December 1, 2009
[efoods]A quick search of the Senate health bill will bring up “secretary” 2,500 times.
That’s because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be awarded unprecedented new powers under the proposal, including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it.
“The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and humans services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill,” said Devon Herrick, a health care expert at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
For instance, on Page 122 of the 2,079-page bill, the secretary is given the power to establish “the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a qualified health care plan.”
The HHS secretary would also have the power to decide where abortion is allowed under a government-run plan, which has drawn opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats.