Speaker Pelosi’s 1,990 page Health Care bill was unveiled Thursday, October 29th. Nancy Pelosi said they were at a historic moment with lawmakers and “on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American — and laying the foundation for a brighter future for generations to come.” Affordable? For whom?
I’m not sure how small and medium size business owners and middle class Americans will be able to afford much of anything with this monstrosity, which includes 13 new taxes and will grow government to an even more colossal size. Our government already owns 30% of our private sector with car companies, banks, mortgage companies, student loans, credit card companies and Fannie and Freddie. Once they get hold of our Health Care, they will own another 18%. That’s almost 50% of our economy, which currently, is fragile, at best.
This bill doesn’t even address tort-reform. That doesn’t surprise me, with half or more of our elected officials being lawyers and all. I’ve heard the argument that tort-reform “won’t really save money”, but when I read this:
SEC. 2531. MEDICAL LIABILITY ALTERNATIVES.
(a) INCENTIVE PAYMENTS FOR MEDICAL LIABILITY
REFORM.— (1) IN GENERAL.—To the extent and in the amounts made available in advance in appropriation Acts, the Secretary shall make an incentive payment, in an amount determined by the Secretary, to each State that has an alternative medical liability law in compliance with this section.
(4) CONTENTS OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL LIABILITY LAW.—The contents of an alternative liability law are in accordance with this paragraph if—
(A) the litigation alternatives contained in the law consist of certificate of merit, early offer, or both; and (B) the law does not limit attorneys’ fees or impose caps on damages.
So, tell me again how tort-reform isn’t a factor. Because I’m really curious as to WHY Section 2531 would be in the bill if it weren’t. That section is to protect the lawyers—but forget the American people. Screw the doctors who have to pay exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums. Just make sure the LAWYERS get their money at ANY price, even if it means raising taxes on Americans.
Health Care Reform doesn’t have to be so complicated. Medicare and Medicaid have more fraud than our Representatives will admit. Why don’t they start there? Let’s save $60 Billion a year FIRST. Because when I read this among the 2 thousand pages, I wanted to scream…
TITLE VI—PROGRAM INTEGRITY
Subtitle A—Increased Funding to Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
Sec. 1601. Increased funding and flexibility to fight fraud and abuse.
(A) establish procedures to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse under the program;
and (B) provide for other program integrity methods.
If they can implement a program under Government Health Care for INTEGRITY and PROTECTION AGAINST WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE, why the heck aren’t we doing it NOW? This just blows my mind! Let’s start a whole NEW program and spend EVEN MORE money to begin an honesty and fraud protection program; but don’t do it with the existing program when we KNOW it’s hemorrhaging at least $60 BILLION a year in DECEIT. I’m not sure, but I think this would be listed under the category of utter stupidity. Not to mention just another way to spend OUR money, when they COULD be finding ways to recoup the money that has been wasted, or dare I say STOLEN, already.
One of the big arguments for a Government Health Care plan was because “the number one reason for bankruptcy in America is due to medical bills”. The stats on medical bankruptcies are sketchy. I’m not saying that people haven’t filed bankruptcy due to medical bills. What I’m saying is that many people who have filed bankruptcy would have filed regardless, and the medical bills just exasperated the situation. But if you read this:
(4) COST-SHARING.—The term ‘‘cost-sharing’’ includes deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and similar charges, but does not include premiums, balance billing amounts for non-network providers, or spending for non-covered services.
(C) the maximum cost-sharing with respect to an individual (or family) for a year shall not exceed $5,000 for an individual (or $10,000 for a family).
Let’s say a wife gets cancer in July and needs treatment and her insurance doesn’t cover all her medical expenses. She pays out of pocket from July through December that year to the tune of $10K. The next year she has treatment from January thru August and pays another $10K. Her family is now in debt $20K for medical “cost-sharing”. They have a mortgage, a car payment AND $10K in credit card debt. There is a good chance they will file bankruptcy. So, again, HOW does Pelosi’s Health Care bill HELP Americans from filing bankruptcy? It doesn’t. THAT argument has NOT been addressed in THIS bill and will NOT be addressed; because medical bankruptcies are NOT a major factor and Congress KNOWS it. They used those stats for their own agenda, even though the stats were not accurate. Had the stats been accurate, they would’ve addressed them in THIS bill.
