(This is an all-new round of BS, mostly covering the pages after 500. Please feel free to check out the original post right here, as well... These lawyers are so long-winded, there will be a Part III... Stay tuned...)
(I was on the Nicole Sanders Show Wednesday night to discuss this... check it out here...)
Thanks to a reader, I found another little right wing talking points from a little group called the "Liberty Counsel."
The Liberty Counsel is a lobbying group that describes itself as "a nationwide public interest religious civil liberties law firm," according to the memo, which is conveniently located on their web site. Because much of the memo mimics the previous article almost word for word, and lie for lie, I have mercifully left out the portions of the memo that I have already addressed.
The Liberty Counsel works out of three locations, including -- and don't tell me you didn't see this coming -- Lynchburg, Virginia. Those of you familiar with the history of far right wing politics will recognize the misuse of the term "Liberty" and the city of Lynchburg, VA quite well. Jerry Falwell, it seems, saw himself as something of a right wing messiah (note the lower case, folks) of sorts for those poor, downtrodden white southern Christians, who have never had a real voice in this country. (Right wingers, that was sarcasm.)
The Liberty Counsel's web site boasts of their mission, which is "Restoring the Culture One Case at a Time by Advancing Religious Freedom, the Sanctity of Human Life and the Traditional Family." But I wonder; why is a group charged with protecting the" Sanctity of Human Life" so intent on protecting a status quo in which tens of thousands of people die every year because they don't have access to the health care system, and wherein people are denied life saving treatments and procedures because they cut into a private insurance company's profits? It is simply not possible to call yourself "pro-life" with any sort of credibility when you defend such a status quo. And if they're so intent on protecting the traditional family, doesn't it seem odd that they are siding with private insurance companies, and against families who are being ruined by health care bills they can't afford to pay.
And what would Jesus think of these so-called "Judeo-Christians" turning to outright lies and misstatements to protect profits, at the expense of people?
And make no mistake, folks; the people writing this crap are liars, and I will prove it.Oops... they're lawyers; maybe they'll sue me... bummer...
Obama Administration’s Health Care Plan
HR 3200 currently under consideration in the House of Representatives
Reviewed, revised and adapted on July 29, 2009, by Liberty Counsel from the original authored by Peter Fleckenstein and posted on FreeRepublic.com and his blog, http://blog.flecksoflife.com.
(What can you say about a "Christian" group that gets its marching orders from Freepers?)
• Sec. 203, Pg. 85, Line 7 - Specifications of benefit levels for plans means that the government will define your HC plan and has the ability to ration your health care!
This is actually the first slight difference between this memo, and the previous blog post, but it actually carries roughly the same theme.
What this section would do would be to create several different levels of service, so that people can buy the coverage that makes the most sense to them. Most private insurance companies do this now; they offer a basic plan, like an HMO, and a more feature-laden plan, such as a PPO. Some also offer a Catastrophic plan, which allows the policy holder to pay cash for most of his or her family's health care, and only covers serious illness or injury. I'm pretty sure that's three levels of coverage. But as the bill points out, the customer will choose the plan level that's right for them, the government won't.
Now, read the section very carefully, and you'll find that the three plan levels for the public insurance will compete with three levels from each private insurance company that chooses to participate in the system. Basically, when it's time to choose your plan each year, you will have three public option choices, and three choices each from three other private insurance companies. You could have a choice of a dozen different plans under this bill.
And there is no more rationing under this plan than there already exists. It's insurance; if by rationing they mean the government may decide not to pay for the oxy contin the maid purchases for you, perhaps they're correct.
• Sec. 223, Pg. 124, Lines 24-25 - No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No “administrative of judicial review” against a government monopoly.
Okay, I dealt with this one somewhat in the last article, but keep in mind; this one is coming from lawyers, who really should know better. In fact, if they have JDs from reputable law schools, they do know better.
How is it possible to sue the government for "price-fixing," when private insurance companies are free to negotiate their own rates and prices, and they are given an equal playing field with the public insurance system? The answer, of course, is that no price fixing is possible under the plan proposed by this bill.
Put it another way; there's a reason they only want you to look at lines 24-25. If you look a few paragraphs before that, you will find the following:
(3) ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROVIDER NETWORK.—Health care providers participating under Medicare are participating providers in the public health insurance option unless they opt out in a process established by the Secretary.
