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Obama Premium Price Controls Threaten Lives of All Americans

Jul 22, 2010 | 2010 Press Releases

OBAMA PROPOSAL LIMITS RIGHTS OF AMERICANS OF ALL AGES TO
USE THEIR OWN MONEY TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES

 The following statement may be attributed to Burke Balch, J.D., director of the National Right to Life Committee’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics.

The February 22, 2010, Obama Administration health care proposal imposes premium price controls on ALL insurance plans, not just those for Medicare-eligible senior citizens.  That means that the right of Americans to spend their own money to get insurance plans less likely to deny treatment will be significantly limited.  People will not be allowed to spend their own money, if they choose, to improve the chances of saving their own family’s lives.

It is basic economics that price controls force rationing.  (See http://nrlc.org///uploads/medethics/Q&AonHealthCarePriceControls.pdf )

Under the President’s proposal, states and the federal government would be empowered to review and reject premiums charged by any health insurance plan, even the supposedly “grandfathered” plans that Americans now have. 

Yet the Administration has the temerity, even now, to state, “For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it.  Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change insurance they have, period.”

It is as though a government, concerned about the high cost of restaurant food, imposed a price limit of $5 per meal, and then asserted that for those who like their restaurant food, nothing will force them to change their eating habits.  The reality, of course, is that restaurants would be unable to afford to offer meals at prices below the cost of their ingredients.  Consequently, about all restaurant-goers would be able to get would be fast food.

Similarly, when every premium increase is subject to veto by government officials, it means that instead of Americans making their own choices balancing the cost against the benefit in evaluating competing insurance plans, that decision will be taken out of their hands by bureaucrats whose principal duty is to hold health care spending down.  Denial of lifesaving diagnostic tests and treatment would surely follow.   This is rationing, pure and simple.

For the impact of the Obama proposal on Medicare and senior citizens, see http://powellcenterformedicalethics.blogspot.com/2010/02/obama-proposal-threatens-to-deny-senior.html

A separate release issued earlier today describes the National Right to Life Committee’s abortion-related concerns with the Obama health care proposal.

Burke Balch, J.D. is available to provide comment and analysis on the Obama proposal. Please contact the NRLC Communications Department at (202) 626-8825 to arrange an interview.