By Fr. George Welzbacher
August 9, 2009
"Never buy a pig in a poke!" That's a cautionary proverb against ever buying anything "sight unseen." Buying a pig that's inside a bag (a "poke") without first hauling the pig out for a buyer's inspection is just plain dumb. Which is why members of Congress would do well, before voting on House Resolution 3200, to take the time to read its more than a thousand pages and thus to discover what Nancy and Friends have concocted for them. Actually reading the bill before the vote is cast would allow our representatives to sift out the chaff from the wheat (and would provide a welcome contrast with the arm-twisting, "Gotta-get-this-done!" procedures that gave us the $787 billion Stimulus Bill, delivered to the House at 1:00 a.m. and voted on, all thousand pages of it, later that same day). Another ancient saying-in Latin this time: Festina lente! (make haste slowly!)- ought also to be taken to heart. One of the ways in which really bad legislation that could never pass muster if presented directly to the citizens can still be foisted upon them is to stampede their representatives into voting so quickly that they don't know what it is that they're voting on. Given current appeals for speed, speed, speed- "We've got to vote this bill into law before August! "-one is justified in wondering if this age-old ploy is being recalled to active duty.
And shouldn't at least some of the public statements made by persons close to the Administration about following "new directions" in health care give thoughtful citizen's pause? Certain statements in particular from Ezechiel Emanuel, a medical doctor who is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, are sobering. Why? Because, as the president's appointee, he serves as the Health Policy Adviser at the Federal Office of Management and Budget. And he also serves on the board of the Federal Council an Comparative Effectiveness Research, the council that makes recommendations about which kinds of treatment "make sense", given a patient's physical condition and age. In the New York Post for July 24th Betsy McCaughey, former Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York, reported that the same Dr. Ezechiel Emanuel is on record (in the Journal of the American Medical Association for June 18, 2008) as saying that the Hippocratic Oath, which for twenty-five centuries has been the fixed star by which, at least in lands shaped by Western Civilization, medical practitioners have steered, should now be superseded by "communitarian" considerations, meaning that the oath should not be taken "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others." Rather, in the interests of reducing the cost of medical care across the board, rationing, in Dr. Emanuel's judgment, seems the reasonable way to go. It's foolish, so he would have us believe, to allocate scarce (and growing scarcer) resources for the benefit of those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example is NOT guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." Thus spake the brother of the White House Chief of Staff as cited in the Hastings Center Report for November - December 1996.
In words such as these is there not a whiff, or maybe something more than a whiff, of Hilter's categorization, back in the 1930's, of mentally impaired Germans as "useless eaters'? And if health services are not to be "guaranteed" for those suffering from dementia, just what course of action is to be taken? Even to "warehouse" them under the most primitive conditions involves some expense. Would Dr. Emanuel care to tell us just what he has in mind? And do not certain comments by President Obama himself, though not quite as cold-blooded, convey nevertheless the same basic counsel, namely, that the amount of medical help to which a patient is entitled should he determined by the patient's capacity (as estimated by somebody) to make a contribution to "society". Generous help for those who cannot do "all that much" for society, as calculated in quantifiable terms and from a purely secular viewpoint, would therefore have to be considered an unwise investment. Isn't that the gist of what the president was saying in a recent town hall meeting when, in reply to a woman who had asked what he thought about the propriety of the government's paying for the installation of a pacemaker to make life easier for her elderly mother who suffered from chronic heart problems, he said. "Look, the first thing for all of us to understand is that we actually have some-some choices to make about how we want to deal with our own end of- life care.... We as a culture and as a society [can start] to make better decisions within our families and for ourselves .. at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that, you know what? Maybe this isn't going to help. Maybe you're better off NOT having surgery but taking painkillers . " A.K.A., if a pill can fit the bill, why not go for the cheaper option? Which raises the whole important question about "reasonable limits" to the duration of end-of-life care. If saving money for the government-not to mention the patient's heirs-is the preponderant consideration, well them, what's to keep us from going the Oregon Way? I mean, once it's legal, of course.
