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What I See So Far About HR 3200

There are a lot of words in the 1,017 pages of HR 3200, even by my standards. The bill is poorly written from what I can tell, since it constantly directs the reader to consult other laws and regulations to see the way a particular section is to be applied. If the Democrats were listening to me, the first piece of advice I would offer is to rewrite this thing in plain English, with a simple Table of Contents and page listing, along with a synopsis of each section to explain its intent and function. People tend to resent a piece of legislation which involves a lot of tax money, will be permanent, and which seems to be rushed, when it is difficult to understand and discuss. It may be that the Democrats have put together a really effective piece of legislation, but if so they should be happy to discuss it in detail, not act defensively and as if they have something to hide.

Anyway, to the bill. HR 3200 is a huge piece of work, but to start its examination, we see that it has three "Divisions", seventeen "Titles", and fifty "Subtitles". Division A is titled "Affordable Health Care Choices" and Title I therein addresses the description of heath care plans, access, benefits, and consumer protections. Title II is important, as it creates the government entity known as the "Heath Insurance Exchange". Section 201 lays out how it works, as follows:

The government will set up a new bureaucracy called the Health Choices Administration, with a Commissioner who reports directly to the President. The HCA will create and supervise an entity known as the Health Insurance Exchange, wherein all nominal insurance coverage will be administered at the federal level. The HCA would have complete authority to determine whether individuals, employers, or insurance companies met the requisite criteria to participate, and the tone of the Title implies that the final decision will be made only with government approval. The function of the HCA invites legal challenge on at least two constitutional grounds - first, the traditional separation of powers does not allow the Executive Branch authority to control domestic commerce in this way; on a practical level imagine the fallout if this bill becomes law and if/when a Congressman or Senator wishes to look more closely at the HCA's activities he/she is told that Congress is excluded from such authority? The second conflict is that creation of the HCA would effectively eliminate the state insurance boards, as all insurance would be controlled and directed from the federal level, in what appears to be a direct violation of state's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

There's a lot more to consider, but for now it might be interesting to consider the almost certain legal challenges which this bill would face were it actually to become law.


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Comments (22)

DJ, I wonder if our "Consti... (Below threshold)

DJ, I wonder if our "Constitutional Scholar", aka President Obama is aware of the pitfalls of this legislation.

Or is that he just doens't care? Never mind the Democratic idiots in Congress. They won't even bother to read it before voting on it.

There's a lot more to co... (Below threshold)

There's a lot more to consider, but for now it might be interesting to consider the almost certain legal challenges which this bill would face were it actually to become law.

Except, of course, that they specifically exempt huge swathes of it from judicial review.

(currently on page 386)

For me, the word "must" is ... (Below threshold)

For me, the word "must" is an indicator of how much control will be exercised over the health care profession and users of these services. The word is used over 1,660 times in this document. In my opinion, this document of 1,018 pages is an outline. Imagine the length when it is actually fleshed out. Also realize that once this monstrosity is passed, future changes are only required from the bureaucrats running the program. Hence, the "death panel" may not be mandatory yet, but it almost certainly will be in the not too distant future. This legislation needs to be stopped, not only for what it is, but for what it will become.

Why would congress pass a b... (Below threshold)

Why would congress pass a bill that they no control over how it is implemented?

DJ, You may be the o... (Below threshold)

DJ, You may be the only person even trying to read this thing.

Lots of people are reading ... (Below threshold)

Lots of people are reading it (just no Congressmen). Unfortunately a lot of them are reading it badly. For example, the 'rationing of care for cancer patients' at page 272 claim seems incorrect. Instead it seems to be saying that, if studies bear out that some costs are higher at cancer hospitals, they're eligible for increased payments to cover their higher costs.

You gotta read it for yourself, unfortunately, to get the facts.

You're dreaming if you thin... (Below threshold)

You're dreaming if you think the courts are going to invalidate liberal legislation. It's only conservative initiatives that get shot down. Reprise of McCain-Feingold, anyone?

The word "must" should be "... (Below threshold)

The word "must" should be "shall'. It appears 1,683 times in this document.

@6: "seems to be saying" ... (Below threshold)

@6: "seems to be saying" The fact that a bill to change such an enormous aspect of our lives and economy is so unclear is a huge problem. No one should have to wade through 1000+ pages of gobbledygook and come away from it with only, "well, it SEEMS like it says..."

Kathie: I am referring to t... (Below threshold)

Kathie: I am referring to the degree of control. Government doesn't know when to stop.

Only partially, Lisa. The ... (Below threshold)

Only partially, Lisa. The reason for the lack of clarity is that I haven't cross-referenced that section with the other regulations that it cites. I suspect that, along with a medical dictionary and/or the definitions provided in the regulations, would clarify that particular section.

Other parts might as well be ancient greek, though.

One thing that's not so confusing is this - you qualify for 'credits' that can cover your health insurance (except for between like 1 and 11% of the premium) if you make:

Number in family / income:
1 / $43,320
2 / $58,280
3 / $73,240
4 / $88,200
5 / $103,360

so we could be subsidizing single people making over 43 grand.

