As we conclude yet another presidential election cycle (and not a day too soon), questions regarding Obamacare are now forefront in my mind. What consequences will fall upon the least of them among us with the full implementation of Obamacare; namely those with special needs? Will it have negative repercussions on those with high medical needs who are currently on Medicaid and Medicare who need extra services for survival; or will it be just a utopia of healthcare services for all?
Beginning my research to answer these questions I started with the analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, so that I could understand the new law first hand. I didn’t want any misjudgments due to others bias’. So I went to the source. Can I just say, that bills presented to congress should NEVER be that long! I mean come on, really? Give me a break! If their objective to writing nearly 1000 pages of legislation was to deter the American public from ever reading it, congratulations mission accomplished. If it is “too difficult to obtain” proper ID for the average American to vote, there is no way the general public will ever know what they have accepted with the re-election of Barak Obama and the complete implementation of socialized medicine. SURPRISE! Here is what you get…due to time and space restraint I’ve highlighted just a few.
Section 2717 WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS…. “Intervention efforts for each of the program’s participants, and which may include the following wellness and prevention efforts:
(1) Smoking cessation.
(2) Weight management.
(3) Stress management.
(4) Physical fitness.
(6) Heart disease prevention.
(7) Healthy lifestyle support.
(8) Diabetes prevention.” (One Hundred Eleventh Congress)
Meaning, now you may be required to participate in the above list of wellness and prevention programs to keep the cost of the medical services lower. Now that we are covering EVERYONE we must make sure that you are not overly adding to the cost. This is not your choosing to participate, but that it will be required where deemed necessary. The “land of the free” slowly, slipping away by way of “free” health care in America.
Who determines which lucky Americans must participate? The PPAC Act refers to “the Secretary” hundreds of times throughout Obamacare as the person who makes the final decision where ever there is a question of who this applies to. Currently Kathleen Sebelius is the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, which is who this referred to “secretary” is. You might remember her communistic quote of “So, we have a lot of reeducation to do,”(Sebelius) when she was referring to those Americans who aren’t on board with Obamacare. The definition of “reeducation”, used mainly by Communists throughout history, is: to rehabilitate or reform though education, training, political indoctrination, etc. (Dictionary.com) But I’m sure we have nothing to worry about.
There is also an advisory board, appointed by the president, who will determine what medical services should be paid for and which should not. A board, or “panel” if you will, that will decide if your medical need, or the medical need of your child, is worth the cost.
SEC. 3403. INDEPENDENT MEDICARE ADVISORY BOARD
‘‘SEC. 1899A. (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established an independent board to be known as the ‘Independent Medicare Advisory Board’.
‘‘(b) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this section to, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending—
‘‘(1) by requiring the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to determine in each year to which this section applies (in this section referred to as ‘a determination year’) the projected per capita growth rate under Medicare for the second year following the determination year (in this section referred to as ‘an implementation year’);
‘‘(2) if the projection for the implementation year exceeds the target growth rate for that year, by requiring the Board to develop and submit during the first year following the determination year (in this section referred to as ‘a proposal year’) a proposal containing recommendations to reduce the Medicare per capita growth rate to the extent required by this section;and
‘‘(3) by requiring the Secretary to implement such proposals unless Congress enacts legislation pursuant to this section.” (One Hundred Eleventh Congress)
The thing about this advisory board is that they are not elected officials, so they are not held accountable by the people. If we don’t like their choices, how do we fight it? Have you ever heard of anyone going up against the Federal Government in court and getting anywhere? That’s what I thought.
If you think this is an overreaction to this “board” here is what some in the Obama administration says about it. “A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of health services under Obamacare is ‘inevitable.’ Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, ‘We need death panels.’” (Klein) If the elderly is in their sights you can bet that those with special needs will not be far behind.
You may be thinking; well it will take a long time before anything like “rationing healthcare” will actually affect anyone. Perhaps, so let’s look at what we have to look forward to in 2013. The one new mandate that will hit my family hard this next year is the reduction and limit on Federal Savings Accounts or FSA’s. These accounts are for pretax employee contributions that are set aside in a savings account that can be used for out of pocket medical expenses; such as, deductibles that need to be met before your insurance covers part of the cost. Also things like dental, and vision that may not be covered by insurance. Medical cost can add up quickly in a family of 6 especially when a child with special needs is involved , as in our case. The other advantage of an FSA is that you are reimbursed for your out of pocket cost right away, even before you have paid into it.
An amount is determined by you and your family at the end of the year and it is then available to you January 1 of the following year. A portion of your monthly income is taken tax free each month to reach the predetermined amount by the end of the year. Until now there was not a limit on how much a family could put aside each year you just had to use the entire amount or you would loose it, but now with Obamacare a limit of $2,500 yearly is now restricted on each account. Meaning that, my family, along with millions of others, will have a tax increase next year. Due to the fact that we use well over $2,500 each year for our family out of pocket expenses and now that increased amount over $2,500 next year will increase our overall tax burden. I assure you we make well under the $250,000 mark that the president promised he wouldn’t raise taxes on.
Section 9005 LIMITATION ON HEALTH FLEXIBLE SPENDING ARRANGEMENTS.
“For purposes of this section, if a benefit is provided under a cafeteria plan through employer contributions to a health flexible spending arrangement, such benefit shall not be treated as a qualified benefit unless the cafeteria plan provides that an employee may not elect for any taxable year to have salary reduction contributions in excess of $2,500 made to such arrangement.’’(One Hundred Eleventh Congress)
Another tax that will most likely affect our family will be the annual fee that will now be on medical device manufacturers.
Section 9009. IMPOSITION OF ANNUAL FEE ON MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS.With respect to a covered entity’s aggregate gross receipts from medical device sales during the calendar year that are: The percentage of gross receipts taken into account is:
Not more than $5,000,000 ………………….. 0 percent
More than $5,000,000 but not more than 50 percent $25,000,000.
More than $25,000,000 ………………………100 percent.(One Hundred Eleventh Congress)
“Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers that begins in 2013, places a 2.3% excise tax on all items retailing for more than $100. This provision will not only drive up the cost of various medical devices ranging from mobility assistance devices to personal testing supplies, but will also impact an industry that employs 360,000 people in 6,000 plants across our country. This tax, while not a direct tax, would have significant negative impact on the middle class.” (Bonelli)
In the wise words on Eminem “So be careful what you wish for ‘Cause you just might get it.” The consequences of national healthcare for our country will likely include the question: “Is your life or the life of your child worth the cost to the collective?” Not a question I want answered by the government or anyone else outside my family.