull over our eyes regarding heealth care and just about everything else!! I truly believe they are trying to "get rid" of half the population with nonsence like this with, yes, DEATH PANELS! My hope is for somehow to have true conservatives with high moral and ethical values to emerge to save our great Country!

    9. Conservatives United says:

      This and much more is the reason that every conservative group and individual must UNITE to take back this country, and throw this dangerous bunch of marxist socialist, out as fast as possible. We need to replace them with people that represent WE THE PEOPLE, that will start the process of reversing the damage that all of this bunch has been doing to this nation for over 50 years.

    10. Grace Stanley, Chesa says:

      Hopefully intelligent citizen of this country will rise up and fight this healthcare bill as it will completely destroy everything we have ever known. This will make healthcare like the former Soviet Union had in the 1980's. It was like the healthcare of the 1950's in this country. We will have no more great strides in medicine or medical devices that are life saving.

    11. DW Coleman, Richland says:

      In the early 1990's I lived in a country with public health care. Two separate systems arose – one for the average citizen and another for those with the means to afford private health insurance. The difference in care between the two was remarkable.

      I spent a few weeks in East Germany before the iron curtain came down. How little our uneducated citizens understand socialism and its evil brother, communism.

    12. Ruth Selleck says:

      God help us, if we are older with any ailments, I have paid for my medical care all my life and now that I have ins via medicare with a supplemental policy, Someone will be able to keep me from getting the care I need, and this is right? The Eskimos used to set their old folks out on the ice to be eaten by the bears and fatten the bears to be hunted for food by the rest of the people and at least they would be contributing to their people, what will be the benefit of letting us die? Do the libs not understand we older generation have been footing the bill all this time? We have given of ourselves for our families, we have taught generations thousands of things, are we now worthless?

    13. Dave, Laguna Niguel says:

      A huge government takeover is around the corner. WE are subject to so many regulations and policies which are based on LIES! Global Warming, Cap and Trade, Obamacare all based on LIES and their attached policies will further devastate our economy and kill millions of jobs! Hint…EVERYONE can not work for the government, and then have more money to pour out to those who do not work, the homeless and other countries which we seem so intent on FEEDING on a daily basis, countries which even express hate for us! Our HISTORY has even been changed by the communists in power and in education to the point Columbus, Washington,Jefferson and even Reagan were either insignificant or just horrible people cause they had slaves! They have been teaching our children that the most horrible people on the planet were white Europeans(and they want us to be more like Europe TODAY!?)and of course the scourge of the world is capitalism! Want to mention getting GOD out of our lives as well? Just how much more are you folks going to stand for before you decide you have had enough and you want your country back? Your time is running out.

    14. Neal R, MI says:

      6 boys in my family. All married. About 8-10 years ago, 4 of the 6 wives developed breast cancer while in their 40's. Today after chemotherapy and radiation treatment with one requiring a mastectomy, all 4 are currently cancer free and living normal lives. What does this say about government making decisions on insurance coverage. The dummies in Washington will never listen to the patient or doctor. It will always be about the money and cost avoidance.

    15. Gary J AZ says:

      Proatate screening also will be there if not already. Just not as publicized. They throw out a statement by some stooge to prepare us for why they do things like last spring "Prostate screenings are not as reliable as thought…" Just today out of Chicago we have the Diabetes warning. "Numbers will double and costs will triple." Time for a tax on whatever may cause it. Some professor from South Carolina State(never heard of that higher pillar of higher education) that candles are contributing to the CO2 pollution. Tell that to the trees and bushes!

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      What rationing? There is no rationing! The healthy people get Medical Care and the sick People do not! Simple.

      It is like the Nazis said,"We have rooms with two doors. One is the door you walk through, and the other is a chimney."

      Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, then there are no surprises.

    17. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      It is unconstitutional for them to pass this health reform. This is what Hitler wanted to do. They say, "If you can control their health, you can control their vote". They know this, this is about taking our FREEDOM away from us.

      How do we the people get these people out of office, they are destroying our country!I want all of them to go live in Cuba!

    18. Louis Leon Cesar F L says:

      rationing IS rationing and these affected Dem will hardly awake that way…

    19. Illinois says:

      Is there any program that the government has run well? Look at the post offices and every other government run program. Please list one good program. Health care will also be bad. Think about it, you need to check with Washington before a test or surgery. Months and years could pass before an answer. That may be too late. Go to Canada and talk to the elderly citizens. You will hear many bad experiences. We did not see any nursing homes in Canada.

