Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Unchecked Power to “Health Care Czar”



September 1, 2009 | House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) | Permalink

One of the most potentially frightening – and little understood – concerns about House Democrats’ government takeover of health care is the unprecedented power given to a new federal bureaucrat, the “Health Choices Commissioner.”  As the name implies, rather than giving more choices to the American people, the Democrats’ bill lets a government employee make choices that should be made by families and doctors.  House Republican Leader John Boehner made the following comment:

“The American people want two things from health care reform:  lower costs and more choices.  Yet Democrats have done exactly the opposite, coming up with a bill that actually raises costs – increasing the deficit by $240 billion – and letting a new federal bureaucrat make health care decisions that should be left to patients and their doctors.  President Obama should make it clear he doesn’t support this ill-conceived legislation, and work with Republicans to craft a bipartisan bill that accomplishes the American peoples’ goals.” 

The House Democrats’ bill gives unchecked power to a new “Health Choices Com-missioner” who will be so powerful that his or her title is referenced 182 times in the House Democrats bill.  This bureaucrat would have the power to:

  • Pages 84-87; Section 203 - Decide which treatments patients could receive and at what cost.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(1) - Decide which private plans would be allowed to participate in the Exchange.
  • Page 40; Section 134 - Regulate all insurance plans, both in and out of the Exchange.
  • Page 80; Section 202(e) - Determine which employers would be allowed to participate in the Exchange.
  • Page 82; Section 202(f) - Determine how many and which Americans will be allowed to choose health coverage through the Exchange.
  • Page 90; Section 204(b) - Decide which physicians and hospitals participate in the government-run plan and in private plan provider networks.
  • Page 111-115; Section 208 – Deter-mine which states are allowed to operate their own Exchange and to terminate a previously-approved State Exchange at any time.
  • Page 87; Section 203(d) - Override state laws regarding covered health benefits.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(2) – Deter-mine how trillions of taxpayer and employer dollars would be spent within the Exchange.
  • Page 42; Section 142(a)(3) – Deter-mine who qualifies for premium assistance.
  • Page 97-99; Section 205 – Auto-matically enroll Americans into the Exchange if they don’t have coverage, including potentially forcing these individuals into the government-run plan.

Democrats should stop ignoring the will of the American people.  They need to scrap this government takeover and work on common sense reforms to lower health care costs and increase access.  Let’s hope after a long, hot summer back in their Congressional Districts, Democrats will be willing to do just that.

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