nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Who run Barter Town?"

Mel Gibson fans will recognize the reference to Mad Max.  The real question to ask is "who runs healthcare?"  I said I wouldn't be writing about this because my disgust meter was pegged.  But the quotation below is getting a lot of press.

The following quotation is from page 26, Sec 101, para (h)(2),  of H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, as passed in the House and submitted to the Senate:

     "If the Secretary estimates for any fiscal year that the aggregate amounts available for payment of expenses of the high-risk pool will be less than the amount of the expenses, the Secretary shall make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums, or establishing waiting lists." [emphasis added]

The Secretary in question is Health and Human Services.  Note that she may act unilaterally and without review or further authorization.  Also, "high-risk pool" roughly refers to those who are uninsured or can't get insured, i.e., the ones we want to target with the bill.

Some people see this as allowing for the hard choices that have to be made to control costs, and necessary for a sustainable plan.  Others say that this builds in a method to limit care ("rationing"), without considering the needs of the individual. 

See what you think.

Doc D

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