Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Help Us Answer Chris Buttars' Health Care Questions

Senator Buttars "read and re-read" the House Affordable Health Care Choices Act and can only conclude it's pure SOCIALISM! But the fine Senator has made a list, via his post at The Senate Site, of the questions his cut and paste from "read and re-read" has raised.

We're looking for some volunteers -- fast readers and policy wonks, preferably -- to help us provide an answer to each of the questions listed, and help Mr. Buttars understand the difference between this reform proposal and socialism.

Any takers, email via the link in the sidebar. Quoting the entire text of the Senator's post here to get us started.

By Chris Buttars
Senator, District 10

The concerns and questions below are based on the original version of the House Affordable Health Care Choices Act. They represent just a few of the many alarming practices presented in this bill.

There are actually four primary versions of the proposed health care bill. In addition, a fifth version from the Senate Finance Committee is expected in the near future. It is certain that there will also be many proposed amendments. In total, these bills represent more than 1,600 pages. The House Affordable Health Care Choice Act, in itself, has more than 1,000 pages. Not only is this bill extremely long, but it is written in “governmentese,” making it difficult to understand and subject to interpretation, which is even more frightening.
  1. Page 124, Lines 24-25: Does this ban anyone from suing the federal government? And does it ban the entire judicial system from hearing cases on the legitimacy of the proposed plan?
  2. Are all federal employees exempt from the proposed national health care program(s)?
  3. Pages 272 & 452: The entire bill is loaded with the comment, “As determined appropriate by the Secretary.” What does this mean?
  4. Page 429, Lines 10-11: In addition to almost everything being subject to the Secretary’s approval, the words the “Secretary may” are also peppered throughout the bill. What does this mean?
  5. Page 226, Lines 12-22: An example of “governmentese.”
  6. Page 58, Lines 11-13: Will everyone be issued a government health care ID? Will it outline limitations of services we can receive?
  7. Page 317, Line 13-20: Prohibits doctors from purchasing or investing in health care facilities from the point of plan implementation.
  8. Page 91, Lines 4-7: Mandates that health care providers pay for interpreters for illegal aliens.
  9. Page 170, Lines 1-3: Stipulates that all nonresident aliens are exempt from the tax penalty presented in this chapter. Does that mean nonresident aliens will pay nothing for their health care?
  10. Page 272, Section 1145: Cancer treatment rationed “as determined appropriate by the Secretary.”
  11. Page 280, Section 1151: Imposes penalties and fines on hospitals for “preventable” visits.
  12. Page 298, Lines 9-11: Could impose penalties and fines on hospitals for re-admission after first treatment (fix on the first try or suffer the consequences).
  13. Page 341, Lines 3-9: Does this grant federal power to arbitrarily disqualify HMO’s, thereby forcing people into public health care at random?
  14. Page 149, Lines 16-24: Imposes an 8 percent payroll tax penalty for any employer that makes more than $400,000 and fails to offer to its employees the option to enroll in a qualified health care plan.
  15. Page 195: The Secretary will have full access to every citizen’s most private records.
  16. Does everyone have a right to government health care? Where and when was that right established?
  17. Page 429, Lines 10-12, & Page 430, Lines 12-14: May seniors opt out of end-of-life consultations?
  18. Page 429, Lines 10-12: Empowers federal government to create physician payments for end-of-life plans under something called “advance care consultation.” Can decisions by the patient be overridden by the Secretary in an advance-care consultation plan?
  19. Page 429, Lines 13-25: The health care bill is 1,018 pages. I would venture that the rules to implement these pages would, at least, double the size of the bill.
  20. One of the foundational reasons for the Affordable Health Choices Act is to reduce health care costs. Since the most conservative estimate to implement this program is $1 trillion (some say it will be multiples of that), how, then, can a dramatic rationing of health care services be avoided? How drastically will health care services be rationed?
Note: These questions and concerns cover only the first 500 pages. The other 500 pages are every bit as concerning.

For Example:
  1. Page 768, Lines 20-24, and Page 769, Lines 1-3: Is the language concerning increasing the birth intervals between pregnancies mandatory?
  2. Page 1018, Lines 6-19: In regards to “subtitle E, limitation on federal funds,” does this require compliance by the state to the entire bill or federal funds will be withheld?
I have read and reread this bill several times. Everything considered, it’s my personal opinion that this act is more about government control than health care; and there is no doubt it pushes our nation toward classic socialism.
UPDATE: "Misfire" indeed. It looks like The Senate Site has walked this one back, by deleting the post.
[Update: 6:43 p.m.:] Yes, there used to be a post on a federal health care bill right here.

No one has changed their mind about the overreaching, over-intrusive, over-expensive, ill-advised bill. But this particular blog post might have been a misfire. Our bad.
That shouldn't stop us from helping the Senator better understand the bill, however. Who's game?

UPDATE II: The Trib's Robert Gehrke get's things rolling for us.

: KCPW calls Buttars and Valentine to the carpet for their "questionable claims" (nicer than I would've put it). Buttars hedges, apparently not so pompous and brave once he realizes the electorate is smarter than he thinks they are.


  1. Answers would actually be very helpful. Thanks for tackling this.

  2. I'm in. I would suggest four questions per post, to keep it reasonable. Thanks for generating this discussion, the chain-email garbage Mr. Buttars is perpetuating with his does no one any good, even those who have reason to oppose the legislation on ideological grounds. Nothing more irritating than an elected official peddling mindless misinformation. Let me know how I can help with the research. I've emailed you directly.

  3. The answer to Buttars questions is simple. In fact, the whole thing is just giant trick question. The answer:

    Don't Fkn Lie!


    Don't steal someone else's propaganda bullshit and then try to pass it off as your own work.

  4. Glad we bloggers can help out, Senate Site.

    Unfortunately, it looks like several have beat us to it, so it's not quite the challenge we thought it would be.

    Which begs the question, is Senator Buttars really this gullible, or just a hack who thought no one would notice?

    Disappointing you would allow it on The Senate Site to begin with.