Benjamin Franklin’s adage, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”
The sections described below are taken from HR 3590 as agreed to by the Senate and from the reconciliation bill as displayed by the Rules Committee.
1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up
a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do
that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750
annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)
2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that
reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that
cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day,
drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s
because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on
the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).
3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with
lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no
longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers
prefer. (Section 2711).
4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover
preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health
insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover
preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s
what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that
doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy
until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services,
emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care,
mental health and substance use disorder services, including
behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and
habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and
wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric
services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover
pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough,
your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough,
your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own
violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums?
Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that
provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full
actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything
lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))
8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d
like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for
individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).
9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees)
and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then
you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000
under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend
that money? Tough. (Section 1513).
10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending
arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from
their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).
11. If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking
over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services
is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that
measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of
care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by
other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational
purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene
in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))
12. If you are a physician and you want to own your own hospital, you
must be an owner and have a “Medicare provider agreement” by Feb. 1,
2010. (Dec. 31, 2010 in the reconciliation changes.) If you didn’t
have those by then, you are out of luck. (Section 6001 (i) (1) (A))
13. If you are a physician owner and you want to expand your
hospital? Well, you can’t (Section 6001 (i) (1) (B). Unless, it is
located in a country where, over the last five years, population
growth has been 150% of what it has been in the state (Section 6601
(i) (3) ( E)). And then you cannot increase your capacity by more than
200% (Section 6001 (i) (3) (C)).
14. You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet
costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the
Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review
and can be denied. (Section 1003)
15. The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from
the pharmaceutical industry. If you are a pharmaceutical company what
you will pay depends on the ratio of the number of brand-name drugs
you sell to the total number of brand-name drugs sold in the U.S. So,
if you sell 10% of the brand-name drugs in the U.S., what you pay will
be 10% multiplied by $2.3 billion, or $230,000,000. (Under
reconciliation, it starts at $2.55 billion, jumps to $3 billion in
2012, then to $3.5 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018, before
settling at $2.8 billion in 2019 (Section 1404)). Think you, as a
pharmaceutical executive, know how to better use that money, say for
research and development? Tough. (Section 9008 (b)).
16. The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from
medical device makers. If you are a medical device maker what you will
pay depends on your share of medical device sales in the U.S. So, if
you sell 10% of the medical devices in the U.S., what you pay will be
10% multiplied by $2 billion, or $200,000,000. Think you, as a medical
device maker, know how to better use that money, say for R&D?
Tough. (Section 9009 (b)).
The reconciliation package turns that into a 2.9% excise tax for
medical device makers. Think you, as a medical device maker, know how
to better use that money, say for research and development? Tough.
17. The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from
insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends
on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs.
So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of
the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the
reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3
billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018
(Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to
better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)
18. If an insurance company board or its stockholders think the CEO
is worth more than $500,000 in deferred compensation? Tough.(Section
19. You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar
you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you
file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the
money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will
also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you
know how to spend the money you earned better than the government?
Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).
20. If you go for cosmetic surgery, you will pay an additional 5% tax
on the cost of the procedure. Think you know how to spend that money
you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9017).
So those of you that supported this health care reform, I hope you are happy with some of the freedoms and health care options you are giving up and what you will be forced to pay in order to have the government making decisions for you and your family about your life,body and overall health. So much for the pro-choice 'my body, my choice' mantra.
In addition,who will you turn to when the government committees deny your claims or say they can't cover certain tests?? According to reports, Medicare and Medicaid are government insurance programs that deny the most claims and pay doctors the least, because of this many doctors are already not accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients. Once more people are covered under this new government mandated health insurance program and insurance companies are forced to take high risk patients and those with pre-existing conditions; expect your rates to go up.
Like in Europe and other countries with government regulated health insurance, it will eventually lead to less options for consumers because insurance companies will go out of business because people won't be able to afford the increased premiums to cover more patients and those with higher health risks, then the government option will be your only option. You will not have free choice to choose from various insurance companies,and what doctors or coverage you need. Instead, you will have the options mentioned above, among other restrictions and limitations. Rather than reducing health care expenses, you will have less medical options, may have to take less tests and/or have less doctors and services to help care for you. Why would you want to accept mediocre care when your life and your families life depends on it?? Now our only hope is that this entitlement program can be repealed or amended on a true bipartisan level and offers true reform and reduced costs by including such things as tort reform and interstate insurance options. While there were some amendments added to the bill and some items both parties agreed on the votes were not partisan. Some items highlighted by Huffington Post neglect to include the ramifications of these 'effects' of the health care bill; many of which won't take effect until 2014;while subsidies will become unsustainable long before then or soon after. This bill was less about reducing medical costs, but is more about controlling health care and 1/6 of our economy;increasing taxes on an already highly unemployed system with falling tax revenues.
- Immediate effects of health reform bill
- The President Remarks on Passage of Health-Care Bill
- Health Care Bill: What Does it Mean For You?
- President Obama's remarks on health care overhaul
- Pharma Cheers Health Reform Legislation
- Federal Insurance Rate Regulation Dropped From Bill To Meet Reconciliation Rules
- 8 Ways Health Reform Will Affect You
- In Health Reform, Boons for Hospitals and Drug Makers