Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The "You First" Plan

Maybe you have been hearing about some sketchy plans to overhaul our healthcare system. Even now President Obama, our House of Representatives, and our Senators, are insisting that we must reform our healthcare system by sometime in August 2009 or we will all die. There is much back and forth about how much it will cost, who will be in charge, and how it will be implemented, but very few actual details. The President has assured us that, though the bill will not be perfect, all these pesky details can be worked out at a later date.

Here is my proposal to insure that we get the very best possible healthcare system with the minimum of chaos as possible. I call it the "You First" Plan. It's simple, easy to explain, and it won't cost one cent more. As a matter of fact, I guarantee it actually might save a few dollars in the process. My plan has one requirement: We first implement the President's new system with the healthcare we supply to our Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our Federal government and their family members including all Federal employees and their family members (excluding Veterans Administration , Medicare and [for now] Medicaid recipients), just to make sure it works. If my "You First" plan works, we will all be happy knowing that at least our Congresspersons have read their own legislation and, as a possible added bonus, it might actually shrink the size of our Federal government in very tangible way [see the "comparative effectiveness research" link below]. Win-Win for all.

In case you did not know, the American taxpayers pay about 75% of the bill for healthcare premiums for all of our federal employees' plans including our esteemed Members of Congress, Judiciary, and the President along with their families. This includes hundreds of thousands of employees, appointees, and retirees of the Federal Government in every state of the Union. In case you have never seen the plans federal employees enjoy, click here and take a look at how generous we hard working taxpayers really are. The Office of Personnel Management website even highlights that "[t]he Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program can help you and your family meet your health care needs. Federal employees, retirees and their survivors enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country." Federal employees in California alone have eleven healthplans from which to choose, employees in Washington D.C. have six, and in the tiny state of Delaware, they have four. Federal employees in most states choose from an average of between four and eight plans. I don't know about you, but it looks to me like there is an enormous amount of wasted tax dollars just administering so many choices.

We have to start the overhaul somewhere, so why not start here. Apply "You First", start by reducing all the plans offered to Federal employees and try out President Obama's public plan on them. Let's see if a single-payer system administered by the Federal Government with the healthcare decisions made by a new Federal super bureaucracy armed with the results of their comparative effectiveness research can really work as touted. They can be our control group to work out all of the sketchy details of the plan that President Obama and our Democrat Members of Congress keep insuring we must have right now, but fail to spell out in any coherent way. They can work out the details on themselves as to what that plan will be, when it will be implemented, how it will be implemented, to whom it will apply, and, most importantly, how much it will ultimately cost. Then they can report back to us in full and comprehensive detail. Maybe even supply a handbook or website.

So let's say "You first, Mr. President and Members of Congress". Let them and their children be the national guinea pigs for our new system. Let's let our elected officials, our appointed policy makers, our Federal employees, and our many, many Czars and their families make a covenant with the American People that because they believe so strongly in this new system that they will be the first to participate solely within it (without any opt out for any private system) for a period of time so as to insure that it will be sound, cost effective, and will meet all of the promises and healthcare demands of the American people. Only this way can we be assured that we will get a plan that benefits all of us with minimal chaos for us and our future. Who knows. If "You First" works for healthcare, maybe it can work on greenhouse gases and lowering the deficit too.

22 comments:

ArmChairGeneral said...

Here's your healthcare plan...

Page 16: States that if you have insurance at the time of the bill becoming law and change, you will be required to take a similar plan. If that is not available, you will
be required to take the gov option!

Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!

Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!

Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)

Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for yo u. You will have no choice. None.

Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.

Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.

Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.

Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (example: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)

Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.

Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)

Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens

Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.

ArmChairGeneral said...

Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.

Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will
be crushed.

Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.

Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.

Page 126: Emplo yers MUST pay h ealthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.

Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll

Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll

Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).

Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.

Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.

Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."

Page 241: Doctors: no matter what speciality you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)

Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.

Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.

Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.

Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!

Page 280: Hospitals will be20penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.

Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.

Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!

Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.

Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.

Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., ration ing.

Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.

Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.

Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).

Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?

Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.

Page 425: Goverment provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.

Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.

Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as pa tient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An
ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.

Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.

Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.

Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.

Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.

Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services

AndrewPrice said...

ArmChairGeneral,

Welcome. I see you've read PelosiCare -- unlike virtually anyone in the Congress. I think it's positively shameful that none of our representatives know what's in the bill they voted for.

FYI, the page 16 thing is a misinterpretation spawned by IBD -- we've got an article on that.

Still, it's oppressive, and the whole bill needs to be stopped.

P.S. No one should believe this bill is dead (like they are claiming right now). They are working hard to get it into conference committee, where it will spring back to life in the present form.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, nice article. I'm pretty sure that this is not something Team Obama/Pelosi will want to implement, but the thought is appropriate.

FYI, when I worked for Club Fed in the DC area, we had over thirty different plans to choose from, and most of them were extremely good plans. Your tax dollars at play. . .

ArmChairGeneral said...

Thanks for the comments and for setting me straight on page 16. I am really not surprised. BTW, I also post as ClubCapitalist on Big Hollywood.

AndrewPrice said...

