Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Sen. Baucus out to kill Grandma too?

Is the National Right to Life Committee engaging in scare tactics?  I was disturbed to read that the Baucus bill "will gravely endanger the lives of America's senior citizens."  Then I read the analysis:

With respect to rationing, the proposal contains a Medicare provision that, beginning in 2015, would severely financially penalize physicians who are in the top 10% of medical resource use.  This provision does not link funding to outcomes or quality; instead, it will force a "race to the bottom" with relentless pressure on doctors to limit health care for their older patients.  On top of the significant Medicare cuts in the bill, this will gravely endanger the lives of America's senior citizens.


The bill does contain language to prevent the use of comparative effectiveness analysis in a manner that would discriminatorily deny treatment because of age, disability, or terminal illness; however, this language would not affect the financial incentive to ration care as described above.


Does this mean that, in order to satisfy "pro-life" concerns, we have to ensure that medical providers do not have any financial incentives to limit the expense of the care they provide?  Does our current system of health care avoid such financial incentives?  If not, why is the NLRC applying a more stringent standard to the government?  Or is it a more stringent standard applied to whatever reform is favored by President Obama in particular because the pro-life community does not trust him?


Vischer, Rob | Permalink

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