    20. Carol, Sheridan,OR says:

      When the government fears the people, we have freedom. When the people fear the government, we have tyranny.

    21. John B. San Diego CA says:

      To all you besieged Americans my mother now 80yrs old was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in her forties she endured a double mastectomy with some reconstructive augmentation to save her figure and dignity. I am thankful for her treatment and survival, I spoke with her today Sat.Nov28, 09 I thanked GOD for her survival and his blessings today! I have a wife and sisters and daughters and a granddaughter if this democrat congress and president think for one minute they are able and equipped with majority votes and executive power to deny my beloved females of the same chance my mother had they had better reconsider their position! Breast Cancer is hereditary therefore you as "Health CZAR" could pick and choose survivors. This is not the America I grew up in.

      If I could get off topic for just moment please; healthcare, economic recovery, energy (cap trade) are all just vehicles by which this reining authority intends to subject Americans and their families to overbearing rule. To obscure America as we all once have known and loved her and put in place a governing elite "OUR FOREFATHERS" warned us of. Don't let this happen Breast Cancer is just one more red flag that has popped-up Call-call-call elected officials! The KEY word is DIGNITY!

    22. Beverly, Lubbock. Tx says:

      Read this quote, "You cannot endure asd a free society without people knowing the truth" (Joe Galloway-journalist_).

      Do you think the Obama administration wants us to be a free nation? Those who say "yes", can go to the back of the room………..or wherever.

    23. judy, new jersey says:

      wake-up! vote the dems out in 2010. no

      health care reform. take back your freedom!! take back our country. Stop this spending. Let's all march on washington awnd call it domesday to re-election.

    24. Lonny D Minnesota says:

      It is truly a sad time in america.I cant help but to think of all those who came before me and after me who have made and are making sacrifices for this great country-AND FOR WHAT! To keep us safe? YEA RIGHT! The 911 terrorist get a free ride i mean a free trial-ha ha what a joke and a huge SLAP IN THE FACE to EVERYBODY here and gone in America.Thankyou Mr.Attorney General for taking the time to DISGRACE all those living and GOD thats right i said GOD rest their souls the poor people who lost their lives that day.Then comes the freedom we will soon lose because a bunch of power drunk idiots think that failed ideolgy-marxism and socialism are the way to everlasting power and control.Well it will be if they have their way with things.Think about this all who read this.Those who seek to "change" what they feel is so wrong with this country first of all have the choice to leave and go live in other countries where their supposed "hope and change" has already been implemented.So why dont they? Its so much better so why not go? Second NEVER FORGET that its because this Great Nation of ours is the way it is-with all the GOD BLESSED FREEDOMS that we have and enjoy today that these MINDLESS SOULLESS MORONS are able to spread their messages of stupidity.Take a long hard look and hopefully some very thoughtfull time to think about what and where we are headed as a nation and as human beings.GOD BLESS THE USA!

    25. Becky, Michigan says:

      Everyone go to Google and type in: "Cloward & Piven" and read up on what's in store for ALL of us! It's a giant PLAN to take advantage of our "crisis".

    26. Ruth Sel says:

      I just read c&p. It is very hard to believe the same ole nonsense is still going around. What ever became of God helps those who help themselves? I don't recall reading in the constitution any where, about supporting people who won't work, I believe any one can be in need of a hand out to get them back to work, but not a generational handout for life. When two thirds of our population collect charity, and one third pays the taxes for it, folks, we are in serious trouble, It needs to stop,we need more people working and paying into it, and less of those taking it out. Again, God help us!

    27. Darrell Morrow - Sew says:

      For 27 years I was the lone Conservative on an engineering facilty. Perhaps the PhD after my name stands for "Phoolish Dummy" since I strongly oppose Marxism, Communism & Progressivism. As further "proof" of my errant ways, I listen to talk radio (Glenn, Rush & Sean) and to Fox News; but, I fact-check what they have to say! And when I don't agree with a point, or with a particular perspective/opinion – which is less than 10% of the time – I say so.

