Rationing? Democrat says it's happening already
By Louis Jacobson
Published on Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 11:29 a.m.
The debate over reforming the U.S. health care system has inspired a torrent of often conflicting statistics. Today, we look at three assertions made by Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey.
On July 28, 2009, Pascrell took to the House floor to counter assertions by Republicans and others that a Democratic bill under consideration in the chamber would lead to the rationing of health care. Pascrell's larger point was that rationing already exists today, just a different type — thanks to the financial barriers to coverage faced by millions of Americans.
Specifically, Pascrell said: "Forty-five percent of Americans went without needed care because of costs in this country in 2007. That's rationing. Fifty-three percent of Americans cut back on their health care in the last year because of costs. That's rationing. … As many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they don't have health insurance. My brothers and sisters, that's rationing."
We are not going to weigh in on the question of whether it’s fair to equate Pascrell's examples of "rationing" with what the bill's critics charge the bill would do if enacted. Rather, we wanted to gauge whether Pascrell’s numbers were sound.
• "Forty-five percent of Americans went without needed care because of costs in 2007." Data backs this up, with a few caveats. We rated it Mostly True .
• "53 percent of Americans cut back on their health care in the last year because of costs." The study on this figure includes information to suggest it's not quite that dramatic. We rated this statement Half True .
• "As many as 22,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health insurance." This is an estimate from a credible source, that Pascrell cites correctly. We rated this statement True .
See individual items for sources.
Researchers: Louis Jacobson
Names in this article: Bill Pascrell
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact :
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag