A Republican Plan to Ration Care

In Healthcare, Uncategorized On
- Updated

It looks as if Republicans want to bring back health care rationing.

In 2010, Mark Price, a 37-year-old resident of Goodyear, Ariz., was struggling to pay the bills for his leukemia treatment. His house was under foreclosure. He had insurance through Medicaid, and yet he died after the state said it would not pay for a potentially lifesaving bone marrow transplant.

Facing a $2.6 billion budget deficit, Gov. Jan Brewer and Arizona Republicans had opted to ration care, eliminating state payments for bone marrow, liver, heart, lung and other transplants. Simultaneously, the state changed eligibility rules to cut health care for 47,000 low-income children and 310,000 low-income adults.

Arizona was not the only state that cut lifesaving health care benefits during the Great Recession. In 2010, Indiana’s Medicaid program denied an infant with a deadly rare disease a tissue transplant, reversing course only after local media coverage led to public outrage.

If the Republicans replace the Affordable Care Act with the plan released on Monday, we should expect more stories like those.

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