Obamacare plan finally released; Update: Goodbye, 4th Amendment

posted at 10:45 am on June 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

And it’s so large that Patients United Now had to split it into nine different parts, and to put out a bleg for an Army of Patients to scour the bill. The title:Quality Affordable Health Care for All Americans. And the first thing past the title?

[Note: Further revisions are needed to complete the work of integrating provisions into the existing HIPAA structure.]

Maybe they should have finished doing the actual work on the bill before introducing it.  I haven’t had a chance to look at the rest of it, but I’m certain we have plenty of Hot Air readers willing to take caffeine intravenously and put off seeing Star Trek for the 5th time to dig through the bill and find the land mines.  Drop me a line or post a comment with the most troubling references, and we’ll update the post as we go.  In the meantime, watch PUN communications director Amy Menefee discuss the dangers of government-run, single-payer health insurance:

Update: Sorry, that’s not Megyn Kelly.

Update II: It’s worth noting that HIPAA ensures patient privacy, which should be a really big deal if we’re letting the government run everything.  Without knowing how or whether this works with HIPAA, how can Congress even consider this bill?  Speaking of which, on pages 39-40, take a gander at Section 3102, Financial Integrity:

(1) IN GENERAL – A State shall keep an accurate accounting of all activities, receipts, and expenditures of any Gateway operating in such State and annually submit to the Secretary a report concerning such accountings.

(2) INVESTIGATIONS – The Secretary may investigate the affairs of a Gateway, may examine the properties and records of a Gateway, and may require periodical reports in relation to activities undertaken by a Gateway.  A Gateway shall fully cooperate in any investigation conducted under this paragraph.

“Gateway” means “provider,” and this appears to do away with that pesky Fourth Amendment, which normally requires search warrants and probable cause to access the records of individuals and businesses.  Not under ObamaCare!  Now, everyone belongs to the government … rather than the other way around.  George Orwell, call your office!

Update III: Jazz Shaw mainly agrees, but sends a jab to my ribs:

A lot of these voices are the same folks that didn’t seem to think it was any big deal for the government to intercept electronic communications without a warrant, even if one of the participants was a U.S. citizen. They also didn’t care much if the Feds checked out what you were browsing on the computers at the local library or even the books you checked out. In fact, it almost seems as if there’s no problem with such activity so long as it’s a Republican president and he’s doing it in the vague and ambiguous name of the “war on terror.”

He finishes with a Victor Lazlo-esque “Welcome back to the fight” valediction, but in this case, we’re talking apples and oranges.  First, even the NSA program required some sort of probable cause to surveil a communication line, and the FISA court did have some oversight eventually. I won’t dismiss this entirely, though, because it does touch on the same values, but I would also note that the NSA program was intended to catch terrorists, and not doctors who may or may not be billing the government correctly.

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P.S. Jazz Shaw might be the dumbest, most dishonest person on the Internet. And it’s the Internet.

Jim Treacher on June 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Ed,
Seriously, per update III, get a grip. When a U.S. citizen makes an international phone call, does he have any expectation of privacy? No. He/She does not. Thus, 4th amend. is not implicated in the least.

Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy when dealing with your doctor. Definitely.

This isn’t comparing apples and oranges, it’s comparing bananas and pianos.

slackmac on June 6, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Also, public library records? Come on. Read slowly… PUBLIC library. privacy? are you kidding me?

slackmac on June 6, 2009 at 1:28 PM

I think Jazz Shaw would object to cops making note of a criminal threat if it were published on the front page of the new york times. ‘Cause you know… reasonable expectations of privacy and all.

slackmac on June 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM

A lot of these voices are the same folks that didn’t seem to think it was any big deal for the government to intercept electronic communications without a warrant, even if one of the participants was a U.S. citizen

Yeah, that big bad Boooosh sure invaded our networks and my privacy. Thousands of us were thrown into Gitmo and my grandchildren will never know me. Give me a break JS.

Rovin on June 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM

I have a stupid question. I already have insurance through my employer. It’s pretty good insurance and I don’t pay much for it. I pay deductibles and co-pays. Do I get to keep that or is the government going to yank that out from under us and make us become insured under his miserable plan?

***

scalleywag on June 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM

I’ve read reports in the recent past that Obama is going to put a gun to the head of all (regardless of size) employers to provide a certain level of coverage. If the employer doesn’t, then some level of tax will be imposed. The catch will be that the tax will seem like a bargain that many employers will decide to terminate their plans and pay the tax. For a time, I suppose, some will resist, but ultimately terminate too.

In the meantime, I’ll be interested to know what limitations will be placed on cradle-to-grave plans provided to state and local employees.

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM

I think the HIPPA modifications must happen if they are following Tom Daschle’s playbook which essentially copies the British System. Lots of people have to have access to your medical records to make sure you are getting “appropriate” treatment. You will become a data point in lots of peoples’ caseloads and what their opinion is of where you fit into the system will carry a great deal of weight. Right now, a specialist treating you for one condition doesn’t have access to your complete medical file unless you grant it to them. Can’t have that if all these bureaucrats need ready access to your info.

MargaretMN on June 6, 2009 at 2:01 PM

I used to think that jazz was overrated and self-indulgent.

Still do.