      Obamacare, Cap & Trade, Card-Check, Out-of-Control Spending and the Treason-like Treatment of our Military need to be eradicated without any further delay.

    28. Tim Az says:

      This is just a trial balloon to see how we the people will react to rationing. You better have the proper voter registration card if you want to be in the drawing to recieve treatment for what ever ails you. Otherwise you won't even be able to enter the drawing at all.

      Another helping of hope and change anyone?

    29. petey virginia says:


    30. LouisL cesar F LEVY, says:

      No doubt about what is already known. Rationing, the Opposite of God, Goodness and Abundance is a Flagrant Manifestation of them obeing the silent mandate of the Woman. Let just do what it take for all the healthcare to never be applied by taking them to court enough to push the Woman listeners out of service! That's all.

    31. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Of course there will be rationing of health care under a government run health plan. The government currently rations health care under its Medicare, Medicaid and Military Veteran's plans.

      Ask anyone on Medicare if Medicare pays 100% of their bills.

      In 2009, those covered under Medicare Part A (hospitalization) were responsible, per year, for the first $1,068.00 of hospital charges incurred during the 1st 60 days of confinement; for $267.00 per day for charges from the 61st through the 90th day of confinement; and for $534.00 per day from the 91st through the 150 day of confinement. After the 150th day of confinement Medicare pays nothing and the person on Medicare pays all further hospital charges.

      Medicare part B pays for hospital outpatient charges and doctor's charges after an annual $135.00 deductible, these expenses are covered aty 80% by Medicare, with the individual paying the remaining 20% balance of covered charges. For prescription drugs, Medicare has an annual deductible of $295.00 then an individual has various copays, per prescription until those copays and the deductible add up to $2,700.00 during a calendar year; any additional prescription drug bills, all charges between $2,700. and $4,350. must be paid by the individual; if drug charges exceed $4,350. in a calendar year, 95% of the balance in paid by Medicare and 5% by the individual.

      In addition to these deductibles, which increase each year, and the copays individuals must pay is the fact that Medicare does not cover all medical procedures. The Health Care Finance Authority (HICFA) is the governing authority over Medicare and it decides which procedures will be covered, what the annual deductibles and copays will be.

      With $500 billion less to work with over the next 10 years do you think there is a better than average chance that HCFA will increasing those deductibles and copays that those on Medicare will have to pay?

      Medicare pays doctors 30% less than insurance companies, for the same procedures on non-Medicare patients. When everyone is stuck under a government run health plan, do you think the number of doctors will increase or decrease?

      When a lesser number of doctors have to treat 30 million or more people than they used to, do you think that will make it easier or more difficult to get in to see a doctor?

      Remember too, that the geniuses who thought up this debaucle have graciously exempted themselves from having to participate in this so called national health care plan. They will keep their rich health care plans with Blue Cross, Humana, United Health Care and Aetna.

    32. John B. San Diego says:

      Heritage; I want to compel every reader to follow their gut feeling with regard to our family doctors…the real care providers. Many are asking who is "My Family Doctor”; that sort of care is long-gone in many families care… Government says forget those days of personally delivered care, now the administrator of governmental provided clinics says you are not eligible for that particular treatment is doesn't follow preferred best practice treatment choices with regard to your particular disease/ailment

      Ask yourselves to whom or what entity do I appeal for the doctor’s care I need next week?

      Chances are a patient may not receive that answer for three months; maybe too late for effective life saving treatment.

    33. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      It is called choices! The Government has several choices of letting you die. To old, to young, not important enough, have to wait on a list until you are dead to get treatment.

      To great the odds of your recovery for treatment. How can you pay back Society for your treatment, the HIVE? Are you productive? Do we need your food, your house? How much CO2 do you emit with each breath?

      Anyone remember,"Soylent Green"?

    34. Millie A. Portsmouth says:

      People…call your Senators and Congressmen..let them know your feelings and remind them that you will vote in 2010 and their vote for this health care joke and the "cap & tax" bill will be their political demise. I do believe that a reform is needed but not this reform.

      Lynn B. DeSpain mentions…SOYLENT GREEN. I remember that movie well Charleston Heston, Edward G. Robinson…

      We need to take our country back from the Democrats…I can't believe that Pelosi, Reid and gang have not been moved by the TEA PARTIES…but they will take notice in 2010.

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