(c) ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS FOR SETTING RATES.—Chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code shall
apply to the process for the initial establishment of payment rates under this section but not to the specific methodology for establishing such rates or the calculation of such rates.
(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority to correct for payments that are excessive or deficient, taking into account the provisions of section 221(a) and the amounts paid for similar health care providers and services under other Exchange-participating health benefits plans.
(e) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as affecting the authority of the Secretary to establish payment rates, including payments to provide for the more efficient delivery of services, such as the initiatives provided for under section 224.
(f) LIMITATIONS ON REVIEW.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology established under this section or under section 224.
What you see here is the establishment of rules that are pretty much identical to the rules providers have been held to under Medicare and Medicaid for years. But look at the above in bold. WHAT "other… health benefit plans"? I thought they were creating a "government monopoly." Can you see that they're lying, folks? Everything in this bill assumes rigorous competition, and it allows for the possibility that there will be competition for pricing for medical procedures. There cannot be any competition in a "government monopoly."
• Sec. 225, Pg. 127, Lines 1-16 - Doctors – the government will tell YOU what you can make. “The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year.”
Here's another one I dealt with previously, but feel the need to revisit, because these alleged lawyers actually attempt to include a quote from the bill, and completely misrepresent it in the process. Once again, these guys try to push you into a specific section of the bill, in an attempt to get you to ignore everything around it. As you can guess, the above quote is out of context.; there is no period after the word "year." These people should be ashamed. Here's what it actually says:
(1) PHYSICIANS.—The Secretary shall provide for the annual participation of physicians under the public health insurance option, for which payment may be made for services furnished during the year, in one of 2 classes:
(A) PREFERRED PHYSICIANS.—Those physicians who agree to accept the payment rate established under section 223 (without regard to cost-sharing) as the payment in full.
(B) PARTICIPATING, NON-PREFERRED PHYSICIANS.—Those physicians who agree not to impose charges (in relation to the payment rate described in section 223 for such physicians) that exceed the ratio permitted under section 1848(g)(2)(C) of the Social Security Act.
(2) OTHER PROVIDERS.—The Secretary shall provide for the participation (on an annual or other basis specified by the Secretary) of health care providers (other than physicians) under the public health insurance option under which payment shall only be available if the provider agrees to accept the payment rate established under section 223 (without regard to cost-sharing) as the payment in full.
Once more, the site on which this appears is for a law firm. These are lawyers, folks. They know how to read this stuff. They knew damn well there was no period there, and they had to know that the section they were talking about had nothing to do with anyone's wages. I would also note the voluntary nature of the participation of physicians in any category. Know how I figured that out? In order to be included in any category, they have to be "physicians who agree." That would seem to indicate voluntary participation.
• Sec. 1122, Pg. 253, Lines 10-23 - The government “validates work relative value units” (sets value of doctor’s time), professional judgment, methods etc. (defining the value of humans).
Okay, I dealt with this one earlier, but the lawyers at Liberty Counsel put a unique spin on this one, to be sure.
I mean, "defining the value of humans?" Are they kidding with this crap?
What this is all about is applying a value to the service performed, not putting a price on the doctors themselves, so that they can be sold on eBay. Now, the folks at Liberty Counsel are lawyers. Are they saying that the lawyers who bill their time at $750 an hour are three times better humans than those who "only" bill $250 an hour? It is a fact that all professions have to set prices for what they do, and that is all that is happening here. If we're going to start talking about the relative value of human beings, based on what we're willing to pay them for their work, we should talk about CEO pay.
• Sec. 1233, Pg. 425, Lines 4-12 - Government mandates Advance (Death) Care Planning consultation. Think Senior Citizens and end of life. END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING. SOME IN THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED RATIONING HEALTH CARE FOR THE ELDERLY.
Ok, I dealt with this one a little previously, but this adds a little twist. When has anyone in the Administration discussed "rationing" care for the elderly? And where does it say that in this bill?
The easy answer is that it doesn't. And there is NOTHING MANDATORY about the participation in the advanced planning program. It's there if you want it. That's all. YOU decide if you need it.
Okay, while the people writing the lies contained in the previous article seemed to get tired after 500 pages or so, the fine liars at Liberty Counsel were just getting started.
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 502 - Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. Big Brother is watching how your treatment works.
