Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Obama administration seems to exhibit a definite pattern for releasing
unfavorable information. It always seems to occur on a Friday afternoon when
everyone is thinking about the weekend.
Last Friday it was reported that, “Health
and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health
industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with
the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law,” two people familiar
with the outreach said.
has repeatedly rejected requests by the Obama administration for more money for
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) included 1 billion dollars to be used in
overall implementation of the law. The 1 billion dollars is almost gone. The
CBO projects that Obamacare now needs 5-10 billion dollars to get the law “up and running over the next 10 years.”
come? There is no explanation available.
My guess is that it is the result of waste, inefficiency and excessive bureaucracy.
a sudden the government needs money to train and outsource to community
organizers the job of getting the underprivileged to sign up for healthcare
insurance through the health insurance exchanges.
addition many states have not signed up to run their health insurance
needs the money to fund and manage the health insurance exchanges in those 33
Obama administration also promised those states that did sign up that it would
pay all the expenses for three years.
assume the administration did not need congressional approval for this
could also assume that the Obama administration’s plan was to stick the startup
expenses to the states rather than the federal government.
has refused to provide the requested additional funding for Obamacare.
Obamacare was supposed to be budget neutral. It
clearly will not be budget neutral according to present CBO estimates. It will
more likely be in the negative by over 1 trillion dollars despite the tax
need only be reminded of the 10 hidden taxes they are already paying to fund
Obamacare in order to understand congress’s attitude.
“After Congress rejected a request in March
for nearly $1 billion in additional spending for fiscal 2013, the White House
asked for $1.5 billion for fiscal 2015 to set up and run dozens of exchanges
that will provide Americans options for health insurance. The new marketplace
is scheduled to launch in October 2013 for open enrollment.”
already anticipated that the promised “affordable healthcare insurance” will be
unaffordable to indigent or low-income earners.
documents show that the Obama administration has already pulled hundreds of
millions of dollars from projects not specifically earmarked for Obamacare to
HHS announced that it would use $150 million in Affordable Care Act funds meant
to build additional community health centers to train thousands of health-care
outreach workers at facilities that already exist.
“Investing in health centers for outreach
and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama administration is
helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage,”
Secretary Sebelius said in a statement.
strange and unexpected by the Obama administration that few are signing up for
Sebelius seems to be trying to make congress feel guilty for Obamacare’s costs
overruns. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of cost overruns in the
next future along with an attempt to raise taxes.
“We requested additional money from congress
but we didn’t receive any additional funding for the exchanges,” Ellen Murray,
HHS’s assistant secretary for financial resources, said last month at a budget
“So we’ve had to come up with a Plan B.
We’ve been working very hard to develop that.”
“Part of our mission is to help uninsured
Americans take advantage of new, quality affordable insurance options that are
coming thanks to the health law.”
Sebelius might have stepped over the federal regulations line once more. She got into a bit of a jam before last years
the election when she violated federal law by
‘accidentally’ endorsing President Obama’s reelection at an appearance in her
official HHS capacity. The press and congress gave her a pass and so the miscue
failed to gain public notice.
time it might not be so easy. Federal regulations prohibited department
officials from asking for funds from industry officials, business or
subordinates in an official capacity, which has in the past sought to do
business with that Department.
Sebelius has done just that making multiple phone calls to health industry executives,
community organizations and church groups.
has asked them to contribute whatever they can to nonprofit community
organizers that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and to increase
awareness of the law.
was revealed to the press last Friday by an HHS official and an industry person
familiar with the secretary’s activities.
Sebelius’ only way out of this jam is that the law permits her to solicit as a
private citizen. The administration began to spin it as an act of a private citizen
soliciting aid from parties interested in helping the healthcare law’s
might be dirty pool to some but those stakeholders affected are intimidated
from speak out because of their potential loss of business from the government.
a while Americans get use to and are bored by these tactics.
press blows them off as insignificant and the public forgets about them.
not believe these maneuvers can stop Obamacare from failing under its own
weight. It is a law with too many defects.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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