From an article in the NY Times today (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/health/policy/20health.html?_r=1&hp), the Institute of Medicine has submitted a report to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, about what services should be covered FREE of charge to ALL holders of health insurance. To quote from the article:
"The new health care law says insurers must cover “preventive health services” and cannot charge for them. Ms. Sebelius will decide on a minimum package of essential health benefits and her decision will not require further action by Congress."
So Ms. Sebelius gets to decide what everyone has to pay for when it comes to insurance. And the law is also making you buy insurance. So basically Ms. Sebelius gets to control your health insurance spending. Land of the free?
So what fantastic procedures does the Institute of Medicine think we should all pay for? (if you honestly think that any of these things are going to be provided to you for "free" and not result in higher premiums you are incredibly naive)
From the article:
"In addition to contraceptive services for women, the panel recommended that the government require health plans to cover screening to detect domestic violence; screening for H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS; and counseling and equipment to promote breastfeeding, including the free rental of breast pumps.
The panel also said all insurers should be required to cover screening for gestational diabetes in pregnant women; DNA testing for the human papillomavirus as part of cervical cancer screening; and annual preventive care visits. Such visits could include prenatal care and preconception care, to make sure women are healthy when they become pregnant.
To reduce unintended pregnancies, the panel said, insurers should cover the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as sterilization procedures and “education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”"
Screening to detect domestic violence? Breast pumps? Education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity (Isn't that basically every woman?)? What the hell is all this?! And why do I have to pay for it when I am damn sure that I am never going to use a breast pump? (well, pretty sure)
And before you say, hey, maybe all of this stuff won't make it into the final list of services, read this:
"“This report is historic,” Ms. Sebelius said on Tuesday in accepting the recommendations. “Before today, guidelines regarding women’s health and preventive care did not exist. These recommendations are based on science and existing literature.”"
Based on science huh? And existing literature. Well that's good, I guess. But you know what they didn't consider?
"The chairwoman of the panel, Dr. Linda Rosenstock, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, “We did not consider cost or cost-effectiveness in our deliberations.” "
Excuse me? You didn't consider cost in your recommendations? What?! Is that possible? Well I guess if cost is just a minor detail not worth consideration we might as well just throw everything under preventative care and it will all be free right Dr. Linda Rosenstock and Ms. Sebelius? Free health care for all!!! No one pays a dime for anything!!!! Yay!!!!
How can anyone possibly think Obamacare is going to lower costs when COSTS AREN'T EVEN CONSIDERED???????
What a freaking JOKE! But unfortunately the joke is on us.