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The Affordable Healthcare Act for All Americans is without a doubt, a large and complex piece of legislation at just over 2,400 pages. But how big is 2,400 pages when wide margins, lines numbered, text double spaced, large font, multiple levels of indent, and more than a few references to other documents? The sample page below (standard 8.5 inch wide paper) is indicative of the 2,400 page document. The actual content is but a small fraction of a page.
Aside from the claims of too lengthly and complex, Republicans argued that this was a Democratic bill rammed through congress. Interestingly, AHA includes more than 160 Republican amendments accepted during the month-long mark-up through just one committee (HELP), one of the longest in Congressional history.
Critics have claimed it’s a government takeover of our health system. It may be news to those critics but half of the health system is already government-run. And the great bulk of the reform bill deals with steps to improve existing government systems that has hardly drawn any attention. The following provides a quick breakdown of the law sections. The PDF report that can be viewed/downloaded shows the entire table of contents.
There are 10 “Titles” or major topics in the bill. Only the first, at 374 pages, less than one sixth of the entire bill deals with changes to how the private sector handles health care. Yet, this is the section that has garnered nearly all the criticism. The bulk of Title I deals with prohibiting abuses by the insurance industry, which, if you ask on an issue by issue basis, most people will agree with the new provisions. Nothing in the bill involves a “takeover” of private insurers.
The next three Titles [II,III,IV] deal with improving Medicare and Medicaid programs and comprise 852 pages, one-third of the bill. These Titles address reduction of waste, fraud and abuse, and pilot new payment methods towards a “results” oriented method common in most other industrialized countries. There are few objections to this section.
Title V, at 256 pages, addresses anticipated shortages of primary physicians and other healthcare workers due to services that will be required by aging baby boomers. This is totally opposite the “death panels” that ration healthcare that unfortunately got too much press for a falsehood.
Title VI uses 323 pages to improve transparency and integrity, yet more efforts to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in both the public and private health sectors. Who objects to efforts like this?
Title VII improves Access To Innovative Medical Therapies, with focus on lowering the cost of drugs
Title VIII addresses ‘‘Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act’’ or CLASS Act. This title The purpose of this title is to establish a national voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports. Moving people from higher cost hospitals and nursing homes to assisted living lowers costs, a laudable goal.
Title IX includes the revenue provisions that include provisions to raise revenue to pay for the expanded coverage.
The final Title X addresses 1) Medicaid and CHIP, 2) Support for pregnant and parenting women, and the major section 3) Indian health care improvements. None are controversial issues.
Title I——-Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans [374 pages – 14%]
Title II——Role Of Public Programs [221 pages – 8%]
Title III–—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care [501 pages – 19%]
Title IV–—Prevention Of Chronic Disease And Improving Public Health [130 pages – 5%]
Title V——Health Care Workforce [256 pages – 9%]
Title VI–—Transparency And Program Integrity [323 pages – 12%]
Title VII-—Improving Access To Innovative Medical Therapies [65 pages – 2%]
Title VIII—Class Act [53 pages – 2%]
Title IX—–Revenue Provisions [93 pages – 3%]
Title X——Strengthening Quality, Affordable Health Care For All Americans [373 pages – 14%]
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Filed under: Commentary, Health Costs, Health Insurers, Health Quality, Healthcare Reform, U.S. Senate | Tagged: 10 major topics, Affordable Care Act, Healthcare bill table of contents, private insurers |