Monday, July 27, 2009

The Fine Print of Government Run Health Care

I received the following from a friend:

Today, July 22, 2009, there are two massive government mandated healthcare bills working their way through both houses of Congress. Both bills have miles to go before they sleep or are passed. Then they have to be reconciled into one bill and voted on by the House and Senate. The president says he wants that to be done before the end of August. Yes,that means this August! Each passing day makes that seem unlikely. But wemust stay informed.

It would seem that few in Washington have read the bills and, if past history is any indication, few members of Congress will have read them before that final vote. So you and I can be ahead of Washington. We can learn about them now.

In the July 17, 2009 edition of the New York Post, we learn that Betsy McCaughey has read them both, the House and the Senate version. It is worth a few minutes of our time to become familiar with what may be coming.

First, who is Betsy McCaughey? She is not a journalist or a columnist. She is the founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. She is also a former lieutenant governor of the state of New York. What follows is my understanding of what she found while reading the pending bills. For example, if you have a health plan that you like and want to keep....too bad. You can't keep it. Each plan now under construction (theHouse plan and the Senate's) will create a bureaucracy that will select(read that "choose for you") health plans that the government considers to be "in your best interest". You will have to enroll in one of these plans. (Don't you just love it when the government says it really knowswhat you need so much better than you do?). Now the reason you hear that you CAN keep your plan is that there may be a period of up to five years before you will be forced into a government plan. If your health plan is from where you work, your employer has up to five years to move you intoa "qualified" plan. If you are choosing and paying for your own plan, you may have less time. Here is why. If and when there is any change to your private plan, such as a change in co-pays, or deductibles, things that often change each the time of the very next change in your private plan you will be moved into a "qualified" plan. You can read that on pages 16-17 of the House bill.

When you file your taxes, you will have to prove to the IRS that your health insurance is, indeed, a qualified plan. If you cannot prove that, you may be fined a lot of money, up to the amount of a full year'spremium for a family of your size. And then, after the fine, you will be moved into a plan that is selected at random. You can read that on pages 167 and 168 of the House bill. The Senate bill also has a surprise or two for those who are choosing and paying for their own health insurance. It also applies to those who work for a company that is paying the premiums for you as a part of your benefits package. You will be changed from your plan (your company's plan) and placed into a qualified plan. You can read that on pages 57 and 58 of the Senate bill.

The House bill says on page 137 that the government will help you pay the premiums for the new qualified plan that you are forced into. To get that financial aid, your household income must be below $88,000 per year. If your household makes more than that...well, you are on your own, no matter how high the premiums go. And speaking of money, the Congressional Budget Office puts the price tag on this new government mandated healthcare plan at one and a half trillion (that's with a T) dollars. One half of that will come from a new income tax on families earning $280,000 or more. That income tax would double in 2012. The other half of the cost would come from reducing and eliminating fraud from Medicare and cutting Medicare benefits for Seniors. Just a thought...when was the last time you remember a government program that was cleaned up of all fraud and made to be efficient and cost effective? You can read some of these details on page 199 of the House bill.

Speaking of Senior Citizens, the House bill on pages 425-430 compels Seniors to submit to professional counseling every five years, or more often if they (we) get sick or move into a nursing home. Seniors will be counseled on "end-of-life" care. You (we) will be told such things as when you may or may not be permitted to receive antibiotics, nutrition,hydration and things that we used to take regularly, you know, medicines, food and water! Check out the House bill on pages 425-430.

The Senate bill allocates huge sums of money for "communitytransformation grants". This would pay for home visits for expectant mothers, services for migrant workers and the creation of dozens of councils, programs and advisory boards. The last 500 pages of the Senate bill probably have other surprises.

Betsy McCaughey has done us a favor by actually reading these bills and an even greater favor by telling us of her findings. In her New York Post article (July 17, 2009), she also informs us that the most recent ABCNews/Washington Post poll (June 21, 2009) finds that 83% of us Americans are satisfied with the quality of our health care and 81% of us are satisfied with our health insurance. And there is good reason. The WorldHealth Organization said that the good old U.S. of A. ranks number 1 out of 191 countries for being responsive to patient's needs. The WHO also said that America is number 1 in providing timely treatments and a choiceof doctors.

Another poll reported on July 21, 2009 in an American Heritage Foundation article measured the American public's trust in Obama's handling of our health care. Fifty percent (50%) said they did not trust the president on health care. So, on Monday, July 20, 2009, Obama got on the telephone for a Conference Call to a group that the Heritage Foundation described as"liberal, left-wing bloggers". For about 25 minutes Obama asked for their help. Here is a transcript of one of his remarks:

"It is important just to keep the pressure on members of Congress because what happens is there is a default position of inertia here inWashington. And pushing against that, making sure that people feel that the desperation that ordinary families are feeling all across the country, every single day, when they are worrying about whether they can pay their premiums or not...People have to feel that in a visceral way.And you guys can help deliver that better than just about anybody".

Is it just me or do you hear Saul Alinsky's voice and techniques? It was during that conference call that a blogger from Maine said he had read an article in Investors Business Daily that claimed Section 102 of the House bill for health reform would outlaw private insurance. He asked, "Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though HR3200 is passed?" Obama replied,"You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about."

In that same conversation with his left-wing fans, Obama did not rule out"parliamentary maneuvers" in the event that he discovered he did not have 60 votes in the Senate to pass the bill. Does that mean an "end around" run...say, attaching the bill to a budget bill that could not be changed and had to be voted up or other words, a vote on something else that would automatically get the health care reform bill passed without debate?

So, we have come back to where we started. You and I may know more about the two bills now being crafted than the president or Congress. Since we do know, why not tell others. Let's share this. It isn't is a report carefully documented and others may be interested. Doris and I have asked our two Senators to vote NO on whatever bill comes down, if one does. We are asking for common sense and sanity to be returned toAmerica, our country. Help us do that! We are also praying for America. We are praying that the wisdom of God, the Hand of God, the power of God through His Holy Spirit would fall on Washington and bring reason and are turn to our founding roots of ethics and morality. Our rule of law was founded on God's Law. No other man-made rules have worked or ever will. If you know people who would not be offended or threatened by these words, please forward this to them.

God bless you for reading this. And, we pray, may God bless America.

Sweet Jazzy Cat

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