There are other goodies in this bill. Like Section 340L a Health Corps. Yep, we are going to fund and repay loans for people to go into the Health Profession. I guess we’re going to have to bribe them somehow because with price fixing no one is going to want to be doctors or nurses anymore. But a Health Corps? That’s an odd title, isn’t it? And has the cost of THIS program been added to the trillion dollar price tag? How could it, when we don't even know how many people will enroll in years to come!
Or what about all the expenses fast food restaurants and vending machine companies are going to fork out now that they have to divulge all the calories and nutrients on the contents of the food and snacks they sell. Yes, you read that correctly. A vending machine company has to list all the candy and its calories, etc., on the vending machine now. You mean to tell me that people DON’T know candy is filled with sugar and calories? If they don’t then they are NOT living in what we know as REALITY. But the American people are going to pay higher prices for everything from a Hershey bar to French fries because Congress wants to dictate what we’ll eat and when we’ll exercise. Because they are going to give incentives to employers who participate! Like in THIS section:
SEC. 2535. COMMUNITY-BASED OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAM.
Part Q of title III (42 U.S.C. 280h et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 399W the following:
‘‘SEC. 399W–1. COMMUNITY-BASED OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAM.
‘‘(a) PROGRAM.—The Secretary shall establish a community-based overweight and obesity prevention program consisting of awarding grants and contracts under subsection (b). ‘‘(b) GRANTS.—The Secretary shall award grants to, or enter into contracts with, eligible entities— ‘‘(1) to plan evidence-based programs for the prevention of overweight and obesity among children and their families through improved nutrition and increased physical activity; or ‘‘(2) to implement such programs. ‘‘(c) ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible for a grant or contract under subsection (b), an entity shall be a community partnership that demonstrates community support and includes— ‘‘(1) a broad cross section of stakeholders, such as—
‘‘(A) hospitals, health care systems, community health centers, or other health care providers;‘‘(B) universities, local educational agencies, or childcare providers; ‘‘(C) State, local, and tribal health departments;
‘‘(D) State, local, and tribal park and recreation departments; ‘‘(E)employers; and‘‘(F) health insurance companies;‘‘(2) residents of the community; and ‘‘(3) representatives of public and private entities that have a history of working within and serving the community.
‘‘(f) PREFERENCES.—In awarding grants and contracts under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to eligible entities that— ‘‘(1) will serve communities with high levels of overweight and obesity and related chronic diseases; or ‘‘(2) will plan or implement activities for the prevention of overweight and obesity in school or workplace settings.
This means that grants will be awarded to companies and schools for implementing programs that prevent obesity. So, as an employer you’ll get money if you make your employees exercise? Eat fruits and veggies every day? Stop drinking and smoking? How will they monitor an employee’s behavior AFTER work? Will there be “snitches”? Who knows WHAT this COULD entail. All I know is I don’t like the mere SOUND of it.
I’m an ADULT. If I CHOOSE to eat unhealthy food, shouldn’t that be MY choice? By the way, I don’t eat junk food and I don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks, but what if I did? What about the millions of Americans that do? Do “I” have the right to tell THEM they should stop? Do employers have the right? The Government? Where, exactly, does the line of freedom get crossed?
In closing, I will admit that I have NOT read the entire 1,990 pages of the bill. I read the sections that I thought looked interesting, although I haven’t listed all of them. I believe this so-called “Health Care for Every America” will cross a line that we can’t even begin to comprehend and we will pay monetarily and we will pay with liberties. I truly don’t believe that anyone wants that. Health Reform is necessary, but THIS bill, with its taxes and mandates, isn’t THE ONE. I truly believe our Representatives can do much better and it’s up to US to force them to give us a bill that is TRULY worthy of the title HEALTH CARE REFORM.