By John in Oregon
Rep Brian Baird has been one of the more level headed of the North West members of Congress. That said. Last Tuesday Rep Brian Baird appeared for a radio town hall on the Lars Larson show. During that appearance Rep. Baird made three incorrect claims. The claims seem sound on the surface, but only on the surface. While not the only claims made, these three claims must be challenged.
False Claim number 1.
– Insurance Companies ration health care.
This is utterly and absolutely false. Beyond denying payment, insurance companies have no other power to deny you care. Assume for argument that insurance has declined to cover your child’s illness. You still have options. Here are nine of them;
– You may appeal your adjusters decision using the companies appeal process.
– You can seek coverage by other insurance companies.
– You can ask your state insurance commissioner to intercede on your behalf.
– You may file a law suit and ask the courts for relief.
– You can mortgage your house to pay for the care.
– You may solicit donations to pay for your child’s care.
– You can seek admission to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Shriners hospital for treatment at no cost.
– You can ask the drug company for assistance with medications.
– You may seek your child’s inclusion in a research study.
In short you have many options to obtain care. Insurance companies can not and do not ration your health care. Period.
False Claim number 2.
– When government rations health care it will be under the control of the people, will be fair, and people will have choices.
It is true that congress may choose to speak for the people and instruct bureaucracy to ration care. Beyond that, the claim is false. Once in place the bureaucracy will make the rules and decide what treatments will be allowed and which treatments are prohibited.
The rules will apply to all. You, the individual, will not get to plead your case or your circumstances. The rule is about the treatment, not about you or your needs. When the rationing board has prohibited the treatment for your child’s illness you have no choice:
– You were excluded by rule and have no decision to appeal.
– If you seek other coverage, the treatment remains prohibited.
– You may file a law suit but you will have no standing.
– You can mortgage your house to pay for care however the treatment remains prohibited.
– You may solicit donations to pay for your child’s care however the treatment remains prohibited.
This solution simply substitutes the will of Congress in place of your decisions. You will have exactly two choices. Ask congress to pass a law to give you relief. Or, alternatively, you may smuggle your child to another country that does permit treatment.
False Claim number 3.
– Health care is limited and must be rationed.
Money to spend on health care is limited. The health care we can buy with that money is not.
In 1796 Dr. Edward Jenner discovered the inoculation to prevent smallpox. With that discovery Jenner created thousands of empty infirmary beds. Beds no longer need for smallpox patients.
The idea that health care is limited is false — and it is destructive. The idea is falsified by every innovation in health care.
Rationing creates shortages, rationing does not prevent them.
In the 1970s two US Presidents rationed petroleum. The result was more shortages and even less petroleum. In the 80s Ronald Reagan scrapped rationing. The result was a rapid increase in petroleum supplies and falling gas prices. Health care resources are no different.