For those of you who occasionally read my blog just to see what's up with me, this will  be incredibly boring and you'll probably want to skip it (I promise I'll update with something normal soon).  I was reading through a friend's note on the great Book of Face concerning the proposed health care reform bill, and just had to comment (line by line) on one of the comments. For those who want to read, catch it below the jump.  I apologize for the wacky formatting…typepad is crazy sometimes.

Here is the original poster:

As neither a republican nor a democrat, I'd like to display some
truthful points that are indeed in the bill being debated in congress
right now. Please take the time to read these before you form your
opinion about the bill being proposed. Again, these lines have been
taken straight from the bill.

Page 22 of the HC Bill : Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self insure

Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – There will be a government committee that decides what treatments you will get

Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: Health care will be rationed.

Page 42 of HC Bill :The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you.

Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Page 58 HC Bill : Govt will have real-time access to individuals finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued

Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your banks accounts for elective funds transfer.

Page 65 Sec 164: is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations: (ACORN).

Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill : Specifications for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!

Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill : Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation: illegal aliens.

Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill : Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. AARP members – your Health care WILL be rationed.

Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill : Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.

Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt Monopoly

Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill : Doctors/ American Medical Association – The Govt will tell YOU what you can make! (salary)

Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE!

Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.


Page 150 Lines 9-13: Business's with payroll btw 251k & 401k who
doesn't provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.
Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill : Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

Page 195 HC Bill : Officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans finances /personal records

Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that!

Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill : Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors, low income and poor are affected.

Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill : Doctors, doesn't matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the samePage 265 Sec 1131: Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries.

Page 268 Sec 1141: Federal Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever Govt deems preventable re-admissions.

Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission -Govt will penalize you.

Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Doctors what/how much they can own!

Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand.This is not my opinion being injected into the argument; these are
facts. Our health care system needs changed. But this is the opposite
direction we need to be going. Changing something for the sake of
improvement only works if it is a change that will make it better.


And here, dear friends, is my rebuttal:

Page 22: Says there will be a study conducted, which is very
different from an audit.

Page 30 Sec 123:  Guess what? The gov’t
(Medicare, Medicaid), AMA, and private insurers ALREADY DO THIS.

Page 29 lines 4-16: This is not rationing at all. This
is specifying to what point you will continue to share costs with the gov’t,
which is the exact thing private insurers currently do.

Page 42: It says they choose plan standards.
Medicare/Medicaid and private insurers already have levels and varying plans
with set standards, so this is nothing new.

Page 50 Section 152: Once again, nothing new!
Hospitals are required to provide emergency care for all who enter their doors
by law. If you were having a heart attack, would you want them to not save your
life because you forgot your ID at home?

Page 58: “determination of an individual’s
financial responsibility at the point of service” via a Nat’l ID healthcard is
exactly what they do with any insurance card. 
Does your plan cover this? Do you have a copay? etc, NOT that they will be
monitoring your bank account.  People were terrified when the gov't decided to start issuing social security cards too, but most people don't think twice about it today.

 

Page 59 lines 21-24: It says they will “enable electronic
funds transfers”.  This is not to say
they are required as a payment from the citizen.  It is merely using direct deposit/fund
transfer as an option, just as all banks allow now to pay bills or receive your
paycheck.

Page 65 Sec 164: I never actually saw anything in this section pertaining
specifically to members of unions or community organizations, just retirees in general.  However, your very mention of ACORN betrays
your political leanings that you claimed not to have.

Page 84 Sec 203: This merely states that the gov’t has the right to choose
those with whom they do business, and that they require those in the Exchange to
have a number of different packages available.

Page 85 Line 7: Specifications for of Benefit
Levels for Plans =/= gov’t rationing.
This means that there will be different benefit levels in plans, which is what
the gov’t and private insurers already do. 
I don’t think rationing means what you think it means.

Page 91 Lines 4-7: Govt mandates linguistic
appropriate services. Yes, and why shouldn’t they?  We live in a multilingual world.  You may not like it, but to ignore it is,
well, ignorant.

Page 95 Lines 8-18: It never states either of those
entities.  What it does state is that
they will use community outreach to help people understand the new options
available to them, including such populations as “children, individuals with
disabilities, individuals with mental illness, and individuals with other
cognitive impairments.”  This is similar
to what was done when Medicare made changes to their plans and benefits…the
changes required community outreach through groups like the AARP to help
citizens to understand and choose their plans. 
Any researcher worth their salt will tell you that the best way to get
to specific populations of people is to contact organizations that already
serve them.

 

Page
85 Line 7: Once again, I don’t think that word means what you think it means in
this context.

Page 102 Lines 12-18: Oh no! They’re enrolling them in free health care when
they have none at all! Horror! And if the problem is that you’re worried your
taxes are going to something where you gain no conceivable benefit, let me
remind you of the millions of other places your taxes are going that you
probably don’t approve of.  Personally,
though, I feel that when I help others, even through taxes, it indirectly helps
me.

