ObamaCare: 1,000+ Pages of Socialized Health-Care Rules? Obama’s Private Army? And the Road to Socialism Through Health-Care By Reagan

Kathleen Sebelius speaks in Boston. | AP Photo

Kathleen Sebelius said the regulations will be out in the ‘next couple weeks.’ | AP Photo


Health care lobbyists and advocates are bracing for six pages of the health care reform law to explode into a phonebook-sized federal regulation when the Department of Health and Human Services releases its long-delayed accountable care organization rule expected this week.

“What, you expected less than a thousand pages for legislation that only took a page and half?” a staffer with one of the current proto-ACOs asked.

The staffer exaggerated; the Affordable Care Act devoted about six pages, not one and a half, to the accountable care organizations — networks of hospitals and doctors that are supposed to drive down costs and improve care by sharing responsibility for patients. A senior administration official said the rule is not a thousand pages, but he declined to say how many pages it is.

How do you turn six pages of legislation into hundreds of pages of rules? You kind of have to, in order to settle all of the questions that hospitals and doctors want settled so they don’t get into trouble.

They have to know who can become an accountable care organization – a formula that could be different in different parts of the country – and how you’d know if the organization actually saved money. They’d need to know how to report what they’re doing. And they need to know how to join together without breaking the antitrust laws that are already on the books.

At one point, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Don Berwick had suggested the rules would be out by Jan. 15. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who had promised that the regulations would be out by the end of March, said last week that they’d be out “in the next couple weeks.”

The silence has left room for plenty of speculation. Several industry sources have told POLITICO that they’re expecting at least 1,000 pages of regulations to emerge from the process.

One of them is John Gorman, a former official with the predecessor office to CMS who is now CEO of the Medicare/Medicaid consulting firm Gorman Health Group. He said he expects the rule to come out on Thursday, March 31—because he doesn’t think HHS will want to deal with releasing the regulation on April Fool’s Day.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to add the comment of a senior administration official that the rule will not be 1,000 pages…. but probably close!

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52170.html#ixzz1ILPuySGm

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About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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