Freedom Action Now

The Immortal Reid Bill

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Not only do they vote on this thing in the middle of the night, they’ve included a provision that makes a part of the bill absolutely irrevocable by any future Congress.

This is reported in The Weekly Standard. The article quotes Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.):

… there’s one provision that i found particularly troubling and it’s under section c, titled “limitations on changes to this subsection.”

and i quote — “it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.

Here’s a link to the bill, and here’s the wording:

‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS.—

‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, or amendment, pursuant to this subsection or conference report thereon, that fails to satisfy the requirements of subparagraphs (A)(i) and (C) of subsection (c)(2).

‘‘(B) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS IN OTHER LEGISLATION.—It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report (other than pursuant to this section) that would repeal or otherwise change the recommendations of the Board if that change would fail to satisfy the requirements of subparagraphs (A)(i) and (C) of subsection (c)(2).

‘‘(C) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THIS SUBSECTION.—It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.

‘‘(D) WAIVER.—This paragraph may be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.”

When it talks about “… that would repeal or otherwise change the recommendations of the Board …”, they’re taking about the Independent Medical Advisory Board. Back to the Bill:

‘‘INDEPENDENT MEDICARE ADVISORY BOARD

‘SEC. 1899A. (a) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established an independent board to be known as the ‘Independent Medicare Advisory Board’.

‘‘(b) PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this section to, in accordance with the following provisions of this section, reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending—

Here are the next paragraphs, summarized:

“… Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services … to determine … the projected per capita growth rate under Medicare … [and] … if the projection … exceeds the target growth rate … by requiring the Board to develop … a proposal containing recommendations to reduce the Medicare per capita growth rate …”

In other words, we’ve got to cut costs, you’ll just have to wait until 2025 for your heart bypass operation.

“… the proposal shall include recommendations so that the proposal as a whole … will result in a net reduction in total Medicare program spending … ”

This is followed by

The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums …, increase Medicare beneficiary costsharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.

Maybe there are financial magicians (in the old Merlin sense – perhaps the “Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services” is such a man) who can cut costs and expenses while at the same time not increasing any fees or reducing or restricting services.

But I have serious doubts that any of them are anywhere near the centers of power in Washington.

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Written by freedomactionnow

December 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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