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Health Care Reform Hot Button 1 Bureaucracy

Updated on August 9, 2009

It’s August in America, the weather is hot, humid, and uncomfortable. It’s also recess time for the US Congress and the debate over the proposed healthcare reforms are much like the weather. My objective in this series of articles is to highlight the debatable issues and provide some insight, for those in the Administration and Congress, on the view of an average independent voter. It may be wise to remind our elected officials, independent voters make up over 40% of the public that actually go to the polls (more than either party).; and we are watching these proposals carefully.

I recently attended a town hall meeting by my congressman Rep Jack Kingston (R) Ga. While it was well conducted, and did not break down in to shouting matches; the emotion on the part of many was high. Mr Kingston did an admirable job of speaking to their concerns and offering some alternatives of the GOP that were not addressed in HR 3200.

This week “The Snitch Issue” came to fore and added unproductively to the din; blame the White House for that. But in fairness there are many emails being forwarded around the internet that of course are by design, hitting all the “Hot Buttons” of the American distrust of governments everywhere. People are showing up to these town halls with copies of these messages in hand and use them for a script to interrogate their congressman/senator. Personally, I think that’s a good thing since they (our reps) get the big bucks to answer just these sort of questions.

I’ve dissected one of these argumentative emails into three elements I call the Hot Buttons, The Bureaucracy, The Heavy Hand, and The Politics; and my collective thoughts simplified, on each of the three. I’ve also included links for further study for both the GOP, The Democrats, how to contact them, and a news link as well that helps sort through the chaff.

Hot button number one is the Bureaucracy. There are seventeen areas of concern here. In fairness to HR 3200, if you are going to set up a public plan than you really have to do these things. The reality is your insurer has these very same committees determining how much of what they can or will cover and remain profitable. The deep down in the gut issue here is that we don’t want our government doing this, if the government is going to cover you than hey, cover it all pay for it all and when you need more money to do so print some. Bad answer you say? Well that’s the choice that has faced every single payer system world wide, and the result is when their citizens can afford to they seek treatment here for illnesses like cancer and transplant surgery. The “rationing” used are delays in treatment availability so you go on a waiting list for treatment you might get if you don’t die first.

Buttons and Switches

Pg 30 Section 123 of HC Bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get

Pg 29 Lines 4-16 of the HC Bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of the HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose YOUR HEALTHCARE Benefits for you. You have no choice!

Pg 84 Section 203 of the HC Bill - Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

Pg 85 Line 7 of the HC Bill - Specs of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your HC!

Pg 127 Lines 1-16 of the HC Bill - Doctors/AMA - The Government will tell YOU what you can make

Pg 145 Lines 15-17 of the HC Bill - An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 253 Lines 10-18 of the HC Bill - Government sets the value of Doctor's time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans

Pg 265 Section 1131 of the HC Bill - Government mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries

Pg 268 Section 1141 of the HC Bill - Federal Government regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

Pg 272 Section 1145 of the HC Bill - TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients, welcome to rationing

Pg 335 Lines 16-25 and Pgs 336-339 of the HC Bill - Governmtent mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 of the HC Bill - Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advanced Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people into the Government Plan

Pg 354 Section 1177 of the HC Bill - Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people!

Pg 379 Section 1191 of the HC Bill - Government creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say HC by phone?

Pg 489 Section 1308 of the HC Bill - The Government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government into your marriage

Pgs 494-498 of the HC Bill - Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services

HR 3200 Plan

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

Additionally, the last time the “great American Healthcare Debate” got to congress one of the things that shot it down was the visual aid of the Bureaucracy it would require to administer the program.

Well here is the latest one and this is the one Speaker Pelosi would not allow to be displayed in the debate over the bill. The history lesson she learned from the last time wasn’t make a system that is explainable and works, but don’t let the voters visualize what you are creating. Madame Speaker you should have known you would be called out on this. If you want to convince folks like me you need to do the following:

GOP and DEMs should jointly hire a Non Profit non partisan think tank to evaluate these proposals and explain them clearly with charts and graphs of how the program will work and what the costs are.

Have the same group explain what the costs/savings of doing nothing are.

Have that same group explain what the costs/savings are of making the changes incrementally.

In summary, I think a lot of us think that our methodology of delivering healthcare services is a good one; but the way we pay for it needs adjustment. Here are the fundamentals that we think you the lawmakers, should keep your eyes on:

  1. Universal Coverage for American Citizens and Authorized Residents via private sector.
  2. Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions on the part of insurers (including Medicare and Medicaid)
  3. Foster more ways for the Insurers to compete with each other through public exchanges.
  4. Take your time and do it right.
  5. KIS (Keep it Simple)

Finally, scrap HR 3200 as no amount of lipstick is gonna pretty up this pig.


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    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Downright scary aint it? Thanks for stopping by Nicomp!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I just threw up in my mouth a little. The same bureaucrats that couldn't get water bottles to Katrina victims will be in charge of our health.


    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      With ya on that Peggy W Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Your thoughts are good ones. A bill this large with so many elements built in is ridiculous to say the least. Why not start with some simple things like opening state lines for insurance companies to compete?

      I invited Pete on his hub to read and comment on this but either he overlooked it or chose not to answer. You'll be probably be more interested in this ABC news report about Canadian healthcare:

      I have also written a couple of hubs regarding "free" government care, etc. Hopefully we will get health care reform in America that makes sense both medically and economically.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Georgia, USA

      rs thanks for your kind words hope the big guys see it and start to answer some of these concerns...

    • rsmallory profile image

      Rebecca Sue Mallory 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Great article. I just wrote a similar one, but did not go into near as much details. Thanks for the info.


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