The government will specify the health benefits that must be included in any plan participating in the Health Insurance Exchange. If all private plans must include all government-specified benefits (which will surely include benefits unwanted by many people and will inevitably drive up costs), whatever happened to choice? (Page 84)
Anyone who does not enroll in an Exchange-participating plan will be "automatically enrolled under Medicaid." The government will thus use force to achieve its goal of universal coverage. (Page 102)
Employers will be subjected to a play-or-pay mandate. Those who do not provide health insurance to their employees must give the government a "contribution" equal to 8 percent of average wages paid. (Page 149)
Seniors must submit to "advance care planning consultation" (aka end-of-life discussions) every five years, or more often if there is "a significant change in the health condition of the individual, including diagnosis of a chronic, progressive, life-limiting disease, a life-threatening or terminal diagnosis or life-threatening injury." Will these consultants advise seniors to hurry up and die because they are costing too much money? (Pages 425 and 429)
Government bureaucrats will conduct "Comparative Effectiveness Research" to decide the effectiveness of treatments and drugs. That is the exotic label for rationing and, as House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., admitted, drugs and treatments that are "found to be less effective and more expensive will no longer be prescribed." (Pages 502 and 520)
Government bureaucrats (not the medical profession) shall determine national priorities for research. (Page 505)
Preference in awarding grants or contracts will be given to entities that have trained "the greatest percentage" of public-health workers in the government and that have trained large percentages of "under-represented minority groups." Think ACORN! (Pages 909 and 910)
The Senate bill's official summary also authorizes "home visits" to "improve immunization coverage." Will Americans tolerate a knock on the door from a government agent demanding that we and our children receive all government-ordered vaccines?
The fine print of the Democrats' health-care bill (which imposes incredible debt on our children) gives enormous power to the Obama bureaucrats to impose uniform, government-defined-benefits insurance, to decide how much we must pay or be hit with fines and penalties, and to determine what treatments and drugs are "effective" and will be permitted. This isn't America -- this is Marxist socialism.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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