It seems like an appropriate name for morass that is the House Democrats healthcare plan.  A plan that will hose people who are successful and create a bureaucratic mess illustrated by the flowchart below (click the picture for a larger version).

It looks a little like chutes and ladders doesn’t it?  Then you have little gems like this… a provision that will make individual private health insurance illegal as the Investor’s Business Daily discovered:

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

I’m sure they didn’t mean to put that in there did they?  It must be a mistake.  To any current or future state or federal legislator who may come across this post, may this be a lesson to you, read the darn bill.  Oh but that’s not all, IBD continues…

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, "fizzle out altogether."

What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

This health care plan is bad news.  There is no doubt that health care needs to be addressed.  But again one of the scariest phrases ever heard by man, “we’re from the Government and we are here to help.”

HT: Chicago Blues Girl

Update: Leave it to the New York Times to defend health care rationing.  If the House Health Care Reform Bill doesn’t pass, go kiss a Blue Dog Democrat, but will they have any bite?

2nd Update: If the Democrats don’t want to listen to common sense, maybe they’ll at least listen to the Congressional Budget Office.

20 comments
  1. Wait a second . . . this is a real, official org chart? I thought this was a joke!

    Please tell me it's a sarcastic mock-up!

    We've already had inklings of what government healthcare is going to be like. My son has been covered under Medi-Cal and has Kaiser for an HMO. Recently we had to take him in to the doctor because of a 103 degree temperature. The appointment center made the appointment and we went in.

    We got to the counter only to have them tell us that he's a non-member. Huh? The appointment center didn't mention this. Medi-Cal had sent us a note that we had a few days to get some paperwork in to continue his coverage but never said he would be canceled (of course).

    So after my wife having to drive down to the Medi-Cal office to simply show them that we closed our savings account, they said that he's re-enrolled through the end of the month but it takes 3-4 days for their computer system to show as such. Terrific.

    After praying that Kaiser would take him in spite of a computer records issue, they did. But this was but a small taste of government run health care and I told my wife the same. It sucks on toast and there is no way it's constitutional!

    Greetings Shane!

  2. No, just that the complexity argument is a non-starter.

    I would also suggest that government involvement *is* necessary in healthcare. We can argue the details but government is necessary to set the appropriate priorities.

  3. There will always be some form of government involvement (regulation, etc.), but does that mean our government should be so involved at such a cost? No. We simply can't afford this as a nation. Even with increasing taxes on the rich, they still don't have enough money to cover it.

    “but government is necessary to set the appropriate priorities” that statement gave me chills, but instead of assuming what you mean by that, could you explain?

  4. One priority is to ensure that everyone has access to health care when needed. The idea of having uninsured crawl off to the woods to die is not an option nor is one in which preventative care isn't provided.

    Another priority is to ensure that people don't get ejected from a plan simply because they develop an expensive condition. Pooling must be all inclusive and non-selective (essentially random).

    Bankrupcty due to medical costs must be contained. Everyone should be covered with some form of catastrophic insurance.

    Costs must better align with that of other countries that have similar outcomes. We currently pay 2-4x more and have worse outcomes (even factoring for demographics). Medicine provided should be evidence-based.

    Other directives: Universal medical record and billing databases. Transparent cost tracking and contracts. Medical rating systems for doctors, hospitals and insurers.

    It may be nice to hope that health care can be managed as an open, free market but unfortunately, it will not meet the conditions necessary to perform as such and nor will it provide the broad, comprehensive coverage we want.

  5. I would add: I'm not sure we can afford to *not* have a government option to help contain costs.

  6. “The idea of having uninsured crawl off to the woods to die is not a option nor is one in which preventative care isn't provided”

    Really? I thought that would be the way to deal with it.

    Come on! Nobody is advocating NOT doing something. The ideas you list later in the comment are pretty good. Also how about Tort reform so doctor's liability insurance isn't so sky high.

