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Health Insurance Glossary

Definitions for common health insurance terms


DEFINITION: Rationing – actually the threat of rationing – was one of the most powerful arguments leveled against proposals for an expanded government control of the U.S. health care system. Critics of such expanded control argue that in order to control costs in a revamped system, the government would have to restrict (or ration) care, by refusing to pay for certain procedures or medication or by putting limits on care for the elderly or terminally ill.

Some proponents of increased government control argue that healthcare is already, in effect, rationed in the United States, as consumers are limited in their ability to get adequate health insurance – and health care – by rapidly climbing health care costs.

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What is this controversy regarding the…

May 3, 2013 – Q. What is this controversy regarding the IPAB really about? Are politics involved? A. At its heart it's a disagreement about the role… Read more

Can the IPAB refuse to cover care that…

May 1, 2013 – Q. I've heard that the goal of IPAB is to save money, and that it will refuse to cover care that isn't "cost-effective." Is this true? A.… Read more

Can Congress reject IPAB’s…

May 1, 2013 – Q. If Congress doesn't like IPAB's recommendations, can legislators say "no"? A. IPAB must submit its recommendations to Capitol Hill, and… Read more

Could the IPAB use its power to ration…

May 1, 2013 – Q. I've been reading that both Democrats and Republicans want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's "Independent Payment Advisory Board… Read more


We already have ‘government’ health…

August 13, 2009 – One of the most interesting reactions to the ongoing health reform debate has to be the public’s revulsion at the prospect of… Read more