What do Sarah Murnaghan and Obamacare have to do with each other?
If some political commentators are correct, the Sarah Murnaghan lung transplant saga might be a preview of Obamacare.
The Sarah Murnaghan lung transplant fight began with a 10-year-old girl with end stage cystic fibrosis. Sarah Murnaghan desperately needed a lung transplant in order to survive, but the government health laws stated that Sarah Murnaghan was one year too young to be on the waiting list for an adult lung, which was enforced by Kathleen Sebelius.
The Sarah Murnaghan and Obamacare comparison comes in because Kathleen Sebelius is being compared to the hypothetical Obamacare death panels. This idea comes from the belief that government-determined decisions on health care under Obamacare may determine who gets to live and who dies. Government officials of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which is designed to contain Medicare costs, are dismissive of claims of Obamacare death panels, but fears still remain of rationed health care and treatment denials.
Kathleen Sebelius made the Sarah Murnaghan, Obamacare connection when she pronounced death on Sarah Murnaghan by saying, “Some people live. Some people die.” Congress member Elijah Cummings said something similar, saying, “In life, there is death, and in death there is life. Death is a part of life.”
Represenative Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Kathleen Sebelius, “Time is running out, please suspend the rules until we look at this policy, which we all believe is flawed.” Sibelius responded, “Forty people in your home state are waiting for a lung.” Fortunately, Sarah Murnaghan won in court and judge Michael Baylson suspended existing organ allocation rules to give Sarah Murnaghan a chance at life.
Critics of comparing the case of Sarah Murnaghan to Obamacare claim Kathleen Sebelius was correct in her decision because “adult lungs don’t fit well in children’s bodies, and that makes it hard to transplant them.” The IPAB is reportedly prohibited by law from making “any recommendation to ration health care … or otherwise restrict benefits.” They’re not supposed to make recommendations on individual cases, only on broad cutbacks and policy changes. Even if it does happen, Congress can overrule them.
Do you think the Sarah Murnaghan, Obamacare comparisons are accurate?