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“Health Care Reforms” and “HR 3200 ObamaCare”

“Health Care Reforms” and “HR 3200 ObamaCare”

George Miller

V1.3 9-4-09

Introduction

The Democrat proposed HR 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (!), bill is a frightening, highly partisan vision of Fascist totalitarian control of a large portion of the economy- and our lives and liberty. It is over a thousand pages of intrusion into your most personal decisions and affairs. It puts government firmly in control of much of your health care, privacy, life decisions and even your monetary discretion, in return for what is largely an illusory security “entitlement.”

Most people would agree that the U.S. health care system needs improvements—some are suggested in this document. However, just because our current system needs improvement doesn’t mean that HR 3200, as written, is anywhere close to the right answer. It cannot be amended to be acceptable, but must instead be started over from scratch, because the overall framework is so arrogant, so presumptuous, so statist, that it is nearly totally unacceptable.

It would take far too much time to analyze the bill point by point here, so we will first highlight a preferable, simpler summary of well thought out reforms to the current system, and then will hit upon some of the more objectionable portions of the proposed bill, but by no means all of them. Some say that no alternatives have been advanced, but that is simply not true—they just haven’t been given proper hearings.

Suggestions

Some recommended reforms are:

- True multi-state insurance company competition

- Better prior condition coverage

- Better job move coverage

- Insurance risk pools for small business, independents

- Simplified drug development procedures

- Published price lists

- True drug price competition

- Malpractice/tort reform

- Health insurance/provider “report card” evaluations/publication

- More health care along the Kaiser-Permanente and/or Mayo Clinic model

- Far more emphasis on patient health maintenance and preventive measures, such as lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, etc. (this may be the biggest health/cost driver)

- Effective omission of illegal immigrants. Let them buy insurance or go home. Are you aware that people here on work visas must prove employment and health care coverage?

- Consistent tax treatment

- Put real “teeth” in fraud definition, detection and enforcement

- Develop insurance and care guidelines, levels of standards, including legal minimums

- Ensure that there is an incentive for individuals to control health care costs

- Strongly emphasize private sector solutions, with public welfare coverage only as a last resort for indigents.

A few highlights of objections to proposed HR 3200, as approved in July by the House Committee:

(Note: Some of the so-called “fact-checking” sites we have seen attempting to “debunk” objections are mostly just plain wrong.)

- High, unwanted degree of government control over life decisions, options, financing, payment

- Usurpation of individual and states’ rights, a clear violation of the 10th Amendment. Health care is constitutionally not one of the responsibilities of the federal government, nor do citizens have any “right” to health care provided and paid via federal edict, with federal funds confiscated from citizens, via taxation or any other means. Even Social Security was only designed originally to be an insurance plan, hatched during a time of severe economic crisis, but grew, uncontrolled, into a huge Ponzi-style entitlement program that went bankrupt in 2008 (partially due to Congressional looting) and is now increasingly funded by general tax revenue and borrowing.

- There is no inherent “right” to government-provided health care. It is the responsibility of citizens and their families to provide for themselves. A certain amount of minimal life support services should be provided by lower levels of government/charity, for those who are physically or mentally unable to provide for themselves and also lack family support to do so. In any case, there is absolutely no right for anyone to be provided with top-tier healthcare, any more than they are entitled to the most expensive mansions, gourmet food or private jets.

- Direct access to citizens’ bank accounts by the government, to take what and when it sees fit. Outrageous.

- Government “panels” to decide upon, recommend and inevitably exert pressure advocating certain courses of care that may be opposed to family and best interests of patients.

- Medicare and Medicaid are already bankrupt. The “insurance” envisioned to be provided by “the government” would require large additional taxation and/or borrowing, which would place an undue burden on citizens targeted by the taxation system. Politician advocates have disingenuously presented it as an entitlement to be provided by a 3% minority of citizens, labeled, “THE RICH,” but will inevitably need to be broadened to a much larger population, after approved and entrenched, of course. Consider how Medicare and Social Security taxes have grown and grown and grown, in income limits and percentages confiscated to feed these ever more broadening, hungry entitlements. Medicare primarily covers the aged. ObamaCare would be, in effect, Medicare for everyone, so expenses would rapidly mushroom. Although private insurance options are kept, new government “standards” would invalidate many plans, while employer mandates and other restrictive rules would cause more and more people to end up on “the Public Option.”

- Privacy would likely be one of the first victims of the bill. A huge government database could likely not be secured, especially with all of the bill terms making this information available to different parties. One clause hinted that implanted RFID chips might be utilized—too close to the “Mark of the Beast” for me to ever submit to.

- This bill seems designed to force everyone (except government officials) into the same sort of plan. It would likely result in a “least common denominator” approach, with more rationing and more coercion. People should have a right to buy their own better coverage, if they so desire and can afford it.

- ObamaCare is an extremely overreaching, Socialist, statist approach. It is especially unworkable now, as it this extremely expensive boondoggle is being proposed during what might turn out to be the worst financial crisis in the nation’s history, just when we most lack the ability to pay for it all. It guarantees far larger spending, taxes and/or deficits, at the worst possible time.

Other Discussion

- Insurance: Because of the often random and arbitrary nature of genetics, illnesses and injuries, insurance is a necessity for all but those wealthy enough to self-insure. Co-ops and government are just other forms of insurance. The drawback of government is that it typically is not profit and efficiency-oriented and lacks the discipline of the marketplace. In addition, it is subject to highly political influence and is usually too powerful to dispute and often lacks accountability. Even though private insurance businesses and providers usually have some profit built in, they can usually exceed the performance of a “public” (government) approach. Witness the Post Office, AMTRAK, Medicare, VA Hospitals and of course, Medicare and Medicaid.

- States’ Rights: The problem of a patchwork of wildly varying state regulations causing confusion and “holes” in the system is recognized. A good way to deal with that would be to make plan templates available that could be shared, but are not mandatory. States could accept the ones they wanted and people could select plans from these templates that insurance companies might offer, or other plans more to their liking and needs, knowing that the templates had already been vetted.

- Financial Responsibility: The problem of how to handle people who are not financially responsible, do not provide for themselves, then get sick or injured and want public assistance, or free services, is a tough one. Libertarian philosophy says that they are on their own, but liberal philosophy says we’re all responsible. The problem is analogous to someone who buys a powerful motorcycle without having the proper skills, a helmet and/or insurance, then proceeds to cause harm to himself and/or fellow man, leaving others with misery and financial expense. Government has responded by overriding his right to be a fool and forcing him to take a test, get a license, helmet and insurance. Even though some say they he should be free to do what he wants, he clearly can infringe upon others rights and well-being, unchecked.

.* These are my own opinions, based upon my available information. Some of this was discussed with multiple Tea Party members, but does not constitute an official position of the organization, nor is there any guarantee that everything herein is correct.

References:

HR 3200—“America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”

“Five Major Faults in the Health Care Bills,” Nina Owcharenko, The Heritage Foundation, 8-28-09

“Why ObamaCare Doesn’t Sell, By Jeremy Siegel, Yahoo Finance, 8-3-09

“Beware Big Brother Healthcare,” C. Bonney, Ventura County Star, 7-26-09

“This is in the Health Care Bill… Read It and Weep, America,” Jetbrane, IronLink.com, 8/10/09

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