Obamacare: Cure or Curse?

Member Group : Guest Articles

With recent news that the "Blue Dog Democrats" – Congressional Democrats reputed to be fiscally conservative or ‘moderate’ – have reached an agreement with liberal Democrat leader Henry Waxman (D-CA) on a ‘compromise’ version of national health care reform (referred to here as "Obamacare"), it would appear that the federal government is on target to take over America’s vast and advanced medical industry.

Advocates have praised the movement towards nationalizing how medicine and medical services are delivered to the American people, particularly the 50 million plus-or-minus uninsured who have been the focus of Obama’s great angst. Critics have been raising a host of concerns that Obamacare is the first step towards a federally funded, single payer program that would eliminate individual choice of doctors and treatment.

While some may say that both sides on the issue may have valid arguments and are using hyperbole to discredit each other, if one begins to review the House that is under consideration (HB 3200), the case against Obamacare grows stronger and stronger.

In the past week a document by Peter Fleckstein has been circulating through the Internet that essentially outlines some of the most outrageous and disturbing elements of Obamacare, many of which directly contradict the claims Obama has been making in his efforts to promote this overhaul.

All of which raises some serious questions that Pennsylvania’s confirmed liberal Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, as well as Congressmen like Tim Holden who claim to be Blue Dogs, should be forced to account for:

a.. Should the federal government decide for every individual what medical
treatments we should receive? (Section 123 establishes a Health Benefits Advisory Committee to determine who gets what treatment)

b.. Should the federal government have the access to every individual’s privatemedical history? (Section 142 outlines the ‘collection of data’ as one of the duties of the ‘Health Commissioner’)

c.. Should illegal immigrants and non-citizens be provided health care coverage? (Section 152 provides blanket coverage to everyone without regard to US citizenship)

d.. Should the federal government have real-time access to every individual’s
private financial records? (Section 1173A outlines the use of real-time access
information to determine medical coverage concurrent with implementation of a
national health ID card)

e.. Should the private health insurance plans be forced into the national program regardless of the desires of the individual participants? (Section 202 outlines the creation of a ‘Health Insurance Exchange)

f.. Should the federal government have the authority to ration healthcare for the American people? (Section 203 outlines the authority granted to the Commissioner to establish a ‘permissible range of cost-sharing’)

g.. Should the states be forced to restrict the coverage mandates approved by
their own representative bodies? (Section 203 requires states to reimburse the
federal government for any state requirements that exceed federal minimums)

h.. Should the federal government have the authority to mandate cultural and
linguistic services (Section 204.b.7 states: "The entity shall provide for
culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services";
Section 1122 reinforces these type of services)

i.. Should the federal government have the power to tax private individuals who choose not to participate in a health plan not approved by the federal government? (Section 207 outlines how individuals and employers will be taxed for notproviding "acceptable coverage"; reiterated in Section 322 and Section 401)

j.. Should the federal government have the authority to interfere with the
compensation relationship between the private individual and their respective
physician? (Section 224 notes that "payment mechanisms and policies under this
section may include patient-centered medical home and other care management
payments, accountable care organizations, value-based purchasing, bundling of
services, differential payment rates, performance or utilization based payments,partial capitation, and direct contracting with providers")

k.. Who will pay for the treatment of illegal aliens? (Section 152 provides
blanket coverage to everyone without regard to US citizenship while Section 246
prohibits payments for those not legally present in the US)

l.. When is a tax not a tax? (Section 59B.e.6 states: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.")

m.. Should the federal government have the authority to control the productivity of medical service providers? (Section 1131 outlines those providers subject to federal quality oversight, including ambulatory and laboratory services)

n.. Should the federal government interfere with the physician/patient
relationship with regards to hospital readmissions? (Section 1151 outlines how
the national program will be applied to limit readmissions)

o.. Should the federal government interfere with the physician/patient
relationship with regards to post acute care services? (Section 1152 outlines how the national program will be applied to control post acute care services)

p.. Should the federal government control the expansion of hospital facilities? (Section 1156 outlines how the national program will impact the expansion of medical facilities)

q.. Should the federal government determine whether special needs individuals
should be eligible for health care services? (Section 1177 indicates that a cost analysis will be completed to determine the impact of costs as related to special needs individuals)

r.. Should the federal government manage individual healthcare without involvement of a local physician? (Section 1191 outlines implementation of a ‘telehealth'[health care by phone?] system)

s.. Why should the federal government provide end-of-life counseling to
participants in the national health plan? (Section 1233 outlines the use of
‘Advanced Care Planning Consultation’ including counseling for end-of-life
services and supports)

Where do Pennsylvania’s federal legislators stand on these questions? Do they
really think that the same government that spends $600 for a toilet seat and spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for Social Security bureaucrats to dance in Arizona can efficiently manage the American medical system?

Do Casey, Specter, Holden, Murphy and the other liberals who make up this
commonwealth’s Democrat delegation, actually embrace such meddling in our individual health plans and our individual physicians? Do they really think the federal government has been granted the authority by the Constitution to tell doctors what to do and what medical treatments a sick individual should receive? Are they such tyrants that they want to steal away so much of our God-given liberties?

Ironically, the Obamacare bill does not simply relate to the creation of a national health care program. Multiple references are made throughout that amended the Social Security Act, Medicare, the federal tax code, and many other areas. To say that the Obamacare bill is sweeping in its nature is an understatement.

And need mention be made of the fact that there is no way to tell how this program will be fully funded?

Presuming neither the House nor the Senate actually try to sneak a vote in before their August recess, it is imperative for the people of Pennsylvania to challenge their legislators and demand both an accounting for their support of Obamacare.

Opponents of Obamacare must make it clear in no uncertain terms that political
careers are on the line, and must remain vigilante and vocal in publicly fighting this assault on American liberty.