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. Does acorn do tax returns?

    In socialist medicine the care a citizen gets is in direct proportion to their worth to the great society. Less productivity, less care. Hope we are not headed down this road.But this would be just what the far left wants.

    September 15, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Hard Worker

    OMG! First it's our elderly and now it's our children...you'd think they'd get tired of making idiots of themselves. Talk about Christian values, since when was lying and making people fearful a Christian value????
    Morality...there's none in the GOP if they continue to tolerate this kind of misrepresentation of policy. I'm apalled. And, MOST grateful the GOP is no longer in the Whitehouse...

    September 15, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Dyan, Minnesota

    Shouldn't the headline be 'Republicans again lie about pending health insurance reform'? That's the story here.

    September 15, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. Peoples Voice

    I was wondering how deep the bottom of the barrel is the GOP is scraping.

    There is nothing they will not use, no matter how untrue and disgusting.

    September 15, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Tom in CA

    Whatever..., but don't let the BUFFOONS back into the HOUSE!

    September 15, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. Just Me

    Code word = Death Panels. Will the Republicans every give up? LOL

    September 15, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. kuriya

    Copy from Sarah Palin. Did people forget she started all this. People forget about pulling the plug on grandma, now the disabled children some of this republicans are heartless. Take about taking advantage these group of people. They should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 15, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. Amanda

    When you think that these hypocritical Republicans refused for years to allow health care for poor children !! This is SO disgraceful !

    September 15, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Right...because the definition of "pre-existing condition" doesn't include diabilities, born with them or not, in the minds of those who run the private insurance industry to pay for their personal jets and $30K toilets....

    September 15, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "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."

    Have you resorted to peeking out from behind the drapes to check if the aliens are in your front yard yet?

    September 15, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Freeman

    Low blow! These republicans are desperate. Using innocent children as pawns of hate.

    September 15, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. Pat

    How many times do we need to get over this?

    September 15, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  13. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    If Obama gets his way, it will not just be disabled children who will be shafted; it will be our seniors as well. Once access to medical services are universalized (which is Obama's ultimate marxist goal), there will be a lot less money and resources to go around and there will be rationing.

    Also, Obama is on the record of supporting amnesty and drivers licenses for illegal aliens. If Obama and the rest of the corrupt democrats get their way, ILLEGAL ALIENS WILL BE INCLUDED IN THEIR HEALTHCARE NIGHTMARE. Anyone who thinks differently are either dillusional or just plain stupid.

    September 15, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  14. What?

    Not only are these comments insanely stupid, but these guys need to know the definition of a "chronic illness". A cleft palate is NOT a chronic condition (especially in Western countries). A simple procedure gets it fixed when you're about 6 months old ... end of story.

    Americans aren't stupid enough to believe this nonsense. right? Oh wait, almost half of us bought the death panels lie.

    September 15, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  15. Xavier

    Republicans are shameless.

    September 15, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  16. MR

    Have they no shame? As someone who has worked with disabled children most of my professional life, it is ONLY the government health care programs that continues to pay for care for these children throughout their lives.

    September 15, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Linda

    Remember when Ronald Reagan sign a bill decreasing nutritional standards for school lunch programs? Just thought I would bring that up.

    September 15, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Zion

    Hey, aren't these the same guys who cut programs for the disabled during the Bush Administration. Are Republicans becoming Democrat lites? LOL

    September 15, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  19. Ancient Texan

    Of coarse there will be rationing. Simple math will tell you that! There is a shortage of Doctors and Nurses in the country right now. And if this debacle is passed, there will be 46 million more patients added. Get real...

    September 15, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. Linda

    What a sad story. Why do they continue to do this? Scare tactics. The Tea Parties use the same stuff. Half call Obama a Socialist the other half call him a Communist and a few call him a Marxist. Well which one? They dont have it together! The leader of the tea party said the crowd was a wide representation of America. Well to me, I didnt see any people of color, asian, latino, chinese etc.. America is a melting pot not just one race dominates this great country. Wake up and look around. Scare tactics is all they got. Shame on you Republicans.

    September 15, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. No free lunch

    They "warn of" this thing that isn't in the bill? Claiming that someting is in a bill when it is not in the bill, isn't "warn[ing] of" it. That is called LYING. Look it up sometime.

    But CNN does not call it "lying," they do not call it "misleading," they do not "fact-check" or "truth squad" it. They report it as if the lie were a reality, rather than, as they themselves admit (way down the page), a LIE. "Fair and balanced" much?

    Your massive bias in favor of a major advertiser (the insurance lobby, as well as individual insurance companies) is really obvious and you have no credibility.

    September 15, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. KU Hawk

    This is just more scare tactics, I am a medical provider and this is simply NOT true. Further more, our private for profit Insurance Companies currently ration care in the form of denials. The following is the % of claims denied for cancer health care providers las year.
    PacifiCare–39.6%
    Cigna –32.7%
    Kaiser–28.3%
    This is the broken system our president is trying to fix.

    September 15, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. Dave

    This is beyond despicable. These representatives should be drummed out of office. To stand there and say that a sitting president would deny care to a disabled child is beyond the pale. This has really gone far enough. How much longer are the american people going to stand for this type of lies and mistreatment and want to know the real truth? Are we really that stupid that we can only listen to tea party express idiots and these boneheads who traipse out these poor families as a scare tactic on this matter? I just cannot believe that this is happening in America. I bet our neighbors to the north in Canada are thanking there lucky stars that they do not have this type of silly nonsense connected with their health care system.

    September 15, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  24. Ray in Nashville

    This was the next logical step. The AMA and the AARP have come out in favor of healthcare reform, the AARP going so far as to spend time debunking Republican lies such as "death panels" and "sinlge payer" systems. Now the defenders of the health insurance criminals have been told by their masters to start spreading the lie that disabled children will be the target of the so-called Obama plan. Shame on them and shame on the people stupid enough to fall for their lies.

    September 15, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  25. Roger in CA

    Lying, immoral cretins!!!

    I am a parent of a special-needs child (a 7-year old recovering from a relapsed brain tumor), and I know EXACTLY the horrors and travails of being in that position, but these cretins are 180 degress WRONG:

    The main threat to parents of special-needs children is NOT these paranoic fanatasies that the big bad bureaucrats will make some sort of eugenic decision that special-needs children are not "worthy" of care, but the VERY REAL AND CURRENT problem that our current health care system leaves these children hanging by a thread: the PROFIT-MOTIVATED insurance companies ration care TODAY, and there are countless REAL cases of urgent treatments denied or deferred; PLUS the absurdity that a parent losing a job (guess what, I just lost mine after 18 years!!) could lead to the end of treatment and/or financial ruin is one of the most BARBARIC, IMMORAL and HORRIFYING THING THERE IS!!

    September 15, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
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