Health Care Bill a ‘Cruel Perversion’: Ferrara

Published November 11, 2009

The health care overhaul bill passed by the U.S. House last week poses “a serious threat” not just to consumers’ “freedom and prosperity, but to your very life as well,” says a nationally recognized health care policy analyst.

Peter Ferrara, a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute and former policy analyst in the Reagan White House, concludes in an article published Wednesday, November 11 in The American Spectator online ( that “the heart of this bill is a cruel perversion.”

He writes that the bill fails in its key mission to expand insurance coverage to everyone, and then because of the perverse incentives in the program, “it is devoted to taking away the very health care that you may need to save your life, or the life of a loved one.”

Noting the bill moves away from fee-for-service to what’s called a “medical home,” Ferrara observes, “What this means is that your doctor is paid a flat monthly fee for your care, and referring you to a specialist or for a diagnostic test effectively comes out of his pocket. So if you need an MRI or a CT scan to see if you have cancer, or to check if that pain in your chest is due to clogged arteries, or if you need to see a specialist to treat cancer or heart disease, the doctor has a financial interest to delay or deny it. Financially, he would be better off if you die sooner rather than later. That is the result of the perverted, inverse incentives the House health bill creates for medical providers.”

Ferrara is director of entitlement and budget policy for the Institute for Policy Innovation and general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan and as Associate Deputy U.S. Attorney General under the first President Bush. He is the author of “The Obama Health Plan: Rationing, Higher Taxes, and Lower Quality Care,” published by The Heartland Institute (