* * * * *May I share with you here a "chapter and verse" analysis of the draft legislation currently before the U.S. House of Representatives for study, amendment and vote. The analysis was prepared by the staff of The Liberty Counsel, whose officers are in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Liberty Counsel is a non-profit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the traditional family. It was founded and is directed by Matthew Staver. Liberty Counsel, P.O. Box 540774, Orlando, Florida 32854. Telephone: 1-800-671- 1 776. Since I myself have not read the thousand and more pages of this draft legislation I simply present for your reflection the work product of the Liberty Counsel staff, without issuing any personal endorsement of its assertions.
* * * * *Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!
Obama Health Care Plan Details
HR 3200 currently under consideration in the House of Representatives
Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get
Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!
Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!
Pg 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
Pg 58 HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access to individual's finances & a National ID Healthcard will be issued!
Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to your bank accts for electronic. funds transfer.
Pg 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).
Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange to bring priv HC plans under Govt control.
Pg 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private. HC plans in the Exchange.
Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!
Pg 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Govt mandates lingistic appropriate services
Example - Translation for illegal aliens.
Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.
Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Ben levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - Your Health Care WILL be rationed
Pg 102 Lines
12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Individual will be automatically
in Medicaid. No choice
Pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Govt will tell YOU what you can make.
Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into pub opt plan. NO CHOICE.
Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.
Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Emplyer w/payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll.
Pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesn't provide public opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.
Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay).
Pg 195 Officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records.
Pg 203 Line 14-15 HC – “The tax
imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says
Pg 239 Line
14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician services four Medicaid.
Seniors, low income, poor affected.
241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors, does not matter what specialty you
have, you’ll all be paid the same.
Pg 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr’s
time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans.
Pg 265 Sec 1131 Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries.
Pg 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.
Pg 272 SEC. 1145. Treatment of certain cancer
hospitals– Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!
Pg 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what Govt
deems preventable readmissions. (Incentives for hospitals to not treat
Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.
Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand.
Pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!
Pg 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Govt mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing.
Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Govt plan
Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people!
Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee. Can you say HC by phone/Internet?
Pg 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance [Death] Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life.
Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!
Pg 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.
Pg 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Govt has a say in how your life ends.
Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “adv. care planning consult” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.
Pg 429 Lines 10-12 “adv. care consultation” may incl an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV
Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
Pg 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.
Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?
Pg 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment to a community based org. Like ACORN?
Pg 489 Sec 1308
The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. They will insert
Govt iinto your marriage.
Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those svcs.
Pg 502 Sec 1181
Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. – Hello Big
Brother – Literally.
Pg 503 Lines 13-19 Gov't will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic med records.
503 lines 21-25 Gov't may secure data directly from any depart or
agency of the US including your data.
Pg 504 Lines
6-10 The “Center” will collect data both published & unpublished
(that means public & your private info)
Pg 506 Lines 19-21 The Center will recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.
Pg 518 Lines
21-25 The Commission will have input from HC consumer reps – Can you
say unions & ACORN?
Pg 524 18-22
Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund set up. More taxes for
Pg 621 Lines 20-25 Govt will define what Quality means in HC. Since when does Govt know about quality?
Pg 622 Lines 2-9 To pay for the Qual Standards Govt will transsfer $$ from two other Govt Trust Funds. More Taxes.
Pg 624 “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes & functional status of patients.
Pg 624 “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc
Pg 628 Sec 1443 Govt will give “Multi-Stake Holders” Pre-Rule Making input into Selection of “Quality” Measures
Pg 630 9-24/631 1-9 Those Multi-stake holder groups incl. Unions & groups like ACORN deciding HC quality.
Pg 632 Lines 14-25 The Govt may implement any “Quality measure” of HC Services as they see fit.
Pg 633 14-25/ 634 1-9 The Secretary may issue non-endorsed “Qual Measures” for Physician Services & Dialysis Services.
Pg 635 to 653
Physicians Payments Sunshine Provision – Govt wants to shine sunlight
on Docs but not Govt.
Pg 654-659 Public Reporting on Health Care-Associated Infections – Looks okay.
Pg 660-671 Doctors in Residency – Govt will tell you where yourr residency will be, thus where you’ll live.
Pg 676-686 Govt will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, incl. teaching hospitals
Pg 686-700 Increased Funding to Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. You mean like the Govt with an $18 million website?
Pgs 701-704 SEC 1619 If
your part of HC plan isn't in Gov't HC Exchange but you qualify for Fed
aid, no payment.
