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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Healthcare bill looks goulish and scaaaary

(Editor's note: The following was written by Dracula while I was in that long dreamy trance. I'm still whoozy and my neck aches. )

Dear my friends (ahahahahahaaaaa):

I just got done sucking the blood of the RT Cave publisher (MMM!!! It was soooooo tasty!)

Now that he's out of the way I will take this time to voice my opinion about something that would make my blood boil -- well, if I had any it would boil.

I have obtained a copy of the healthcare reform bill released by the leadership of the U.S. House that merges all the versions of the bill passed thus far. This piece of work is expected to be "considered" by the full house next week.

The following are the major provisions of the bill and how it might effect you and other future sources of lunch (in blood red):
  • Expansion of health insurance to an estimated 96 percent of legal US residents under 65.
  • Individual mandate with penalties. (unconstitutional)
  • Employer mandate for those with payrolls over $500,000 with penalty (unconstitutional).
  • Subsidies for low- and middle-income families. (spreading wealth)
  • Medicaid expansion for families at or near poverty level Insurance reform (paid for by taxing people who have succeeded. This bill calls for a tax on insurance companies which will fall to the taxpayers by higher premiums, thus a tax hike.)
  • Ban on pre-existing condition exclusions. (a better way of doing this would be to give private insurance companies a tax break for taking the risk.)
  • Ban on rate adjusting based on pre-existing conditions or gender (this I like. Insurance companies could also get a tax break for taking on the increased risk, which is rewarding the risk takers).
  • Limits on rate adjustment, limited to age and family size.
  • Public Option with negotiated provider payment rates (check out this post. You ll learn the public option isn't so great after all).

Here's how the bill will be paid for:

  • $480 billion tax increase for singles $500,000/families $1 million. (Punish the achievers to the benefit of the have nots. This will be another disincentive for companies to take the risks needed to move up to the next income level)
  • $20 billion tax on medical devices. (which will be passed down to consumers, which are mostly the middle class who were promised no tax hike).
  • $400 million in spending cuts (mostly Medicare) (In a bill signed in the early 1980s, Congress promised to cut spending and never did. Can we trust Congress now. A recent poll shows 90% of Americans want all new Congressmen, a testament they don't trust the people who are responsible for this bill).

The bill also includes:

  • Medicare coverage of end-of-life counseling (described as "advance care planning" in the bill). (hHmmm??? What might this lead to)?
  • SSI eligibility exemption for clinical trials participation compensation - Improving Access to ..Clinical Trials. Expansion of Comparative Effectiveness Research.
  • Provisions to address healthcare workforce shortages. Physician payment "sunshine" requirements - but with an exemption for industry- sponsored CME ..activities.
  • Expansion of Medicare quality programs. Expands Medicare and Medicaid beneficiary access to preventive services by eliminating. cost- ..sharing. (Cost reduction is great, but can more easily be done by reducing regulations for private health insurance to improve competition)
  • Strengthening of the public health infrastructure through creation of a Public Health Investment ..Fund with authorized funding of $33 billion over 5 years.
  • Creation of a Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund for community-based prevention and chronic ..disease management with authorized funding of $34 billion over 10 years.

The basic premise of this bill is Congress doesn't trust private companies or people like the (tasty) publisher of this blog and you to do what is right, which is extremely scaaaary. They believe it's the role of the government to tell us what to do for your own benefit. Some people call this the nanny state.

I don't know about you, but this is enough to give even my lifeless bones the eebie jeebies. Just reading it sends a cold shiver up my dead spine. I don't trust your government with a ten foot pole. Sure your gov should have some power, but not this much. If this bill passes it will change the fabric of your lives. It'll be, excuse the pun, a pain in the neck to get rid of if it fails, if not impossible.

It should send a shiver down your spine too, especially considering the slippery slope that is bound to ensue in your neck of the woods. This post and this one describe this bloody, slippery slope.

Healthcare reform is needed, but not a government takeover. Better options would come from reforming the current system and letting people like you guys solve the healthcare problems that exist. Better options are on the table, as you can see by clicking here.

That's my take on it. Feel free to disagree.

Sincerely: Dracula


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