This one is beyond absurd. One would expect it from an uneducated wingnut, but from trained lawyers this is abhorrent. Here the bill's explanation of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research:
‘‘SEC. 1181. (a) CENTER FOR COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH ESTABLISHED.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish within the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (in this section referred to as the ‘Center’) to conduct, support, and synthesize research (including research conducted or supported under section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003) with respect to the outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures in order to identify the manner in which diseases, disorders, and other health conditions can most effectively and appropriately be prevented, diagnosed, treated, and managed clinically.
‘‘(2) DUTIES.—The Center shall—
‘‘(A) conduct, support, and synthesize research relevant to the comparative effectiveness of the full spectrum of health care items, services and systems, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical and surgical procedures, and other medical interventions;
‘‘(B) conduct and support systematic reviews of clinical research, including original research conducted subsequent to the date of the enactment of this section;
‘‘(C) continuously develop rigorous scientific methodologies for conducting comparative effectiveness studies, and use such methodologies appropriately;
‘‘(D) submit to the Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission, the Secretary, and Congress appropriate relevant reports described in subsection (d)(2); and
‘‘(E) encourage, as appropriate, the development and use of clinical registries and the development of clinical effectiveness research data networks from electronic health records, post marketing drug and medical device surveillance efforts, and other forms of electronic health data.
Big BROTHER? I read 1984, and I suspect the attorneys at Liberty Counsel have read it, or at least know something about it. What does a research center designed to make health care more efficient, and therefore less expensive have to do with Big Brother? Essentially, the research will make your doctor's work easier and your treatment more effective. Yet, these people see this as a bad thing; an example of the government taking too much power? When the government wastes money like crazy -- you know, like spending $1 trillion on an unnecessary war -- we don't hear a word from these ersatz "Christians." But when it comes to spending $1 trillion (or less) to insure people who are currently uninsured and give them a fighting chance to stay alive, and they lie to prevent it? Sorry, but to anyone who has ever read 1984 knows that the memo this post is based on has more in common with Big Brother than anything in the health care reform bill.
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 13-19 - The government will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic medical records. “The Center may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this section.”
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 - The government may secure data directly from any department or agency of the US, including your data.
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 503, Lines 21-25 - The “Center” will collect data both “published and unpublished” (that means public & your private information).
Wow… in the course of a paragraph, they manage to come up with three whoppers. Here's what the section actually says:
‘‘(A) OBTAINING OFFICIAL DATA.—The Center may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States information necessary to enable it to carry out this section. Upon request of the Center, the head of that department or agency shall furnish that information to the Center on an agreed upon
‘‘(B) DATA COLLECTION.—In order to carry out its functions, the Center shall— ‘‘(i) utilize existing information, both published and unpublished, where possible, collected and assessed either by its own
staff or under other arrangements made in accordance with this section,
‘‘(ii) carry out, or award grants or contracts for, original research and experimentation, where existing information is inadequate, and
‘‘(iii) adopt procedures allowing any interested party to submit information for the use by the Center and Commission under subsection (b) in making reports and recommendations.
Okay… so we learned above that the mission of the Center is to do treatment research. The goal is to make health care more efficient. So, let's approach this logically, shall we?
There are currently serious privacy restrictions on federal and state governments. Oh, I know the Bush Administration tried their damnedest to destroy the concept, but they largely failed. Therefore, no government agency is entitled to your personal information without a warrant, or at least probable cause. The LAWYERS at Liberty COUNSEL certainly know this. No government agency can get any personal information without demonstrating that you committed a crime, or may have committed a crime. That includes medical and financial records.
Now, combine that reality with the mission of the Center, which is to compile data regarding treatments, and share with doctors the information that makes them better doctors. What personal information would they need about you to do that job? Doctors send anonymized treatment information to various agencies all of the time. Hell; private insurance companies use this type of information all of the time, as well, in order to decide when to deny treatment. If you've ever been denied treatment because something has been deemed "experimental," then you know what I mean.
The government is not allowed to build registries of private data, private information about individual citizens is not allowed to be shared between agencies, and the government is forbidden by law from collecting personal data about you without a warrant or probable cause. And there is nothing in the above passage -- the passage THEY quoted, mind you, that indicates any need or intention to collect personal data about anyone.
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 506, Lines 19-21 - An “Appointed Clinical Perspective Advisory Panel” will advise The Center and recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.
