Expansion of abortion, rationed healthcare only two of the problems
By Pam Fichter, President, Missouri Right to Life
The 2,409-page “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” commonly called “Obamacare,” contains multiple provisions that allow the federal government complete control of healthcare in our country. If not repealed, it will un- leash countless government mandates, an expansion of abortion, rationing of healthcare, and will prevent Americans from using their own money to save their own lives.
The religious community, in particular the Catholic Church, is strongly opposing, as a violation of fundamental reli- gious liberty, the recent mandate from the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) requiring religious-affiliated businesses and institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilizations, and abortifacients. However, according to the Na- tional Right to Life Committee, Obamacare contains over 2,500 references to powers and responsibilities granted to the Secretary of HHS giving her the power to issue countless mandates. Call- ing for the withdrawal of this one mandate and not for the repeal of the entire law is like treating the symptom but letting the disease flourish.
Expansion of Abortion
This legislation also represents the greatest expansion of abortion ever passed by the U. S. Congress. The bill contains authorization for abortion coverage under the Pre-Existing Con- dition Insurance Plan, federal subsidies for private health plans that cover elective abortions, authorization for abortion funding through Community Health Centers, and authorization for inclu- sion of abortion coverage in health plans administered by the Federal Office of Personnel Management. And in states that do not opt out of abortion coverage, the PPACA allows Qualified Health Plans that are sold through the new Exchanges to include abortion coverage. The purported protections in the Senate bill are all very narrow, riddled with loopholes, and rigged to expire.
The Hyde Amendment, enacted in 1976, prevents funds appropriated through the regular DHHS appropriation bills to pay directly for abortions or to subsidize health plans that include abortion coverage (except in cases of rape and incest.) The Hyde Amendment will not apply to funding or subsidies created under Obamacare because the funding is made outside of the normal DHHS appropriations.
Rationed Health Care
One of the greatest dangers of the law is the inherent rationing of health care.
The law establishes a powerful 18-member rationing commission, the “Independent Payment Advisory Board,” which is given the duty beginning January 15, 2015, to slow the growth in national health expenditures below the rate of medical infla- tion for both private and governmentally funded health care. The Commission’s recommendations are to be ones that the Secretary of the DHHS or other Federal agencies can implement admin- istratively. In turn the Secretary of the DHHS is empowered
to impose “quality and efficiency” measures on hospitals and requires them to report on their compliance with them. Doctors will have to comply with these quality measures in order to be able to contract with any qualified health insurance plans.
Essentially, doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers will be told by Washington just what diagnostic tests and medical care are considered to meet “quality and efficiency” standards. These standards will be enforced not just for health care paid for by federally funded programs like Medicare, but also for health care paid for by private citizens and by the health insurance they or their employers purchase. These standards are specifically designed to limit the funds that Americans may choose to spend on health care so that they cannot keep up with the rate of medical inflation. Treatment that a doctor and a patient deem needed or advisable to save the patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health but which runs afoul of the imposed standards will be denied, even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. In effect, there will be one uniform, national standard of care, established by Washington bureaucrats, that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend to save their own lives.
The PPACA must be repealed to protect Americans from threats against their liberty and their very lives.