Is there any level so low Democrats in Washington won’t stoop to it? Are they so conceited they actually believe themselves as they outright lie to the American people? Do they really think the American people are so terribly stupid they can’t see through their childish, imbecilic responses to conservatives’ fact-based challenges to their agenda?
Our first hint of things to come was the Department of Homeland Security report that warned law enforcement agencies of the danger posed by virtually every conservative in the country. Labeled “Right-Wing Extremists” in the report, conservative Republicans, Independents, and third party backers were pointed to as potential terrorists who deserved the scrutiny of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials. Even targeting the most patriotic among us, veterans of the US armed forces, it generated the first of several conservative uprisings to challenge Obama administration policies.
We thought it bad when we found out they didn’t read the $787 billion so-called “stimulus” bill. Then the arrogant Henry Waxman (D-CA) hired a speed reader to buzz through the Cap & Trade bill on the House Energy & Commerce committee at an unintelligible pace so that he could claim to have “read the bill.” The move was designed to undermine an attempt by Republicans to force them to fulfill their obligations to constituents by reading the bill to fully understand what the legislation would saddle the American people with. It was a classless, egotistical attempt by Democrats to ridicule both constituents and fellow members of the US House who demanded Democrats act responsibly and perform the duties for which they were hired.
The same Democratic legislators refused to read HR 3200, “Obamacare,” and are now paying the price. Now that conservatives have realized their representatives refuse to do their jobs, constituents are taking the task upon themselves. We now have a situation where ordinary citizens are taking the time to read legislation and explaining it to our elected officials. And the Democrats don’t like it.
Their lies and talking points are no longer holding water with the American people, because they understand it better than the Congress! Congressmen are walking into town halls and other public meetings armed with a single sheet of Pelosi-Reid talking points while their disgruntled constituents come armed with the actual text of the bill! Backed into a corner with facts, Democrats in Washington are lashing out in desperate attempts to denigrate their own constituents.
The Obama administration has now issued a mandate to his minions to turn in neighbors, friends, and family who write and forward communications critical of Obamacare. Not stopping there, the White House even demands “fishy” truths about Obama’s government-run health care program mentioned in casual conversations should be reported to the Propaganda Office in the White House. Ask yourself, when have we ever faced the prospect of an American President demanding citizens turn each other in to the government for disagreeing with policy? Never.
If that’s not enough to worry you, the President’s aides have now made direct threats to “punch back twice as hard” whenever the administration’s health care policies are challenged. We saw this put into practice when the administration sent in union thugs to physically assault protesters outside a St. Louis town hall. So now we have a President actively engaging in suppression of Americans’ ability to freely express their disagreement with their government.
And now we hear our own Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has described us as un-American! It’s funny how Democrats have no problem with protesters who demonstrate against conservatives and their causes. According to Hillary Clinton, “we have a right to disagree with any administration.” But I guess she meant any Republican administration. Of course Lincoln is now backing away from her comment, but calling your constituents un-American doesn’t happen with a slip of the tongue.
She’s retreating because the heat from the fire she stoked is too hot! Though her Arkansas colleague didn’t even face a Republican challenger last year, the GOP field to run against Lincoln has already drawn a crowd. Arkansas State Senator Kim Hendren and Arkansas Tea Party organizer Tom Cox have already announced their intent to run, while central Arkansas businessman Curtis Coleman and State Senator Gilbert Baker are considering runs but have yet to announce. (Although I have it from a pretty reliable source that Coleman will announce soon.) A conservative Independent, Trevor Drown, has also announced his intent to run for Lincoln’s seat.
Lincoln’s opposition hopefuls wasted little time taking Arkansas’ senior Senator to task for her callous comment. The Cox campaign issued the following press release:
“Since the founding of the United States people have been exercising the freedom and responsibility to question their elected representatives. The current public political debate resembles the enthusiasm of our nation’s first 100 years. A U.S. Senator referring to as “disrespectful” and “un-American” for calling on their Representatives is appalling. Senator Lincoln’s statements are indicative of the elitist Washington D.C. arrogance and mentality that continues to dismiss the voice of Middle America. The citizens of this country deserve honest answers to their questions.”
Coleman, who’s made numerous posts on his blog enumerating the flaws in the Democrats’ health care plan, had this to say:
“What’s sad is that Senator Lincoln apparently doesn’t value the opinions of hard-working Arkansans who took time away from their busy schedules to express their concern over losing control of their healthcare to the government. Senator Lincoln’s description of these Arkansans as ‘un-American’ illustrates how deeply out of touch she is with the American people.”
