Health care ac­cess de­nied

Oba­macare ra­tioning will leave se­niors with­out nec­es­sary med­i­cal as­sis­tance

The Washington Times Daily - - Opinion - By Rep. Larry Buc­shon, Rep. Charles Bous­tany and Rep. Scott Des­jar­lais

With the de­bate about the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of Oba­macare on full dis­play in front of the Supreme Court, the un­in­tended con­se­quences of this over­reach­ing law have of­ten taken a back seat to the con­sti­tu­tional ques­tions.

Never be­fore in our na­tion’s his­tory has the fed­eral gov­ern­ment ad­vo­cated for the power to com­pel Amer­i­cans to pur­chase prod­ucts. If this power is up­held, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would be able to dic­tate pur­chases and dis­tort a free mar­ket that has been the source of our eco­nomic strength. While we have se­ri­ous reser­va­tions about the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of the in­di­vid­ual man­date, we are also con­cerned by the prob­lems it cre­ates in pro­vid­ing ac­cess to qual­ity care.

If the goal was af­ford­able care and ac­cess for all, this law fails mis­er­ably.

First, the law cre­ated a 15-mem­ber panel of un­elected bu­reau­crats to make health care de­ci­sions based on costs. The In­de­pen­dent Pay­ment Ad­vi­sory Board (IPAB) is noth­ing short of a backdoor ap­proach to a Euro­pean-style sys­tem that will ul­ti­mately lead to the ra­tioning of care based on the pa­tient’s age or health. The last thing a pa­tient needs is the fed­eral gov­ern­ment hav­ing a seat in the exam room. This board will cut ser­vices and treat­ments that are nec­es­sary for se­niors. Not only will ser­vices be elim­i­nated, but it will force many providers to exit the mar­ket al­to­gether. Al­ready, one in three pri­mary care providers are lim­it­ing new Medi­care pa­tients and one in eight are re­ject­ing them out­right. The IPAB will make these star­tling sta­tis­tics, pro­vided by the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion, grow to a point where find­ing a


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