What To Ask Your Congressperson About Obamacare (Part 5)

Here’s the 5th installment in a series of questions you can ask your member of the House of Representatives concerning H.R. 3200 – also known as Obamacare.

The entire bill can be read here.  This website will help you find ways to contact your congressperson’s office. 

If your Representative is undecided or favors Obamacare, call their DC office and ask for someone knowledgeable about the bill. Ask questions, and then considering entering what you hear in the comment section of  American Thinker.  

Question 16: Section 431, Disclosures To Carry Out Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies, amends section 6130 of the IRS Code of 1986 with language that enables the Health Choices Commissioner [in a previous installment of this series referred to as the “Commish”] access, via written request to the Secretary of the Treasury [Timmy Geithner], to taxpayer records including: “(i) taxpayer identity information with respect to such taxpayer; (ii) the filing status of such taxpayer; (iii) the modified adjusted gross income of such taxpayer; (iv) the number of dependents of the taxpayer; (v) such other information as is prescribed by the Secretary by regulation as might indicate whether the taxpayer is eligible for such affordability credits (and the amount thereof)…”   

SO, with my tax information available within the enormous bureaucracy required to stand-up “America’s Health Choices Act of 2009” how long before this information becomes available to operatives of the political party in power at the time? And, when can we expect affluent citizens to be denied government healthcare payment because their net worth is identified as beyond a certain level?  Oh, and by the way, just how many more government employees will be hired to staff Obamacare? And, of what government workers’ union are they likely to become members?

Question 17: (Tracking through this one will hurt, but it’ll pay off - at the very end.)  The Obamacare bill makes amendments to the Social Security Act (SSA), thereby requiring the reader to toggle back-and-forth between the two bills, as well as the IRS Code. Here goes:

SSA, Section 1848, Subsection (j) reads as follows:
“(1) Category.—For services furnished before January 1, 1998, the term ‘category’ means, with respect to physicians' services, surgical services (as defined by the Secretary and including anesthesia services), primary care services (as defined in section 1842(i)(4)), and all other physicians' services. The Secretary shall define surgical services and publish such definitions in the Federal Register no later than May 1, 1990, after consultation with organizations representing physicians.

(2) Fee schedule area.—The term ‘fee schedule area’ means a locality used under section 1842(b) for purposes of computing payment amounts for physicians' services.

(3) Physicians' services.—The term ‘physicians' services’ includes items and services described in paragraphs (1), (2)(A), (2)(D), (2)(G), (2)(P) (with respect to services described in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of section 1861(00)(2)), (2)(R) (with respect to services described in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) of section  1861(pp)(1)), (2)(S), (2)(W), 2(AA), (3), (4), (13) (14) (with respect to services described in section 1861(nn)(2)), and (15) of section 1861(s) (other than clinical diagnostic laboratory tests and, except for purposes of subsections (a)(3), (g), and (h) such other items and services as the Secretary may specify).

(4) Practice expenses.—The term ‘practice expenses’ includes all expenses for furnishing physicians' services, excluding malpractice expenses, physician compensation, and other physician fringe benefits.”

Now, the pending House version of the healthcare deform, oops, reform bill proposes (in Section 1121, pages 241-244) to add a 5th paragraph to the SSA that reads as follows:

“(5) Service Categories.-For services furnished on or about January 1,2009, each of the following categories of physicians’ services (as defined in paragraph (3)) shall be treated as a separate ‘service category’ (A) Evaluation and management services that are procedure codes (for services covered under the title for – (i) services in the category designated Evaluation and Management in the Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (established by the Secretary under subsection (c)(5) as of December 31, 2009 and as subsequently modified by the Secretary); and (ii) preventative services (as defined in section 1861(iii) for which payment is made under this section. (B) All other services not described in subparagraph (A).  Service categories established under this paragraph shall apply without regard to the specialty of the physician furnishing the service.”  

[Here, as elsewhere in life, the devil is in the details – sometimes the last detail.]

SO, as the incomes of physicians who specialize are brought, by this bill, into income equivalency with general practitioners (AKA family practice or primary care physicians), how will that impact the incentive for med students to specialize by undertaking years of additional training, often incurring substantial additional medical school debt and deferred income? Do primary care physicians represent a disproportionate percentage of the physicians that supports this bill?  

Watch this space for more of “What To Ask Your Congressperson About Obamacare.” 
For earlier installments in this series see part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4.