Well, I’m doing it again! I’m doing something that the (Democratic) majority in Congress does not do. I’m actually reading pending legislation!! Wow! An ordinary American citizen, who does not have the opportunity to vote on pending legislation, is reading it! That means I’ll likely know more about it than those supposedly representing us.
I’ve just started reading this 1,017 page monstrosity, and I’ve already found a some things that I think will virtually destroy the health insurance industry. If this passes, I think most employers will drop their health insurance benefits plan entirely and just tell employees Obamacare is their health insurance plan – just like many company’s total retirement plan is a 401K.
Section 102 – erroneously called “Protecting the choice to keep current coverage”. This one’s very simple – it will be straight up illegal for an insurance company to write a health insurance policy after this bill goes into effect. If your employer drops their plan, then it will be against Federal law for an insurance company to write you a healthcare policy.
Section 111 – prohibition of pre-existing conditons exclusions. I’ll quote it directly: “A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion (as defined in section 2701(b)(1)(A) of the Public Health Service Act) or otherwise impose any limit or condition on the coverage under the plan with respect to an individual or dependent based on any health status-related factors (as defined in section 2791(d)(9) of the Public Health Service Act) in relation to the individual or dependent.” Here we go the the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac housing crisis again. The government told banks and lenders they had to lower their standards. They did so and we all know what happened. Here, the government is telling health insurance carriers to lower their standards. Catch the pattern yet?
Forcing insurance companies to insure those who they might not normally choose to insure will lead to the companies to overextend themselves – that is, assuming they continue to write the policies in the first place. I think many smaller companies would just choose to not write policies and would probably be forced out of business anyway. There’s also nothing in this legislation preventing the premiums for pre-existing conditions applicants from being through the roof. And this legislation is supposed to LOWER health care costs for us? Wrong!
Section 113 – entitled “Insurance Rating Rules”. Get this: “Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commissioner shall submit to Congress and the applicable agencies a report on the study conducted under paragraph (1). Such report shall include any recommendations the Commissioner deems appropriate to ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure . . . ” And where does this “report” come from? A mandated audit of employers who choose to self-insure, that’s where. Within the first year and a half of the effective date of this bill.
Section 123 – Health Benefits Advisory Committee. Here’s where a government bureaucracy decides what treatments and benefits you will get. Don’t believe it? Just look at who makes up the committee:
“(A) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President.
(B) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States in a manner similar to the manner in which the Comptroller General appoints members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission under section 1805(c) of the Social Security Act.
(C) Such even number of members (not to exceed 8) who are Federal employees and officers, as the President may appoint.
The board members will be made up of representatives of “providers, consumer representatives, employers, labor, health insurance issuers, experts in health care financing, experts in racial and ethnic disparities, experts in care for those with disabilities, representatives of relevant government agencies, and at least one practicing physician, OR other health professional and an expert on children’s health . . . ”
The obvious loophole here is that doctors can be totally excluded. “Other health professional” covers a wide-range of people who are not doctors. Do you REALLY want this group of people deciding what treatment and benefits you get or don’t get?
Section 141 – “Health Choices Administration; Health Choices Commissioner” – this establishes still yet another huge government bureaucracy – that’s just what we need, Another government agency.
Section 142 – “Duties and Authority of Commissioner” – the Commissioner of the Health Choices Administration makes the choices of your benefits for you. In other words, the government makes the “choices” for you. Not you. This section also authorized the termination of private health insurance plans for not meeting the government’s standards. If this happens to your plan, which it could very easily as vague as the language is in a lot of this bill, then you would be kicked right out of your plan, and right into the Government Insurance Plan, that I otherwise refer to as G.I.P., as in we’re getting “gipped” on this whole deal.
Section 152 – “Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care” – ” . . . all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.” As vaguely worded as this is, it’s obvious that health insurance will be provided, at taxpayers expense, to all including illegal immigrants or non-U.S. citizens. This is what happened in Tennessee with the implementation of TENNCARE. People who lived out of state were renting an apartment or house just long enough to establish legal residence, then getting the medical treatment they wanted (at Tennessee taxpayer expense) and then going back to their home state. Think this won’t happen on a national scale if this legislation passes?
Section 163 – “Administrative Simplification” – Another section is inserted here, Section 1173 A, Standardize Electronic Administrative Transactions – I’ll just quote subsection D here: “Enable the real time ( or near real time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to the service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilitization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card.” Simply put, the government will have direct access to your personal finances and you will have a national ID card. Still not convinced? I’ll let the Government clear this up with a direct quote from page 59, section (C): “enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automatic reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice.” The Government will be able to go into your bank account and take the money right out of your account.
Section 201 – “Establishment of the Health Insurance Exchange” – this will be under the Health Choices Administration. In short, this brings private health insurance plans under government control.
Section 203 – “Benefits Package Levels” – I’ll quote this one too: “In General. — The Commissioner shall specify the benefits to be made available under Exchange-participating health benefits plans during each plan year . . . ” Again, YOU have no choice. The Government does it for you – like it or not.
Section 225 – “Provider Participation” – The government establishes what a doctor will be paid for treatment services that participate in the public health plan.
I’m going to stop here because this thing is so long, and I figure I’ve bored you enough! You get the idea. To summarize: 1) the government will decide what benefits you get on your private health plan; 2) the government will determine how much doctors will get paid for their services; 3) the government will have direct access to your bank account (and what do the identity theft experts say about giving your bank account number out to ANYONE?); 4) after this bill takes effect, it will be illegal for a private health insurance plan to be offered. If you change jobs, you will not be able to enroll in anything but Obamacare; if your employer drops your private health insurance plan (which is very likely many will do), then you will have no choice but to enroll in Obamacare; 5) the government will ration health care.
This is only a partial summary, but I think you can see where this is going. Obamacare is not about building on a system that already works as Obama said. Just what I’ve posted here makes it clear that private health insurance would eventually phase out. Which means that this is not about access to health care as everyone under current Federal law has access, but this is about a complete government takeover of the healthcare system of the United States. It will be disastrous for the economy, jobs will be lost, costs will rise dramatically, and the quality of your healthcare will become substandard.
One last point – there is very little support for this legislation. Every poll out there, including informal polls such as the one on OPEN CONGRESS show overwhelming opposition. Passage of this bill could start a shift in Congress next year with the coming elections. Incumbents who support this Communistic plan stand a good chance of being fired by their constituents when their terms are up.
Flood the e-mail inboxes, and jam the telephone switchboards. Tell them you are against this and plan to vote against anyone who votes for it. This must be stopped, or there will be grave consequences.