Kensington on June 6, 2009 at 2:01 PM

I have a stupid question. I already have insurance through my employer. It’s pretty good insurance and I don’t pay much for it. I pay deductibles and co-pays. Do I get to keep that or is the government going to yank that out from under us and make us become insured under his miserable plan? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Obama decided he’d like to run all the insurance companies as well as the banks and the auto industry. If that’s the case I’ll have to move to Mexico I guess.

scalleywag on June 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM

It would be up to your employer, but most likely nothing will change for you.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM

“Gateway” means “provider,”

and B. Hussein Obama in Kenyan means “Mafia Overlord”

Branch Rickey on June 6, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Deport illegals.

TAH DAH!!!

Millions of problems solved.

portlandon on June 6, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Well, honestly, a substantial % of working-class native-born persons receiving emergency-room care in the US do not wind up paying the resulting bills. The hospital can bill you and send the account to collections, but if a guy(my cousin!) making $9/hr with no savings and child support payments runs up a $20K ER bill, there’s a solid chance that they made more from his ambulance driver buying a Snickers in the snack machine than they’ll have made from the patient……..

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM

If America is to survive, Obama needs to be removed from office.

IrishEi on June 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM

It’ll take 3.5 years and about 55 million votes.

Tommy_G on June 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Or…6 months and about 290 votes

mredly on June 6, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Well, honestly, a substantial % of working-class native-born persons receiving emergency-room care in the US do not wind up paying the resulting bills. The hospital can bill you and send the account to collections, but if a guy(my cousin!) making $9/hr with no savings and child support payments runs up a $20K ER bill, there’s a solid chance that they made more from his ambulance driver buying a Snickers in the snack machine than they’ll have made from the patient……..

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM

The bills don’t just magically go away, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in America and those figures have been steadily increasing over the years. As you said, it’s hard if not impossible to pay off a typical hospital bill if you’re going paycheck to paycheck.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Who is that Jazz Shaw moron and why do his idiotic ramblings keep showing up on HotAir? Comparing international phone calls to medical information … really.

I bet Jackass Shaw finds it incredible that people will eat hamburgers but refuse to chew cow sh!t. “But .. it’s all from the same animal …”

What a total moron. I’d rather have you guys going back to getting MegaMac’s musings about these issues. This is sad.

progressoverpeace on June 6, 2009 at 2:14 PM

It would be up to your employer, but most likely nothing will change for you.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM

hahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

*phew* Thanks, I needed that. That was funny.

As for the commenter asking the question about what happens to his current private insurance, odds are it goes away sooner or later (probably sooner).

After all, we’ll all be on the hook for the ObamaCare bill, so expect most employers to try and dump the extraneous costs of their private plans.

And who could blame them, really?

Kensington on June 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM
I think that’s still in dispute. See this link for more info.

mph on June 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM

What are we going to do about this? Is someone organizing something like maybe Michelle Malkin?

CCRWM on June 6, 2009 at 2:34 PM

First, even the NSA program required some sort of probable cause to surveil a communication line, and the FISA court did have some oversight eventually. I won’t dismiss this entirely, though, because it does touch on the same values, but I would also note that the NSA program was intended to catch terrorists, and not doctors who may or may not be billing the government correctly.

Dear Ed,

No problem. This proposed program protects our rights. To get personal information, “a probable cough” is required.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 6, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Kensington on June 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM
I don’t blame them either, but since their cost of doing business will drop dramatically with no health insurance premiums, will the cost of goods go down accordingly? Or will that stay the same and in addition we’re all paying additional taxes to cover everyones’ health insurance? This could end up a big plus for businesses who are currently paying employee benefits and a big negative for small businesses who can’t pay for that benefit. Its almost like another bailout for big business at the expense of small business and taxpayers. Its also a boon for those who work off the books, they’ll get an added benefit without cost. Those who work on the books will pick up the tab. John Galt, call your office.

mph on June 6, 2009 at 2:40 PM

The bills don’t just magically go away, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in America and those figures have been steadily increasing over the years. As you said, it’s hard if not impossible to pay off a typical hospital bill if you’re going paycheck to paycheck.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM

actually that is not true. Medical bills have only a causal link and are not directly related to bankruptcy. If you’re basing your information on that David Himmelstein report that claims that 54.5% of all bankruptcy is caused by medical bills I’d suggest you take a look at thisMedical Bankruptcy Myth Vs Fact. The Himmelstein report is fallacious and is basically used to push the Agenda of singl payer Health Care.

theguardianii on June 6, 2009 at 2:44 PM

This could end up a big plus for businesses who are currently paying employee benefits and a big negative for small businesses who can’t pay for that benefit. Its almost like another bailout for big business at the expense of small business and taxpayers. Its also a boon for those who work off the books, they’ll get an added benefit without cost. Those who work on the books will pick up the tab. John Galt, call your office.

mph on June 6, 2009 at 2:40 PM

I think it’s more beneficial to small businesses as it allows them to compete. Big firms get better deals from the insurance companies because of their large pools, under this plan a small timer can take advantage of the national pool. Not to mention the HR overhead saved. It also makes it easier for you to recruit employees away from larger firms since their healthcare benefits won’t change (so many people stay in jobs just for the healthcare).

