Journal of Gerontological Nursing

NEWS 

Is Health-Care Rationing Here?

Abstract

Health-care rationing may be just around the corner. Oregon is attempting to extend health-care coverage to everyone by limiting the services that some individuals receive. The Oregon Health Services Commission is developing health-care priorities according to a complex cost-benefit formula that includes cost, effectiveness of outcome, and public perception of benefit. Critics claim that the program will specify benefits for large groups of people without consideration for individual needs, whereas supporters contend that it will provide an interim solution to the healthcare crisis until a long-range plan is developed. The legal implications of the proposal have yet to be determined. Rationing is legally possible if health care is defined as a fundamental right instead of an economic good. However, if the plan discriminates against any particular group, it will be struck down in court. The state must receive authority from Congress, which denied the plan last year, or the Health Care Financing Administration. The commission expects its findings to be ready for the Legislature by July 1 [HealthWeek 1990; 4(5):30,33].…

Health-care rationing may be just around the corner. Oregon is attempting to extend health-care coverage to everyone by limiting the services that some individuals receive. The Oregon Health Services Commission is developing health-care priorities according to a complex cost-benefit formula that includes cost, effectiveness of outcome, and public perception of benefit. Critics claim that the program will specify benefits for large groups of people without consideration for individual needs, whereas supporters contend that it will provide an interim solution to the healthcare crisis until a long-range plan is developed. The legal implications of the proposal have yet to be determined. Rationing is legally possible if health care is defined as a fundamental right instead of an economic good. However, if the plan discriminates against any particular group, it will be struck down in court. The state must receive authority from Congress, which denied the plan last year, or the Health Care Financing Administration. The commission expects its findings to be ready for the Legislature by July 1 [HealthWeek 1990; 4(5):30,33].

10.3928/0098-9134-19900601-20

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