Senate health care bill: the five paragraphs you must readRead the rest. Call your Congresscritters. Tell them you're not kidding. Feathers, tar, rail - some assembly required.
1. Mandatory insurance
Bill text: "Sec. 1501. Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage.... An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month."
Translation: Uncle Sam will now serve as your national insurance agent and force you to buy "minimum essential coverage" – or else you'll have to pay an annual fine.
However, what Congress considers "minimum essential coverage" and "essential health benefits requirements" includes comprehensive coverage that many neither need nor want. Plus, those who prefer to carry catastrophic-only coverage won't have a free range of options for such coverage.
Bottom line: In a free society, the government should not force citizens to buy any product nor should the government mandate citizens' level of health-insurance coverage.
2. Electronic data exchanges
Bill text: "Sec. 1104. Administrative Simplification…. (h) Compliance. – (1) Health Plan Certification. – (A) Eligibility for a Health Plan, Health Claim Status, Electronic Funds Transfers, Health Care Payment and Remittance Advice. – Not later than December 31, 2013, a health plan shall file a statement with the Secretary, in such form as the Secretary may require, certifying that the data and information systems for such plan are in compliance with any applicable standards (as described under paragraph (7) of section 1171) and associated operating rules (as described under paragraph (9) of such section) for electronic funds transfers, eligibility for a health plan, health claim status, and health care payment and remittance advice, respectively."
Translation: Requiring everyone to buy federally sanctioned health insurance, and then forcing qualified plans to comply with Administrative Simplification requirements, provides the government and health industry with power they would not be able to exercise in a free market.
Administrative Simplification rules are a product of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. They lay the foundation for a nationally linked database of personal health information.
Thanks to reader juris_imprudent for the pointer.