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White House Reality Check 4 on Healthcare Reform — There is Rationing and There is Rationing

August 10, 2009

The White House has produced six videos addressing somewhat different issues that have been raised with the current healthcare proposal.  The first (which has a url with “4”) can be viewed here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/4.  It is titled “Reform will stop ‘rationing’ — not increase it.”  The presenter states that rationing is already occurring because insurance plans, for example, exclude coverage for certain procedures and medication and do not cover pre-existing conditions.  (As an aside, aren’t there some instances, like group insurance, in which pre-existing conditions can be covered?:  http://www.medsave.com/health-insurance-articles/Finding-health-insurance-to-cover-pre-exising-medical-conditions.htm)  But more importantly —  is that really rationing?  Because something might not be covered does not mean that it cannot be provided.  No doubt no coverage means out-of-pocket expense for the patient, but this is a far cry from Canadian or UK systems in which a patient simply cannot get the care in a timely fashion whether or not he wants to pay from his own wallet.  That is type of rationing that people are talking about and most assuredly scared about.  That and the apparent detrimental impact such government plans have on medical innovation and technology.  While the presenter does reiterate the White House position that you can keep your own insurance and doctor if you want to, she begs the question why Americans should be subjected to a higher tax and potentially damaging “government competitor” when they are already happy with their healthcare?  

In other words, when Americans are generally happy with the  “rationing” that occurs with their own coverage why should they be subjected to the “rationing” that leads to complete denial of care and a stunted development of medical know-how?

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