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:47 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKCWbq18bNk

The uninsured in America

Itchee Dryback on June 6, 2009 at 2:51 PM

The bills don’t just magically go away, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in America and those figures have been steadily increasing over the years. As you said, it’s hard if not impossible to pay off a typical hospital bill if you’re going paycheck to paycheck.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:13 PM

A lot of people’s health insurance is not as good as they think it is. Being insurance, most people don’t actually try to fully utilize it, but if you have a catastrophic illness or injury you may well be shocked at what isn’t covered. As an example, a lot of people with health insurance who get cancer still wind up bankrupt because insurance doesn’t cover everything. My parents are filing for bankruptcy…as my mother is currently dying from breast cancer.

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 3:01 PM

A lot of people’s health insurance is not as good as they think it is. Being insurance, most people don’t actually try to fully utilize it, but if you have a catastrophic illness or injury you may well be shocked at what isn’t covered. As an example, a lot of people with health insurance who get cancer still wind up bankrupt because insurance doesn’t cover everything. My parents are filing for bankruptcy…as my mother is currently dying from breast cancer.

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Try telling that to theguardianii and mph who remain unconvinced that medical bills are a major driver in personal bankruptcy filings. Having healthcare hooked to employment only exaggerates this problem (lose your job, lose your insurance and then god knows what when you get sick).

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Where have you guys been in the last 40 years? Name me one thing that the US government has done within the budget that was promised. Medicare is on its last legs and social security is on its way. Amtrak is a good example of gov. cost cutting and management. Jonkee is full of s**t if he believes that health care is the number 1 cause of bankruptcy. That was a bobama lie and was quickly disproved by several sources. If the messaih passes this abomination with the tax provision on private health plans, it will be the end of private health care. No company compete can with the gov. Look at Ford moco and their road ahead trying to compete with GovMotors. It’s impossible to compete with the gov on any basis and the gov will never allow a fair chance to anyone that might cut into their power. Folks this is the end of our nation!

inspectorudy on June 6, 2009 at 3:08 PM

beneficial to small businesses as it allows them to compete.
jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Wow, I wonder how those small businessess ever managed to compete before your lord and master’s great and wonderful “Master Plan“.

I don’t wonder where I’ve heard those talking points before.

Never Again!

Blacksmith8 on June 6, 2009 at 3:09 PM

If we could stop that God-awful amnesty vote, let’s get crackin and run this down the sewer where it belongs people!

red131 on June 6, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Try telling that to theguardianii and mph who remain unconvinced that medical bills are a major driver in personal bankruptcy filings. Having healthcare hooked to employment only exaggerates this problem (lose your job, lose your insurance and then god knows what when you get sick).

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM

in my mom’s case…you pass away and leave your family heartbroken, penniless and in debt.

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 3:17 PM

“There you go Again” –Ronald Reagan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi9y5-Vo61w

uno2three on June 6, 2009 at 3:24 PM

So I’m not a human being anymore, I’m a “gateway”. I guess patients won’t care until they themselves stop being treated like human beings and start being treated like numbers. Which is what will happen as soon as this plan gets enacted.

eyedoc on June 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Jim Treacher on June 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM

You mean there’s competition?

jdkchem on June 6, 2009 at 3:32 PM

I haven’t had a chance to look at the rest of it, but I’m certain we have plenty of Hot Air readers willing to take caffeine intravenously and put off seeing Star Trek for the 5th time to dig through the bill and find the land mines.

I resent that. I’ve only seen Star Trek three times.

TheMightyMonarch on June 6, 2009 at 3:38 PM

beneficial to small businesses as it allows them to compete.
jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 2:47 PM

In the meantime states like Pennsylvania do not permit small businesses to band together so they can get better health insurance rates. I know of Pennsylvania and I would not be at all surprised to see this same “law” in the other “56″ states. Before you go yapping your gums you should know what you speak of. And while I am at it, how exactly do small businesses benefit? It is not free health care somebody pays for it. The money that was spent on health care now goes to taxes to pay for “free” obama-care. There is no benefit contrary to your ignorant and naive belief.

jdkchem on June 6, 2009 at 3:39 PM

in my mom’s case…you pass away and leave your family heartbroken, penniless and in debt.

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 3:17 PM

I’m really sorry about your mother, but government-run healthcare is not going to provide more or better care for the vast majority of Americans. It will only provide worse, rationed care. That’s all it can do.

Kensington on June 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM

It’s not about the uninsured. It’s about money and power. With Obama as president, it’s inevitable. Just bend over and hand him the vaseline.

Daggett on June 6, 2009 at 3:48 PM

…but I’m certain we have plenty of Hot Air readers willing to take caffeine intravenously and put off seeing Star Trek for the 5th time…

How’d you know, Ed? :-)

Hawkins1701 on June 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM

And while I am at it, how exactly do small businesses benefit? It is not free health care somebody pays for it. The money that was spent on health care now goes to taxes to pay for “free” obama-care. There is no benefit contrary to your ignorant and naive belief.

jdkchem on June 6, 2009 at 3:39 PM

The point being small businesses could theoretically benefit from economies of scale that currently only large companies can take advantage of. Providing high-quality health care benefits is a huge burden to small businesses, it simply costs more per employee than it does for large companies.

