Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama wants Congress to get a healthcare bill on his desk before the August recess. I can hear the train whistle blowing. He wants the bill passed before the public understands the implications of the bill. The House bill has provisions that declare individual private medical insurance illegal.
“Under the header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:”
"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.”
President Obama told Americans they can keep their private insurance if they like it. He did not tell us about the exceptions. He did not tell us we could not switch healthcare insurance companies.
“Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.”
The only choice will be the public option. So much for creating competition to lower price. He did say the public option would be 30% to 40% cheaper than the current healthcare premiums. He did not say taxpayers would be funding the difference. Employers would gladly drop healthcare coverage especially if they cannot deduct the expense of private insurance. Employers do not need more incentive to drop private coverage. To be sure of this Congress will outlaw private insurance.
What else is he not telling us when a 1018 page bill is presented with many confusing provisions? How much more of our freedom of choice will be restricted? The healthcare insurance industry is presently charging 15%-20% for administrative services for private healthcare coverage.
The government outsources administrative services to the healthcare insurance industry. As best as I can tell it is charging the government 15% for administrative services. The government claims administration cost 2% for Medicare. The 2% is before government outsourcing of administrative services. This 2% is going to balloon to at least 15% with the additional government bureaucracy. (Figure 1)
Who loses? The consumers of healthcare, the patients and the taxpayers lose. President Obama’s preference is rich tax payers.
“What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.”
The bill also outlaws the sale of health savings accounts.
“The Democrats want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.”
All my readers know that Medical Savings Accounts not Health Savings Accounts are the answer to giving patients control of their healthcare dollar. The Democrats want to control the people and not permit freedom of choice.
“Neither the government nor the President has the constitutional nor moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. Government shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives.”
With the house bill the public option becomes a mandate forcing citizens to buy government healthcare. A free people should be outraged at limitation of freedom of choice.
“Unless you’ve been carefully watching the mark-up of the Kennedy health bill, you wouldn’t be aware that Senators have been battling over many of the 398 amendments proposed to the legislation. You also wouldn’t know that all attempts to protect patients from health care rationing were defeated.”
President Obama has already funded 1.1 billion dollars for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). The research is supposed to compare the clinical and/or cost-effectiveness of two health care treatments for the same condition.
The Kennedy bill expands the role for CER. Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) amendment ,Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) amendment, Sen. Mike Enzi’s (R-NV) amendment, would all have prevented the use of CER to ration or deny care or mandate coverage. All three were defeated by straight Democratic Party-line votes. This action has gotten little public attention in the general media.
“If CER can be used by the government to make payment, treatment, and coverage decisions, it could also be used as a rationing tool.”
“One of the key issues emerging in the national health care debate is whether or not there will be official limits on the kinds of care, medical treatments, or procedures that Americans can get.” As The Post reporter noted, when asked a specific question on this issue, the President failed to respond.
The Democratic Senators on Senator Kennedy’s Committee have responded in a way that would astonish and outrage and most ordinary Americans.
”The truth is that with legislation authorizing the federal government to make key decisions on medical benefits and medical procedures, dictating the kinds of health benefits Americans will and will not have in the government-approved health insurance plans, federal officials would retain enormous power over the kind of care Americans would receive.”
The President has repeatedly promised that if you enjoy your relationship with your doctor, his proposals would not interfere with that relationship. If CER powers are expanded rationing will occur, and government policy would destroy the doctor-patient relationship.
WAKE UP AMERICANS!!
The health care debate is not a battle over the uninsured, over rules governing insurance markets. It is a debate over government controlling our freedom of choice. It is not even a debate. It is a SPEEDING TRAIN.
Let your Senators and Representatives know the proposals are unacceptable. Write, fax,call,email,twitter. Tell them:
“We do not want the government to control our lives. We want affordable, universal healthcare coverage that does not limit access to care. We want control over our healthcare dollars. We do not want government to control our lives and our money.”
Additional Reading: IBD Exchttp://www.ibdeditorials.com/series26.aspxlusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure