Thereâ€™s a video on You Tube thatâ€™s making the rounds with such comments as â€œthis will knock your socks off.â€ Iâ€™ve received it twice and, indeed, having looked it over, my socks are still among the missing. The video concerns the healthcare reform act that was passed last year and it explains exactly why so many people derisively call it â€œObamacare.â€
The reason, of course, is that the people that have become so influenced apparently believe whatever they hear without questioning or challenging the information.
The video in question is of particular interest because it is a classic treatise that contains, in one place, most of the lies and distortions that have been promulgated by those that want to retain the status quo. And, of course, that status quo is the situation in which we now find ourselves, where we are paying twice as much as any other nation, per capita, for a healthcare system that is, essentially, second rate.
If you would like to view the video, hereâ€™s the link.
If you want to read what the person on the video says together with my comments which essentially point out the truth of what is in the healthcare reform act, then read on.
Further, should you wish to refer to the healthcare reform act itself, to be sure that what Iâ€™m saying is the truth, you can bring it up by Googling HR3200. Just make sure you pick out the official version published by the government.
The act is a large document of over 1,000 pages. However, the only provisions covered here are those that were mentioned in the video. In the following paragraphs Iâ€™ve responded to roughly the first half of those comments. If it seems to be worth while Iâ€™ll complete the second half later.
I assure you, however, that what follows is a real eye opener. There is evidently no limit to the mistruths. The basic thrust of the video is obviously to strike fear in the minds of various categories of people.
For example, If youâ€™re concerned about â€œhealthcare rationing,â€ or that there will be a â€œlimitâ€ on your coverage, check out the page 29 and page 85 comments, the first of which happens to be the second one below.
If you believe thereâ€™s a â€œdeath panelâ€ involved, check out the page 30 comment.
If you are a senior citizen and believe that the reform act is a threat to you, you might want to check out the comment related to page 85.
If you believe that illegal aliens will benefit from the act, check out the comments regarding pages 50, 91 and 170.
If youâ€™re a small businessman and youâ€™re afraid this will cost you dearly, check out the page 150 comment.
And, if you think that community groups such as ACORN will benefit from the act, check out the comments regarding pages 65 and 95.
It is important to keep in mind that these issues relate only to establishing insurance coverage for those who are not otherwise insured.Â This is the group that is currently imposing their healthcare costs on others, especially any major medical expenses they may incur.Â Many have no choice.Â They may be unable to get reasonably-priced policies due to pre-existing conditions.
So, to begin, let me just say that the comments of the author of the video are in italics.Â My responses are in bold type.
Page 22...The government will audit books of all employers who self insure.Â
This is entirely misleading. There is no mention of an â€œaudit.â€ This section calls for a study, the main purpose of which is to ensure that employers do not engage in the practice of adverse selection and the results of the study are simply reported to Congress within 18 months. This provision is solely for the protection of the taxpayers and those insured by their employers.
Page 29, lines 4-16...HEALTHCARE RATIONING You can only receive so much care per year, $5,000 per single, $10,000 per family.
A flat-out lie. If you go back in the same section to page 27, lines 10-12, you will find that it states clearly that the act â€œdoes not impose any annual or lifetime limit on the coverage of covered health care items and services.â€ The limits being claimed by the author are actually the maximum amounts that an insured can be out of pocket, and they are quite reasonable.
(If you are not yet aware, at this point, that the author is trying to make you a victim of gross distortions and lies, read on.)
Page 30, Section 123...There will be a government committee that will decide what treatments and benefits you receive.
This is a blatant distortion to invoke the specter of the familiar â€œdeath panelâ€ scare. The provision referred to sets up a committee, 60% of which will be composed of non-federal employees, which will recommend to the Secretary of Health and Human Services how much coverage specific procedures will provide (e.g. 85% of total cost in some cases, 95% in others). This is a basic necessity for any insurance plan. And, again, these provisions relate only to those who are otherwise uninsured.
Page 42...The Health Choice Commissioner will choose your healthcare benefits for you.
Actually, the commissioner will determine the â€œqualified health benefits plan standards under this title, including the enforcement of such standards in coordination with State insurance regulators and the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury.â€ This is customary for any insurance program and is for the protection of the taxpayers.
Page 50...You have no choice.
First of all, the provision that appears on this page simply says that the Health Exchange for the uninsured will not conflict with the Public Health Service Act nor with any state laws. There is no mention of â€œchoiceâ€ or lack thereof. Secondly, the use of the word â€œyouâ€ throughout this entire, fear-mongering exercise is inaccurate unless â€œyouâ€ are uninsured.
Page 50, Section 152...Healthcare will be provided to all non-U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise.
The truth is that Section 152 contains nothing more than the basic non-discriminatory language found in any similar program. There is absolutely no statement in this section that coverage will be provided to â€œnon-U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise.â€ In fact, Section 246, later in the act, specifically states: â€œNo Federal payment for undocumented aliens.â€
Page 58...Government will have real time access to individualsâ€™ finances and a national ID card will be issued.
By real time, the act means timely, and the only purpose here is to utilize electronic communications as much as possible to speed up the process with respect to claims, payouts and to determine the eligibility of the insured â€œfor a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card.â€ This is simply the basic type of provision youâ€™d find in any insurance program. There is absolutely no access to â€œindividualsâ€™ finances.â€ As far as the card goes, if you are currently covered, you have one now, right? Everybody does.
