Cooper Says No Need to Fear Rationing if Health Care Costs Cut

Congressman Jim Cooper says the term “rationing” in the health care reform debate is usually thrown around to derail the discussion.

Cooper told an audience of health care business leaders that opponents of health care reform use the term “rationing” as a way to make people fearful of government intrusion into health care.

But Cooper explained that many types of rationing occur already: when insurance companies reject paying for something, when providers refuse to see Medicaid patients because they don’t get paid enough and when people deny themselves medications because of cost.

He says the key is to control the growth of health care spending.

“The good news is we don’t need to ration care because we’re wasting so much money today. We could save $700 billion a year and Americans would be healthier as a result.”

Cooper expects Congress to vote on some type of reform bill this year, but he says there’s no consensus in Washington yet about what the new model will look like.

Cooper spoke today at Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management.

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