It also levels the playing field which makes hiring easier, especially for startups. Simply de-coupling healthcare from employers would make a huge difference, it doesn’t have to be single payer. It’s more efficient for people to be able to switch around jobs without having to worry about losing benefits or even just the complication of changing things over.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I’ve been perusing this filth. This needs to be defeated at all costs. This slippery slope will not end until we are all under the control of some politically appointed government flunkie. I’m serious, the Republicans need to go scorched earth on these criminals.

elduende on June 6, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Again, imagine the DMV or even the VA running health care for the country.

Everyone will suffer so that no one shall suffer,

Dhuka on June 6, 2009 at 4:30 PM

I’ve often joked about health care becoming as efficent as the US Postal Service, as compassionate as the IRS and as accessable as the DMV. But for a real (and much sadder) example, just see the VA. I have several patients who go to the VA to get their prescriptions, and come to see me to get actual health care, even though seeing me costs them money. If that’s how poor the VA is being run now, I shudder at how medical care for everyone will be when it’s completely taken over by the government.

DrAllecon on June 6, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Do you realized that HIPPA Act does not guarantee your privacy rights at all but gives just about every Government Agency and Insurance representative with your SS and Birth date un-restrictive access to your records. On top of that, it gives the DEA for one, full access to all of your RX records without you being notified.

Every thing you tell your doctor is now computerized in transcript form and put in a data base for all “authorized reps” to see. There is no privacy.

You can thank Tommy Thompson and GWB for this monstrosity of medical records legislation that opens your medical records up to the prying eyes of the Government right now not in the future.

My mother is on Medicare and has been put on a potential drug users list for taking cancer pain medication. She has to piss on request at any time for the DEA or the Cancer pain control doctor to get the medication at the pharmacy thanks to this legislation. Last year, some enterprising clerk at the hospital sold her identity to a pharmacy and nursing home and they used her identity to bill medical care she never received. It is call Medicare Identity theft.I am still trying to get those charges and treatments off her records.

Screw Government health care and just when did we armed the constitution to allow this crap?

ScottyDog on June 6, 2009 at 4:51 PM

That picture of Obama makes him look like a game show host.

Daggett on June 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM

The hell with deporting illegals as part of the fight against this thing. Isn’t it time, comrades, that we ensure that every American has high-quality, cost-effective legal representation? Let us make sure that the administration and the Congress hear us when we DEMAND that the two be connected.

Dan Collins on June 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

Ah, the reliably liberal Jazz Shaw of the reliably liberal “Moderate” Voice. Mmmmmmkay.

I get that he’s you’re friend an all, but that doesn’t mean hes a good analyst.

It's Vintage, Duh on June 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I was reading an interesting article in an Australian news paper the other day about how as a result of the Federal Government in Australia reducing the incentives for people to take up private health insurance the public health care system in the state of NSW has seen a massive increase of patients on waiting lists for procedures in public hospitals.

It also appears apparent that as a result of people moving back to the public health system private health insurance companies have been forced to increase their premiums in order to cover their lost revenues further exasperating the situation by pricing even more people out of the private health care system and placing an even bigger burden on the public system.

I suppose as with any socialized industry when you share the wealth around all everybody ends up with is mediocre products that take for ever to get access to and never work as advertised whilst costing an exorbitant amount to supply . This is exactly the lesson that can be taken away from every nation that has a socialized health care system around the world. It is expensive, Inefficient and only capable of providing mediocre services to patients.

Dreadnought223 on June 6, 2009 at 5:12 PM

I was reading an interesting article in an Australian news paper the other day about how as a result of the Federal Government in Australia reducing the incentives for people to take up private health insurance the public health care system in the state of NSW has seen a massive increase of patients on waiting lists for procedures in public hospitals.

Dreadnought223 on June 6, 2009 at 5:12 PM

The same just happened with Hawaii and their attempt at children’s coverage. They had to stop the public program after something like 9 months, due to skyrocketing costs.

progressoverpeace on June 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Hmm … just for the fascists:

Regulations Governing ACORN Bailout

(2) INVESTIGATIONS – The Secretary may investigate the affairs of ACORN, may examine the properties and records of ACORN, and may require periodical reports in relation to activities undertaken by ACORN. ACORN shall fully cooperate in any investigation conducted under this paragraph.

Sound fair to you now?

DannoJyd on June 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Jazz Shaw has it exactly backwards. It is the very people squealing about the “Bush-Hitler” invasions of privacy… of terrorists… that are now implementing the destruction of privacy in the name of a “good” (D)emocrat president.

You remember. Like when Clinton/Gore wanted to put V-chips in our cell phones to make it easier to monitor our conversations.

DANEgerus on June 6, 2009 at 5:42 PM

I have a stupid question. I already have insurance through my employer. It’s pretty good insurance and I don’t pay much for it. I pay deductibles and co-pays. Do I get to keep that or is the government going to yank that out from under us and make us become insured under his miserable plan?

The goal of DER OBAMA is not better health coverage for you. It is control and power. He will do everything he can to control as much of your life as he can. And that means you can kiss your existing health insurance buh bye as he will not tolerate any competition with his plan.

Also expect heavy tarrifs imposed on foreign cars to the point that a Honda Civic will cost $50K.

