The Obamacare bill also creates a new "Bureau of Health Information" (not to be confused with the already existing National Center for Health Statistics) within the department of Health and Human Services. A new "Assistant Secretary for Health Information" will lead the BHI. The new assistant secretary will coordinate with the recently created "National Coordinator for Health Information Technology" -- who is responsible for monitoring the $19.5 billion in the stimulus law to implement "a nationwide interoperable, privacy-protected health information technology infrastructure."
New bureaucracies always have old special interests to appease. The Bureau of Health Information will house its own "Office of Civil Rights" and "Office of Minority Health." The information czar will be required to collect health statistics in the "primary language" of ethnic minorities -- and, thus, the need for a new "language demonstration program" to showcase their efforts. Obamacare will also ensure "cultural and linguistics competence training" and establish "a youth public health program to expose and recruit high-school students into public health careers." The government health care juggernaut must be fed and staffed, after all.
Providing more stimulus for taxpayer-funded jobs, the Democrats' bill would add a new "Senior Advisor for Health Care Fraud" and require the Attorney General to appoint a "Senior Counsel for Health Care Fraud Enforcement." There's already a national Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program, but who's counting?
To coordinate all the new bureaucrats, Obamacare would create a new "Health Care Program Integrity Coordinating Council" to "to coordinate strategic planning among federal agencies involved in health care integrity and oversight."
To make sure all the existing local and state environmental public health agencies don't feel lonely, the Democrats' plan creates a new "Coordinated Environmental Public Health Network" to "build upon and coordinate among existing environmental and health data collection systems and create state environmental public health networks."
A new "National Health Care Workforce Commission" will be "tasked with reviewing health care workforce and projected workforce needs." New funding will be available for a "demonstration program to improve immunization coverage" that would enable government busybodies to send reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or make home visits.
Who'll be looking out for you? The House bill creates a "public plan ombudsman" and a "special health insurance exchange inspector general" to police spending and guard against waste, fraud and abuse. Given the sad fate of aggressive watchdogs in the age of Obama, however, these positions will end up like every other new agency, commission, task force and office created to serve the federal health care beast: black holes.
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