Morris falsely claimed that "government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections"

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN & JOHN V. SANTORE

Dick Morris falsely claimed that "right now the government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections, go through natural childbirth. It's a lower cost." In fact, the Obama administration is "telling people" no such thing

On the June 24 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Dick Morris falsely claimed that "right now the government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections, go through natural childbirth. It's a lower cost." In fact, the Obama administration has not advocated "cut[ting] back on cesarean sections." Rather, the American Medical Association (AMA) proposed addressing "the overuse of certain services or procedures," [emphasis added] including cesarean sections, in response to the administration's stated goal of reducing the growth in health care spending.

The AMA and five other health care organizations issued the proposals in a June 1 letter to Obama to address the overuse of certain procedures. In its attachment to the letter, the AMA stated that the "AMA-convened" Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) recommended addressing "the overuse of certain services or procedures," including "Induction of labor/Caesarean Sections." From the AMA attachment:

Efforts to Reduce Unnecessary Utilization

The PCPI initiated work in 2009 to address concerns about the overuse of certain services or procedures. Topics were selected based on priorities established by the Institute of Medicine, the National Quality Forum, the National Priority Partners and the PCPI. Selection criteria include high variation, high volume and high cost, availability of relevant guidelines, and the potential for improving quality and efficiency of care.

The PCPI selected the following topics for development of overuse measures this year:

[...]

  • Maternity Care: Induction of labor/Caesarean Sections

Significance: There has been a substantial increase in the rate of elective induction of labor. Practice patterns are not always consistent with [American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] guidelines. Expenses related to csection births account for 45% of the more than $79 billion in annual hospital charges atttributed [sic] to childbirth in the U.S. annually.

Morris previously used the June 1 letter to falsely claim that Obama favors "rationing" and eliminating cesarean sections and certain other medical procedures.

From the June 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

BILL O'REILLY (host): But [Rep.] Barney Frank [D-MA] and the Democrats are going to come back and they're going to say, we're Americans, we can do it better, and it's an unfair system, and we have to control costs. And I'm sympathetic to that cost thing because most working people I know, they're getting hammered by medical costs.

MORRIS: What controlling costs means is --

O'REILLY: -- is competition.

MORRIS: No. It means denial of services. It means you can't have that knee replacement because you're 70 years old. It means you can't have that bypass surgery because you're 75 and you're a diabetic.

O'REILLY: And that's what the government will do.

MORRIS: And that's what -- just as right now the government is telling people, cut back on cesarean sections. Go through natural childbirth; it's a lower cost.

O'REILLY: I see disaster ahead on this, I do. I see disaster ahead --

MORRIS: Me too.

O'REILLY: -- in two realms: the financial realm. I don't think he can afford it, and I don't think he can raise the money, and that there will be waiting lists and there will be all kinds of chaos.

MORRIS: And this could be his Waterloo.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Dick Morris
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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