December 01, 2009
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Would Become Giant Under Senate Plan
HHS would become federal giant under Senate plan
A quick search of the Senate health bill will bring up "secretary" 2,500 times.
That's because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be awarded unprecedented new powers under the proposal, including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it.
"The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and humans services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill," said Devon Herrick, a health care expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
For instance, on Page 122 of the 2,079-page bill, the secretary is given the power to establish "the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a qualified health care plan."
The HHS secretary would also have the power to decide where abortion is allowed under a government-run plan, which has drawn opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats.
And the bill even empowers the department to establish a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation that would have the authority to make cost-saving cuts without having to get the approval of Congress first.
"It's a huge amount of power being shifted to HHS, and much of it is highly discretionary," said Edmund Haislmaier, an expert in health care policy and insurance markets at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Haislmaier said one the greatest powers HHS would gain from the bill is the authority to regulate insurance. States currently hold this power, and under the Senate bill, the federal government would usurp it from them. This could lead to the federal government putting restrictions and changes in place that destabilize the private insurance market by forcing companies to lower premiums and other charges, he said.
"Health and Human Services ... doesn't have any experience with this," Haislmaier said. "I'm looking at the potential for this whole thing to just blow up on people because they have no idea what they are doing. Who in the federal government regulates insurance today? Nobody."
The health care reform legislation would rely on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for recommendations as to what kind of screening and preventive care should be covered. Last week, the group, which operates under HHS, drew sharp criticism for advising that mammograms should begin at age 50, a decade later than the current standard.
Critics of the bill said this was an example of how the new bill could empower HHS to alter health care delivery, but Democrats argue they would rather have the government making these decisions.
"There's an insurance company bureaucrat in between the patient and her doctor right now," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said on ABC's "This Week."
Wild Thing's comment............
Obama and HIS government want it all, they want every part of us, our lives, our earnings, our health, all of it. Next comes the yanking out of everyone’s insides, for fun.
As we all read what is in this bill, you will know that freedom in America will be totally lost. This bill gives the US government total control of your life. It also gives them the ability to get into your bank account. They will snoop to see what you buy and where. You will be punished accordingly.
Freedom will be totally lost. This makes me so sick. Truly frightening.
....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
Posted by Wild Thing at December 1, 2009 04:47 AM
Wonder if she will appoint as an insurance czar or keep all the powers for herself?
Posted by: ahrcanum at December 1, 2009 07:51 AM
Hey Debbie, I would far more trust that insurance company bureaucrat than trust the "esteemed" judgement of a politician. Especially a Democrat or Rino.
This is another attack on the Tenh Amendment as the Feds take a regulatory power away from the states.
Posted by: TomR at December 1, 2009 12:18 PM
The government and Siebelius promised to get 30 Million H1n1 Vaccines for the "PEOPLE" 25 Million are still waiting. They couldn't handle that how in hell are they going to handle 300 Million People...err, 280 Million there are still 20 Million NOT covered. And you'll notice as soon as their grand plan failed they all disappeared from Television.
We are going to hell without the handbasket.
Posted by: Mark at December 1, 2009 01:57 PM
Just another "let's make the government as big as possible" and let the people pay for it but get nothing out of it scenario. Why would I want the government doing everything for me?
Posted by: Lynn at December 1, 2009 02:03 PM
She's in on "the fix" with nothing to lose but her soul.
Posted by: jan at December 1, 2009 06:35 PM
Kurt Vonnegut had it right: Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General!
Posted by: Anonymous at December 1, 2009 09:10 PM
Great input, thank you everyone so much.
Posted by: Wild Thing at December 2, 2009 01:35 AM