I stopped in my review of the Health Care Bill–HR 3200–right in the middle of Title I (page 16 to be exact out of 1017) because I had to hyperventilate a bit. I’m OK now, so allow me to continue
- Also in Title one, on page 16: the government–not the market–would determine which insurance qualifies. Hmm… Free market, capitalism… Section 102 on this page makes it illegal to purchase your own private health insurance after the bill is enacted and will in effect, transition virtually everyone to government care within 5 years.
- I’m still stumbling over this ‘plain language’ requirement. Tell me if this is ‘Plain Language:
There is established within the Health Choices Administration and under the direction of the Commissioner a Health Insurance Exchange in order to facilitate access of individuals and employers, through a transparent process, to a variety of choices of affordable, quality health insurance coverage, including a public health insurance option.
What does that mean? I think this alone should eliminate the bill from complying with its own law.
- More in Title One–here’s the definition of a ‘Qualified Health Benefit Plan’–meets the requirements … under title I and includes the public health insurance option. Oops. As far as I can see, a government-run option will always be cheaper (because it’s subsidized) while changing the quality of our health care to be affordable to the government owners. Cheaper will prevail for strapped employers.
- More Title One–The premium rate charged for an insured qualified health benefits plan (QHBP) may not vary except age, area, family enrollment. OK. I think most people understand that those who use insurance more, pay more. If you eat more food, you pay more. If you use more utilities, you pay more. We don’t mind. We’re capitalists (a dirty word in Europe)
- Page 24–still in Title One. I don’t like the sound of this–SEC. 116. ENSURING VALUE AND LOWER PREMIUMS. We all understand that we get what we pay for. Pay more, get more value. I think that’s OK. It’s very American to pay more for more value, pay less when you need less value. It’s part of managing finite family resources.
- Page 26--NO RESTRICTIONS ON COVERAGE UNRELATED TO CLINICAL APPROPRIATENESS.—A qualified health benefits plan may not impose any restriction (other than cost sharing) unrelated to clinical appropriateness on the coverage of the health care items and services. What does this mean?
- OMG–Title I goes on to establish health care as one of the universal rights–like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The EU includes housing as a protected liberty. Maybe they include health care too
- A big chunk of Title I Section D (pg. 37) is already law. They can leave that out. Oh–I already left out the entire Title. Good.
- Page 39–includes a requirement for ‘plain language’–… means language that the intended audience, including individuals with limited English proficiency, can readily understand and use because that language is clean, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing. I think the Bill violates this section. I do like this section, though, so if Title I is eliminated, they should keep this.
- Section 141, page 41, establishes another committee.
- Section 152, page. 50–makes health care a protected status, like race and religion. You cannot be discriminated against because of your health status.
- Page 82: RULES.—The Commissioner shall establish rules relating to how employees are counted for purposes of carrying out this subsection. I don’t like the sound of that. What rules? How will they affect other legal ways of ‘counting’ employees. Hmm…
- Page 83: Any time a law allows for undefined ‘exceptions’, I know we’re in trouble. This one’s as big as they come: SPECIAL SITUATION AUTHORITY.—The Commissioner shall have the authority to establish such rules as may be necessary to deal with special situations with regard to uninsured individuals and employers participating as Exchange-eligible individuals and employers, such as transition periods for individuals and employers who gain, or lose, Exchange-eligible participation status, and to establish grace periods for premium payment.
- Page 86: This sounds suspicious: cost-sharing for the income tier applicable to the individual
- No where does it say that to be covered under HR 3200, you must be a citizen. Therefore, you don’t. Here’s a part (page 101) that addresses children born in the US: In the case of a child born in the United States who at the time of birth is not otherwise covered under acceptable coverage, for the period of time beginning on the date of birth and ending on the date the… You get the idea. They’re covered because they’re born here. I think most people would like to do that, if it was affordable. Which the CBO says it isn’t.
Enough for Day 2. I got to Page 101. This is fun, isn’t it? Not unlike a long walk in tight shoes…