Who Decides the Health Care You Need?

Oregon Health Plan Previews Stimulus Bill Provisions

(Dallas, TX, Feb. 19, 2009)  The new federal health council created to oversee medical treatments will promote government rationing of health care, a practice pioneered by Oregon, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.  

A new NCPA analysis on the Oregon Health Plan shows a surprising shift in how Oregon's health care dollars for treating low-income patients are spent, previewing health care rationing on a national level.  The report on Oregon shows that lifesaving services have been deemphasized in favor of less essential care.

Oregon is the only government in the U.S. which explicitly rations medical treatment based on treatment cost and effectiveness, limiting doctor/patient choices.

Oregon's Health Services Commission does this by ranking treatments by cost and effectiveness, the same approach to be used by the new Federal Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.  In Oregon, the state can refuse to fund treatments falling below a predetermined rank.

Also at issue:

  • Replacing private doctor and insurer decisions with government and special interest group priorities
  • Removing financial and life-saving treatment decisions from patients and their families

To read the full analysis, link here:  http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/ba645.pdf

If you would like to interview analysis author Linda Gorman, an NCPA Senior Fellow, please call or email Catherine Daniell.