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Thread: The New York Times reports that “kickbacks and bribes” are legal now in Obamacare

  1. -1
    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    The New York Times reports that “kickbacks and bribes” are legal now in Obamacare

    The Affordable Care Act is the biggest new health care program in decades, but the Obama administration has ruled that neither the federal insurance exchange nor the federal subsidies paid to insurance companies on behalf of low-income people are “federal health care programs.”
    The surprise decision, disclosed last week, exempts subsidized health insurance from a law that bans rebates, kickbacks, bribes and certain other financial arrangements in federal health programs, stripping law enforcement of a powerful tool used to fight fraud in other health care programs, like Medicare.
    The main purpose of the anti-kickback law, as described by federal courts in scores of Medicare cases, is to protect patients and taxpayers against the undue influence of money on medical decisions.
    Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, disclosed her interpretation of the law in a letter to Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, who had asked her views. She did not explain the legal rationale for her decision, which followed a spirited debate within the administration.
    Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of people will be able to buy insurance from “qualified health plans” offered on exchanges, or marketplaces, run by the federal government and by some states.
    Most of the buyers are expected to be eligible for subsidies to make insurance more affordable. The subsidies, paid directly to insurers from the United States Treasury, start in January and are expected to total more than $1 trillion over 10 years.
    Ms. Sebelius said the Health and Human Services Department “does not consider” the subsidies to be federal health care programs. She reached the same conclusion with respect to federal and state exchanges, built with federal money, and with respect to “federally funded consumer assistance programs,” including the counselors, known as navigators, who help people shop for insurance and enroll in coverage through the exchanges

    Lawyers and law enforcement officials said Ms. Sebelius’s decision was unexpected because the insurance exchanges and subsidy payments appeared to fit the definition of federal health care programs in the anti-kickback statute.
    Generally, the law makes it a crime to pay or receive anything of value in return for the referral of patients or as an inducement for people to buy goods and services reimbursed by federal health care programs. Such programs are defined broadly as “any plan or program that provides health benefits, whether directly, through insurance, or otherwise, which is funded directly, in whole or in part, by the United States government.”
    “The secretary’s decision will have some very significant consequences,” said D. McCarty Thornton, former chief counsel to the inspector general at the Health and Human Services Department. “The federal anti-kickback statute will, in most cases, not apply to subsidized health plans or the items and services furnished by those plans.”
    “Plans and providers are very happy to be relieved of that concern,” Mr. Thornton added.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/us...pagewanted=all



    “Plans and providers are very happy to be relieved of that concern,” Mr. Thornton added.

    I bet they are.





    "Politics is the Art of Looking for Trouble, Finding it Everywhere, Diagnosing it Incorrectly, and Applying the Wrong Remedies"
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    LANGER72's Avatar
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    I am surprised that our resident liberals have not commented to defend his majesty.
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    JamesBW43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LANGER72 View Post
    I am surprised that our resident liberals have not commented to defend his majesty.
    I'm not that surprised. While this sounds bad it's not exactly an issue everyone has an informed opinion on. I know I don't. But I guess I would be surprised if I was so myopic that I thought anyone who defends one thing related to the President must defend everything.
    Not every human is a manipulative, opportunistic, letch... or at least that's what I'm told.
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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    Not surprising considering the bill was written by the insurance companies. A plan that uses the state to enforce their profits. A plan that literally cuts checks to them at the expense of the tax payer. Now bribes and kickbacks are legal. The whole thing is a corporatist boondoggle.
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    NY8123's Avatar
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    "I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally" ~ W.C. Fields

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    nick1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LANGER72 View Post
    I am surprised that our resident liberals have not commented to defend his majesty.
    only republicans defend everything their party does. liberals are pretty split about Obama.
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    Wildbill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick1 View Post
    only republicans defend everything their party does. liberals are pretty split about Obama.
    his comment is just as off base as yours. I suggest you both try to add something to the conversation besides derisive comments.
    "I didn't feel like we had to score," Tannehill said. "I had the mindset we were going to score."

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    LANGER72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildbill3 View Post
    his comment is just as off base as yours. I suggest you both try to add something to the conversation besides derisive comments.
    There is nothing more to add. This country has gone to the pits. As I read the article it doesn't surprise me. If it was a liberal, republican or independent POTUS, I would be equally appalled.
    Label it "derisive" if you want, but this president is doing nothing to stop it. In fact, IMHO, he is encouraging it.
    I am just waiting for the left wing responses by encouraging them a little.
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    Dolphins9954's Avatar
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    No offense to you Langer, Nick or anyone else. But every time I hear people use the words "Left wing, Right wing, Liberals or Conservatives" in there political views I just tune out. Anyone still in that way of thinking isn't helping the country at all. Divide and Conquer.
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    phinfan3411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphins9954 View Post
    No offense to you Langer, Nick or anyone else. But every time I hear people use the words "Left wing, Right wing, Liberals or Conservatives" in there political views I just tune out. Anyone still in that way of thinking isn't helping the country at all. Divide and Conquer.
    Absolutely...many of my friends are republican (like I used to be), and really it's frustrating. I find myself having to ask them how they think things would be if republicans had complete control, do they actually think this would improve anything?

    They usually say no, but its so ingrained in them I really doubt it.

    Langer, the only difference republicans would have made on "healthcare reform" would be to switch the pre existing conditions clause for tort reform, otherwise, if they did ANYTHING, it would look exactly the same.

    I believe the statement about not always agreeing with Obama to be a real cop out too. For this to be true, I would have to think he is really just a poor slob trying to do the right thing, not being able to identify what that is, and just making a mistake on this reform.

    That is honestly ridiculous, he is a smart guy, he knows exactly what he is doing, he's in his second term now, and if there was anything there, he would have shown it by now. He is EXACTLY like all the rest, and should not be given a pass on anything.

    The problem with our political system is that problems are solved not by what is best for the country, but ALWAYS by repaying the people funding the re election campaigns, and keeping themselves and their party in power.

    I honestly have not noticed one thing he or Bush did that would make me think otherwise. Waiting for him to turn around, and start making the changes he promised is kind of like me hoping Ireland is all of a sudden going to be a great GM, and turn us into perennial Super Bowl contenders...you can do it, but it doesn't make you look real sharp.
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