You will recall that Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi said it would be necessary to pass the 2,741 page America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H. R. 3200), otherwise known as ObamaCare, in order to know what’s in it!
Your humble correspondent has attempted several times to read parts of it, but gave up after having been totally bogged down in legalese, and repeated references to other legislation, sub-headings, sub-sub headings, etc.
During last week’s Supreme Court hearing to determine its constitutionality, Justice Antonin Scalia stated that to expect him to actually read H. R. 3200 would be considered “cruel and unusual punishment,” and therefore in violation of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution!
It seems that every few days another provision of H. R. 3200 is uncovered, generally to our detriment, and often having no relation to health care. I tend to suspect that there are new and unrelated items currently being sneaked into the law, since no one really knows its original content anyhow!
Fortunately, a Judge Kathil of Marble Falls, TX, much more skilled in reading legal documents than I, has ferreted out some of the more interesting aspects of this law, and has made them available to us in language we can understand. You can find the actual law he cites on the Internet at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3200ih/pdf/BILLS-111hr3200ih.pdf, or by looking it up in your local library.
Included Judge Kathil’s revelations are:
Page 50, Section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all U. S. residents, even if they are here illegally.
Pages 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account, and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts!
Page 65, Section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees, and for community organizations, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
Page 203, line 14-15: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax for purposes of determining the amount of any credit under this chapter, or for purposes of section 55.’’ This definition is being debated right now by the Supreme Court in the determination of maximum taxation levels. Therefore the Administration does not want this cost identified as a “tax”!
Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctor’s fees.
Page 272, Section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration patient care according to the patient’s age.
Pages 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion.
Page 425, lines 4-12: Those on Social Security will be required to attend an end-of-life planning seminar every five years.
Page 429, Lines 12-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.
Even while the Supreme Court is deliberating the Constitutionality of H. R. 3200, the Obama administration is moving ahead with its implementation. A $1 billion transfer of funds has been quietly made to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to “use as it sees fit.” So far it has “seen fit” to transfer around $500,000,000 of it to the IRS for hiring agents to implement the new law. The entire $1 billion is to be spent by to the end of September, just prior to the fall elections.
The Government Accountability Office has declared the transfers to be perfectly legal, naturally, and “consistent with how agencies have used general implementation funds in the past.” But there have never been this many funds allocated for this purpose in the past, and whose legality is yet to be determined. The Administration’s idea is to have so much of the program implemented that the Supreme Court dare not outlaw it. “Too big to fail,” you know!
Incidentally, the provisions of H. R. 3200 will not apply to members of Congress since they already have provided themselves with a well-funded private plan that covers all their medical and retirement needs.