It’s time to read the health care bill and determine whether or not this bill is good for America, whether on a level of free choice or supporting a free market economy.
I went through the bill at http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf and I searched certain keywords to see what I could find. Let’s start with “penalties.”
EXPANSION OF PENALTY AUTHORITY.—The Secretary may, in addition to the penalties provided under
subsections (a) and (b), provide for the imposition of penalties for violations of this part that are comparable—
‘‘(1) in the case of health plans, to the sanctions the Secretary is authorized to impose under part C or D of title XVIII in the case of a plan that violates a provision of such part; or ‘‘(2) in the case of a health care provider, to the sanctions the Secretary is authorized to impose under part A, B, or D of title XVIII in the case of a health care provider that violations a provision of such part with respect to that provider.’’
The “Secretary” is the Health and Human Services Secretary and according to the above text, that person has multiple layers of penalty authority that does not seem to be concretely defined. Is the penalty authority arbitrary?
in the case of such an intentional misrepresentation or other egregious circumstances specified by the Commissioner, the Commissioner may impose an additional penalty.
I do not know who the Commissioner is, but this person has arbitrary penalty authority. If the Commissioner has this authority, we must assume the Health and Human Services Secretary does as well.
‘‘(A) CIVIL PENALTIES.—In the case of any employer who fails (during any period with respect to which an election under section 801(a) is in effect) to satisfy the health coverage participation requirements with respect to any employee, the Secretary may assess a civil penalty against the employer of $100 for each day in the period beginning on the date such failure first occurs and ending on the date such failure is corrected.
Does this mean that an employer can get out of providing health care for $3,000 per month? I have heard of two situations to date where companies are considering their health care options. I find it ironic that in a bill that “mandates” health care, it becomes so easy for businesses to shake a health care option altogether, and put people through the exchange (with the option of going to Medicaid), as long as they pay the government a kickback.
‘‘(5) FAILURE TO REPORT OR DISCLOSE INFORMATION.—
‘‘(A) REPORTING.—Any person who is required, but fails, to meet a reporting requirement of paragraphs (1) and (2)(A) of subsection (f) is subject to a civil money penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day for which reporting is required to have been made.
‘‘(I) AMOUNT.—The Secretary may impose a civil money penalty in the applicable per instance or per day amount (as defined in subclause (II) and (III)) for each day or instance, respectively, of noncompliance (as determined appropriate by the Secretary).
So individuals who “break” this law are subject to an open-ended fine? To make it better, the fine is imposed at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This may be of no impact to future tax cheats like Tim Geithner, but to the average American, it may be best to read the bill in full. If you do and don’t understand what the bill says, you may need a lawyer to interpret the bill for you. Welcome to the new America.
Now that we’ve covered some of the penalties, I would like to take the opportunity to move on briefly to illegal immigration. Liberals state that no illegal immigrant will be able to get health care as read by the following portion of the bill:
(B) DECLARATION OF CITIZENSHIP OR
LAWFUL IMMIGRATION STATUS.—No individual shall be an affordable credit eligible individual unless there has been a declaration made, in a form and manner specified by the Health Choices Commissioner similar to the manner required under section 1137(d)(1) of the Social Security Act and under penalty of perjury, that the individual—(i) is a citizen or national of the United States; or (ii) is not such a citizen or national but is lawfully present in a State in the United State.
Has this stopped illegal immigrants from breaking other federal laws? What part of “illegal” immigrant does the left fail to understand? If illegal immigrants can break federal laws to get on other social programs we offer, they will certainly break this law to join the public option and go on Medicaid.
Some people believe that the public option is dead. This is not the truth, as I found out when I searched for it.
(25) QUALIFIED HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN.—
The term ‘‘qualified health benefits plan’’ means a health benefits plan that— (A) meets the requirements for such a plan under title II and includes the public health insurance option
PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION.—
The term ‘‘public health insurance option’’ means the public health insurance option as provided under subtitle B of title III.
There is a public option in this bill and it’s called Medicaid. Medicaid is funded by our tax dollars and new tax increases will be used to fund the addition of 16 to 32 million people to Medicaid. By the way, for those who believe that we were going to pay for this one way or another, why were tax hikes required to fund this plan?
For those of you who believe that States’ rights will be maintained in the Obama Health law, get ready to see plenty of the below when you read the bill:
ACCESS TO STATE HEALTH BENEFITS RISK POOLS.—This section shall supersede any provision of the law of a State or political subdivision thereof to the extent that such provision has the effect of limiting or precluding access by a qualified beneficiary whose COBRA continuation coverage has been extended under this section to a State health benefits risk pool recognized by the Commissioner for purposes of this section solely by reason of the extension of such coverage beyond the date on which such
coverage otherwise would have expired.
Notice how later in the provision it does give guidelines for what type of laws are superseded, yet it gives the “Commissioner” arbitrary determination of what that is. So what state laws will be wiped clean from the state books, ask the Health and Human Services Secretary.
Next, for those of us who do not believe the government is taking steps to prevent certain diseases through preventive care, don’t worry:
BEHAVIORAL CHANGE COMPONENT.—A behavioral change component which encourages healthy living through counseling, seminars, on-line programs, self-help materials, or other programs which provide technical assistance and problem solving skills. Such component may include programs relating to—
(A) tobacco use;
(C) stress management;
(D) physical fitness;
(F) substance abuse;
(G) depression; and
(H) mental health promotion.
(4) SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT COMPONENT.—
A supportive environment component which includes
(A) ON-SITE POLICIES.—Policies and services at the worksite which promote a healthy lifestyle, including policies relating to—
(i) tobacco use at the worksitewith BILLS
(ii) the nutrition of food available at the worksite through cafeterias and vending options;
(iii) minimizing stress and promoting positive mental health in the workplace; and
7 (iv) the encouragement of physical activity before, during, and after work hours.
The government is now defining what preventative practices are and are not, and if you think this is irrelevant, try to get funding for preventative programs without following these guidelines. While I did not see this in the bill, you could potentially be punished for pursuing programs that the government does not define as preventative. You never know with 2,000 pages to sift through!
(1) RECOMMENDATIONS ON BENEFIT STANDARDS.—The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) benefit standards (as defined in paragraph (5)), and periodic updates to such standards. In developing such recommendations, the Committee shall take into account innovation in health care and consider how such standards could reduce health disparities.
What are benefit standards? We better find it because it is critical to the health care plans of millions of Americans who are or will be on Medicaid.
Finally, for those of you who think there is a spending cap on this bill, prepare to be amazed as the below provisions are all over this bill.
(g) FUNDING.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.
Obama liberals will provide us all with health insurance, no matter what the cost!
It took about 20 minutes to find all of this information.
I encourage people to read the bill and post any other provisions of note in the comments section.