Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HR 3200 Health Care Reform part 3

The views expressed in this blog are my own personal views and do not reflect the views of Cottonwood nor it's administration.

Well, I finally did it! I finished reading HR 3200 "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" which is the current House version of health care reform, all 1017 pages of it. I have to admit though that I skimmed sections relating to health care in Puerto Rico and a vast array of nursing home regulations. I did this because there is a great deal of controversy regarding health care reform, what it entails, what it means etc. and I like to get my facts straight before spouting off my own opinions on this bill. I wish President Obama would do the same as he continues to tell us that if we like our health plans and our doctors we don't need to change them when HR 3200 clearly indicates otherwise.

As I mentioned before the current biggest controversy is over whether or not a health care reform bill would include a "public plan option", a government sponsored Medicare like program available to all Americans regardless of age or economic status. Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am not in favor of such a plan but that is not the problem I have with HR 3200. While I am not in favor of a public plan there are many good arguments for it as well as my arguments against it and I have to admit that my arguments may be faulty. But HR 3200 does not propose simply a public plan option but proposes a complete takover of the health care system in the United States, full governmental control of what now is a public -private enterprise. For those who think this statement sounds too dramatic I invite you to read the bill yourself.

HR 3200 proposes a brand new independent government agency the Health Choices Administration headed by a Health Choices Commissioner with broad powers. The name of the agency as health choices is very Orwellian as the purpose of the agency is to ensure that we have no choices regarding health care. The Commissioner has broad powers that include:

establishing limitations on individual health insurance coverage (page 18)
establishing premium rates (page 21)
the right to full access of all financial records of any company that wants to self insure (page22)
make sure that no law can provide any incentives for a company to self insure (page 22, 23)
setting the standards for all provider networks (page 24)
determining what benefits will be covered in all basic and enhanced plans (page 30 -37)
establishes standards for coordination of benefits and reimbursements (page 40)
decides what qualifies as a "Qualified Health Benefit Plan" to which all plans must meet within 5 years of    enactment of the law (page 17)
prohibits enrollment of any new individual to any currently existing plans (page 16)
operates a "health insurance exchange" by which the government takes control of any new private plans (page  72 )
defines all terms used in health insurance coverage (page 45)
has access to individual's bank accounts to enable "real time determination" of an individual's financial responsibility (page 58)
issues a machine readable health id card that must be used before it can be determined what services you may or may not qualify for (page 58)
cancels all state mandated benefits unless the state reimburses the federal government for the increased costs (page 87)
decides which benefits any qualified plan may provide for any given service area (page 84)
imposes an 8 % payroll tax on all employers who do not offer health care coverage (page 149-150)
requires employers to provide health care coverage for part time employees (page 145-146)
taxes any individual without health care coverage (page 167)

I will discuss later some of the implications of these in regard to our freedoms and choices in health care.

Thought for the day

Universal access and coverage, yes! HR 3200 no.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You For Your Comment!

CARF - Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation FacilitiesNATSAP | National Association of Therapeutic Schools and ProgramsNBCCNAADAC