September 15th, 2009
05:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Republicans warn of rationing for disabled children

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Surrounded by a group of parents clutching pictures of their special needs children, two Republican members of Congress stood in front of the Capitol on Tuesday and warned that President Obama's proposed health care system will lead to a rationing of care for children with disabilities.

GOP Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said at a news conference that government-run health care systems, wherever they exist in the world, inevitably force health providers to refuse care to people with chonically-ill family members in order to reduce costs. Both members of Congress said the issue hits close to home: McMorris-Rodgers has a son with Down Syndrome, and Franks was born with a cleft palate.

"Whenever there is pressure on government to cut costs, and that is ostensibly the purpose here, the reality is a lot of times the doctors take their hands off the situation," Franks said. He also predicted that the president's health care legislation will lead to "the largest expansion of abortion since Roe vs. Wade."

The two Republicans then heard from nearly a dozen parents who claimed that their disabled children would be discriminated against under the Democratic plan. Several pointed out that the President's health care adviser Ezekiel Emanuel - brother of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and a frequent target of the presidential plan's critics - has written articles in the past in support of rationing care. Emanuel has since said his thinking has changed on the matter.


McMorris-Rodgers could not point to any specific language in the legislation currently before Congress that would deny health care to disabled children, but she said she and the families were worried that a government-run health insurance plan would give power to a government bureaucrat who would be able to decide whether or not "certain procedures or certain devices" would be covered for individuals.

The independent fact-checker PolitiFact wrote last month that there "is no panel in any version of the health care bills in Congress that judges a person's 'level of productivity in society' to determine whether they are 'worthy' of health care."

Asked if she could elaborate specific proposals to help low-income people with disabled family members purchase health insurance, McMorris-Rodgers said she supports tax breaks and savings accounts for affected families. The congresswoman co-sponsored a bill to create such accounts in February.


Filed under: GOP • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Can they stoop any lower? The Republicans voted to deny healthcare coverage for needy children under the Bush administration...Now they are claiming that THEY are the defenders of healthcare for kids? SHAME ON YOU!

    September 15, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. rationing of care for children with disabilities

    when have the republicans cared about the diabled?

    my other thought about this is... is rationed care a bad idea? why is it that disabled are treated better than an average citizen?

    September 15, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Angela in Denver

    I am done with these Republicans. Enough of the fear mongering. CNN, stop trying to be Faux News Jr. Please report real news.

    September 15, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Sam Sixpack

    The independent fact-checker PolitiFact wrote last month that there "is no panel in any version of the health care bills in Congress that judges a person's 'level of productivity in society' to determine whether they are 'worthy' of health care."

    What a twisted lie. The legislation for Obama's "Independent Medicare Advisory Council" (IMAC) was sent to Nancy Pelosi by Peter Orszag on July 27, 2009. The legislation isn't in the bill yet, but its all ready to be inserted at the last minute.

    WHAT LIARS!

    September 15, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Christian Values

    America's current system kills more children then any other world power and most 3rd world nations. Obama's reform is by FAR better then what we have today.

    If you love the children, then vote yes to Obama's reform and stop the current legal genocide that the insurance companies are making a "KILLING' from.

    September 15, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. Frank, Las Vegas

    Just more LIES from the GOP idiots. They have no shame and no honor.

    September 15, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. Sue

    Fearmongering at its best. Never thought this could happen in this day and age. How archaic.

    September 15, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. eolufemi

    Now that's just low....

    September 15, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. Rollin Indamoney

    you lie!

    September 15, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Steph

    This is the meat of the story..."McMorris-Rogers could not point to any specific language in the legislation currently before Congress that would deny health care to disabled children", but they encouraged parents to worry about it anyway. More scare tactics! How dare you use your children to lie to the American people!

    STOP THE LIES REPUBLICANS!!!

    September 15, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. iamsparkling@twitter

    first the grandmas, now this. next we'll be hearing that Obama is going to personally kick your puppy if you agree with health care reform. here's a novel idea ... DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE!!! EDUCATE YOURSELVES on the FACTS, then make your OWN decisions.

    September 15, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Dennis

    What we seem to be getting from Washington is more partisan bickering by posers pretending to be legislators. I still can't believe they think they had the time to censure What's-his-name for blurting out the truth at an inconvenient moment! Have they got too much time on their hands? Maybe we should propose a national referendum to cut their pay in half and limit the length of the Congressional sessions. I mean, if all they're going to do is pass resolutions condeming one another, they could just "blog." We'd save millions.

    September 15, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. RJW

    Once again we are hearing more hyperbole in the health care debate. Fear tactics seems to be the only thing people can use to oppose health care reform. What these congressmen have said is utterly ridiculous and they and everybody else should know it. Why can't people be rational in this debate? Just say you don't favor health care reform. That is the bottom line. There are those that think everything is OK and there are those that don't. Pick a side. And why is it that for Republicans every solution to every problem is a tax cut. It makes me want to hit my head on a wall. People need to accept that some type of reform is needed. Instead of making false claims and creating fear, put out ideas. Jeesh.

    September 15, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Video Guy

    Then maybe they should get to work and make sure that there is something in the bill that would prevent denying health care to the disabled.

    Rather than helping, they are only trying to cause more problems.
    This will cause problems for a week or so, then some other Republican will hear Rushs call to action. Just like call out long wolfs.

    September 15, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Dave

    Here we go again with more GOP lies and fear-mongering. Perhaps Republicans could rub their two collective IQ points together and come up with a viable alternative. Oh, wait, I forgot – they couldn't care less about healthcare for children or anyone else except for themselves.

    September 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Rob from MO

    More scare tactics from the Repugnants. If you want to see rationing of care for disabled children, check out what the private insurance companies are doing to preserve those multimillion dollar salaries for their executives.

    September 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Typical Republican

    Not only that, but they will have a committee set up to go around and depants all elders wearing depends. It's true, even though it's not in any of the bills, there will be a 'depants grandma' committee.

    September 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. RR in AZ

    This already has been proven fasle! They need to get a life!

    September 15, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Pam

    So this is the lie du jour for the GOP...what a disgusting bunch of people.

    September 15, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Alex

    What is this, Berlin 1938?! How about these republican morons get off the stupid train and realize how good they have it.

    September 15, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. David

    OMG! Fear this, fear that, the monster is waiting for you, it's going to be horribler, quick.. do nothing before change gets you!

    Abe is rolling as his party slowly dismantles itself and continues to be an opposition party. These politicians should be ashamed of thier childish behavior and words, but like a child, they don't/can't comprehend thier pettiness.

    September 15, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. roger

    Given the quality of honesty from the GOP, this obviously means rationing won't happen.

    September 15, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. S Callahana NYS

    Stop this! I suffer a long term illness, my sister is brain injured, my daughter has palsy and my gentics for the rest of my family makes health risks possible (your too I'm sure)......I don't agree with this....

    September 15, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Concerned in CA

    Here we go again! More WMD (Weapons of Mass Distractions) from the GOP. Let's stay with actual facts, PLEASE!!

    September 15, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Bob (Illinois)

    What a load of garbage! The GOP is a stinking pile of refuse!

    Idiots!

    September 15, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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