Wednesday, May 4, 2011

GOP's Cantor: Health rationing OK if by done private sector

So gee, it turns out that "rationing" is just another way of saying that we can't have everything we want.

As I've pointed out many times before, private insurance's main job is to ration care. They give you a whole list of what's covered and what isn't. That's rationing. But when the government does it -- it's godless socialism!

By Julian Pecquet
May 3, 2011 | The Hill

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Tuesday that private healthcare plans ration care for profit but that consumers should be free to buy whatever coverage they can afford rather than depend on government rationing.

In remarks to the College of American Pathologists, Cantor warned that Democrats' healthcare reform law mandates benefits that are too generous and will bankrupt the country as the government ends up having to offer ever increasing subsidies. That can only lead to government rationing, he said.

"That doesn't mean those kinds of decisions aren't being made now by the private sector," Cantor added, "because they are."

The solution advanced by Republicans is to increase private-sector competition, by allowing health plans to sell their coverage across state lines, for example. Most experts say that's unlikely to significantly drive down America's record-high healthcare costs, however, and risks leaving in place the current problems of uninsured and underinsured patients that the healthcare reform law attempted to address in the first place.

Cantor appeared to go further than Republicans have in the past by acknowledging that not all patients are certain to get optimal healthcare under a system of private insurance.

"I think that the fundamental nature of our system of third-party payer is the problem," he said. Patients, he added, too often are left with "no decision about what they want and what they can afford."

Later, Cantor said Republicans want a safety net for people who can't afford care but that "we're not for everyone having the same outcome guaranteed."

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