White House slams healthcare defunding proposals

Defunding healthcare reform, as some Republicans have suggested, "is just Washington-speak for taking us back to the days when insurance companies — not you and your doctor — were in control of your care" Stephanie Cutter wrote Monday on the White House blog.

The assistant to the president for special projects lays out the following arguments:

  • The Patient’s Bill of Rights, which prohibits lifetime caps and requires first-dollar wellness and prevention coverage among several insurance regulations, would not receive federal oversight; 
  • Healthcare tax credits for small businesses could not be administered; 
  • The $250 Medicare prescription drug rebate checks would stop being delivered to seniors, and next year’s discounts would not materialize and the doughnut hole would remain;
  • Insurance plans could skirt their requirement to spend 80 percent of premiums on care if there was no enforcement;
  • Likewise, the law's $250 million in grants to help states strengthen their oversight of premium increases would dry up;
  • Medicare first-dollar coverage for preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies would be scrapped.

"In the days ahead," Cutter promises, "we’ll post more information about what’s at stake if the new law is defunded and why families and businesses can’t afford a return to the bad old days."