Gingrich’s CHT lists the sections of the law and page numbers for the 159 programs it finds in the ObamaCare law as well as the department or agency which would seem to logically oversee the specific provisions and programs. Matters to be regulated range from grants for women with postpartum depression, to grants for long-term care ombudsmen, whose duties are vague. Five separate major programs deal with women’s health. Section 3509 (a), for instance, says PPACA “transfers all functions and authorities of the existing Office of Women’s Health of the Public Health Service. Located within the Office of he Secretary of HHS; no creation date specified…PPACA authorizes such sums as may be necessary for FY 2010 through FY 2014. Composition of the office not specified; headed by a director, who is appointed by and reports to the director of CDCP [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].” No date specified for appointment of director.
For the Office of Minority Health, the CRS analysis says: “PPACA transfers existing office within the Office of Public Health and Science of the Office of Secretary. No transfer day specified. Composition of the office not specified. Office headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, who shall report directly to the Secretary (of HHS). Office is to ‘retain and strengthen authorities…for the purpose of improving minority health and the quality of health care minorities receive and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities.’ Submit a report to ‘appropriate committees of Congress by 03/23/11 (and biennially) summarizing agency activities.’”
Section 3012 (a), as described briefly by the CRS, is called “Entities to be established by the President. The President shall establish…Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality. No location or creation date specified….Composed of senior level representatives from HHS, CMS, NIH, CDCP, FDA, HRSA, AHRQ, SAMHSA, and ACF, 13 other specified departments and agencies, and any other agencies selected by the President…” (This large assemblage of “worker bees” is to report to Congress by 12/31/10 and annually thereafter.)
Copeland notes that in a number of cases, no mention is stated regarding the management, when a provision will cease to exist and the amount and timing of appropriations. These “may have significant implications for…agency discretion in the implementation of PPACA.” Elsewhere, he says, in other cases, PPACA provides a general description of the new organization, but permits substantial discretion regarding where the new entities are to be positioned…..Much more commonly, however, PPCAC does not indicate in either specific or general terms where the newly created entities are to be established…..Where specific duties are not delineated…those responsible for leading these organizations (and those responsible for appointing those leaders) appear to have substantial latitude in determining how the organizations will operate, and for what purposes.” In other words, faceless bureaucratic rule will be the order of the day.
Single-payer health care is financing the delivery of universal health care to an entire population through a single insurance pool, typically government regulated, according to wikipedia.org. The disadvantages of a single payer health system are the loss of choice, and inevitably increased expenses that are typical with government programs. We already have a single-payer system with Medicare, which certainly doesn’t cover everything, including routine dental care, dentures, hearing aids and exams for fitting hearing aids, cosmetic surgery, and acupuncture, for example. But we will spend about $375 billion for it this year. In a National Bureau of Economic Research Study, authors comparing the U.S. and Canadian Health Systems said that “while it is commonly supposed that a single-payer, publicly-funded system (as Canada has) would deliver better health outcomes …than a multi-payer system with a private component, their study does not support this view. Pap smears (for women) and PSA screenings (for men) were more frequent in the U. S. And the rate of cancer detection was higher in the U.S., for example. As George Will wrote in his July 11 column, “The new health care legislation is a step toward elimination, by slow strangulation, of private health insurance and establishment of government as the ‘single payer.’”
A key bureaucrat in ObamaCare is Dr. Donald Berwick, who heads the federal Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and says he loves the single-payer system, as reported July 27 by CNS News.com and others. Berwick was quoted as saying, like a single-minded bureaucrat, “I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That’s for leaders (translation: know-it-all bureaucrats) to do.”
Before his election, Obama said. “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. But as we all know, we might not get there immediately.” What makes us think he has changed his mind? And remember what Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a fervent proponent of the public option, said in the health-care debate last December “What we are buying here” is a “starter home.” He said, “At some point in the near future we’re going to have some sort of public option.”
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