The DER OBAMA will decide
– who your doctor is
– what car you drive
– what bank you do business with and by extension what kind of car, house can you buy, what kind of business can you start, etc

Slowly but surely every aspect of your life from the second you wake up to the moment you fall asleep will be dictated by DER OBAMA.

angryed on June 6, 2009 at 5:52 PM

P.S. Jazz Shaw might be the dumbest, most dishonest person on the Internet. And it’s the Internet.

Jim Treacher on June 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I used to think that jazz was overrated and self-indulgent.

Still do.

Kensington on June 6, 2009 at 2:01 PM

+infinity

Every article linked to Shaw gets completely roasted. Why? Because he’s a so-called “moderate” who continually attacks Conservative and Republican principles with his twisted moderate logic. He defends these attacks on Conservatives & Republicans in the name of being a “moderate.”

And that’s the rub–he usually, not always, will attack both the message and the messenger. If Shaw was reasonable and his arguments well-thought, he’d get a fair hearing. But he doesn’t because his “Moderate” starting point and premises are suspect and his snarky digs at Republicans combative. He brings it on himself.

conservative pilgrim on June 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I don’t know about everyone else, but one of the worst feelings in the world is realizing that, when your gut told you something was a bad idea, you were right. That’s how I feel right now: when the Patriot Act and similar legislation was passed by the Bush administration, I remember saying to my friends and family: “The problem is not how Bush will use this law: the problem is that it will be on the books long after he is out of office, and some day there will be an irresponsible politician in power who will use it for ill.” I was positively petrified by the precedent it set.

…. Just as a couple of years earlier, I realized that the No Child Left Behind program would ruin Republican credibility on education reform for decades, and just as many of us realized last Fall that Bush’s introduction of TARP would leave the door wide open for even farther-reaching takeovers of the private sector. Much as it breaks my heart to admit it, Obama would not enjoy the power he does had not Bush taken certain actions without the consideration for long-term consequences and what might happen if a true tyrant ever gained the Oval Office. I just don’t think anyone imagined it would happen so soon.

I am so so so scared of Obamacare – with so much of our wealth destroyed, our health is really all that many Americans have left to pursue our own happiness, and both will be in jeopardy if this passes.

FIGHT IT.

Animator Girl on June 6, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Everything the government has ever touched has turned to shit. Now people like Obama, Barney Frank, and Pelosi want to control our health care decisions. Are you kidding me?

If they want to convince us they have the answers they should fix Medicare first but we know they won’t because this is not about Healthcare its about socialism and power.

elduende on June 6, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Could Congress attack the state’s cradle to grave system without implicating the 10 Amendment? Could Congress pass this bill without amending ERISA? When will it be time to resurrect the Contracts Clause of the Constitution?

eaglewingz08 on June 6, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Obamageddon is almost here. Cheers!

RandyChandler on June 6, 2009 at 6:18 PM

I am a retired Navy veteran.

I would say that about 2 or 3 times a year I get a letter from either the VA, or some other government agency that has virtually ALL of my personal information and the letters read something like this …

“Hey, uhm … ‘whoopsie” … the darnedest thing just happened, well, you just wouldn’t believe this but … well, one of our employees accidentally downloaded a bunch of medical records with birthdates and social security numbers onto his flash drive. That flash drive contained 42 million records and well – we’re not sure one of those records was yours – but we thought … you might just want to cancel all your credit cards and bank accounts just in case – or not – completely up to you my friend. Anyway – the flash drive was found in a Chinese laundry in San Francisco – so we don’t think anyone got your data – if indeed your data was on that drive. So there’s a possibility here you’re perfectly fine – but maybe not. Once again – we’d like to thank you for your service to this country – and for your understanding in this matter.”

If the government has your personal information – EVERYONE HAS IT.

That’s the bottom line.

HondaV65 on June 6, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Last year my mom went to a care facility. They have one doctor on staff. Within three weeks she was swollen like a balloon and was dying. My brother consulted with the doctor who told him that this is what happens and that they usually keep them as comfortable as possible until they pass away, making room for another elderly person. WTF??

My brother demanded the doctor call an ambulance; the doctor refused. My brother took out his cell phone and proceeded to call the police, telling the doctor he was doing so. The doctor held up his hand and told my brother he would call for an ambulance.

The next day my brother was informed that my mother had 15 pounds and many gallons of excessive waste in her system and that it was poisoning her. It was all removed. He also found out she was put on a very strong anti-psychotic drug that made her completely woozy and stupid. He told them to wean her off the drug.

She is now a happy, upright woman, as ornary as ever. This happened in The Netherlands, model country for our new US health care system. Cheers!

marge on June 6, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Animator Girl on June 6, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Preach it, sister.

Caiwyn on June 6, 2009 at 7:45 PM

The point being small businesses could theoretically benefit from economies of scale that currently only large companies can take advantage of.

The US Government, through Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid, is now such a large purchaser of health care services (greater than most countries) that any economies of scale that could be achieved by a single-payer system would already exist.

So where are those wonderful savings, and why is it that the news media must have serial exposés to reveal how abysmal is the care in VA hospitals, if letting the government run health care will turn it all into sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns?

The Monster on June 6, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Ed, has anybody yet called your attention to this section?

Sec 47-827B. Digestive difficulties.

