If you have a serious case of insomnia, have far too much time on your hands — or have a vested interest in not seeing government take over your health care — then you will want to spend quality time reading the legislation which will change your life, irrevocably and disastrously, forever: HR 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”. Various summaries and commentaries are floating about the web, and while helpful, they are tainted by too much histrionic commentary, often SHOUTED TO MAKE A POINT! which may or may not be be a valid inference from the legislation.
Here’s the HTML version with links.
So now you can go straight to the source, and judge for yourselves. Even though your elected representatives will try to pass this without reading it, that doesn’t mean you can’t do the responsible thing and get informed.
Here’s a good summary of HR 3200’s key aspects, from AAPS:
New bureaucracies: These include State Health Help Agencies (HHAs), with a federal fallback plan should states refuse to create them; an advisory committee to report annually on modifications of benefits, etc.; some mechanism to â€œadjustâ€ the Medicare Part B premium based on whether or not each individual â€œparticipates in certain healthy behaviorsâ€; other agencies to calculate payments, monitor individual behavior, set standards as for chronic disease management, check compliance with standards, monitor loss ratios and outcomes of chronic-care management, etc.
Individual mandate. All adults must buy a government-approved Healthy Americans Private Insurance Plan (HAPI) [love the abbreviation!] and constantly report on compliance, at every interaction with federal, state, and local government, including at voter registration, motor vehicle departments, or other checkpoints, as well as when filing tax forms. This applies to all legal residents, including non-citizens, although not to illegal aliens.
Penalties. The penalty includes the average monthly premium, plus 15%, for all â€œuncoveredâ€ months. Penalties are not subject to discharge by bankruptcy. This means that the HHA, which receives the penalties, takes precedence over other creditors.
Insurance mandates. Guaranteed issue, community rating, coverage of â€œwellnessâ€ without copayments, annual physicals, a required â€œhealth homeâ€ (gatekeeper), mental health parity, and reconstructive surgery post mastectomy are all mandatory. Each HAPI plan â€œshallâ€ make available supplemental coverage for abortion, unless affiliated with a religious institution.
Progressive taxation equivalent. Premium subsidies are phased out incrementally up to 400% of poverty. This means that working harder and earning more is punished by higher mandated health insurance â€œpremiumsâ€ (which are the functional equivalent of taxes). People will constantly be reporting on their income status.
School-based clinics. Care must be provided at no cost, or on a reimbursable basis, by school-based clinics, which must provide, â€œat a minimum,â€ mental health services, and use electronic medical records by 2012.
Job killer. Every employer â€œshall pay an employer shared responsibility payment,â€ which increases for each additional employee in excess of 50. Employers must deduct the individual shared responsibility payment from wages â€œas and when paid.â€ This amount is not allowed as a deduction from the employer \'s taxable income.
Savings. To offset the costs, Medicare and 90% of Medicaid disproportionate share (DSH) payments are to be â€œrecaptured.â€ Tax exclusions for health benefits will be limited (sections 661-666). According to section 801, â€œprivate insurance companies will be forced to hold down costs and will slow the rate of growth because they are required to offer standardized Healthy Americans Private Insurance plans.â€
These cool cats in Congress are, of course, only interested in your welfare, and always have the interest of their constituents first and foremost in their minds:
So give them a piece of your mind, here.
The hour is late, and the corrupt political class wants to radically transform the health care system — not for your benefit, but for theirs.
Get to work before its too late.