In a proposed rule from Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the federal government is demanding insurance companies submit detailed health care information about their patients.
(See Proposed Rule: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Standards Related to Reinsurance, Risk Corridors and Risk Adjustment, Volume 76, page 41930. Proposed rule docket ID is HHS-OS-2011-0022 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-15/pdf/2011-17609.pdf)
The HHS has proposed the federal government pursue one of three paths to obtain this sensitive information: A “centralized approach” wherein insurers’ data go directly to Washington; an “intermediate state-level approach” in which insurers give the information to the 50 states; or a “distributed approach” in which health insurance companies crunch the numbers according to federal bureaucrat edict.
There are major problems with any one of these three “options.” First is the obvious breach of patient confidentiality. The federal government does not exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to managing private information about its citizens.
The second concern is the government compulsion to seize details about private business practices. Certainly many health insurance companies defended and advocated for the president’s health care law, but they likely did not know this was part of the bargain.
They are being asked to provide proprietary information to governments for purposes that will undermine their competitiveness. Obama and Sebelius made such a big deal about Americans being able to keep the coverage they have under ObamaCare; with these provisions, such private insurance may cease to exist if insurers are required to divulge their business models.
Just like FDR’s dishonest methods for pushing Social Security, these hidden features in ObamaCare are all part of the plan.