Tags: barletta | sebelius | sick | girl

Rep. Barletta: Sebelius Could Easily Have Interceded in Sick Girl's Case

Image: Rep. Barletta: Sebelius Could Easily Have Interceded in Sick Girl's Case

Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 06:37 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was not truthful when she said she couldn't order a new liver or a new lung for a dying 10-year-old girl, according to Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania.

Barletta was instrumental in helping cut through the red tape in the case of cystic fibrosis victim Sarah Murnaghan, who was considered ineligible for a new lung because she was under 12. A judge on Wednesday ordered Sarah placed on the adult list.

Sebielius had earlier said that while she understood the Murnaghan family's desperation, "we have far too few donors and far too many desperately ill people."

"[Sebelius] wasn’t being honest about that. She with the stroke of a pen could have granted Sarah a waiver and suspended the rule until the policy was reviewed," Barletta told guest host David Nelson on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show."

"Sarah wasn't asking to have special treatment, she wasn't asking to go to the front of the line, she was just asking could she get in the line."

Barletta said he asked Sebelius if a patient would we be denied an organ based on the color of their skin.

"She said, 'Of course not.' Would we deny somebody an organ based on their gender? 'No.' Then why are we going to let a 10-year-old girl die because she's not 12? It just doesn't make sense,'' he said.

Barletta said he is worried that the plight of organ transplant patients like Sarah will be even tougher when Obamacare kicks in.

"You cannot appeal under Obamacare and that's the danger, you're going to be having bureaucrats making healthcare decisions," he said.

"Imagine if this was your daughter or son that needed a lung and [are] … in that pediatric category … Why should they be denied that chance just because of their age? It is incredibly cold."

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