Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Obamacare - Health Care Law #3278 - Health Reform Lawsuit Appears Headed for Supreme Court - Politico (2) GOP Lawmakers Seek Answers from Sebelius Regarding CLASS Act - Hot Air (3) Obamacare HHS Rule Would Give Government Everybody's Health Records - Washington Examiner (4) Patients to Wait Longer for Care Under New Health Law, Think Tank Says - The Tennessean

The Obama administration chose not to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear a pivotal health reform case Monday, signaling that it’s going to ask the Supreme Court to decide whether President Barack Obama’s health reform law is constitutional. The move puts the Supreme Court in the difficult position of having to decide whether to take the highly politically charged case in the middle of the presidential election. The Justice Department is expected to ask the court to overturn an August decision by a panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the law’s requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional. The suit was brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and several individuals. Since the ruling, the Justice Department had until Monday to ask the entire 11th Circuit to review the case. Administration lawyers didn’t file the paperwork by the 5 p.m. deadline, so the ruling would stand unless the Justice Department asks the Supreme Court to step in. The petition isn’t due until November, and the administration could get an extension.  Read more........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

GOP Lawmakers Seeks Answers From Sebelius Regarding Class Act - Hot Air -  Last week, a report from a Republican working group revealed that administration officials, in the rush to pass Obamacare, ignored internal warnings from government experts about the fiscal sustainability of a long-term care insurance entitlement program included in the health reform law. Throughout the health care debate, officials within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as the Health and Human Services Department, repeatedly warned that the CLASS Act would be a fiscal disaster. Yet, the final version of Obamacare not only included the CLASS Act; it even counted CLASS as a cost-saving measure.  Now, the Republicans behind the report want to know how high the warnings reached: Was HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, for example, aware of the concerns about CLASS even before Obamacare passed? Amid rumors the administration might reassign CLASS personnel or close the CLASS office entirely, they also want to know what the administration plans to do moving forward to ensure — if the CLASS program is, in fact, implemented — that the program is sustainable.  Read more.........

Obamacare HHS Rule Would Give Government Everybody's Health Records - Washington Examiner - It’s been said a thousand times: Congress had to pass President Obama’s health care law in order to find out what’s in it. But, despite the repetitiveness, the level of shock from each new discovery never seems to recede. This time, America is learning about the federal government’s plan to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us. In a proposed rule from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal government is demanding insurance companies submit detailed health care information about their patients. (See Proposed Rule: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment, Volume 76, page 41930. Proposed rule docket ID is HHS-OS-2011-0022.  The HHS has proposed the federal government pursue one of three paths to obtain this sensitive information: A “centralized approach” wherein insurers’ data go directly to Washington; an “intermediate state-level approach” in which insurers give the information to the 50 states; or a “distributed approach” in which health insurance companies crunch the numbers according to federal bureaucrat edict.  It’s par for the course with the federal government, but abstract terms are used to distract from the real objectives of this idea: no matter which “option” is chosen, government bureaucrats would have access to the health records of every American - including you.  Read more.......

Patients to Wait Longer for Care Under New Health Care Law, Think Tank Says - The Tennessean - Nearly 700,000 Tennesseans will gain new coverage under health-care reform, but those already with insurance might have to wait longer to receive care and younger people overall may have to pay more.  Those are among findings from a report out from a think tank the state’s largest health insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, launched this year to study the interface between public policy and health care.  It will be a little longer line, but everybody will be in the line,” said Dr. Steven L. Coulter, president of the insurer’s Tennessee Health Institute and co-author of the report with William T. Cecil, an independent health-care consultant.  Read more......

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