Lincoln’s planning a series of public speaking events this week (not town halls) and we hope she gets an earful from some of us un-American Right-Wing-Extremists everywhere she goes!
Today we’ll take a look at what the Democratic authors of the bill benignly titled Subtitle G–Early Investments beginning on page 53. In just two pages of the monstrous bill, section 161, titled Ensuring Value and Lower Premiums, provides one of the many death blows to the private insurance industry hidden in HR 3200.
Section 161 mandates the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] set the minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) for all health insurance plans. Specifically, on page 54,
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—Each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the small or large group market shall provide that for any plan year in which the coverage has a medical loss ratio below a level specified by the Secretary, the issuer shall provide in a manner specified by the Secretary for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio.
First, let’s be clear about what an MLR is. This is the percentage of premiums collected that is spent directly on providing medical services to policyholders. For example, if you pay $1000 for your health insurance policy and the insurance company pays out $500 in your claims during the policy year, your policy has a 50% MLR for that year. That’s an example of the MLR on an individual policy. It works similarly on a group plan, but the MLR isn’t calculated on specific policyholders within the group, but for the entire group. So that if an issuer of a group policy that collects $100,000 in premiums for the policy year pays out $50,000 in claims for the group, the MLR for that group is 50%.
So the text of the bill we saw above basically mandates that every private insurance policy issuer must pay a minimum percentage of its collected premiums for medical treatment of its patients in each and every year. In effect, what this does is cap the profit an insurance company can make on a policy or group in any given year. This may not sound so bad to some who’ve bought into the Democratic demagoguery of the health insurance industry, but let me explain why this is simply another means to eventually do away with private insurance altogether and force everyone into a government-run, single-payer system.
First, anyone who’s ever been in business for themselves knows there are good years and bad years. In the good years, when everything seems to click, you may make a nice profit. The next year, you can bring in the same amount of revenue, but everything else may go terribly wrong. Depending on the business you’re in you may be plagued by equipment breakdowns, lawsuits, product recalls, accidents, or any number of mishaps or market quirks. In these years, the same amount of revenue that previously resulted in a good profit may not keep you out of the red. It’s the same in the insurance business.
Let’s say I pay $1000 per year for an individual health plan. For simplicity let’s say the health insurance company’s administrative costs run 10% of revenue. So basically, as long as they don’t have to pay out more than $900 in claims on my policy, they’ve made a profit. Most years, they won’t pay out anywhere near that. But then one year an accident or a major illness occurs and the company could be out thousands of dollars. So to make money by selling me an insurance policy, the company has to average taking in more than they spend on my medical bills over several years. This can’t happen under HR 3200.
The bill mandates that every policy or group suffer a minimum MLR each year. That means in those good years when policyholders don’t have as many claims as expected, rebates will be issued to bring the MLR up to its government mandated level. (What was that Obama said about government wouldn’t be controlling health care?) It’s important to note that nowhere in this bill is there language to allow insurance companies to collect additional premiums in policy years where claims exceed expectations. Nor is there language to allow those companies to offset one year’s losses with a good year’s gains. So your insurance company can’t recoup a bad year’s losses in a good year.
Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this is going to make it virtually impossible for private insurance companies to make a profit over time. Especially when one considers other mandates in the bill that don’t allow for denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, behavior, or anything else, we see that no private company can survive under these regulations.
President Obama has repeatedly claimed this bill won’t result in a single-payer system (after he said that’s what he’s after), he continues to promise you’ll be able to keep your current private coverage if you desire, but these are all lies. He knows full well this plan will eventually kill the private health insurance industry. He doesn’t believe that 10 or 20 years from now you’ll still be enjoying the same coverage you have today. He is well aware that within a few years we’ll all be forced to patronize the single-payer system he and his cronies have longed for.
Our President and his Democratic allies in Congress are lying to you when they tell you any different.
Now I’ll turn myself in as a dissident for publishing this article to save some left-wing Socialist Obamanot the trouble.
Because there’s no going back once we start down that path.
Tell your Congressmen and Senators that we don’t trust bureaucrats with power over life and death decisions.
That’s the AP headline on Yahoo and here are some YouTube videos posted from the Town Hall meeting held at Arkansas Children’s Hospital today.
Attendees become upset when the Congressmen try to convince the crowd the President doesn’t want a single-payer system.
“You guys are undermining American exceptionalism…You need to get the government the Hell out of it…” says another member of the crowd.
“We need tort reform.” says a young lady and the crowd goes wild.
