RE: Cruz Amendment to H.R. 933 to block funding for Obamacare
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) urges you to vote in favor of the amendment that Senator Cruz intends to offer to the continuing resolution (H.R. 933), to block funding for the Obama health care law, and intends to include the roll call in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 113th Congress.
NRLC vigorously opposed enactment of the Obamacare law in 2009-2010, because of its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance, multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates, and multiple provisions that will result in involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment by placing unacceptable limits on the right of vulnerable Americans to use their own money, if they choose, to obtain both health care and health insurance less likely to deny needed health care.
More detailed discussion of the abortion-expanding provisions of Obamacare can be found in NRLC’s 2011 testimony in support of the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358): http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/AHC/ProtectLifeActDouglasJohnsonTestimony.pdf
Since its inception, the pro-life movement has been as concerned with protecting the lives of older people and people with disabilities from euthanasia, including the involuntary denial of treatment, food, and fluids necessary to prevent death, as it has been dedicated to protecting unborn children from abortion. Obamacare threatens those lives by authorizing the imposition of unacceptable limits on the right of vulnerable Americans to use their own money, if they choose, to obtain both health care and health insurance less likely to deny needed health care.
The focus of many on discussion about the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s (IPAB) authority over Medicare reimbursement rates has resulted in far too little attention being given to the grave threat the board poses to the ability of Americans of all ages to obtain life-preserving health care after 2015: IPAB’s key role in suppressing nongovernmental health care spending so that private citizens are not even allowed to keep up with the rate of medical inflation.
IPAB is instructed by the health care law to make recommendations to limit what all Americans are legally allowed to spend for their health care so as to hold it below the rate of medical inflation. The health care law then authorizes the federal Department of Health and Human Services to implement these recommendations by imposing so-called “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers. The documentation can be found here: http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/medethics/LifeatRisk112012.pdf
What happens to doctors who violate a “quality” standard by prescribing more lifesaving medical treatment than it permits? They will be disqualified from contracting with any of the health insurance plans that individual Americans, under Obamacare, will be mandated to purchase. Few doctors would be able to remain in practice if subjected to that penalty.
This means that treatment a doctor and patient deem advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health — but which exceeds the standard imposed by the government — will be denied even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. Repeal of Obamacare is critically important to prevent this rationing of life-saving medical treatment.
Obamacare also authorizes the imposition of limits on the ability of all Americans to choose to pay for, and on the ability of senior citizens’ to add their own money on top of the government Medicare payment to pay for, health insurance less likely to deny medical treatment, as more fully described and documented at http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/medethics/LifeatRisk112012.pdf
NRLC strongly urges you to vote in favor of the Cruz Amendment to H.R. 933, and intends to include the roll call in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 113th Congress.
David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
Burke J. Balch, J.D.
Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics