Monday, August 3, 2009

ObamaCare Details

I've spent a good part of the evening reading HR3200, aka ObamaCare. I've gleaned a few details from the bill in its current form. (A quick google search will guide anyone to the actual bill if you want to check the details.)

Section 164: Within 90 days of the enactment of the bill, the government will provide health insurance to all
union retirees at taxpayer expense.

Section 224: The HHS Secretary "may utilize innovative payment mechanisms and policies to determine payments for items and services under the public health insurance option. The payment mechanisms and policies ... may include ... differential payment rates, performance or utilization based payments, partial capitation and direct contracting with providers.

Section 311: If an employee declines insurance coverage by an employer for a plan the employer offers to all employees, that employer must pay into the government for that employee's insurance. The employer does not have a choice.

Section 312: Employers will be responsible to "contribute" (pay for) coverage for both employees and their dependent family members.

Section 401: Individuals without acceptable coverage will be taxed.

Section 401: The tax will not apply to non-resident aliens. (Legal and illegal aliens).

Section 412: Employers not providing acceptable coverage to employees will be taxed 8 percent of the wages paid. (Do you think that might make employers think twice about raises?)

I find "Part 2 -- Prevention of Tax Avoidance" to be an amusing section, given that Timothy "turbo tax" Geithner and Kathleen "Do I Really Have to Pay Taxes?" Sebelius will be administering the program and associated taxes.

Beginning with Section 1121 under Part 1 - Physicians' Services, explains what they term "limitations on physicians services included in target grown rates," which seems to be code for health care rationing. It essentially establishes limits on the number of procedures that may be performed, not based on need, but based on a "sustainable growth rate."

Section 1124 discusses the "physician quality reporting initiative." The PQRI, as it is known, is already being used under Medicare. This requires doctors to report how they are treating patients with a given disease. This standardizes care in increases paperwork. In other words, doctors no longer decide what is appropriate care for a given patient. The government decides what procedures are appropriate and what procedures are not appropriate for you.

Section 1147 allows the government to reduce payment for imaging services such as MRI, CAT scans, PET scans and other kinds of imaging.

Section 1154 requires the HHS secretary to adjust (reduce) payment for home health care services.

There are numerous sections (in fact, at least half of the bill that I've read so far) that refer to Medicare. While the politicians have denied it, this bill appears to be at least a first step in eliminating Medicare. All government health care will eventually be covered under one plan.

While I'm only about 1/3 of the way through the plan, I have yet to read anything related to improving health or care. This is essentially a tax plan with a government run insurance program that is not significantly different than Medicare, except that it limits (rations) care.

I would urge everyone to read this bill.

... especially if you are a member of Congress.


Average American August 4, 2009 at 1:02 AM  

Page 425 talks about us old buggers getting a bunch of info on "checking out", mandatory peptalks every 5 years telling us why it's best to oft yourself cause you're a drag on society. Since the politicians and supreme court justices dont get our healthcare, they will be the only old folks allowed to live to a ripe old age.

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