Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet the Future Death Panel Czar

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will determine what medical treatments are and are not available to you under the Senate health bill. It is quite possible she will determine if you live or die.

A serach of the Senate health bill will bring up "secretary" 2,500 times, according to Susan Ferrechio, Chief Congressional Correspondent for the Washington Examiner.

Ferrechio continues:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be awarded unprecedented new powers under the proposal, including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it.

"The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and humans services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill," said Devon Herrick, a health care expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

For instance, on Page 122 of the 2,079-page bill, the secretary is given the power to establish "the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a qualified health care plan."...And the bill even empowers the department to establish a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that would have the authority to make cost-saving cuts without having to get the approval of Congress first.

"It's a huge amount of power being shifted to HHS, and much of it is highly discretionary," said Edmund Haislmaier, an expert in health care policy and insurance markets at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Haislmaier said one the greatest powers HHS would gain from the bill is the authority to regulate insurance. States currently hold this power, and under the Senate bill, the federal government would usurp it from them. This could lead to the federal government putting restrictions and changes in place that destabilize the private insurance market by forcing companies to lower premiums and other charges, he said.
Destabilizing the private insurance sector is part of the plan to "nudge" everyone into a public plan. It will take time to pull off, but that is the goal. In the meantime, Sebelius will be able to control treatments via capping of price, any treatment she deems unecessary she can mark the price down so low that any health provider won't be able to provide it without losing money.

Once most are in public plan the real cost cutting will begin, including cutting back on treatments that will prolong your life.

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