The 5.4% tax hike on those earning over a million is also pretty clear...as well as the tax hikes on people making down to 350k - and, get this, the tax rate doubles on the

Umm...where'd the rest go? ... (Below threshold)

Umm...where'd the rest go? :)

The rate doubles if obamacare doesn't save the government something like $625 billion...however, should obamacare save us taxpayers $700 billion (stop laughing) then the

And remember, if Obama and ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

And remember, if Obama and most of the Dems had their way, this would have already been voted on and passed before August. We had had had to pass it right now! No time to waste!

If it hadn't been for the TeaPartiers and Townhallers, we would have already had this monstrosity. They've bought us some time.

This is just a prelude that must lead to single payer. There's plenty of waste, fraud and abuse going on in healthcare coverage that should be cleaned up first, then see if we want Obamacare.

We need a new tactic. They ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

We need a new tactic. They are going to pass 'something' this year. We don't know what exactly yet.

The TeaPartiers and Townhallers should now start demanding that the Pols promise that whatever scheme Congress comes up with, the full unchanged version is available to the public for two weeks before they vote on it.

Corner the Pols and make them pledge that they will vote 'no' on anything that wasn't open for public viewing beforehand. (This should be the rule for ALL legislation, but especially on this monstrously huge, nation-changing legislation.)

what the deal with my disap... (Below threshold)

what the deal with my disappearing comments?

if more than 700 billion dollars are saved then the tax hike goes away for the less than a million dollar earners (methinks you shouldn't use the less than sign or your post will truncate itself)

For anyone reading this mon... (Below threshold)

For anyone reading this monstrous bill - I want someone with common sense and some intelligence to explain it to me. That leaves the Dems out because they don't know what's in it, haven't read it (and don't plan to) can't figure out the cross-referencing, and has no idea what a lot of those words mean. Now, just so no one takes offense, I am not smart enough to figure it out, that is why I need someone to explain it to me. We elect people to represent us, but unfortunatley, most of them betrayed us to the core. This is a classic example.

For all you on the left (es... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

For all you on the left (esp. you, hyper) who keep touting CanadaCare's wonderous system, I call your attention to the following:


"Canadian Health Care We So Envy Lies In Ruins, Its Architect Admits"


since it constantly dire... (Below threshold)

since it constantly directs the reader to consult other laws and regulations to see the way a particular section is to be applied

That's the interesting part. When you start doing this, you effectively multiply the number of pages in any legislation. Lots of those references MODIFY the other laws they reference to (by doing things like requiring things that were optional before, or subtly modifying long-existing regulations), at that. To "read" HR 3200, you actually need to read all of the laws it references, as modified (not as they currently exist), a swell as the other laws that ALSO reference those laws!

In practical usage, HR 3200 is closer to ten times its actual printed size...

What is sad is that this ma... (Below threshold)

What is sad is that this may be the first time most of you have ever read any piece of legislation, proposed ot otherwise.

James: dishonest. I never s... (Below threshold)

James: dishonest. I never said Canada's system on the whole is superior. I always cite the systems in Sweden, France, Japan, Switzerland etc. as being superior, but I'm well aware of the shortcomings of the one I make use of from time to time. However, I will happily defend it against exaggerated or false hysteria generated by the corporatist pro-insurance company advocates when I feel that it's being unfairly characterized.

For instance, in that article, Quebec is described as having been the most affluent province in the 1960s. That's false, Ontario was far better off. So if someone wants to write about Canadian health care without knowing anything about Canada, fine, but you would do well not to listen to them.

Those of us who care about the shoddy state of our healthcare system are ashamed, but also hopeful in that a Liberal Party/NDP government might succeed in implementing the prescriptions found within the Romanow Report. Of course the Conservative Party has no interest in doing this, because letting public healthcare shrivel will help them turn public opinion against it in favour of a two-tiered system. They already have one in Alberta, and I have paid for and received a surgical procedure (sports hernia) from a private clinic in Ontario. I would prefer not to have done that, but that's where everyone goes to get that particular procedure done, and judging by the $200 bill I paid after staying there for four nights, it's obvious that the government still paid for most of it. I'm actually in favour of a two-tiered system, but believe that wait times at public hospitals first need to be significantly reduced; and I would be in favour of free tuition for doctors that want to work in public institutions rather than private ones. It's not as black and white as "socialism vs. the market", not for me anyway.

And Investor's Business Daily? Yes, we should assume that they would be totally impartial when weighing the pros and cons of a publicly run health care program.

Hyper -One other w... (Below threshold)

Hyper -

One other way to look at IBD's interest - IF the proposed plans saved money - that'd be more money available to the investor to put out into the economy. So naturally they'd examine it to see if it WOULD save money.

Besides - Obama already said the Canadian model was out of the picture...

Who are the actual authors ... (Below threshold)

Who are the actual authors of this bill?
Who are the people who wrote it/ put it together?






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