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. Butterfly

    Don't disabled children receive medicare. I'm pretty sure children with disablities get that. If not there is SCHIP which is a government health program for all children including those with disabilities. SCHIP was passed by the Bush administration. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo in other words, disabled children already receive government run health care. Do these people think the rest of us are too stupid to know these things?

    September 15, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. kim

    all the more reason to move this bill through with reconcilliation. These people are souless.

    September 15, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. William in San Jose

    Unbelievable. Do they really think that the public at large would allow such a thing to evolve into reality? Project much GOP? They have it exactly backward, today's status quo is already rationing care!

    September 15, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Canaman

    This is the result of 9/11. Injecting fears into 'now-fearful' Americans (although they were once brave, but not anymore) until they give in. This is why some people would argue (I don't) that 9/11 was an inside job by Republicans so they could easily use politics of fear to get their ways.

    September 15, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Obama and the rest of the Democrates DONT GET IT, they are all JOKES. If you worked for me I'D FIIRE THE LOT OF YOU. Democrates are jokes with their private government control agendas.

    September 15, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. David

    The party of voids. Voids in leadership, voids in idea's, voids in humility, voids in compassion, voids in reality, voids in courage, voids in ability, voids in statesmanship...

    It's one tremendous black hole waiting to be filled, ripe for a rebalancing and, dare I say it, "clensing" of religious and financial influence.

    September 15, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. vet in texas

    She's too late, Palin (who is China speaking with investors, why I don't know) said this when the "death panel/plug-pulling" falsehood came out months ago........she must have been stuck on the tea-brain train to nowhere when it did.

    September 15, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. ICARE

    You mean less money for the people that take in the money and dont do anything for these disable folks, in the first place?

    September 15, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. jaye

    The republicans and their outrageous lies!!!
    Good Grief.....they are disgusting.

    September 15, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. suzyku

    Will the lies and distortions of the GeeOhPee ever cease?! Will some of the fools in this country ever learn how to "read the truth" and not just blindly believe the rethugs?! Some people are beyond hope and just plain stupid! Anyone who actually takes anything out the mouths of the republicans for truth is seriously damaged, anyone who follows fixed news and believes it's real is seriously stupid!

    September 15, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. hockey mom

    The republicans prey on the ignorant and the poor. The republicans feed them lies because they realize that the ignorant and poor will not education themselves – but instead, follow blindly.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall the day that these republicans have to stand in front of the Lord and be judged as to their worthiness on entering into heaven!

    September 15, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. VGal

    This is SICK. These republicans are SICK.

    September 15, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Jkay - KCMO

    In Kansas my son's caregiving facility is facing a State appointed commission who by December will decide if my son's "home" will be closed forever. Yes, he receives medical care both at a community hospital and at a medical unit on site. What will happen when he has no home or if the threats are real he has no medical care access? There are some Pubs who have said we must take care of our own. They haven't a clue that it takes three shifts of staff to be his caretakers. Country first huh..............they have no idea what world my son lives. I'm just thankful for my son he receives excellent care which he uniquely requires.

    September 15, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Gypsy

    Don't these Republicans have any shame, first they try to hide behind school children to criticize the President, now they are hiding behind disabled children. How cowardly can you get Republicans?

    September 15, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Lisa P

    GOP Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona and Cathy McMorris Rogers 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.

    They need to tell this to Stephen Hawking. Apparently the British National Health Service killed him through neglect years ago by their reckoning.

    September 15, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Pat

    Please everyone write these idiots, addresses on their web sites, and let them know that Americans are not that stupid. What are they thinking, fear over facts. We have got to stop this fear campaign! The republicans are in a fear feeding frenzy – lead by Palin, cheered by Joe Wilson, and now it has come to my home state Washington.

    September 15, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Jim

    Suprise,surprise, another un-supported Republican assertion about health care. I wish they would show up and work on the plan. If they are worried about under-serving disabled kids, why don't they try to get something in the bill that guarantees it? Because they have no interest in these problems, they just want to stop anything from changing.

    September 15, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  18. kimberly

    WOW, they just love to bow to the fringe loons in their party. Did they not learn from palin, there is not enough of those loons to get the White House back...thank the Gods.

    September 15, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Liberals are Hypocrites

    Do you loons REALLY believe once the government has control of your health care that it will NOT do this? Rationing is an integral requirement for all universal health plans - they can't break even without it.

    September 15, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. tee

    The GOP is the most unqualified representives I have ever seen.....They really have nothting to offer......when will they learn that fear and lies will not work.....what do we have to do?......hit them over the head with fear itself........NO JUST LET THEM CONTINUE TO SELF DESTRUCT

    September 15, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. cynthia in FL

    More Republican lies and fearmongering ...

    Are there really people stupid enough to believe this garbage? No wonder Republicans hate education, voters who can think for themselves are the biggest threat to their existence.

    September 15, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. S M R

    These GOP hacks will do and say ANYTHING to keep the STATUS-QUO. If this is what they call FREEDOM OF SPEECH, I say give them lie detector tests and end Their RIDICULOUS stance.

    September 15, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. redleg

    Why doesn't the GOP discuss Sarah Palin's trouble deciding whether or not to abort Trigg in secret (or just have an in-flight miscarriage – she sure tried hard enough) or Rep Wilson's belief that "mongrels" should stay hidden? What about GW Bush's opposition to the Americans with Disabilities Act? I guess all the disabled veterans all were getting rich off the VA.

    September 15, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. ThinkAgain

    Right, Republicans are worried about disabled people. That's why they voted for all the tax cuts for the wealthy, lied us into a war, de-regulated the financial industry and relaxed regulations on environmental protections, all of which our country – and all the children – will be paying for for many years to come.

    The GOP doesn't give a whit about anyone unless they have money. Period.

    September 15, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    The Devils are in the details of this bill. Don't trust either side if you really care about these bills. Read them or abstracts of them yourself. If you do, there will be plenty of things the 72% of Americans happy with health care now will find troubling.

    Remind your congressmen that you will remember there vote in 2010, 2012, etc... They can take all the money from health care special interests, and send all kinds of junk mail, Tv ads, and telemarketerish calls. You will still hold them accountable!

    September 15, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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