If you are curious what the details of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act that could make it 1000 pages in length. Here are some of them. This should be required reading for high school students. It will affect the rest of their lives.
The Kaiser Foundation reports:
So you think the Suprneme Court upheld a law that requires most people to buy health insurance? That's only part of it. The measure's hundreds of pages touch on a variety of issues and initiatives that have, for the most part, remained under the public's radar. Here's a sampling:
Postpartum Depression (Sec. 2952)
Urges the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct a multi-year study into the causes and effects of postpartum depression. It authorized $3 million in 2010 and such sums as necessary in 2011 and 2012 to provide services to women at risk of postpartum depression.
Abstinence Education (Sec. 2954)
Reauthorizes funding through 2014 for states to provide abstinence-only sex education programs that teach students abstinence is "the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems." Federal funding for these programs expired in 2003.
Power-Driven Wheelchairs (Sec. 3136)
Revises Medicare payment levels for power-driven wheelchairs and makes it so that only "complex" and "rehabilitative" wheelchairs can be purchased; all others must be rented.
Oral Health Care (Sec. 4102)
Instructs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to embark on a five-year national public education campaign to promote oral health care measures such as "community water fluoridation and dental sealants."
Privacy Breaks for Nursing Mothers (Sec. 4207)
Requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide a private location at their worksites where nursing mothers "can express breast milk." Employers must also provide employees with "a reasonable break time" to do this, though employers are not required to pay their employees during these nursing breaks.
Transparency on Drug Samples (Sec. 6004)
Requires pharmaceutical manufacturers that provide doctors or hospitals with samples of their drugs to submit to the Department of Health and Human Services the names and addresses of the providers that requested the samples, as well as the amount of drugs they received.
Face-to-Face Encounters (Sec. 6407)
Changes eligibility for home health services and durable medical equipment, requiring Medicare beneficiaries to have a "face-to-face" encounter with their physician or a similarly qualified individual within six months of when the health professional writes the order for such services or equipment.
Diabetes & Death Certificates (Sec. 10407)
Directs the CDC and the HHS Secretary to encourage states to adopt new standards for issuing death certificates that include information about whether the deceased had diabetes.
Breast Cancer Awareness (Sec. 10413)
Instructs the CDC to conduct an education campaign to raise young women's awareness regarding "the occurrence of breast cancer and the general and specific risk factors in women who may be at high risk for breast cancer based on familial, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds such as Ashkenazi Jewish populations."
Assisted Suicide (Sec. 1553)
Forbids the federal government or anyone receiving federal health funds from discriminating against any health care entity that won't provide an "item or service furnished for the purpose of causing … the death of any individual, such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing."
Reprinted with permission from Kaiser Health News
Witchrunner: There's lots not to like here. 1. Postpartum Depression: There's already been studies. Why waste more money? 2. Abstinence Education: Why is any money spent on this? Does it really cost money for a teacher to say "the only way to make sure you don't get pregnant, gets std's, and other sex related conditions is not to have sex?" 3. Power Driven Wheel-chairs: Rent 'em all? Talk about increasing costs! It might make sense if someone isn't expected to live long, but it's not easy to see that this could increase costs by 1,000 times. Just go to your rent-a-center and rent your furniture. After 6 months to a year you'd have owned it outright. 4. Oral Healthcare: Already done! 5. May or may not be feasible, depends on situation. 6. Ridiculous amount of paperwork required for this, and to what end? 7. Too broad and probably unnecessary in a lot of cases. If the physician sees the need for a 6 month check up then it is already being done. 8. Diabetes? A total waste of money! Five people die in a car wreck and all the bodies have to go to a coroner to determine whether they had diabetes? 9. Duplication of what is already being done. 10. Can't argue with this. May not be government's job, but since they have a ton of regulations, might as well have this one.
CM6969: Why cherry-pick a few problematic areas and pretend the whole thing needs to be discarded due to easily fixable problems? n this case, the problems were: Insurers denying expensive health care, causing suffering and death. Insurers putting annual or lifetime "caps" on coverage, again causing suffering and death. Medical costs not covered by insurers leading to financial hardship or bankruptcy. People with "pre-existing conditions" unable to obtain insurance, sometimes after loosing their job (and employer provided coverage) or after their old insurer dropped their policy. Children with birth defects being denied medical coverage due to "pre-existing conditions" (absurd, but it was happening) People without health insurance relying on expensive emergency room care, unable to pay, and the costs being transferred to paying or insured patients.
WhatHappened: Health care should never be about proving a profit for an insurance company. It should be about providing health care services and treatments to people in need. And the only way you can do that is by putting the insurance companies in their proper place of providing supplemental services to the people who who have the need of their services.
We will never have a national health care program that works as long as the health insurance companies are calling the shots. They aren't in business to provide health care services or treatments, they are in business to make a profit.