HHS Secretary Sebelius, a bureaucrat with no medical experience, can tell your doctor how to treat patients starting in 2015
January 2, 2014
Despite President Obama’s claim that “you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor,” a little known provision of Obamacare gives the health secretary broad authority to dictate how doctors practice medicine and treat their patients.
Starting in 2015, Obamacare will grant the Secretary of Health and Human Services, an unelected bureaucrat with no medical experience, power to decide what treatments are available to patients and if the doctor can perform procedures.
“Beginning on January 1, 2015, a qualified health plan may contract with … a health care provider only if such provider implements such mechanisms to improve health care quality as the Secretary may by regulation require.”
In other words, insurance companies will be banned from doing business with doctors who do not comply with the regulations established by the health secretary – and there’s almost no limit on what these regulations may entail.
“Under President Obama’s health care law, should the HHS Secretary determine that performing mammograms on women younger than 50 violates a standard of care, the provider must comply, regardless of his or her concerns,” Rep. Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-Ga.) said on the subject. “Failure to do so would allow the Secretary to shut down a medical practice.”
“The powers given to the Secretary are so broad, he or she could literally dictate how all physicians nationwide practice medicine.”
The lawmaker also added that the provision violates “the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, as physicians are trained to treat patients individually and not with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.”
However, Dr. Donald Berwick, an administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under Obama, deplored that the physician’s focus is “on the acute needs of individual patients” and not on “care for important subgroups” in the name of “social justice,” as reported by Betsy McCaughey.
Berwick’s statement serves as a microcosm of Section 1311(h)(1)(b) and for Obamacare as a whole: the pursuit of centralized planning and collectivism at the expense of the individual.
Rep. Gingrey, one of the few lawmakers who knew about the provision, introduced the Safeguarding Care of Patients Everywhere Act in both 2012 and 2013 to repeal Section 1311(h)(1)(b), but both bills never left the Subcommittee on Health.
Outside of Gingrey’s press release on his bills and a recent article in the New York Post, the provision has generated little media attention.
But by 2015, Americans will be demanding answers for the inevitable loss-of-life due to byzantine regulations and the destruction of the doctor-patient relationship.