Friday, October 30, 2009

Dissecting the Health Care Debacle

I have not read the entire Nancy Pelosi Destruction of America Act of 2009. However, I was listening to my local radio show this morning and they were discussing the number of times certain words (shall, doctor) appear in the bill, and I was searching along with the discussion, counting for myself so that I could know I was hearing the truth. During one of these searches, I came across Section 223 of the bill, which is titled "Health Benefits Advisory Committee." I stopped my search because I found a few certain aspects of this section troubling.

First, there is subsection (a) which is titled "Establishment." This subsection is comprised of five (5) paragraphs. Already I know this bill is too much mucky-muck, because I think the entire problem can be solved by executing ideas I've outlined in seven rather short paragraphs. Of course, my take does not include the word 'shall' over 3000 times. I guess I'd never be a good politician.

Anyway, back to subsection (a). I encourage you to read the subsection in its entirety, beginning on page 111 here. Paragraph (1) reads, "There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans."

At this point I'm already distressed, because the government is half of a group that has "Other medical experts" to recommend benefits. Huh? Why can't I just have the benefits my current insurance offers, and have the government leave me alone?

Next we skip to paragraph (3) which reads, "The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members, in addition to the Surgeon General: (A) Nine members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President."

Stop. End of discussion. The President of the United States of America has many, many things to do, none of which should be appointing people to be on a panel (committee, whatever) that is involved in the medical insurance of the general public. Commander-in-Chief. Chief Executive Officer. Diplomat at the highest level. The list goes on.

A bit more reading, and we learn that there are other appointments made by other people, and that "Such initial appointments shall be made not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act."

In other words, President Obama appoints the first round of "members" to the "committee." I'm sorry, I've seen and heard the things President Obama's appointments and associates have to say about our nation, our freedoms, and the entire concept of redistribution, and I refuse. I'll be happy to sit behind bars, having not purchased medical insurance, before I will be subjected to this radicalization of America. Try me.

Now, here is where I really take issue. Paragraph five (5) of still subsection (a) reads, "PARTICIPATION.—The membership of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall at least reflect providers, patient representatives, employers (including small employers), labor, health insurance issuers, experts in health care financing and delivery, experts in oral health care, experts in racial and ethnic disparities, experts on health care needs and disparities of individuals with disabilities, representatives of relevant governmental agencies, and at least one practicing physician or other health professional and an expert in child and adolescent health and shall represent a balance among various sectors of the health care system so that no single sector unduly influences the recommendations of such Committee."

Okay. Key words? Let's start with "So that no single sector unduly influences the recommendations of such Committee." Exactly who is to say that no single sector is not unduly influencing recommendations? Should we be able to trust our government to make that judgment?

Let's look past Barack Obama for a minute, so that he is not the focus of our thinking. Why should I trust that the next president - even one I voted for - will appoint people who are just and fair? Why can the government determine "fairness" and recommend treatments better than a private sector company held accountable by the desire to maintain its balance sheet and reputation? Who is to say that we won't have radical racists appointed by a president who does not care for people from the Middle East or Eastern Asia, and suddenly America develops a rash of Middle Easterners, Koreans, or Chinese dying off like nobody's business? I'm not saying it will happen, and I certainly don't want something like this to happen, but in my opinion herein lies one point where too much government control can be proven unjustified and troublesome.

The bill tries to protect against this kind of thing, as paragraph four (4) explains, "Each member of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall serve a 3-year term on the Committee, except that the terms of the initial members shall be adjusted in order to provide for a staggered term of appointment for all such members." However, over the course of an eight year presidency, this means that a president will be responsible for quite a number of appointments. Again, our president has better things to do, and that is too much control in the hands of the government.

More key words? I have to be honest and say that the words "experts in racial and ethnic disparities" stand out like a sore thumb. Why exactly is it important for someone in the business of medical insurance be well versed in the disparities between people of different races? Are we not all supposed to be treated equally? Does our Constitution not state that we are all created equal? Remember the key words we just discussed had to do with undue influence, yet suddenly someone's race or ethnicity may be an issue for which we need an expert? Call me a cynic, but I'm sensing this is exactly and nothing other than the point in this bill that defines it as reparations.

I would love to hear some feedback from anyone who thinks they have an answer that disproves my theories. I also would like to know if you think I'm on track - not just because you don't want government health care, but because you've read another perspective and it is similar in concept, or because you have a legal understanding that tells me I am right or wrong. Of course, if you just don't want government health care and want to discuss it, I welcome your thoughts as well.

We must dissect this bill quickly and know the reasons we are not willing to accept it, and we must be extremely vocal. This must be the subject of every phone call and email received by any representative in Congress for the next week.

One more thought, and a few more minutes of your time - Michelle Bachmann was on Hannity tonight and was very emphatic about exactly how important this issue is. I believe Bachmann can sometimes be a bit erratic and over the top, but tonight she was very succinct. She also called for a gathering of anyone who can make it to DC next Thursday, as she hopes to hold a rally of sorts and put the face of America in front of those who are uncertain about their vote on this particular bill.


Opus #6 said...

Left Coast Rebel has a nice email list. You copy paste the addys into the bcc portion of the email and you send one email to all the Blue Dog Dems. Emails sent n a jiffy. I highly recommend it.

Teresa said...

I am going to have to get that email list. Bachmann's correct. This bill is a nightmare, just like Pelosi is. I love Bachmann's idea of having people crowd the halls of Congress and give them a piece of our minds.

tammy said...

I would love to hear feedback from anyone thinking your theories are wrong too. How do people not see how scary this is?

Thanks for the link Opus.

Soloman said...

Opus - thanks for the link to LCR's post - I spent some time yesterday writing a nice letter and copying the blue-dogs.

Soloman said...

Teresa - I sometimes wish I lived closer to DC so I could be more involved in events like the one Bachmann is organizing, but I will find satisfaction in writing letters.

Soloman said...

Tammy - I purposely did not reply to comments, kind of hoping to see any leftist (even as anonymous) post an argument to my points.

Nothing. Either they were all busy Halloween partying, or there's no argument that can be made... and I had 95 hits Friday, so there was definitely some traffic on my blog.