Obamacare: The House Bill and Obama’s Lies (Part 3)
Let’s start on page 30, section 123 of HR 3200 today. Here’s where we see, in spite of Democrats’ lies to the contrary, we will see rationing of health care.
From the bill:
There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.
Notice this panel will be made up of medical and other experts. Reading a little further, we find the President will appoint 9 members who aren’t federal employees, the comptroller will do likewise, and the President will appoint up to 8 more who are federal employees. The surgeon general will chair the committee.
What’s really interesting is the last part of that sentence though. That the committee will “recommend covered benefits…” tells me this committee of so-called experts, made up of everything from union thugs to community organizers to physicians is going to determine what procedures are covered and for whom! This is where the rationing comes in folks. Don’t think it won’t.
In light of this, I believe we should refer to the committee as the Health Care Rationing Committee instead of the more benevolent name assigned in the bill.
Of course, the Health Care Rationing Committee will need an enforcement arm to carry out its edicts. So on page 40 we find the bill creates the Health Choices Administration to be headed by the Health Choices Commissioner, who will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Section 142 on page 42 lays out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioner.
This all-powerful bureaucrat is tasked with establishing standards for Qualified Health Benefits Plans. (Recall yesterday we discussed Qualified Health Benefits Plans when we discovered Obama is lying about your ability to keep your current coverage.) Enforcing these standards will also fall to the Commissioner and he’ll be required to enlist the help of state insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
The Commissioner will also be in charge of the new Health Insurance Exchange and the “affordability credits” which we’ll discuss at length in another article. Perhaps the most interesting find in this section is the following on page 42, lines 19-21:
ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS.—Such additional functions as may be specified in this division.
This bill leaves an opening for the Commissioner to be handed broad, as yet unnamed powers by the President at a later date! Why on Earth would Congress want to vote on a bill that isn’t yet complete. Because that’s what this line implies. We haven’t taken the time to think this through and determine exactly what powers the Commissioner will need, so we’re going to include a clause that will allow the President to give him whatever powers he feels necessary.
This is an open invitation for tyranny and abuse! If, at a later date, it’s determined the Commissioner needs expanded powers, these should be debated and voted on by Congress. Not granted by the President, at his whim.
On page 43, things become more worrisome as the Commissioner’s duties are expanded to conduct audits of qualified plan providers. Random audits are authorized, along with targeted audits based on complaints filed with the Administration. The worst part of this section is the requirement that private insurers reimburse the government for the cost of such audits. So these private insurers are going to be forced to compete with a government funded plan, and the same outfit that runs their competition will be able to charge them for auditing them. Any time, as often as they wish.
How long do you think private companies can survive under such restraints? I’m all for audits to catch and punish fraud in government programs, but these audits are designed to push private insurers out of business in order to completely convert the US health care system into a single payer system where the public option is the only option.
Without a doubt, there will be rationing. HR 3200 not only leaves the door open, but creates an outline for it to occur. And, here’s more evidence of what we found yesterday. The coverage you like, that Obama promises you can keep, is on its way out. There’s absolutely no way it can survive long-term under the onerous restrictions and requirements this bill will place on private insurance companies. Contrary to what the President says, the goal is a single-payer system.
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