Once more, there will be no private data. Public access of data regarding the best treatment regimens available for battling an ailment or disease is a good thing, isn't it? But hey: don't believe me; here's what it actually says (pay close attention to the section in bold):
‘‘(G) make recommendations for policies that would allow for public access of data produced under this section, in accordance with appropriate privacy and proprietary practices, while ensuring that the information produced through such data is timely and credible;
‘‘(H) appoint a clinical perspective advisory panel for each research priority determined under subparagraph (A), which shall consult with patients and advise the Center on research questions, methods, and evidence gaps in terms of clinical outcomes for the specific research inquiry to be examined with respect to such priority to ensure that the information produced from such research is clinically relevant to decisions made by clinicians and patients at the point of care;
Yes, the bill says all information will be private. PRIVATE!
• Sec. 1401, Pg. 518, Lines 21-25 - The Commission will have input from HC consumer representatives.
If this is a list of bad things about the health care plan, I guess I don't understand why this one's here.
‘‘(3) STAKEHOLDER INPUT.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall consult with patients, health care providers, health care consumer representatives, and other appropriate stakeholders with an interest in the research through a transparent process recommended by the Commission.
I'm at a loss. Imagine, input from actual health care consumers. How horrible.
But at least this one's not a lie...
• Sec. 1411, Pg. 524, Lines 18-22 - Establishes the “Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund.” More taxes for ALL.
This is a bald-faced lie.
(b) COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH TRUST FUND; FINANCING FOR THE TRUST FUND.—For provision establishing a Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund and financing such Trust Fund, see section 1802.
And when you bother to go to Sec. 1802 (Page 823) you find out it's a trust fund… exactly as they said:
SEC. 1802. COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH TRUST FUND; FINANCING FOR TRUST FUND.
(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUST FUND.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter A of chapter 98 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to trust fund code) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
‘‘SEC. 9511. HEALTH CARE COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS RESEARCH TRUST FUND.
‘‘(a) CREATION OF TRUST FUND.—There is established in the Treasury of the United States a trust fundto be known as the ‘Health Care Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund’ (hereinafter in this section referred to as the ‘CERTF’), consisting of such amounts as may be appropriated or credited to such Trust Fund as provided in this section and section 9602(b).
‘‘(b) TRANSFERS TO FUND.—There are hereby appropriated to the Trust Fund the following:
‘‘(1) For fiscal year 2010, $90,000,000.
‘‘(2) For fiscal year 2011, $100,000,000.
‘‘(3) For fiscal year 2012, $110,000,000.
‘‘(4) For each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2013—
‘‘(A) an amount equivalent to the net revenues received in the Treasury from the fees imposed under subchapter B of chapter 34 (relating to fees on health insurance and self-insured plans) for such fiscal year; and
‘‘(B) subject to subsection (c)(2), amounts determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to be equivalent to the fair share per capita amount computed under subsection (c)(1) for the fiscal year multiplied by the average number of individuals entitled to benefits under part A, or enrolled under part B, of title XVIII of the Social Security Act during such fiscal year.
You get the idea. It's a trust fund. They take a portion of the premiums, and use them for research on the best way to spend less money in the future.
Oh, and I know they read Sec. 1802, because they call it a bottomless tax pit later in this screed. You'll see. And when you get there, you'll already know that it's not. $300 million over 3 years? That's 33 cents per year per citizen. Hardly a money pit. Iraq is a money pit; we spend more than $300 million every single day over there, and these same people are all for that. So they have no credibility when it comes to critiques of government spending.
• Sec. 1441, Pg. 621, Lines 20-25 - The government will define “NEW Quality” measures in HC. Since when does government know about quality?
You know, it's a common whine among the right wing, to claim that government doesn't do anything right. But after the last couple of economic bubbles, and with the government bailing private industry out, and not the other way around, I think that argument is just petty and stupid.
Of course, what this section actually means is that there will be minimum quality standards that have to be met in the delivery of health care services. Think they'll complain when Aunt Jenny decides to go to a witch doctor for an arthritis cure and then demands her public insurance pay for it? Besides; they won't be doing it alone, as you'll find when you actually read the section:
‘‘SEC. 1192. DEVELOPMENT OF NEW QUALITY MEASURES.
‘‘(a) AGREEMENTS WITH QUALIFIED ENTITIES.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall enter into agreements with qualified entities to develop quality measures for the delivery of health care services in the United States.
