Health Law

Ex-Judge’s Viral E-Mail Warning of Health Care Rationing Is ‘Woefully Out of Date’

A former Texas judge says his 2009 warnings about “Obamacare,” now circulating widely on the Internet and via e-mail, were based in part on provisions of the health care bill that never became law.

David Kithil, formerly a judge in Burnet County, Texas, originally expressed his misgivings in a letter to the River Cities Tribune in August 2009, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker reports. “What I wrote about was a bill that never became law,” he told the Post.

The River Cities Tribune has a small circulation of less than 5,000, but Kithil’s analysis is now “an e-mail and Internet sensation,” the Fact Checker says. But it is “woefully out of date,” and the analysis is debatable, the Post concludes.

“The assertion of real-time access to bank accounts appears to be referring to a benign section allowing electronic funds transfers,” the Post story says. “The claim about doctors’ fees refers to boilerplate saying the government will not pay less than rates set under Medicare. Similarly, the bill does not ration cancer care, but allows for a study of whether specialty hospitals are charging more for the same service as general hospitals—and then would actually boost payments to general hospitals.”

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