The federal government will not pay health care for any person who has uncontrollable flatulence due to eating beer and pizza; however, the federal government will pay 100% of health care costs for anyone who has uncontrollable flatulence due to eating arugula from Whole Foods.

radjah shelduck on June 6, 2009 at 8:25 PM

marge on June 6, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Good Lord! That is terrifying!

daesleeper on June 6, 2009 at 8:45 PM

RandyChandler on June 6, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Heh.

Itchee Dryback on June 6, 2009 at 8:52 PM

If you think the American people are just going to set back and let this happen.Then you better think again.Our time is coming.

thmcbb on June 6, 2009 at 8:57 PM

a) How’s government run health care working in the USA? Check out the prison health care system . . .

b) If you’re not in a group health care plan BEFORE this is passed, you will have no option but to take Obamacare. The insurance lobby is gonna be p*ss*d! (That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s another rock in the road for Obamacare.)

c) The “value” propositions of this bill could be applied to privately run health care, but rest assured the MSM will attribute this entirely to Obamacare.

d) I’m concerned the oversight of these plans will become another “unfunded mandate,” but that’ll take more study. If a state chooses to leave this to the “gateway,” it’ll only be because the state doesn’t see a profit in taking on that task.

- – -
In general, how can any large enterprise be run efficiently without a profit motive? Health care is a HUGE enterprise and now we’re taking away the ONLY incentive to make this enterprise cost effective.

desertdweller on June 6, 2009 at 9:02 PM

In the Megyn Kelly/Bernie Sanders video, Sanders complains that in California, one-third of health care costs are related to administration costs. How in the world does expanding health care to a national boondoggle bring down this absolute waste with no discernible improvement in health delivery?

Obamacare, like any federal program, simply expands bureaucracy. Are these the jobs that Obama intends to “create”—clerical jobs? Seizure of health care will enlarge the State and its grasp. In fact, professionals like doctors, nurses, physical therapists, etc. will become employess of the State. How many specialists will willingly practice as drones for such a system, given the years and dollars that they have invested in preparing for their professions?

onlineanalyst on June 6, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Identification of individuals is a significant research field in health care. (It’s a heuristic process yielding a “best guess” as to who you are).

This plan, in Section 6055, states the person’s Taxpayer ID Number (your SSN) will be used for ID.

That opens a can of worms. . .

desertdweller on June 6, 2009 at 9:16 PM

jonknee, bankruptcies are the kind of causal gangbang that the word “overdetermined” was invented to describe. The studies I’m sure you’re referring to have all sorts of problems. Basically the authors said if a person has medical bills and is bankrupt, the medical bills contributed to the bankruptcy. Well, hell, so did the car note, the phone bill, the rent etc.

You’re also wrong about “but most likely nothing will change for you” — though I suppose technically a 1/3 chance that you’ll be moved to the public option involuntarily is less likely than the odds that you won’t. Problem is, Obama told people “under my plan, if you like your health care coverage you can keep it,” and anyone who understands his plan knows that’s simply wrong. Doesn’t matter, you guys seems to like it when he lies to you.

You should just stick to telling people that government-run care is just “fairer” or “more moral.” This factual argument thing isn’t working out for you.

DrSteve on June 6, 2009 at 9:16 PM

In general, how can any large enterprise be run efficiently without a profit motive? Health care is a HUGE enterprise and now we’re taking away the ONLY incentive to make this enterprise cost effective.

desertdweller on June 6, 2009 at 9:02 PM

How’s your electric/water service? Giant organizations can be run efficiently by private or public corporations in a regulated manner. For profit even.

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 9:26 PM

I really want Obama, Pelosi, and Bawney Fwank, making my medical decisions for me. Ha. We know these leftists are criminal but they’re also delusional. Fix Medicare first.

elduende on June 6, 2009 at 9:52 PM

How’s your electric/water service?

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 9:26 PM

You just compared your health care to a utility. Not sure if you realized that.

Jim Treacher on June 6, 2009 at 10:05 PM

without a Brian Williams-esque bow…….Ed: great interview in the newest of Rush’s Newletter to hit my mailbox…..

sbark on June 6, 2009 at 10:33 PM

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

You are not making any sense, again. – you need to get new talking points, economies of scale already exist and small companies can buy into bigger groups coverage units – Obama is not solving that problem he is taking away your free choice. You might be shocked to learn that quite a few physicians & facilities even negotiate their fees -directly with self-pay patients – imagine that! Obama will take that away too.

Further, every time this debate comes up you spout off the fable of every 4 tenths of a second, or something, someone goes bankrupt because of medical bills – and you get shown the truth & you sulk off to go create “what’s for dinner” – until we start talking about paying for health care then you drag out your notes again.

They were wrong last month, 3 months ago & they are still wrong. Moreover Obama wants to TAX your healthcare benefits.

Fixing what is not working in our health care system doesn’t mean adopting this already proven wrong system that is in violation of our constitution and our American way of life.

You have got to be kidding – defending this pile of steaming crap. This is going to kill people – kill them.

batterup on June 6, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Try telling that to theguardianii and mph who remain unconvinced that medical bills are a major driver in personal bankruptcy filings. …
jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM

yes share anecdotal stories and expect me to take that as definitive proof of an out and out lie and complete fallacy that is designed to promote a single payer health care system which is designed to kill people rather than help people. Sorry that you want to believe that Medical bills are the leading cause of Bankruptcy but the side against Socialized medicine has real facts on their side that definitively refutes the BS argument that is propagated as truth. The Propagandist try to paint a picture so dire that we panic don’t think things through and demand the government take action. Democrats have their majority they can stop they lying now push it through and continue on with their plan of killing the old since that will be the inevitable end game whether they intend it that way or not.

theguardianii on June 6, 2009 at 11:15 PM

“Gateway” means “provider,”

Liberals always have to change the terminology in order to keep deceiving people.

