Thu Sep 14th, 2017 at 10:00:12 PM EST
Now, I will relate how I came upon the Democratic Party's faux accompli. US press rarely or never cites the bill number of legislation which they are paid to promote. If it did, people might read the actual text.
Enemy of the People has been atwitter since Wednesday about Mr Sander's bold action, popularity, and political acumen despite partisan rivalry in repealing or reforming the PPACA. He promised in a NYT OpEd to introduce Wednesday, 13 September 2017.
On Wednesday I will introduce the Medicare for All Act in the Senate with 15 co-sponsors and support from dozens of grass-roots organizations. Under this legislation, every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.
So. I went looking for the text of Mr Sander's "Medicare-for-All" bill.
I was not disappointed. This is not, as the children say, my first clown rodeo.
S.1804 - A bill to establish a Medicare-for-all health insurance program appeared this afternoon: It has arrived with sixteen co-sponsors, all Democratic Party members, no text, and no related bill in the US House. Hold on to that thought. Why? Three reasons.
First, Sander's state of mind, mens rea. A four-year-stale draft of a "public option" S.1782 - American Health Security Act of 2013 is available for your review. It establishes
the State-Based American Health Security Program to provide every U.S. resident with health care services. Requires each participating state to establish a state health security program.
CMS is the division of DHHS that administer all Medicare benefit provider pricing and billing, Part A and Part B collections, and claims disputes --regulation. S.1782 abrogates federal administration ("single payer") to the states, each transforming Medicaid
"infrastucture" into a Medicare-like health insurance market which "prohibit[s] the sale of health insurance in that state that duplicates benefits provided under the program." In other words, when I read the full text I should expect (i) a limited benefit schedule not unlike the PPACA Basic Coverage (with sprinkles) and (ii) a reserve for commercial marketing of "federally qualified" "advantage," or "supplementary," benefit schedules (Medicare Part C, Medicare Part D)(not covered by sprinkles).
What's not in S.1804? Seers say, it will
Cover all sorts of things. Sanders proposes generous coverage that goes well beyond what Medicare currently covers, and even well beyond what many people's private insurance plans cover. His plan would cover dental and vision care, for example, which are, for the most part, not covered by Medicare.
Benefits which are covered by Medicaid insurance providers in some states. I'm thinking of enrolling in Kaiser Permanente's plan for Maryland. Unlike PPACA "qualified plans" it provides me, an adult, dental and vision gratis, and a 25% discount on acupucture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy!
Medicaid and Medicaid Expansion adoption has a bit of a track record. In six years since the PPACA was enacted and the four years since Sander's introduced S. 1782, "participating" states have changed status and types of plan "waivers" conforming with the PPACA. I couldn't say to what extent constituencies approve or disapprove of those changes. I would dare say, 100% of new beneficiaries are pleased that they have any health care coverage.
State Medicaid Expansion a/o 15 Sep 2017
MedicaidX: WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, ND, MN, OH, KY, WV, MD, NY, NJ, DE, CT, MA, RI, NH, HI, D.C., IN, PA, MO, IA, VT, IL, MI, AK
No MedicaidX: MT, ID, WY, SD, NB, KS, OK, TX, LA, WI, TN, AL, MS, GA, FL, VA, NC, SC, ME, UT
undecided: AR, NC
S.1782 was referred to the Finance Committee when it was introduced. It attracted no co-sponsors in the US Senate and no related bill in the US House. Perhaps members had time enough to calculate states' funding and liabilities "matched" by federal "health security" taxes under the act. Is there any reason to expect that the text forthcoming will not resemble it? I think not, because it need not. Bipartisan agreement in the boiler room has already sandbagged S.1804 "financing options" for good measure.
Second, as "we" should have learned from the 2009 PPACA escapade, Democractic Party senators do not recognize any compunction provided by customs of US Congress or balance of powers authorized by the US Constitution. Mr Reid read to Mr Baucus' Finance Committee amendments to a highway appropriations bill passed by the US House. These were not provisions of the House bill for "Medicare for All Act", cultivated by Mr Dingell over two prior sessions. That was abandoned. Mr Obama promptly signed the highway appropriations bill, and congress spent the following year or so reconciling PPACA provisions. Were the US Senate for some inexplicable reason to take up Mr Sander's Health Security Act v.2 ("a Medicare-for-all health insurance program") it would be amended to, oh, I don't know, a FUSION appropriation bill, emended into something unrecognizable, signed by the president, and enacted. The foil for the next iteration is same as the last iteration.
H.R.676 - Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, introduced 24 January 2017 with one hundred eighteen (118) co-sponsors, all Democratic Party members, would be abandoned. Conyers introduced it in 2013, too, and presided of the basement hearings in Dirkman. It's been languishing at the PHP website like a stoned oracle in a cave, occasionally fed dates by the faithful.
What's fresh in H.R. 676? The "regional" budget allocation (Swedish model) by the odious congress.
What's not new in H.R. 676? Conspicuously, Title I, Sec. 103, the massive leveraged buy-out, or "CONVERSION OF INVESTOR-OWNED PROVIDERS" that's necessary to assure single-payer market power.
(2) CONVERSION OF INVESTOR-OWNED PROVIDERS.--For-profit providers of care opting to participate shall be required to convert to not-for-profit status.
(4) COMPENSATION FOR CONVERSION.--The owners of such for-profit providers shall be compensated for reasonable financial losses incurred as a result of the conversion from for-profit to non-profit status.
(5) FUNDING.--There are authorized to be appropriated from the Treasury such sums as are necessary to compensate investor-owned providers as provided for under paragraph (3).
(6) REQUIREMENTS.--The payments to owners of converting for-profit providers shall occur during a 15-year period, through the sale of U.S. Treasury Bonds. Payment for conversions under paragraph (3) shall not be made for loss of business profits.
Third, I for one cannot think of any senator who would not object to Sec. 103. And I've had some difficulty, with reason, imagining there is a majority of the public who would not object to Sec. 103 even if Dwight D. Eisenhower fell from heaven with a Medicare card for every man, woman, and the truth burning on his lips. "Taxes shall set your health care free!"
They'd rather government not crowd out free enterprise. And they may well claim any appeal to eminent domain by the US itself, no matter the cause, is unconstitutional.