Ross has a problem with insurance company employees making more than the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
“Why do we need another government solution for what Medicare, Medicaid, COBRA, SCHIP, etc. was supposed to do?” asks a participant.
The crowd wasn’t all opposed to Obamacare. One young man proudly proclaimed his support for Obama and told Ross and Snyder he’d be glad to have them supervise his health care system. But for a rescheduled, short notice, middle of the workday town hall meeting, I’d say our message got through.
UPDATE: Noticed when clicking on the links, there’s a limited number of seats at each event. Register NOW!
I just opened my latest email from Obama’s continuous campaign organization, Organizing for America (OFA). Arkansas’ State Director of OFA, Kyle Simon was kind enough to inform me they’re launching an offensive in my home state of Arkansas.
We need to make our presence felt. Here’s the schedule for all the Arkansas stops this month. If at all possible, attend these meetings and make sure they hear our voice!
Click the links below to register to attend.
WHEN: August 6, 6-8:00pm WHERE: Edge Coffee House 1900 Aggie Road Jonesboro, AR 72401 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841 Google Maps Mapquest
WHEN: August 11, 6-8:00pm WHERE: Arkansas Education Association (Little Rock, AR) 1500 W 4th St Little Rock, AR 72201 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841 Google Maps Mapquest
WHEN: August 13, 6-8:00pm WHERE: TBA TBA Hot Springs, AR 71901 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841
WHEN: August 15, 11:00am-1:00pm WHERE: Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. (Texarkana, AR) 300 N. State Line Avenue Texarkana, AR 71854 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841 Google Maps Mapquest
WHEN: August 18, 6-8:00pm WHERE: TBA TBA Pine Bluff, AR 71601 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841
WHEN: August 20, 6-8:00pm WHERE: TBA TBA Little Rock, AR 72202 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841
WHEN: August 25, 6-8:00pm WHERE: Sebastian County Democratic Central Committee Office (Fort Smith, AR) 221 Garrison Ave. Fort Smith, AR 72901 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841 Google Maps Mapquest
WHEN: August 27, 6-8:00pm WHERE: U.S. Pizza (Fayetteville, AR) 202 W Dickson St Fayetteville, AR 72701 Host Kyle Simon Contact Phone 813-391-1841 Google Maps Mapquest
There they are ladies and gentlmen–the battlefields chosen by our opposition for the month of August. We’re in the fight of our lives for the soul of our country. Sign up to attend now so our voice will be heard!
I don’t know about you, but I hate to think about turning 65 and receiving a notice in the mail that it’s time to make an appointment with a government End of Life Counselor. But, I do think I may have figured out just how Obamacare will reduce health care costs in our country and it all hinges on this End of Life Counseling thing in the bill.
Next year’s an election year and your members of Congress are coming home for their annual summer vacation. Contrary to what most of them say, their primary concern is getting re-elected. And this means they’ll be better primed to listen to their constituents from now until November 2010. So let’s take advantage of our opportunity!
Gary Bauer has proposed a list of questions to ask your Senators and Congressmen during the August recess. Arm yourself with the truth and be prepared to press them if they answer dishonestly of evasively. (And if possible, get it on video.)
Pro-choice groups, like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, are demanding that abortion be covered in any healthcare reform bill. In a recent interview with Politico, Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood, defends this demand by saying, “the alternative would be slashing benefits for millions of women who currently have [private] coverage for abortions…” In addition, key administration officials refuse to rule out abortion coverage. When asked on Fox News Sunday whether taxpayer money would go to pay for abortions, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag replied, “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”
Pro-life senators on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee forced a roll call vote on the issue when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) attempted to add an amendment to the healthcare bill that would, in her words, “include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services…deemed medically necessary or appropriate.” She admitted that such “health clinics” would include Planned Parenthood. The pro-life amendment to prohibit funding of abortion lost 11-to-12.
Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that uses my tax dollars to pay for abortions?
In a recent New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and health care expert, wrote:
“One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’ This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”
Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way promotes euthanasia?
The United States faces a debt crisis. According to many analysts, including Senator Judd Gregg (who is so respected by President Obama that he offered Gregg the post of Secretary of Commerce), the Obama budget will give us $11 trillion of debt at the end of five years and $17 trillion of debt at the end of ten years. (Source: PolitiFact.com)
Question for your Congressmen: Why is Congress and the president pushing through a healthcare bill that would cost another trillion dollars over the next ten years? Shouldn’t we concentrate on getting the debt under control first?
