August 15, 2009

"Nothing that described specifics." You are astounded, I'm sure.

Someone is actually trying to read the House health care bill. Perhaps he's the only one! (Surely this constitutes a hate crime?) ... The Gormogons: HR 3200, Pages 1-100:

Your Czar has completed reading pages 1-100 of all 1,017 pages, eager to learn how HR 3200, if passed, would make healthcare affordable to all Americans.

It’s a little hard to fathom that the entire country can be powered by the few words and amendments of the United States Constitution, but it takes 1,017 pages to discuss health insurance. Of course, as you shall read, most of these pages have little to do with health care reform, per se....

...43 pages in, the Czar muttered "Holy cow. Still nothing but definitions of terms and descriptions of people who will have Very Important and Necessary Jobs to do once this is enacted. This is reading more like an operations manual for an insurance company, not a bill." Take note of that. It becomes important later.

Sec 142 (e) "The Commissioner shall provide for the development of standards for the definitions of terms used in health insurance coverage, including insurance-related terms." Yikes. The Commissioner needs to develop standards for health insurance related terms? What's wrong with the ones we use today? Oh, that's right: they don't spend taxpayer money on frivolous jobs.

The Czar began to notice that a lot of the sections, like 2714 and 2754, purport to discuss ensuring lower premiums. But when he read it, he found nothing that described specifics. Instead, there were blanket statements that it will be someone's responsibility to find a way to lower premiums. The Czar cannot imagine this in the real, corporate world. "My proposal is to save to you money." How? "Hire me first, and then I'll come up with something."

Then the Czar gasped at Section 1173A, in which it discusses electronic administrative transactions, and then lovingly describes how databases will be established, down to optional fields, and to ensure the ability to "harmonize all common data elements." Holy crap, when do we discuss font options? HIPAA, godsend of libertarians everywhere, isn't even discussed until page 62....
Posted by John Weidner at August 15, 2009 11:43 AM
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