Monday, August 17, 2009

The First 200-plus pages of the 1018 Pages of House Healthcare Bill Analyzed

Purusing HB3300; America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, just off the cuff I notice one thing contained in the bill that shows just how much this bad boy will cost (and it's only a projection of how much). The bill states that an initial $2 billion will be needed to cover 90 days worth of claims. That's approx $8 billion a year just for year one. The bill stays in effect for 10 years, so not counting inflationary costs and how badly government projections have been in the past, that cost to tax payers will be in the ball park of another $80 billion to $1 trillion dollars added to this nation's already bloated $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. Oh yeah. Now I see the plan of all you folks outside this country clammering for us to initiate a governement run universal healthcare coverage plan. You want America on universal health care because it will be the last straw that finally breaks the back of the terrible, evil American Empire and brings down this nation just as other great powers have been brought low in the past. Can I get a high-five from such past greats -- Great Britain and France....yo!

Oh God there's more. And keep in mind, this is just one of the bills under consideration in the Congress. But here are some more of my findings pertaining to the bill in question:

GOOD THINGS found so far:

A qualified health benefit may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusionary clause.

Early baby and child wellness program will be instituted under the plan.

Now for more of the BAD THINGS in this one of several bills under consideration:

How this plan affects all other health care plans available --

Title I, Subtitle A, Section 101
"On or after the 1st day of Y1, a health benefits plan shall not be a qualified plan under this division unless the plan meets certain applicable requirements established by this 'government' plan."

So...your privately owned health care could go bye bye if the government deems it doesn't meet their requirements. Even if you're happy with your current plan, you may have to kiss it good bye. It has been estimated that this one clause in this bill could cause as many as 93 million workers to loose their current employer sponsored plan, even if they like their employer option.

Also Part II (A) states that there is a 5-year grace period for private plans to meet government requirements. Hmmm, doesn't sound like choice to me.

This bill, as currently written, grants the Secretary of Health and Human Resources the authority to enter contractual agreements with the lowest bidder of healthcare insurance providers. This reminds me of a statement I once heard said by an astronaut. He said that every time the Shuttle lifts off from Earth strapped to those powerful rockets, all onboard are reminded that their lives are in the hands of NASA's lowest bidder of rocket technology. Do American's really want their healthcare decided by the government's lowest bidder?

"Payment rates for practitioner's services otherwise established under Section 1848 of the Social Security Act shall be applied without regard to the provisions under subsection (f)........." In other words, just like Medicare, regardless of what it actually costs a hospital, clinic, lab or doctor's office to perform a procedure, the government will only pay amount the amount specified in Section 1849 of the Social Security Act. Let me tell you why that is a bad thing. Right now (I work in healthcare) it costs x dollars to do a test. There is no getting around that. Materials and time have a rate applied to them. They are what they are. Certain medical equipment, drugs, salaries, etc. have a certain cost. However, the government fully aware of the actual costs will only reimburse for a small (very small) percentage of it and the provider (hospital, doctor, etc) cannot legally go after the patient for the remaining amount. They can bill for it, but if that patient is on Medicare or Medicaid, they cannot go after the payment for what the government won't pay. Result, hospitals, offices, etc slowly begin operating in the red and over time must either cut back on services, cut workers or their benefits, or go out of business (which a lot of doctors are now doing). Here in America, under a fully run government system you will see a sharp decline in physicians and services that will take literally decades to recover from if this or a similar bill is enacted into law.

This bill's Annual Limitation Clause:
Here is something that you won't hear the President or his media cronies talk about. It's the Annual Limitation Clause.

The annual limit for an individual is $5000 (USD) and $10,000 (family) with increases rounded to the nearest $100 (USD) per year. Coverage will = 70% only. Even the most basic private plan available to American's today gives 80% coverage. This lack of acceptable coverage will require the purchase of a government approved supplemental insurance plan (just like the EU plans) to cover the rest. So, your taxes will go up to pay for this plan, plus you will shell out more money for a supplemental plan, and you still won't be covered 100%, so you can continue counting on out-of-pocket expenses as well. Sounds like a great deal to me...sign me up now!

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