Fahrenheit 361

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the Health Care Reform Act is starting to unfold. The core of this legislation can be found in the 2,000 page legislation. I refer to these phrases in the law:
1. by the Secretary
2. as defined by the Secretary
3. determined by the Secretary

These phrases appear in the law a staggering 361 times. This means that our future health care in this country will be “determined by the Secretary”. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, an appointed position, will dictate what procedures and medications will be covered and at what level. Initially, the Secretary has chosen to enhance coverage in certain areas. I say “enhance” as a phrase to indicate that payment of the procedures will come from premiums rather than “insured” pay. Premiums come from business owners, employees and taxpayers. So the “enhanced” coverages, which will increase cost will be passed from the patient directly to the general population.

These enhancements include:
1. free well care including contraceptives and sterilizations
2. unlimited policy maximums
3. guaranteed issue policies without pre-existing conditions (effective fully in 2014, limited basis currently). To learn more about this refer to my previous blog:
4. guaranteed issue insurance without pre-existing conditions for children
5. children can stay on parent’s plans until age 26

These are all mandated coverages and the cost will be born by the general population. The debate comes in the fact that many people feel these are good and necessary mandates. Whether they are good or not, the issue for this article is that they all raise the cost of health care. Any time additional benefits are added to an insurance program, the rates rise. The cost has been passed to the general population. What is missing here is the “voice of the people”. These changes all become law by the decree of one person. Like a rich patriarch, the Secretary passes out health care and chooses who will pay indiscriminately.

We need to use our common sense. The rich patriarch is broke and in great debt. These initial favors are created to calm the needy public (that isn’t working real well yet). I am concerned what will come next as benefits must be cut or limited to control cost. It was originally proposed that there could be huge savings in Medicare. What does that mean? Lower payments to doctors will limit the number who accept Medicare. Certainly procedures and medications will have to be limited and more tightly controlled. Cutting back on medical care will cause a political reaction so I expect the patriarch will start limiting procedures to the public with the smallest voice. I expect that to be the very sick, the poor and the disabled.

We all must be aware that the patriarch is broke and in debt. The power we have given to one person is going to reveal itself in the coming years when the giveaways stop and the costs are moved around to disguise them. The rules have changed and as our Vice President said when the bill was signed this is a “big @#!!@ deal”.

The choice has been taken from the hands of the consumer and handed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The health care of your family including your older parents and grandparents is moving out of your hands. There will be no deviance from the decrees of the Secretary as we have just seen that constitutionally protected religious conscientious objections have been denied.

361 times the power is given to one person. Is this our future?

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