CP on June 7, 2009 at 12:56 AM

How long before some moron loses a laptop with all of America’s medical files?

Prob’ly already happened.

Mojave Mark on June 7, 2009 at 1:06 AM

Jonknee, is your health insurance going to travel with you as you “astroturf” from subject to subject? Keep typing those BS talking points. Do they pay you by the word, or by the response?

Proof that “economies of scale” argument is BS: VA, Medicare, Medicaid, USPS, etc. etc.

Proof that free market solutions for medical care can bring down prices: LASIX surgery – is half to one fourth the price as competition continues. Generally not covered by insurance – so the market plays!

Obama plans to destroy private health care in stages – first get this POS in place, then tax the benefits, then place businesses in a position where it only makes sense to stop offering the benefit. De facto, you end up with single payer. He’s said as much while a senator and before.

If Obama is going to force this wonderful thing on us, then it is only fair that the Congress, the White House, and all government employees have to get the same health care the same way.

If Kennedy had been provided this kind of rationed health care, he’d be dead already.
Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

skeeter on June 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM

jonknee on June 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Something tells me this POS stands to gain personally from Obamacare.

venividivici on June 7, 2009 at 1:26 AM

If you think the American people are just going to set back and let this happen.Then you better think again.Our time is coming.

thmcbb on June 6, 2009 at 8:57 PM

Most of the American people aren’t paying attention, and when they do, they’re still caught up in the historic Hopenchange. All Obama has to do is bamboozle them for a few months longer, and it won’t matter after that.

Kensington on June 7, 2009 at 2:20 AM

How’s your electric/water service? Giant organizations can be run efficiently by private or public corporations in a regulated manner. For profit even.

My neighbors and I receive the same electric service — you think this is the same as health care?

desertdweller on June 7, 2009 at 3:09 AM

Barney Frank could be the Proctology Czar.

Geochelone on June 7, 2009 at 4:52 AM

Jazz Shaw mainly agrees, but sends a jab to my ribs: [edited for brevity]

Eh, Jazz is just like the rest of us. If it were his family in danger from an imminent terrorist attack, you’d better believe he’d be singing a different tune.

Question is, how come it’s any different for him when it’s a bunch of strangers? Are we really so detached from 3000 dead on 9/11? And what does any terrorist surveillance really have to do with health care privacy?

gryphon202 on June 7, 2009 at 5:01 AM

It’s worth noting that HIPAA ensures patient privacy, which should be a really big deal if we’re letting the government run everything.

Ensures patient privacy?

Is that like the assurance from the State of Ohio, that privet information maintained in their state computers, will remain privet and not used to look up and distribute, dirt on some citizen, like say, Joe the plumber for pure political reasons?

DSchoen on June 7, 2009 at 5:32 AM

I’m glad to see someone else has noticed the Constitutional problems with Govt run health care. I have been pointing it out since I learned of that one provision in the Improvrishmentioulus bill this year.

I wrote this elsehwhere:

I dont believe National Health Care is right for America.

1 – The GOvt has no right to see our private medical records, not have the right to force us to conduct our business via them. Nor do they have hte rihgt to demand our financial transactions wiht doctors. If wiretapping is illegal then surely getting a prostate exam and keeping it private is too.

2 – There is no way to pay for it.

3 – There would be no increase in the resource supply. IE: There isn’t going to be a hospital building spree, THere arne’t going to be millions of new doctors

4 – By paying for all, you open the flood gates of customers (demand). With a skyrocketting of demand, and a static supply, prices skyrocket too.

5 – Rationing would be the only way to contain costs.

6 – Politics in this country sucks, and politics would be the method that this rationing would be done

7 – Destroys self-reliance that is at the heart of being an American

VinceP1974 on June 7, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Looking forward to reading through this this week – if only to have info to back up my constant argument against government run health care.

But I already know all I need to know from watching my in-laws live (and die) from it in the UK.