• Sec. 1442, Pg. 622, Lines 2-9 - To pay for the Quality Standards, government will transfer money from “qualified entities” (government Trust Funds) to other government Trust Funds. More Taxes.
Once more… no new taxes. It's a Trust Fund, and it is paid through premiums.
• Sec. 1442, Pg. 624, Lines 19-23 - Qualified Entities: “The Secretary shall ensure that the entity is a public, nonprofit or academic institution with technical expertise in the area of health quality measurement.”
• Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 5-10 - “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes and functional status of patients.
• Sec. 1442, Pg. 623, Lines 15-17 - “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you, including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc.
Keep in mind, this section still has to do with the study, which is designed to assist with the efficacy of treatment. Let's start with what the section actually says, in context.
‘‘(1) PATIENT-CENTERED AND POPULATIONBASED MEASURES.—Quality measures developed under agreements under subsection (a) shall be designed—
‘‘(A) to assess outcomes and functional status of patients;
‘‘(B) to assess the continuity and coordination of care and care transitions for patients across providers and health care settings, including end of life care;
‘‘(C) to assess patient experience and patient engagement;
‘‘(D) to assess the safety, effectiveness, and timeliness of care;
‘‘(E) to assess health disparities including those associated with individual race, ethnicity, age, gender, place of residence or language;
‘‘(F) to assess the efficiency and resource use in the provision of care;
‘‘(G) to the extent feasible, to be collected as part of health information technologies supporting better delivery of health care services;
‘‘(H) to be available free of charge to users for the use of such measures; and
‘‘(I) to assess delivery of health care services to individuals regardless of age.
Now, keep in mind, this is from a piece that purportedly cites the bad aspects of the health care bill. Which means they think all of the above is a bad thing.
Essentially, the bill would create a center for research into health care processes, as noted. And in order to participate, according to pages 623-624, you will have to be qualified to do so, and you must focus on outcomes and status of patients, in order to recommend improvements. This doesn't seem to be a controversial concept to me.
Now the last complaint listed is another outright misstatement, if not a lie. The quality measures are NOT deigned to profile "YOU". They are designed to note differences in treatment based on ethnicity and geography. You know, to identify areas where cancer clusters appear, or to identify and treat ethically-specific diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, and Tay Sach's disease. But note once more that the federal government is forbidden by law from providing identifiable data about you to anyone, because of privacy laws. So, no; the people doing this study will not know who you are. This is a right wing scare tactic, and nothing more.
• Sec. 1443, Pg. 628 - The government will give “Multi-Stake Holders” pre-rulemaking input into selection of “quality” measures.
• Sec. 1443, Pg. 630-31, Lines 9-24, 1-9 - Those Multi-Stake Holder groups include unions and groups like ACORN deciding what constitutes quality.
This is just a vicious lie. What is it about ACORN that has these folks' panties in a bunch, anyway? if I was a lawyer for ACORN, I might consider a defamation suit at some point, because most of the complaints are unfair. And what's wrong with unions having input to their own health care? Here's the complete list of who will have input into the system. Ask yourself why they single out ACORN and unions:
‘‘(6) MULTI-STAKEHOLDER GROUPS.—For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘multi-stakeholder groups’ means, with respect to a quality measure, a voluntary collaborative of organizations representing persons interested in or affected by the use of such quality measure, such as the following:
'‘(A) Hospitals and other institutional providers.
‘‘(C) Health care quality alliances.
‘‘(D) Nurses and other health care practitioners.
‘‘(E) Health plans.
‘‘(F) Patient advocates and consumer groups.
‘‘(H) Public and private purchasers of health care items and services.
‘‘(I) Labor organizations.
‘‘(J) Relevant departments or agencies of the United States.
‘‘(K) Biopharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of medical devices.
‘‘(L) Licensing, credentialing, and accrediting bodies.
Now, I count twelve different groups of "multi-stakeholder groups," including huge drug companies and major health delivery corporations. Assuming they all have equal input into the process, it would seem that "unions and groups like ACORN" won't be "deciding" anything at all. What; do these clowns imagine that the UAW and the Teamsters will just declare their will on something, and the other 10 groups will simply roll over? And if they can do that, what's to stop big pharma from doing the same? The whole concept is absurd. Christian lawyers will have just as much input into the system as "unions and groups like ACORN."
• Sec. 1444, Pg. 632, Lines 14-25 - The government may implement any “Quality measure” of HC services that bureaucrats see fit.
