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  • Could Britain's Health Care Rationing Come to the States?

    Advocates of Obamacare often point to Great Britain’s National Health Service as an example of a national health care system that works. But all is not rosy across the pond, as England is beginning to ration treatments for “non-urgent” conditions such as hip replacements, cataract surgery and tonsil removal in order to save money for the National Health Service. Unfortunately, under current law, Obamacare could lead to a health care system similarly plagued by long waits and reduced access to services.

    According to a report from The Independent, some of the procedures being rationed include:

    • Hip and knee replacements only being allowed where patients are in severe pain. Overweight patients will be made to lose weight before being considered for an operation.
    • Cataract operations being withheld from patients until their sight problems “substantially” affect their ability to work.
    • Patients with varicose veins only being operated on if they are suffering “chronic continuous pain”, ulceration or bleeding.
    • Tonsillectomy (removing tonsils) only to be carried out in children if they have had seven bouts of tonsillitis in the previous year.
    • Grommets to improve hearing in children only being inserted in “exceptional circumstances” and after monitoring for six months.

    Think that health care rationing isn’t possible in America? Think again. Under Obamacare, a board of unelected bureaucrats known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is tasked with reducing the growth in Medicare spending. With the powers IPAB has under current law, the Board can make changes—without congressional input—that would indirectly reduce seniors’ access to providers and services.

    Under Obamacare, IPAB can set reimbursement rates for health care providers, irrespective of the true cost of care. The problem arises when reimbursement rates are set so low that providing services becomes unprofitable, leading to fewer providers offering care. Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, explained the result in a House committee hearing last week:

    If the spending reductions in the law today were to take place, seniors could face long waits for appointments and treatments, and many would be forced to wait in line in over-crowded emergency rooms to get care, just as Medicaid patients do throughout the country today.

    Americans are generally appalled to hear stories of rationing, but what many don’t realize is that under Obamacare, IPAB is empowered to take actions that could lead us down that very road. There is a better way to lower health care costs and deliver a higher quality of care: introducing competition and consumer choice through the reforms outlined in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Could Britain's Health Care Rationing Come to the States?

    1. blackcat says:

      is healthcare not allready rationed in the states based on if you can pay for it or not

      • Liz says:

        No it is not. If you walk into a hospital you will be taken care of. It is the law.

      • John Taylor says:

        Sure is blackcat …. just like gas, cigarettes, food, clothing, housing, iPads, or anything else you want to name. And it is NOT just here in the US ….. seems all those horrifying practices are in place pretty much throughout the entire world. How dare people expect us to pay for the things we want, right? We are American citizens ! Someone is supposed to provide this stuff for us when we want it ……
        Who is "Someone" ? …… ahhhh who cares, so long as we keep voting for our freebies, they gotta pay anyway ……..right?
        Oh wait, we are about to kill that old horse because we have worked him to death …..
        No problem, the government has almost as much money as Apple, they can just buy another horse to provide, right?

      • Phoenix says:

        Nope, it's called the emergency room…

      • Shelly says:

        Is that rationing? Is it rationing food or gasoline or anything else when you cannot pay for it? NO what needs to be done is get the government and insurance companies out of it, then Drs and hospitals would compete for business! Prices then would go down to a reasonable affordable rate. Those who could not afford care could then be helped thru charities or other programs.

    2. Joan says:

      Healthcare is rationed here by insurance companies deciding if a treatment or procedure is "necessary" according to a nameless "administrator" even after you have paid for your exorbitant monthly premium and exponentially increasing deductible/co-pay. Even as we speak, BCBS is seeking to further limit an insured's access to a professional for "out-of-network" treatment based upon BCBS's self serving definition of "reasonable and appropriate reimbursement" (meaning ZERO for the patient and provider and 100% for them).

    3. Sheltierbrat says:

      @Blackcat -Less so if you are an illegal alien……

    4. Lesliej says:

      Seriously? In Washington state, you get much better care if you can't pay. Welfare recipients have top of the line coverage, much better than the marginally insured government employees who serve them.

