The Insurance Reform Debate


In an effort to be politically correct, I’ll use the new terminology “Insurance Reform” instead of “The Healthcare Reform Debate”.

Some Common Sense answers to some prevailing questions.

• Will there be rationing?
• Will the bill prohibit Private Health Insurers selling new policies?
• Will seniors be required to have “end of life counseling”?

Will there be rationing?
Let’s start with what Washington keeps telling us, and that is that there are 50 Million uninsured that need to be insured, so for the sake of argument here lets use their number. How can you add that many people to the system and not expect rationing. Are we adding Doctors? Are we adding nurses? Are we adding facilities? Did you answer no to the last three questions?

You have to understand that rationing already exists in the Government run Medicare program. With Medicare price controls in place, it is has taken its toll on the senior population and often times they have difficulty getting appointments with their primary care physician. Based on a recent ABC News report, Primary Care Doctors are opting out of taking Medicare or in the process of opting out due to the payment levels. Levels that are so low, they cannot afford to treat Medicare patients.

Is there any doubt that the same access-restricting tactics will inevitably be employed with this proposed Government run “Public Option”? The same “Public Option” that seems at first glance to closely resembling that of the Tax-Payer subsidized plan in Massachusetts. According to a new study,, “One in five [Massachusetts] adults said they had been told in the last 12 months that a doctor or clinic was not accepting new patients or would not see patients with their type of insurance.” So the myth that they are going to cut Healthcare costs and give more people, more coverage without rationing care is exactly that “a myth”.

Recently NCPA stated “The only way to control health care costs is to get doctors to provide less care — fewer tests, fewer procedures, fewer everything”. So once again, the question; Will there be rationing? And the “common sense” answer is an emphatic, YES.

Will the bill prohibit Private Health Insurers selling new policies?
This is an easy cut and dried answer that does not take any statistical analysis as the answer lies right in the bill on page 16. Recently Investor’s Business Daily reviewed H.R. 3200, a 1,018-page bill, and sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee to clarify the clause” Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage,” in the “Limitation on Enrollment” section on
Page 16:

“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,”

That’s pretty to the point isn’t it? No explanation needed.

Will seniors be required to have “end of life counseling”?
That’s what the bill says, “They will be spoken to about the different end of life choices that can be undertaken.”…….. what the hay does that mean? Did you catch the big “M” word there? When the Government makes something “Mandatory” (which is scary in itself), than that usually means that if you do not comply, there will be consequences, but I haven’t been able to find out what those consequences are yet, hmmmmmm, maybe because they haven’t told us.

Here’s a quote from the bill;
Under “QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE,” the bill says, “For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.”

So, let me be clear here, the “Secretary shall include quality measures” that are adopted by a consensus based organization, which measure “creation of and adherence to orders of life sustaining treatment”. So in other words once a decision has been made there’s no going back, and, it’s going to be made by a “consensus based organization”? Okay, so who exactly is the “consensus based organization”? Would that be “Medpac” the same Medpac that Sebelius recently spoke of. The Medpac that is the US equivalent of the U.K’s N.I.C.E? Tom Daschle even pointed to NICE as a model for a health care board to help decide if services are “effective” or “appropriate”. The following statistics from the NPCA (National Center for Policy Analysis) recent article that shows the discrimination that comes into play when such a board is put in to place.

• NICE has adopted a rule of thumb that health expenditures are inappropriate if they involve spending more than $22,000 to save six months of life.
• As a result, British cancer patients do not have access to drugs that are routinely available in the United States.
• The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 25,000 British cancer patients die prematurely every year because of these restrictions.

Someone recently summed it up like this, “The 5 year mandatory counseling sessions smells of a lobbyist’s hard efforts on behalf of the counseling industries.”, and that my friend is an excellent observation.

Until next time, stand proud, be passionate, and as patriots we will prevail.

BreeLee Johnston is the founder of United American Tea Party which is a Chapter of Just Patriots Inc in St. Johns County. She is a member of the National Leadership Council of Tea Party Patriots as well as the Florida Coordinator for ICaucus.org and contributes a regular guest editorial to Historic City News.

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