July 18, 2009

More healthcare bill nuttery

We've already seen how private insurance will be made illegal; now, here are a couple more idiocies in the 1018 page monstrosity. Check this out:

One of the most outrageous mandates in the Democratic health care bill is found on page 416. On this page, you will see mandatory “end of life” counseling for seniors every five years. With this counseling, they will be spoken to about the different end of life choices that can be undertaken.

Mandatory?? Aren't Democrats supposed to be the party of "choice?" As in, "leave me and my body alone?" Who the f*** wants some government bureaucrat coming to your home to "counsel" you on how to "prepare" for the end of your life?? CRIPES!

Then this:

For some time now the federal government has been intensifying its pursuit of what are sometimes known as “Medicare liens” against third party defendants (more). In the simplest scenario — not the only scenario, as we will see below — someone is injured in, say, a car accident, and has the resulting medical bills paid by Medicare. They then sue and successfully obtain damages from the other driver. At this point Medicare (i.e. the government) is free to demand that the beneficiary hand over some or all of the settlement to cover the cost of the health care, but under some conditions it is also free to file its own action to recover the medical outlays directly from the negligent driver (who in some circumstances might even wind up paying for the same medical bills twice). It might do this if, for example, it does not expect to get a collectible judgment from the beneficiary.

The newly added language in the Thursday morning version of the health bill (for those following along, it’s Section 1620 on pp. 713-721) would greatly expand the scope of these suits against third parties, while doing something entirely new: allow freelance lawyers to file them on behalf of the government — without asking permission — and collect rich bounties if they manage thereby to extract money from the defendants. Lawyers will recognize this as a qui tam procedure, of the sort that has led to a growing body of litigation filed by freelance bounty-hunters against universities, defense contractors and others alleged to have overcharged the government.

There's still more:

It gets worse. Language on p. 714 of the bill would permit the lawyers to file at least some sorts of Medicare recovery actions based on “any relevant evidence, including but not limited to relevant statistical or epidemiological evidence, or by other similarly reliable means”. This reads very much as if an attempt is being made to lay the groundwork for claims against new classes of defendants who might not be proved liable in an individual case but are responsible in a “statistical” sense. The best known such controversies are over whether suppliers of products such as alcohol, calorie-laden foods, or guns should be compelled to pay compensation for society-wide patterns of illness or injury.

In other words, personal responsibility be damned (despite The Messiah's rhetoric to the NAACP, eh?). Walter Olson at Overlawyered has documented a LOT more, too, and it's scary stuff.

UPDATE: Forced immunizations, too?

The committee’s official summary of the bill says: “Authorizes a demonstration program to improve immunization coverage. Under this program, CDC will provide grants to states to improve immunization coverage of children, adolescents, and adults through the use of evidence-based interventions. States may use funds to implement interventions that are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, such as reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or home visits.”
Posted by Hube at July 18, 2009 10:12 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

You know, I expect tort lawyers to be involved in making it easier to screw people over, but when did we let Jack Kevorkian write laws? Or am I the only one getting that vibe from "'end of life' counseling"?

Posted by: ShadowWing Tronix at July 18, 2009 12:19 PM

To All Representatives and Congressmen, KILL THIS BILL NOT US!!!! MARIE REGINA, NEW JERSEY

Posted by: marie regina at July 25, 2009 10:58 AM