Throughout this past week, I highlighted on Facebook some of the top regulations or provisions of Obamacare that just plain don't work for Kansans. As Nancy Pelosi famously said, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." So, here are a few things that are in it:
* The Baystate Boondoggle: A Medicare reimbursement formula allows Massachusetts to set statewide hospital reimbursement rates for providers equal to the cushy wages paid at a 15-bed hospital on the tony island of Nantucket. This robs 19 other states of money for their reimbursements because it all comes from the same pot. In short, there aren't enough clams at this bake to go around, certainly not to Kansas, after Massachusetts is finished.
* Health and Human Service's rule: Requires qualified health plans to offer contraception benefits. As you know, religious institutions that hold moral objections to specific services expressed widespread concern with the rule. In response, I cosponsored S. 1467, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). It allows a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan without penalty and remain in compliance with the requirements under the new Health Care Law.
* No More child-only plans: Included in this law are a group of regulations that have caused insurance plans in 39 states to stop offering child-only plans, and parents in at least 17 states are no longer able to purchase ANY child-only plans. Keep in mind, there are no private insurance alternatives for these families for two more years. These regs limit access to care.
* HSA Limits: Also in the law is a prohibition on what can be reimbursed from a Health Savings Account (HSA). I joined Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) in introducing a bipartisan bill to repeal this provision to restore the choice and flexibility people had in managing their health care expenses by buying over-the-counter medications. Rather than promoting cost-effectiveness and accessibility, this provision directs people to potentially more costly, less convenient, and more time-consuming alternatives. Read more about our bill here.
* And finally, Obamacare Waivers: More than 1,700 labor unions and others have been granting waivers so they don't have to participate in the new law. At issue are the mandates involving annual coverage forcing many employers not to offer coverage at all. Where is your waiver?