Page 59, lines 21-24...Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer.
Another classic case of deception. What the provision actually says is that if you want your money quickly, direct deposit will be available.
Page 65, Section 164...This is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions and community organizations such as ACORN.
Well, in telling this lie, the author at least got to take a whack at what must be two of his favorite targets. Anyway, what this provision really does is allow some reimbursements for employers who provide healthcare for their retirees and their dependents. There is no mention of unions nor of ACORN nor even of community organizations.
Page 72, lines 8-14...The government is creating a healthcare exchange to bring private healthcare plans under government control.
The Healthcare Insurance Exchange is simply the vehicle under which the otherwise uninsured people will become insured. Private healthcare plans may become qualified to step in and provide coverage if they wish to do so, but how likely is that, since their new customers would largely involve people who they themselves have refused to insure because of pre-existing conditions.
Page 84, Section 203...Government mandates all benefit packages for private healthcare plans in the exchange.
Funny, that scary word â€œmandatesâ€ never appears in the act. As with any insurance company, what this section does is require the commissioner to specify the benefits and costs available under the plans each year for the uninsured and, as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, private plans may apply to become involved if they wish to do so.
Page 85, Line 7...AARP members, your healthcare will be rationed.
This is an irresponsible attempt to implant fear in the hearts and minds of senior citizens over something that doesnâ€™t even apply to them. If you are insured by AARP - (never mind that youâ€™re probably also on Medicare which is unrelated to this act) - you are obviously not uninsured, which means this does not apply to you in more ways than one. Also, there is nothing about rationing on this page or anywhere else. The provision cited simply says that the commissioner will specify the benefit levels for the plans.
Page 91, lines 4-7...Government mandates linguistic appropriate services, translation for illegal aliens.
This is the second time around on this lie. So, once again, Section 246 of the act specifically states: â€œNo Federal payment for undocumented aliens.â€
Page 95, lines 8-18...The government will use groups like ACORN and AmeriCorps to sign up individually for government healthcare plan.
Another total distortion that feeds into what the public has been wrongly told about these organizations. The truth is that this paragraph requires the commissioner to conduct an outreach program to inform and educate individuals and employers about the program for the uninsured, and nothing more.
Page 102, lines 12-18...Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid - no choice.
The basic purpose here is to get the uninsured people insured. The paragraph in question says that if an uninsured does not opt for insurance under this government program but is eligible for Medicaid, then that individual will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid. Whatâ€™s the problem with that?
Page 124, lines 24-25...No company can sue the government on â€œprice fixing.â€ No judicial review against government monopoly.
These lines do not mention the right of â€œcompaniesâ€ to sue, nor the term â€œprice fixingâ€ (despite the authorâ€™s quotation marks), nor the term â€œgovernment monopoly.â€ The reference cited contains the followingÂ common, boiler-plateÂ language: â€œThere shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology established under this sectionâ€¦â€ And, once again this only applies to individuals who are uninsured.
Page 126, lines 22-25...Employers must pay for healthcare for part-time employees and their families.
There is no mention of healthcare for part-time employees anywhere near the referenced page, but I certainly hope that part-timers are treated somewhat the same as full-timers. Otherwise, how long do you think it would be before the corporations classify most of their employees as part time?
Page 127, lines 1-16...To doctors and the AMA - the government will tell you how much you can make.
Taxpayers should be happy that, as with Medicare, there will be a limit on what the doctors can charge for specific services under this program for the uninsured.
Page 145, lines 15-17...All employers must auto enroll employees into government plan. You have no choice.
No choice? Really? A related provision on page 148, lines 3-7 says: â€œIn no case may an employer automatically enroll an employeeâ€¦if such employee makes an affirmative election to opt out of such plan or to elect coverage under an employment-based health benefits plan offered by such employer.â€
Page 149, lines 16-24...Any employer with a payroll of $400,000 and above who does not provide government option will pay an 8% tax on all payroll.
This is another taxpayer-friendly provision which will allow an employer to elect whether to provide healthcare benefits to its employees or pass the responsibility off to the government. If it opts to have the government insure its employees it will be required to pay 8% of its payroll for doing so - a fair tradeoff.
Page 150, lines 9-13...Any employer with a payroll between $251,000 and $400,000 who does not provide government option will pay a 2% to 6% tax on all payroll.
The cited provision provides the same option to small businesses that the large corporations have (as described in the preceding paragraph) but requires lower payments or none at all. For businesses with a payroll under $250,000 there will be no payment to the government, and from $250,000 to $400,000 the payments will scale up from 2% to 6% of payroll.
Page 167...Any individual who does not have acceptable healthcare, according to the government, will be taxed 2.5%.
Again, the main purpose of the act is to get as many people insured as possible. Many believe that the above tax is not high enough to accomplish that objective. Not mentioned by the author is the fact thatÂ there is a provision that the tax cannot exceed the normal cost for such insurance.
Page 170, lines 1-3...Any non-resident alien is exempt from individual taxes. You and I will pay for them.
Anybody notice that suddenly the author seems to want people covered? Regardless, what this provision states is that foreigners visiting the country, or here temporarily, will not be eligible for the government program, which is nothing more than sensible, boiler-plate language.