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Are Americans going to be denied access to life-saving treatment?

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On Thursday, the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics at the National Right to Life Committee issued an enlightening report that contains some information everyone in America should read, called “The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Access in the United States.”

The report warns readers that more than one of the provisions in the Affordable care Act (ACA), will drastically limit access to life-saving medical treatment under the law. The report actually analyses four policy areas that will drastically reduce consumers access to life-saving equipment or treatments.

  1. The first policy area discussed is the excess benefit tax that goes into effect in 2018. Under the ACA, a 40% excise tax on employer-paid health insurance premiums will be imposed by the government that does not keep up with inflation. This means that insurance companies will be forced to put restraints on policy-holders’ getting medical care or treatment.
  2. Using the "exchanges" to purchase health insurance, consumers can only choose plans offered by companies who do not allow their customers to spend an “excessive or unjustified” amount for their health insurance, even if the companies offer such plans outside the limits set by the government.
  3. The ACA has cut a significant amount of funding for Medicare. Senior citizens may not realize that there is a provision in the ACA that prevents a consumer from making up the difference in the Medicare shortfall by buying insurance with their own money that would not put limits on life-saving treatments or equipment.
  4. The “Independent Payment Advisory Board” is allowed to recommend measures that limit spending on health care to a growth rate below medical inflation – not just for Medicare, but also for all private, nongovernmental health care spending. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is then authorized to use these measures by placing limits on the treatments doctors may give their patients by requiring them to abide by so-called “quality and efficiency standards” imposed by HHS.

What all this means, according to the report, is that Washington will be setting the standard for care and treatment of consumers, not the physician. If a plan of action, including treatment or the use of life-saving equipment, runs contrary to the "quality and efficiency standards," it can be denied, even if the patient agrees to pay for it out of their own pocket.

When ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made her infamous remark in March 2010, she was telling the truth when she said, “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it....” These words are apt today for everyone. No one could have taken the time, even if they had that much time, to read every paragraph of the ACA. We are now learning the hard truth.

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