• Sec. 1444, Pg. 632-333, Lines 14-25, 1-9 - The Secretary may issue nonendorsed “Quality Measures” for physician and dialysis services.
Want to read what it really says? Of course you do.
‘‘The Secretary shall submit such a non-endorsed measure to the entity for consideration for endorsement. If the entity considers but does not endorse such a measure and if the Secretary does not phase-out use of such measure, the Secretary shall include the rationale for continued use of such a measure in rulemaking.’’
I don't see anything in there mandating anything. The entity can choose to consider and/or endorse the measure at will, and if the Secretary decides to implement the measure anyway, he or she has to give a rationale.
• Sec. 1251 (beginning), Pg. 634 to 652 - “Physician Payments Sunshine Provision” – government wants to shine sunlight on Doctors but not government. “Reports on financial relationships between manufacturers and distributors . . . and between physicians and other health care entities.”
This is another misrepresentation, to say the least.
Here's the entire title:
SEC. 1128H. FINANCIAL REPORTS ON PHYSICIANS’ FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF COVERED DRUGS, DEVICES, BIOLOGICALS, OR MEDICAL SUPPLIES UNDER MEDICARE, MEDICAID, OR CHIP AND WITH ENTITIES THAT BILL FOR SERVICES UNDER MEDICARE.
In other words, the people choosing to deal with the pubic insurance system as providers will be required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, so that patients can make an informed choice regarding their health care. Again; I'm not sure why this is a bad thing, except as a device to make another dig at government -- you know how incredibly incompetent they are. I mean, look at the banking system; look at how those banks had to bail out the -- no, wait; bad example.
See, the reason this is misleading (I'm being nice; it could be called an outright lie) is because the federal government is only planning to provide insurance, not deliver health care. Essentially, they will only pay the bills. It's also misleading, because the entire federal government is subject to sunshine laws already, except for those issues dealing with national security. Therefore, the government is already obligated to show everyone how it pays its bills and to whom; this bill would reveal any potential conflicts of interests health care delivery people may have. Again; why is this a bad thing?
• Sec. 1501 (beginning), Pg. 659-670 - Doctors in Residency – government will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.
This isn't even a misstatement; it's an outright lie.
The section is entitled:
TITLE V—MEDICARE GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION
SEC. 1501. DISTRIBUTION OF UNUSED RESIDENCY POSITIONS.
The section deals with the number of POSITIONS available in hospitals. Hospitals are limited with regard to how many residents they may take in, if they choose to participate in the Medicare program. There's an excellent reason for this; it increases the chances that you'll actually see a doctor when you're treated at the hospital. Left to their own designs, many hospitals would load up the residents and squeeze doctors out. This prevents that.
But there is NOTHING in that section that dictates where a resident will have to live, or even addresses that. It simply addresses resident allocations to where they're needed. That's all.
• Sec. 1503 (beginning), Pg. 675-685 - Government will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, including teaching hospitals.
This is another falsehood. In fact, if you look closely at the section, you'll note that it merely extends current Medicare regulations to the public insurance system. So, I guess the relevant question is, if the government's not regulating hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs now, with Medicare covering 40 million seniors, then where's the problem?
• Sec. 1601 (beginning), Pg. 685-699 - Increased funding to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. (Like the government with an $18 million website?)
This is just another excuse to whine about government spending. Makes you wonder where they were the last eight years when, while they were claiming a booming economy, they added more than $5 trillion to the national debt. By the way, the link to the bill they use points to the government web site. Just saying...
I sure don't see a problem with this. Waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare is down quite a bit from its heyday, so the efforts must be working. And since they seem to be so concerned about government waste, it would seem prudent, if you're going to be adding more people to the government's insurance system, to add a little money to protect it from waste, fraud and abuse.
• Sec. 1619, Pg. 700-703 - If your part of HC plan isn’t in the government’s HC Exchange but you qualify for federal aid, you don’t have to pay.
Um… if you qualify for federal aid, presumably you don't have any money., and you're on Medicaid anyway. Of course, even if you don't have any money, if you get sick or injured, you're still entitled to a certain level of health care, and we all know you're never going to pay it. The new system that would be created by the bill, however, pays the bills, and doesn't pass them on to everyone else, as the current system does.