Page 124 lines 24-25: No company can sue gov’t on price fixing. Great! This
means that those companies can’t gouge us anymore without the govt’s say
so.   And if the gov’t is doing the price gouging…well,
you don’t have to accept their healthcare, do you? You can always purchase a
private plan, which I think is something detractors of this bill fail to
present to the public.

Page 127 Lines 1-16: Fantastic! I want a doctor who
is in medicine because they believe it is the right thing to do and because
they want to help people, not because they are going to make a mint doing it.

Page 145 Line 15-17: Read the fine print: in
accordance with subsection (c). Subsection C tells us that they “enroll such
employee into the employment-based health benefits plan for individual coverage
under the plan option with the lowest applicable employee premium” but also
that the employer must give notice to the employee of this automatic enrollment,
and that the employee then has the ability to opt-out of this enrollment.  So yes, there is a choice, on the part of the
employee, which is exactly where the choice should always lay.

Page 126 Lines 22-25: I think you meant page 146,
but at any rate… The employees have the ability to opt out of any
employer-based plans.

Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll
401k & above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll. 
ßI
see nothing wrong with this, but then I’m not a greedy corporation.  One would think you’d want to contribute to
the health and well-being of your employees, if for no reason other than it
would be cost-effective in the long run.

Page 150 Lines 9-13: Once again, I see no
issue.  The fewer employees you have, the
less you would pay for healthcare. It’s logical.

 

Page 167 Lines 18-23: I’m taxed for social security too, but
I will never see a dime of that.  And
with all of the options that will become available with this bill, the only way
you will not have coverage is if you opt-out. 
As an interesting aside, they have the option of having religious conscience
exemption to medical treatment, in which case you would not be taxed for it.
(Page 170, subsection 5)

Page 170 Lines 1-3: Of course you wouldn’t tax someone who doesn’t live in the
US and is not a citizen.  How could one
even enforce that?  But that doesn’t mean
we should forget all humanity and not help someone while they’re visiting.  Do unto others and all that….if I were in a
foreign country and fell terribly ill, I wouldn’t want them to leave me on the
street to die.

Page 195: You are once again adding your own spin to that.  My tax return information hardly covers ALL
of my finances/personal records.  Does
yours?  Some of that information your
private insurance company has access to through your employer as well.

Page 203 Line 14-15: "The tax imposed under
this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that! 
<–The
part you are not including is that it says this in relation to inflation
adjustments.

Page 239 Line 14-24: This doesn’t say a single thing
about Medicaid or Medicare as far as I can tell.  But please, if it’s there and I’m just not
seeing it, enlighten me.

Page 241 Line 6-8: It says, “Service categories
established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of
the physician furnishing the service.” 
Having not read the service categories, I can’t comment on this explicitly,
but I guarantee that an office visit giving me a flu shot will not be in the
same category as neurosurgery.  This will
not drive doctors into the poorhouse.

 

Page 265 Sec 1131: “Incorporating productivity
improvements into market basket updates that do not already incorporate such
improvements.”  Those listed include
outpatient hospitals, ambulance services, ambulatory surgical center services,
laboratory services, and medical equipment. 
Private insurers regulate how the private citizen gets to use these
things already, so how is it so outrageous that the gov’t would if they were
the ones insuring you?


Page 268 Sec 1141: I repeat my last statement. 


Page 272 SEC. 1145: This is saying they will conduct a study
to see if adjustments need to be made on the costs incurred by hospitals concerning
ambulatory payment classification groups. 
This is an amendment to a current law, the Social Security Act.  Rationing, as defined by the Merriam-Webster
Dictionary as “to distribute equally,” which is not at all what tiered
categories for healthcare coverage is about. 
Once again, that word does not mean what you think it means.


Page 280 Sec 1151: Private insurance companies do
this all the time.

Page 298 Lines 9-11: It is already done by private
insurance companies.



Page 317 L 13-20: It’s not saying they can’t own
something.  This is a subset of a larger
point in the outline, that of self-referral. 
So they can’t refer you to a place just because they happen to own a
large percentage of that practice/hospital, etc.

Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: Once again, this is
to qualify for exceptions to the self-referral prohibition.  This is nothing that hasn’t been done by
private insurers before.


You, sir, are not just stating the facts.  There is definite spin in your argument, picking and choosing the words, and even the order of the words, upon which you wish to focus.  And that is fine…as long as you admit it.  I admit I'm adding in plenty of my personal opinion.  My mother, who has relatively decent insurance through her place of employment, has still been driven to bankruptcy because of medical bills from cancer.  And since the only way she could possibly afford to treat her cancer was to pay the co-pays and amounts her insurance didn't cover with credit cards, she is being driven further and further into a hole simply because she didn't want to die.  Tell me where the justice is in that?  Tell me that you wouldn't do absolutely anything in your power to help your loved ones or yourself, or reach for anything that remotely seems like change?

Of course, the nature of legalese is that it can usually be interpreted in any way which will benefit your cause.  And if you disagree with this reform but still believe there needs to be reform, please, tell us how you would change things instead of picking holes and setting up straw men. 

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