The chain e-mail purports to give "a few highlights" from the first half of the bill, but the list of 48 assertions is filled with falsehoods, exaggerations and misinterpretations. Only four are accurate. A few of our "highlights": The e-mail claims that page 30 of the bill says that "a government committee will decide what treatments … you get," but that page refers to a "private-public advisory committee" that would "recommend" what minimum benefits would be included in basic, enhanced and premium insurance plans. The e-mail says that "non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services" but points to a provision that prohibits discrimination in health care based on "personal characteristics. Enrollment is already restricted. The bill extends the ability to do that.
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The chain e-mail purports to give "a few highlights" from the first half of the bill, but the list of 48 assertions is filled with falsehoods, exaggerations and misinterpretations. Only four are accurate. A few of our "highlights": The e-mail claims that page 30 of the bill says that "a government committee will decide what treatments … you get," but that page refers to a "private-public advisory committee" that would "recommend" what minimum benefits would be included in basic, enhanced and premium insurance plans.
The e-mail says that "non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services" but points to a provision that prohibits discrimination in health care based on "personal characteristics. Enrollment is already restricted. The bill extends the ability to do that. Instead, it shows evidence of a reading comprehension problem on the part of the author.
Some of our more enterprising readers have even taken it upon themselves to debunk a few of the assertions, sending us their notes and encouraging us to write about it. We applaud your fact-checking skills and your skepticism. And skepticism is warranted. Chain e-mail: Subject: A few highlights from the first pages of the Healthcare bill in congress Contact your Representatives and let them know how you feel about this.
We, as a country, cannot afford another page bill to go through congress without being read. Another pages to go. I have highlighted a few of the items that are down right unconstitutional. You will have no choice. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly.
Put simply, private insurers will be crushed. No alternatives. Seniors and the poor most affected. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time. Government intervenes in your marriage.
The claims have been embraced as true and posted on hundreds of Web sites, and forwarded in the form of chain e-mails countless times. It would have no power to decide what treatments anybody will get. Its recommendations on benefits might or might not be adopted. False: The new Health Choices Commissioner will oversee a variety of choices to be offered through new insurance exchanges.
We find nothing in the bill that prevents insurance companies from offering benefits that exceed the minimums. Claim: Page All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services. This page includes "SEC. Page states: "Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.
Insurance companies typically issue such cards already, but if such a standard were issued the cards would need to be in a standard form readable by computers. Claim: Page The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer. This section aims to simplify electronic payments for health services, the same sort of electronic payments that already are common for such things as utility bills or mortgage payments. The bill calls for the secretary of Health and Human Services to set standards for electronic administrative transactions that would "enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice.
Also, the section does not say that electronic payments from consumers is required. Page 65 is the start of a section SEC. Furthermore, the aim of the fund is to cut premiums, copays and deductibles for the retirees. This page begins a section setting up a new, national Health Insurance Exchange through which individuals and employers may choose from a variety of private insurance plans, much like the system that now covers millions of federal workers.
Any private insurance plans offered through this exchange must meet new federal standards. Claim: Page All private healthcare plans must participate in the Health care Exchange i.
Nothing like this appears on page Any employer may choose to buy coverage elsewhere. In fact, the vast majority of employers will still be buying private plans through the normal marketplace, because only employers with 10 or fewer employees are even allowed to buy through the exchange in the first year.
The limit rises to 20 employees in the second year. However, new plans sold directly to individuals will only be sold through the exchange. Individuals who currently buy their own coverage can keep those plans if they wish, and if the insurance company continues to offer them. Claim: Page Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens Misleading. Claim: Page Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
Partly true. So on paper at least, they would have a choice. Claim: Page No company can sue the government for price-fixing. Half true. Physicians would still be free to charge what they wish for other patients, and free not to accept patients covered by the new program just as they are now free to refuse Medicare patients. This would only be the "public option" if the employer was eligible to buy coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange not likely, at least during the first two years when only small businesses would have access , and the "public option" was the cheapest plan which would be likely.
They may reject auto-enrollment under an opt-out provision page This proportion will depend on the average weekly hours of part-time employees compared with the minimum weekly hours required to be a full-time employee, as specified by the Health Choices Commissioner. For a point of reference: The minimum contribution for individual plans of full-time employees is not less than Both Partly True. The bill requires employers either to offer private health insurance coverage or pay a percentage of their payroll expenses to help finance a public plan.
This is the mechanism in the bill to enforce the individual mandate requiring everyone to have insurance. The tax is spelled out in subsection a starting on page In other words, in order to qualify for a government subsidy to purchase health insurance, the government needs to confirm your income. And, no surprise, the government already has access to your federal tax information.
Claim: Page Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Both False. Both of these claims pertain to Section , which updates the physician fee schedule for for Medicare. For example, the RVUs assigned to a colonoscopy are currently double the RVUs assigned to an intermediate office visit.
In fact, page is part of a section Sec. Claim: Page Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
The author has simply misunderstood what this controversial item would do. In fact, page is the start of a section Sec. The hospital industry has estimated this would translate into a 1.
Claim: Page Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs. Claim: Page Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing! This page merely calls for a study of whether a certain class of hospitals incur higher costs than some others for the cancer care they deliver.
Claim: Page Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions. Claim: Page Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government. That section is part of a list of potential physician-centered approaches to reducing excess hospital readmissions.
The bill states that the secretary of Health and Human Services will conduct a study on the best ways to enforce readmissions policies with physicians. One of the approaches the secretary must consider is the option to reduce payments to physicians whose treatment results in a hospital readmission. Another is the option to increase payments to physicians who check up on recently released patients.
Claim: Page Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies! Claim: Page Prohibition on hospital expansion. Expansion is forbidden only for rural, doctor-owned hospitals that have been given a waiver from the general prohibition on self-referral.
It does not apply to hospitals in general. The bill provides for exceptions to even this limited expansion ban page Claim: Page Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i. This section does deal with establishing quality measures for Medicare. It does not make any recommendations for treatment, or empower anyone to make treatment recommendations based on those measures. The bill allows for the possibility of disqualifying underperforming Medicare Advantage plans, which include Medicare HMOs.
Medicare Advantage plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits. Under the bill, the secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to disallow plans that are providing low-quality care under the new quality measures which include evaluations of patient health, mortality, safety and quality of life. If a plan is disqualified, this will not leave seniors without care. In , 82 percent of beneficiaries had access to six or more private fee-for-service plans, one type of Medicare Advantage plan along with HMOs, PPOs and medical spending accounts.
Beneficiaries are also always free to return to the regular Medicare fee-for-service program. Page merely extends the authority to do that beyond the end of next year, when it was set to expire.
Plans can be restricted to accepting only those patients who fall into in one or more special categories. These include those who are institutionalized think, nursing homes , those who qualify both for Medicare and Medicaid think, both low-income and over age 65 and those with severe or disabling chronic conditions such as diabetes, emphysema, chronic heart failure or dementia.
And of course, this has nothing to do with children with learning problems.
Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200
Congressional Budget Office is a non-partisan organization that analyzes the effect on the federal budget of proposed and existing legislation on behalf of the Congress. The cutoff changes to twenty or fewer employees the next year. The legislation does not specify any further phases, leaving that up to the officer to decide. Employers that currently offer insurance have a five-year grace period after the act begins before they would be subject to the standards. Individuals would be free to purchase their own private insurance, or work with the public option, in this period and afterward. It will consist of 9 more individuals who are not federal employees that are appointed by the President of the United States. It will also consist of 9 members who are appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009