4. RATIONING CARE
According to a July 15th report by The Hill, “The House bill would be paid for by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts…” These “cuts” would come as millions of Americans are retiring. Logic suggests that if we are “cutting” hundreds of billions of dollars healthcare would have to be limited or rationed in someway to accommodate more people. And seniors would be most affected by Medicare cuts.
In addition, advisors to President Obama, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have suggested that healthcare should be rationed to certain individuals. Dr. Emanuel once wrote that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens…should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”
Question for your Congressmen: How can government promise to do more with less? Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way limits my access to healthcare or medicines recommended by my doctor?
5. MORE BURDENS ON SMALL BUSINESSES
Despite a 9.5% (and rising) unemployment rate, the healthcare bill in the House imposes a new 8% payroll tax on small businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or more that don’t provide health insurance for their employees. This is in addition to the current 15% payroll tax. What this means is that any employer with a payroll of $400,000 dollars or higher will have to pay at least 25% above the salary just to hire someone. Common sense tells you that any struggling small business will likely lay off workers to avoid this additional tax. On the other hand, if the tax is cheaper than the cost of health insurance, larger businesses may opt to cancel their health insurance, forcing employees into the government’s “public option,” and simply pay the 8% fine. (Source: Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2009)
Question for your Congressmen: Why are you imposing additional mandates and taxes on small businesses, which create the overwhelming majority of new jobs, in the middle of a severe recession?
6. QUALITY CARE
American healthcare is better than that in European countries with socialized medicine. The German breast cancer mortality rate is 52% higher than in the United States. Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in the United Kingdom and 457% higher in Norway than in the United States. Canadian healthcare lags behind the United States too. Canadian patients wait twice as long to see a specialist for hip surgery or cancer than we do in the United States. Most Americans say they are satisfied with the U.S. health care system, but more than 70% of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Britons say that their systems need “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” (Source: National Center for Policy Analysis.)
In an editorial on July 26th, the Washington Post criticized President Obama for not “leveling about the consequences of change” when it comes to healthcare costs versus quality. Here’s what the Post wrote: “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new technology accounts for about half the increase in health-care costs over the past several decades. This, for the most part, is a good thing. Adjusted for inflation, health-care spending per person is six times what it was 40 years ago. But no one today would settle for 1960s-style medicine.”
Question for your Congressmen: Why are you trying to force us in the direction of more government involvement in healthcare when everywhere government-run healthcare has been tried, quality declines and care is rationed?
7. THE PEOPLE ARE BEING IGNORED
According to a recent poll, just 23% of voters believe healthcare reform legislation will lower costs, while 53% believe it will lead to more expensive care. By a margin of 50% to 23%, voters believe that “reform” legislation will make the quality of care decline. And while voters believe they will get worse care at higher costs, 78% also believe that healthcare reform will result in middle class tax hikes. In addition, a recent Fox News poll found that 91% of those surveyed have health insurance, 84% said that the quality of their health insurance was either excellent or good and 83% said the quality of health care they receive from their private insurance is either good or excellent. And only 12% of those surveyed said reforming health care was the most important issue Congress should be working on right now. (Source: Rasmussen Reports, July 28, 2009 and Fox News poll July 23, 2009.)
Question for your Congressmen: Why are you and the White House rushing this bill through Congress and ignoring the concerns of the American people?
8. LOSS OF FREEDOM
The healthcare reform legislation under consideration in the House will eventually force all Americans into a government-approved plan. After a five-year grace period, every new insurance policy will have to comply with government mandates, and any policy changes – “altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug” – invalidates your previous coverage and forces you to choose a government “qualified” plan. In addition, the House plan mandates coverage for every individual. If you are self-employed or choose not buy insurance for whatever reason, the bill imposes a “healthcare tax” of 2.5% of your income. (Source: CNNMoney.com, July 24, 2009 and Bloomberg.com, July 15, 2009)
Question for your Congressmen: Why do you believe bureaucrats can make better decisions than me about what kind of health insurance I should have? And will you guarantee that any healthcare reform bill passed by Congress will always allow me to choose my own doctor?
9. RACIAL PREFERENCES
Do you care about the race of a doctor who is getting ready to operate on you? Of course not. Most Americans want their doctor to be the best professional available regardless of race or ethnic background. But congressional liberals have a different idea. On page 909 of the House bill, grants to medical schools will be awarded “to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following…training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.” (Source: Investors Business Daily, July 27, 2009)
Question for your Congressmen: Why are you throwing affirmative action/racial set asides into a healthcare reform bill?
10. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
President Obama has repeatedly said that “no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.” That sounds wonderful until you apply common sense, which is in short supply in Washington. What if we made a law that allowed you to buy car insurance after you got into an accident and that required the insurance company to pay for the damage? Wouldn’t many people just wait for an accident before buying insurance? Why wouldn’t many Americans wait until they were sick to buy health insurance?
Question for your Congressmen: Isn’t it clear that this provision would drive up the cost of health insurance for everyone?
It’s obvious to all who’ve been paying attention that President Obama and his Democratic lackeys are struggling to keep their dreams of a government-run health care system afloat. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was recently forced to admit that any bill able to pass on his side of the Capitol may not contain Obama’s centerpiece of a public option. Though she remained obstinate long after the writing was on the wall things weren’t going her way, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finally capitulated and admitted she may not be successful in ramming a bill out of the House by the August recess. Recent polls show more than 80% of Americans are satisfied with the current health care system so maligned by Democrats. And finally, we’ve seen Obama’s poll numbers plunge as he forged ahead with a full court press in an effort to regain momentum on his signature issue.
But Obama and his left-wing allies in Congress haven’t given up on their efforts to seize control of another 1/6 of the American economy. Since Republicans and other conservatives have been so successful in getting the truth out about the Democrats’ Obamacare bill, House Democrats have changed tactics. Now they’re blatantly censoring members from telling their constituents the truth about what’s in HR 3200, the House version of Obamacare.
On Tuesday morning, Rep John R. Carter (R-TX) made an appearance on Fox News to explain how Democrats on the House Franking Commission refused to approve a mass communication to his constituents unless he changed the message to reflect the Democratic talking points intended to misinform the American people about the un-American policies and regulations that will result if this bill becomes law. Carter sought to use his franking privilege to distribute an audio message to his constituents on the health care plan being pushed by Democratic leaders in Congress.
The message he wanted to distribute contained the phrase “The House Democrats unveiled a government-run health care plan.” The Commission informed him it would be required that he change “House Democrats” to “the house majority” and change “government-run health care plan” to “public option” or “health care plan.”
It’s quite obvious such censorship is designed to help stop the bleeding currently being suffered by Obama and the Democrats on their signature issue, health care reform. This obvious partisan censorship is intended to deny voters the opportunity to hear anything other than the Pelosi-Obama view on the House version of Obamacare. The Franking privilege can be used to inform constituents of their representative’s views of legislation making its way through the House. The following is taken directly from the Commission’s Franking Manual in the section titled “The Intent of Congress.”
It is the intent of Congress that such official business, activities, and duties cover all matters which directly or indirectly pertain to the legislative process or to any congressional representative functions generally, or to the function, working, or operating of the Congress and the performance of official duties in connection therewith, and shall include, but not be limited to, the conveying of information to the public, and the requesting of the views of the public, or the views and information of other authority of government, as a guide or a means of assistance in the performance of those functions.
Carter’s attempted communication clearly falls under the category of conveying of information to the public. It might not be conveyed as propaganda for the Democrats wishing to force Americans to seek bureaucratic clearance for any and all of their health care decisions, but it most certainly conveys information to the public.
After seeing Carter’s interview, I discovered the Franking Commission is made up of three Democrats and three Republicans. I immediately leaped to the assumption that at least one Republican had voted with the Democrats to block Carter’s communication. However, John Stone, communications director for Rep. Carter, cleared that up for me. He explained anything that gets past the Franking Commission must do so with at least 4 votes. So at least one Democrat on the Commission would have had to vote to approve Carter’s submission for it to be approved. I was relieved to know that this wasn’t the result of a turncoat Republican sitting on the Commission. In fact, Stone assured me none of the three Republicans sided with the Democrats in this case.
This is simply another extension of the tyranny of the Democratic majority in the US House. Pelosi and her ilk have changed House rules, held middle of the night votes on important legislation to pass legislation for which they didn’t have the votes, and will now only permit congressional Republicans to use their franking privilege to distribute Democratic propaganda in their Blitzkrieg to implement Socialism in these United States.
While this devious Democratic move prevents Carter from using taxpayer funds to distribute the truth about Obamacare, it doesn’t prevent him from using campaign funds to get the word out. Of course, this drain on his campaign bank account will place him at a disadvantage next year in his bid for re-election. Even though it will make next year’s race mroe difficult, Stone assured me that Carter will forge ahead in his campaign to get the truth in the hands of his constituents.
Call, email, and phone the three Democratic congressmen on the Commission and let them know the US Congress is not the Propaganda Office for the President and the DNC!
Democrats on Franking Commission
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.