    5. Michael who served says:

      So, im just trying to figure this out. Is this a conservative blog where entitlements are evil and the largest single line item (Medicare) is the root of evil? Or is this a liberal blog where everyone believes healthcare is a human right that should be free? If you hate entitlements, you should love the deathpanels. They'll keep the cost down. If you love entitlements, why are you trashing obamacare? At least get the rant consistent!

      • Bobbie says:

        Michael, this is a blog for anyone. common sense usually prevails. Entitlements are earned and the system became corrupt within government's control.

        By "earned" people who paid in are the ones that are entitled. that rule has been severely abused by the rule makers themselves. No accountability. And you think their going to all of a sudden become accountable once the country is under one solution of government controlled, health care?

        A person's health is their own business since THEY are THE control of their BEHAVIOR. Costs to a person's personal health is the responsibility of that person. Diagnosed with an illness, caused by unknown reasons NOT BY BEHAVIOR, I never thought for a second the costs of my personal health would go to tax payers. yes, the costs are very expensive and abused for profit. That's what the government was suppose to be "overseeing" but instead made it into a crisis. That's one of many reasons national healthcare through government, is not trusted. This illness was brought on me, why would I want you to be responsible for the expense? Bring the costs down!!! That's what the government promised for years, failing to live up to their word now their just taking it over!!!! How can anyone trust that?

        I gave birth to my children which makes me accountable to their health and expenses until they can be personally accountable. I have a medical condition since childhood. Not once was I denied health insurance and those that were, likely made false claims on their application. Government used it to call it a crisis. It's unconstitutional and deceptive and once it's all in government's hands, we'll have crisis after crisis all in government control. This is all designed by government and their years of hunger for power.

        • Bobbie says:

          and Michael, if you are "who serve" I mean no offense, but clearly you know the difference between freedom and government's abuse of it…

    6. mary t says:

      this is the bigggest load of claptrap i've ever heard in my whole life!!!
      Where in the UK will you go blind because of Cataracts?? the answer is nowhere!!!
      but in the USA i did!!!! WHY because i earned 7 dollars too much for subsidised health care and about $450.00 too little per month to pay for it.
      In the UK no one goes without ! In the USA the rich and the welfare have healthcare but the working class in the middle have not this is what needs to be addressed

    7. Linda says:

      This article is quite correct. Having relatives in London, I hear how they have to wait weeks, if not months, for procedures we take for granted. My cousin had to wait one year for a cataract operation and his wife had a problem with her ear that took close to 18 months to correct. (By the way, the procedure was an in office visit that took the doctor less than a half hour to perform.

      Beware of Obamacare. There will eventually be rationing. Those who are interested might want to Google exactly what goes on in Britain as far as rationing is concerned.

      Obamacare…coming to a theater near you!

    8. Stephen says:

      I consider myself "working class in the middle" and I have excellent Health Care. I pay for it. Myself.

    9. Gordon Worley says:

      Several points have been made that may appear to contradict each other, but are in fact true. I will address one specific pair. It is true that if a person presents at a hospital emergency department, the hospital must provide a screening exam and stabilizing treatment, This is done without reference to the patient’s ability to pay. If the patient doesn’t have insurance or is unable to pay eventually, the hospital basically eats the cost. The patient has to be seen, but they don’t necessarily get the care they need.

      I have worked for over 25 years as a ED nurse, and have seen this scenario countless times. All too often the subsequent events follow a classic pattern. Once the emergency condition has been stabilized, it is frequently difficult or impossible to find a physician who is willing to admit the patient, much less provide car after the patient leaves the hospital. Often the results of this scenario are that the patient is eventually admitted after a long stay in the ED, or maybe transferred to another hospital willing to accept him, generating an ambulance bill. When the patient is discharged and is unable to obtain follow-up care, they get ill again and the cycle repeats itself.

      This is a form of rationing, with the valve being the ability to pay for care. If you can afford insurance, or have government benefits, you can obtain some level of care. If you don’t, you gamble on the ED and hope maybe you will get what you need, but probably won’t in the long run.

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