Of course, as usual, that's not what the section in question addresses, anyway. Here is the heart of the section:
‘‘(4)(A) For purposes of this Act, subject to subparagraph (C), the effect of exclusion is that no payment may be made by any Federal health care program (as defined in section 1128B(f)) with respect to any item or service furnished—
‘‘(i) by an excluded individual or entity; or
‘‘(ii) at the medical direction or on the prescription of a physician or other authorized individual when the person submitting a claim for such item or service knew or had reason to know of the exclusion of such individual.
It's not talking about YOU. It's talking about health care providers who have been excluded from the system for whatever reason. You can't, for example, go to a witch doctor or a psychic for healing, and expect the government to pick up the tab. You can't go to an unlicensed physician, or your nephew who's in pre-med for treatment, and then submit the bill to the public insurance system for payment.
• Sec. 1128G, Pg. 704-708 - If the Secretary determines there is a “significant risk of fraudulent activity,” on HC provider or supplier, the government can do a background check.
• Sec. 1632, Pg. 710, Lines 8-14 - The Secretary has broad powers to deny HC providers and suppliers admittance into HC Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.
This one is pretty remarkable, in that it's supposedly a complaint. Why is this a bad thing? If you ask me, every government contractor should be subject to such scrutiny. Here's part of the actual section:
‘‘SEC. 1128G. ENHANCED PROGRAM AND PROVIDER PROTECTIONS IN THE MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND
'‘(a) CERTAIN AUTHORIZED SCREENING, ENHANCED OVERSIGHT PERIODS, AND ENROLLMENT MORATORIA.—
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—For periods beginning after January 1, 2011, in the case that the Secretary determines there is a significant risk of fraudulent activity (as determined by the Secretary based on relevant complaints, reports, referrals by law enforcement or other sources, data analysis, trending information, or claims submissions by providers of services and suppliers) with respect to a category of provider of services or supplier of items or services, including a category within a geographic area, under title XVIII, XIX, or XXI, the Secretary may impose any of the following requirements with respect to a provider of services or a supplier (whether such provider or supplier is initially enrolling in the program or is renewing such enrollment):
‘‘(3) AUTHORITY TO DENY PARTICIPATION.—If the Secretary determines that there has been at least one such affiliation and that such affiliation or affiliations, as applicable, of such provider or supplier poses a serious risk of fraud, waste, or abuse, the Secretary may deny the application of such provider or supplier.’’
Contrary to the indication by the "religious" Liberty Counsel, the Secretary can't unilaterally do anything. It needs evidence. And since it's the government, it can't deny anyone anything without due process. And the public insurance plan can't "throw (anyone) out of business." All if can do is to exempt them from the plan. If you want to go to a crooked doctor, you have every right to go to a crooked doctor. But you don't have the right to expect everyone else in your insurance plan to pay for your session with the crooked doctor.
• Sec. 1637, Pg. 718-719 - ANY Doctor who orders durable medical equipment or home medical services is REQUIRED to be enrolled in, or eligible for, Medicare.
Um, no. Wrong again.
Any doctor who orders such items and expects Medicare or the public insurance system to pay for it, must be enrolled in or eligible for Medicare.
I think you'll agree, there's a distinction to be made there...
• Sec. 1639, Pg. 721 - Government MANDATES that Doctors must have face-to-face with patient to certify patient for home health services.
• Sec. 1639, Pg. 723-24, Lines 23-25, 1-5 - The same government certifications will apply to Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s health plan: Your kids).
• Sec. 1640, Pg. 723, Lines 16-22 - The government reserves right to apply face-to-face certification for patient to ANY other HC service.
I know right wing senators have, in the past, demonstrated a remarkable ability to diagnose via video, but if we're going to be using taxpayer dollars to pay for home health care, shouldn't we make sure there's no fraud involved? I mean, how much will the bozos at the Liberty Counsel whine and cry, if they found out Medicare money was going to doctors who were secured via webcam, from a web site? What if they found out that a company was getting public insurance money for, say, providing "home health services" to an able-bodied person, where they essentially just sat around and watched football all day?
What is their problem with oversight? The way these guys whine about the government, one has to wonder why they seem to have such a problem with the government protecting their investment.
Okay… that's it for part II. As you can see from the link at the top of this page, there is a lot more to this, and I will address the rest of this. But like you, I have a job, so the rest will be up in a few days. In the meantime, tell your friends… there's more right wing BS to chew on...