    1. I agree that lawsuits are a source of increased cost. Tort reform would help though I disagree with much of the capping legislation — That penalizes the wrong party. There are other ways, like reforming how courts define expert advice and pre-screening cases that could reduce the inefficiencies of the system (Professional juries is not a bad idea either, but would probably require a substantial revision of our legal system). Another aid would be increased transparency for doctor ratings and reviews and swifter removal of poor doctors and medical professionals, the ones most likely to cause problems.

      Still, that doesn’t account for all the differential with other nations. Paperwork and overhead from health insurance companies also add a huge cost. Dropping expensive patients from plans shifts the burden to the public and pushes them into much more expensive emergency-mode care.

      Crawling into the woods to die is the way the private market is managed now. This is why Aetna rose in the stock market after its mergers. It’s what a VP of Cigna admitted (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html) These folks are spending over a million dollars a day lobbying Washington (I recognize that these companies are not evil, but simply doing business as they must).

      I agree that lawsuits are a source of increased cost. Tort reform would help though I disagree with much of the capping legislation — That penalizes the wrong party. There are other ways, like reforming how courts define expert advice and pre-screening cases that could reduce the inefficiencies of the system. Another aid would be increased transparency for doctor ratings and reviews and swifter removal of poor doctors and medical professionals, the ones most likely to cause problems.

      Still, that doesn’t account for all the differential with other nations. Paperwork and overhead from health insurance companies also add a huge cost. Dropping expensive patients from plans shifts the burden to the public and pushes them into much more expensive emergency-mode care.

  7. Shane, well put. “Hell Care” I would suggest everyone watch Steven Crowder's Video “Obamacare yea or Nay? the truth about Canada” Crowder is now with Pajama's T.V. and he posts on Big Hollywood. Crowder is a Dual Citizen U.S. and Canada. He goes undercover with his Canadian friends to expose the ills of socialized medicine.

    It is MUST VIEWING for ALL imho.

  8. The House bill does not make private health insurance illegal.

    The bill does add various legal requirements for health insurance, for example, that they not withhold coverage from individuals with pre-existing conditions. Instead of simply immediately requiring that all insurers change their structures and conditions, the bill allows existing coverage schemes to be grandfathered in.

    Thus, if you already have an individual plan that excludes people with pre-existing conditions, you can keep that plan. But new enrollees cannot choose that plan. New enrollees can enroll in private individual plans, but they will have to meet the new requirements.

    In short, the editorial is, at best, extremely misleading.

    Whatever you do, don't bother to let the facts get in the way of a good fear-mongering rumor!

  9. You are right, if they went to pg. 19, that would be explained – http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/81987/.

    However according The Foundry:

    neglects to see the importance of the phrase “Exchange-participating health benefits plan” in the passage he quotes above. In order to qualify as an “Exchange-participating health benefits plan,” all health insurance plans must confirm to a slew of new regulations, including community rating and guaranteed issue. These will all drive up the cost of health insurance. Furthermore, all these new regs would not apply just to individual insurance plans, but to all insurance plans. So the House bill will also drive up the cost of your existing employer coverage. Until, of course, it becomes too expensive and they just dump you into the government plan.

    So IBD is wrong: individual health insurance will not be outlawed. But it will be effectively regulated out of existence… which is effectively the same thing.

  10. Oops! sorry I failed to mention you can put the title of Steven Crowder's video on You tube “Obamacare yea or nay? the truth about Canada” in the search engine.

  11. “Democrat Leadership Partners With Rube Goldberg on Healthcare”…
    he first thing I noticed about this chart is that once you enter into it there is no way out. Your health will be held hostage by bureaucrats. With every paycheck you earn you will pay a ransom in the form of taxes, yet freedom will never come to you. This maze is our destiny if the current healthcare bill passes into law. After further study of this “flow chart”, it did reveal something interesting. If the plan on the chart works as it is laid out, right about where the chart says “consumers” is where the Road Runner gets hit with a really big rock.
    .-= PoliticalVentilation.com´s last blog ..Democrat Leadership Partners With Rube Goldberg on Healthcare =-.

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