Club Capitalist, ah yes, I like your avatar -- nice tank! :-) Welcome, I hope you stick around.

You're welcome on p.16. Still, the whole bill is stunning isn't it?!

BevfromNYC said...

ArmChairGen and Andrew: Of course I understand that our government officials will never want to actually live by any rules that set for us. That is why Charlie Rangel does not pay his taxes and Chris Dodd does not undertand that he gets "special" loans from banks. Really what I am saying is we must demand that they live within the systems they devise for us. If they ultimately pass a government run plan, it should be mandated that they live with that plan with all its rationing and intrusions to make sure that it works. It raises the stakes for both parties because they have to live with it no matter what.

(It's the same reason I think that those who administer our public transportation system in NYC should have to actually use it. But that's another story)

Our public officials must be constantly reminded that they served at our will and are there to serve our interests. We do not work to provide for their comfort or political whims.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: And speaking of Charlie Rangel, did you see his recent public appearance explaining why he hadn't read the bill? "Well, it's very, very long. It's hard to understand. We don't have time to read all these lengthy bills." Thanks, Charlie, that pretty much sums it up. It's the attitude that all Democrats and far too many Republicans have. "We're here to vote on these bills, not to read or understand them." These people are messing with our very survival, but they don't have the time or the inclination to read the bills that may very well put us in the grave.

ArmChairGeneral said...

No kidding LawHawk.

That was a complete slap in the face.

Writer X said...

So frustrating. I just got back from the gym and heard that the Blue Dogs made some type of a deal with Pelosi. These people play with our lives and our choices like they're Monopoloy pieces.

Bev, I think your "You First" Plan is brilliant.

BevfromNYC said...

Law - Nothing Ol' Charlie says or does surprises me. At least he's entertaining! He does not need the facts to vote. A few years ago he was pushing a bill to reinstate the draft because he was running in front of every camera he could find to complain over and over that the military was disportionately made up of minority soldiers. A reporter (Really! A MSM reporter!) told him that the FACTS don't bear that out. According to the DOD census, the military is actually 72% caucasian. He response (I swear because I heard him say it) - "I don't care about the facts".

These are the kinds of people we have representing our interests.

freedom21 said...

I'm all about it. Well done Commentarama! Two very do-able alternatives to the current bill at hand.

I just can't wait to see how all those insurance claim agents vote in the next election (as umemployment rises steadily towards 60%)

freedom21 said...

oh geniuses for commentarama. I have a silly/real question:

If obamacare goes through...how am I going to get my elective plastic surgery?

StanH said...

I love it Bev that’s to perfect, and funny to boot. Congress as our healthcare lab rats, …cool!

BevfromNYC said...

Freedom21 - You'll be able to get that Botox and facelift, but you'll just have to pay a special tax. Congress can be rolled into the Chip and Soda Tax and call it the "Refreshment Tax".

patti said...

i have been saying since this whole thing started that point to any employer that has WORSE health coverage/options than the employees. doesn't happen (for any trolls here: WE are the employers). why in the hell do we allow this nonsense to continue?

i think i'm getting overheated/pissed. if you'll excuse me, i'm gonna drink while i still can. you so know they're coming for that next.

StlDan said...

Who's? trying to do what? To health care.

BevfromNYC said...

Patti: I'm right there with ya'. Take heart though, Obama apparently likes to drink, so that's probably safe for now!

StlDan: Don't worry. Andrew and LawHawk have it covered. Go back to sleep. ;-p Are you from Seattle by any chance?

DCAlleyKat said...

Excellent Bev!!!

Individualist said...

Bev

An absolutely wonderful idea! If congress won't agree perhaps our two learned scholarly legal types on Commentarama can find a legal challenge to this exclusion. Perhaps the 10th ammendment can be brought into play. I am absolutely with you Bev and perhaps its time for a little conservative judicial activism to correct this glaring injustice.

By the By it is not just Health care that they receive from us they also get the benenfit of not having to pay payroll taxes either.

I like the way you think Bev but this is just the beginning. I think we can find many more applications for a "You First" plan if we just do some creative Brainstorming.

Tennessee Jed said...

Well, that certainly ought to kill that sumbitch in tracks now wouldn't it. My only addition, so to speak, would be the following rider be added:

In as much as we pay 75% of their healthcare costs at present, under "You First" It is understood and agreed that taxpayer subsidy will be removed and in it's place shall be stated; "The government employees to be covered on this plan will be required to test the plan out for a period of not less than 75 years, but in no case greater than 1,750 years."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha ha! Excellent idea, Bev!
The "You First" plan will ensure that Congress has our (I mean their) best interests to heart.

It would be a lot of fun to watch.
We should have a film crew follow them to their rationed care along with long waits in rooms without air conditioning.

For extra entertainment we could turn up the thermostats and hire several nurse "Ratchets" to do the mandatory prostrate exams.

The film crew would also focus on the family members of Congress as they quickly realize that this healthscare plan sucks and the ensuing antics as they complain to the Congress critters who passed the plan without reading it.

That is one reality show I would watch. :^)

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