Pg 705-709 SEC. 1128 If
Secr gets complaints (ACORN) on HC provider or supplier, Gov't can do
Pg 711 Lines 8-14 The Secretary has broad powers to deny HC providers/suppliers admittance into HC Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.
Pg 719-720 Sec 1637 ANY Doctor who orders durable med equip or home med services MUST be enrolled in Medicare.
Pg 722 Sec 1639 Govt MANDATES Doctors must have face to face with patient to certify patient for Home Health Svcs.
Pg 724 23-25 Pg 725 1-5 The same Govt certifications will apply to Medicaid & CHIP (your kids)
Pg 724 Lines 16-22 Govt reserves rt to apply face to face certification for patient to ANY other HC service.
Pg 735 lines 16-25 For law enforce. proposes the Secretary-HHS will give Atty General access to ALL data.
Pg 740-757 Govt sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (Thats your tax dollars people)
Pg 757-762 Fed
govt will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals
(DSH) to States. (Taxes)
Pg 763 1-8 No DS/EA hospitals will be paid unless they provide
services without regard to national origin.
Pg 768 Sec 1713 Govt – Nurse Home Visitation Svcs (Hello union paybacks)
Pg 769 11-14 Nurse Home Visit Svcs include-economic self-sufficiency, employ adv, school-readiness.
Pg 769 3-5 Nurse Home Visit Svcs – “increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Govt Abortions anyone?
Pg 770 SEC 1714 Fed Gov't mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion & State Sovereign.
Pg 789-797 Govt will set, mandate drug prices, controlling which drugs brought to market. Bye innovation
Pg 797-800 SEC. 1744 PAYMENTS for graduate medical education. The government will now control Drs' education.
Pg 801 Sec 1751 The Govt will decide which Health care conditions will be paid. Say RATION!
Pg 810 SEC. 1759. Billing Agents, clearinghouses, etc req. to register. Govt takes over private payment sys.
Pg 820-824 Sec 1801 Govt will identify individ. ineligible for subsidies. Will access all personal financial information.
Pg 824-829 SEC. 1802. Govt Sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another tax black hole.
Pg 829-833 Govt will impose a fee on ALL private health ins. plans incl. self insured to pay for Trust Fund!
Pg 835 11-13 fees imposed by Govt for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.
Pg 838-840 Govt will design & implement Home Visitation Prog for families with young kids & families expect kids.
844-845 This Home Visitation Prog. includes Govt coming into your house
& telling you how to parent!!!
859 Govt will establish a
Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000. Yes thats Billion
865 The Govt will MANDATE the
establishment of a National Health Service Corps
Pg 865 to 876 The NHS Corps is a program where Drs. perform mandatory HC for 2yrs for part loan repayment
Pg 876-892 The govt takes over the education of our Med students and Drs
Pg 898 The Govt will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps. to ensure supply of public health prof.
Pg 898 The
Public health workforce corps shall consist of civilian employees of
the U.S. as Secretary deems.
Pg 898 The Public health workforce corps shall consist of officers of Regular & Reserve Corps of Service.
Pg 900 The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians
Pg 901 The
Public Health Workforce Corps WILL include commissioned Regular &
Reserve Officers. HC Draft?
Pg 913-914 Govt starts a HC affirmative action program thru guise of diversity scholarships.
Pg 915 SEC. 2251. Govt MANDATES Cultural & linguistic competency training for HC professionals.
Pg 932 The Govt will estab Preventative & Wellness Trust fund- intial cost of $30,800,000,000-Billion.
Pg 935 21-22 Govt will identify specific goals & objectives four prevention & wellness activities. Control You!!!
Pg 936 Govt will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Perform. Standards” Tell me what to eat?
Pg 942 Lines 22-25 More Gov't? Offices of Surgeon General -Public Health Svc, Minority Health, Women’s Health
Pg 950- 980 BIG GOVT core pub health infrastructure including workforce capacity, lab systems; health info sys, etc
Pg 993 Govt will establish school based health clinics. Your kids won't have a chance.
Pg 994 School Based Health Clinic will be integrated into the school environment. Say GOVT Brainwash!
1001 The Govt will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will
you be tracked?
Mathew D. Staver*
*Licensed in Florida and the District of
Now do you understand why we have to
stand up today against this bill and declare with all of the courageous
souls who are sounding the alarm and let us say to the bill-
SHALL NOT PASS."