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I’ve read all of the health reform laws, as well as most of the regulations. So I consider myself pretty well informed on the subject. It’s my job to be up to date on this. After all, I answer questions about health care and health insurance every day.
In my experience, most of the hostility that is generated by even the most innocuous statements about health reform are based on complete and total lies. The death panel rumor? An earlier draft of the bill provided that Medicare would reimburse doctors for providing end-of-life counseling. We all know that doctors have to have that talk with patients and their families when care decisions need to be made. All this provision of the law would have done is compensate them for having that conversation. But the provision got pulled because of the outcry.
People will be implanted with computer chips? This one appears to derive from the mention of the CHIP program – Children’s Health Insurance Plan.
And then there’s the email that’s been circulating for two years purportedly written by a county court judge that cites to pages and lines of the bill that supposedly says all kinds of things – like the federal government would pay for abortions, and illegal immigrants would be entitled to free health care. The version of the bill that became law does not contain any of the supposedly offending statements. I’ve looked at the page and line numbers and the stuff’s just not there.
And the biggest lie of all: Rationing of health care. Again, it’s just not there. And if you think insurance companies aren’t already rationing care by deciding which treatments they believe are medically necessary and which are not, you’re fooling yourself. But there’s nothing in the health reform law that permits anybody to limit the care that is provided, except, of course, for the private insurance companies, who will continue to make medical necessity decisions. But the government saying who can get care and who can’t? Not there.
Most of the outcry, of course, has arisen from the requirement that people buy insurance. So here’s how the argument goes.