Sister-in-law goes into hospital (for bed rest!) at 6 months into pregnancy. She’s allowed out of bed every hour though to go into courtyard to smoke a cigarette – because gov’t can’t take away the little things. Has baby within one week of entering hospital – child receives excellent preemie care. Mom develops blood clot which moves to shoulder (from laying in bed? or smoking so much?) and is put on blood thinners. Mom goes home two weeks after delivery, baby stays in hospital. One month later, mother is rushed to hospital, hemorrhaging from everywhere, including fluid seeping through the abscesses on her legs. Barely survives, one month in hospital, one year of bandages and daily visiting nurses. Permanent heart, liver, kidney, and circulatory system damage, permanent disability because of pain and circulatory damage, cannot walk or stand for more than one hour. Told she was lucky to keep her legs at all – although the eventual damage will most likely result in their removal with in 10 years. Age – 35.
Cause – transcription error that tripled dosage of blood thinner.
Extenuating circumstances – the dumbing down of the general public about their own health and how to care and advocate for themselves because doctors are not just doctors, they are the “all knowing, all-beneficent government” and you will not question when the pill you’ve been taking for six weeks all of a sudden changes color, size and shape. This is the new pill, you will just take it and shut up.
Outcome – Still being determined, three years after a suit was filed – not to sue for damages but simply to get access to the personal medical records of the patient that might actually show where the mistake was made so that they might eventually be able to sue for damages – although not really because you cannot sue the government. And why would you – they now have given you a home to live in, money to pay for your daily needs, school for your child, and health care. Nevermind that your husband must not make too much money or they will take all your “benefits” away. Nevermind that you cannot walk your child to school and have never been able to pick her up when she cries for you. Nevermind that your prognosis is that you will lose your legs within 10 years, your life within 20 – and that is if you exceed normal expectations. Nevermind that you had to give up the career that had you earning twice what your husband earned and had you on your way to private heath care/insurance – your goal. Nevermind that you’re on your third attorney because no one wants to pursue your case against one of the most highly regarded hospitals in the UK. Nevermind that you have been “assigned” permanently to the physician that oversaw your “unfortunate circumstance” as your primary physician. Nevermind that the doctors want to remove your reproductive organs because they do not want to chance you getting pregnant, because it would probably kill you.

And there’s the child with severe asthma, being irritated even more by the sub-standard, 100 year old government flat they live in, with the damp and mold.

Don’t get me started on how my husband’s 58 year old aunt waited five years for knee replacement, which left her wheelchair bound, 40 pounds overweight and hyper-tensive, so that when her number got called, she did not qualify for surgery. She lost her home, her livelihood and her savings waiting. And never got the surgery.

Or his mother, who needed carpal tunnel surgery at 60 and had to wait two years, which meant she had to leave the job she could no longer do at 61. She chose early retirement over disability because the benefits were better – which put her on a different list for surgery because the disabled supposedly go the the top of the list. (See aunt’s story above for proof!) She ended up paying for it herself at a private facility – loved the care, especially the follow up and heartbroken to be on National Health for the rest of her life.

And then there’s granny, 90 last summer, who lives with mum, but must go into “hospital” a week a month to get her “meds straightened out” and “her health back up to par” so that she can go home for another 3 weeks or so for the decline again, because there simply is no room for her in a nursing home where her health (old age and high blood pressure) could be monitored more closely. Of course it would be cheaper and more efficient (and more comfortable and compassionate) to provide her with a visiting nurse and education and information for her primary caregiver, but the government cannot allow private citizens to take on the “role of caregiver” for one of its citizens – leave it to the professionals, please, ma’am.

All that in just one family.

And all of this in the admirably civil UK, the nation all our aspiring socialist leaders look to in awe.

gopmom on June 7, 2009 at 9:19 AM

You idiots that think Universal health care is a good deal and will save lives should have lived under Government health care via the US Military. Having done that myself and been poisoned, treated by foreign doctors without credentials to practice medicine under anything but the US Military, treated with drugs proven not to work on me but required before I could be treated with the right drugs (because of costs – which is a joke since it cost them more in the long run to treat me), I know how bad universal health care will be.

beekiller on June 6, 2009 at 3:17 PM: Do you really think your mother would have lived under rationed health care? If she could get in for treatment (and that’s a big if) she would have been treated with the cheapest drugs possible and probably would have waited for treatment until it was too late.

Universal health care (like Communism or Socialism) sounds good on paper, but in practice it fails because it is based on reactions from people that simply don’t happen. If we were talking about sore throats and snotty noses, Universal health care would be fine. But when we start talking about serious, life threatening illnesses it is not. Think about it – the persons who will benefit the most (the US Govt) benefits if you die (one less person to pay for)!

katablog.com on June 7, 2009 at 9:33 AM

write your stupid ass congressman. we will have to protest this summer. we should start now.

kelley in virginia on June 7, 2009 at 9:35 AM

didn’t finish my sentence – sorry

Think about it – the persons who will benefit the most (the US Govt) benefits if you die (one less person to pay for) is in charge of deciding whether to treat you or not!

katablog.com on June 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

a) not a solution in and of itself, even if that were simple. if they’re illegal, and we dont know how many there are…how can just deporting them automatically balance out medical costs to make them affordable for all americans?

b) deporting all illegals would not be a simple thing to do. imagine the logistics of deporting millions of people?

c) who said all illegals are seeking extensive medical care?

ernesto on June 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Ok, I’ll bite, I live about 2 hours north of the border….

a) Our state mandates that if you show up in an ER you must be treated regardless of your ability to pay. Illegals are knowledgeable of this, and so they FLOOD our emergency rooms with non-emergent illnesses, ie, colds, flu, etc. Their treatment costs money, but since they don’t really cross the border with insurance cards in hand, guess who pays for it?

b) Our Sheriff Joe seems to know how to round them up.

c)Not extensive care maybe, but care nonetheless. When you have a woman having a heart attack right in front of you and you tell her she has to wait her turn because the trauma rooms are full of people with sinus infections, I’d say we have a problem. Oh, and the woman was me.

koz on June 7, 2009 at 11:34 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKCWbq18bNk

The uninsured in America

Itchee Dryback on June 6, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Extremely informative. Thanks for the link!

LEBA on June 7, 2009 at 12:39 PM

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