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NRL News
Page 1
February/March 2010
Volume 37
Issue 2-3

Obama Health Bill Would Deny Right to Use Own Money to Save Your Life
By Burke J. Balch, J.D.

On February 22, President Obama offered a new health care proposal, based on but significantly altering the bill passed by the Senate just before Christmas. The President’s proposal is more radical than either the Senate bill or that passed by the House in limiting the ability of all Americans, and especially senior citizens, to use their own money to obtain health insurance less likely to ration lifesaving medical treatment.

Obama’s February 22 proposal would end older Americans’ current right to add their own money on top of the government Medicare contribution to get such insurance, while empowering state and federal government officials to limit what could be spent on health insurance by Americans of any age.

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.

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