Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mike Leavitt: Health reform’s central flaw

Mike Levitt, the former Head of HHS reflects accurately what Congress has allowed in Obamacare.  Among other observations he notes the following in his commentary in the Salt Lake Tribune.

It puts more power than is prudent in the hands of one person, and it is not an answer to our national health-care crisis.

Set Up to Fail…..Just say no,  Katherine.

The health care law has teeth!

Mr. President, I am performing a “tooth level surveillance’ as instructed in Obama-care.  I am sorry to report you are in violation of dental dictates.

Shortly after being appointed to the Cabinet in 2003, I sought the advice of  one of my predecessors. He cautioned me to be prudent in exercising the considerable regulatory power Congress had granted these offices, noting: “The place has more power than a good person needs or a bad person ought to have.” 

It puts more power than is prudent in the hands of one person, and it is not an answer to our national health-care crisis.

Examples of that astounding power include tooth-level surveillance. That’s in Section 4102 of the health reform law says, “The secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance.” It defines tooth-level surveillance as a clinical examination in which an examiner looks at each dental surface on each tooth in the mouth.

This determination is better done by a dentist.

There’s more: The health-reform law dictates that the secretary shall determine how drugs are dispensed at long-term care facilities, shall identify categories and classes of drugs that are of clinical concern and shall be permitted to use comparative-effectiveness research to determine coverage and reimbursements. The 2,700-page law has nearly 2,000 of these “the secretary shall” statements.

If I may, as a former HHS secretary, offer a suggestion to the current secretary, it would be this: Use these expanded discretionary powers to grant states and the private sector more flexibility and more autonomy. Competition, innovation and new models of providing care and expanding coverage are the only ways we will reverse the dangerous course of future health spending. That simply cannot be done from Washington.

Please read the article…..it will confirm what we all say.

Perhaps Mike Leavitt should return to HHS…

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