Speaking at the Michigan Business and Legislative Forum this morning, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) suggested that health care reform would lead to more breast cancer deaths:
But let me tell you, are we willing to give up that system? Are we willing to have more breast cancer deaths in the United States with this system, to get the 30 million people, which is really means only 18 million people who don’t have coverage. At a $1.8 billion, trillion dollar deficit. That’s the equation we have to ask.
Rogers, who repeatedly mentioned that he had read the entire House health care bill, argued that the House reform legislation would allow the federal government to use the results of comparative effectiveness research to ration costly treatments.
In reality, the bill authorizes Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research to “conduct, support, and synthesize research…with respect to the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures,” but prohibits the government from applying research findings to coverage decisions. Page 524 of the legislation:
Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the Commission or the Center to mandate coverage, reimbursement, or other policies for any public or private payer.
Of course, Rogers may have found that part of the bill to be boring. “So if you read this thousand page bill — by the way, which they gave us about 12 hours to do and it got riveting right about page 860. Fantastic! Little plot twist in there,” he joked at the event.