- - Friday, December 19, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If you like your health care plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a Christmas surprise for you! When will this new present arrive? December 25th.

In an ongoing effort to keep Obamacare numbers elevated, CMS has embarked on the next step of its government takeover of healthcare.

It seems CMS is taking a page from Jonathan Gruber’s book; rather than allowing the “stupid” masses to make a decision on their own health plan, CMS has proposed a new rule that includes an overly reaching provision allowing CMS to re-enroll anyone who has not made the annual trek back to healthcare.gov in a cheaper plan of CMS’ choosing.

That’s right, the government will choose your plan, perhaps limit access to your doctor, and ultimately make the decision on what is “best” for you.

Not to worry, just like Lady Justice, who wears a blindfold when determining guilt or innocence, CMS will use a blindfold to pick your plan. The agency will select your plan without knowing your medical history. They will do so without knowing if you are currently undergoing treatment or working with a specific doctor. They will do so without knowing your financial status. Despite the fact that the millions of people who already enrolled chose the plan that they believed was best for them.

CMS has laid the perfect trap: Sign up at healthcare.gov one time in your life and we will never let you go. If you don’t continually re-enroll each and every year, CMS will keep you on the plan that it chooses because, after all, CMS knows what’s best and they always make the best decision. Oh, and if you don’t believe that, please go to the 600 million dollar website that will give you all kinds of testimonials handcrafted by MIT professors.


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To be clear, a citizen will sign up once for a private plan with a healthcare provider, only to have that plan changed by the federal government. Moreover, CMS will change your plan after the open enrollment period ends, leaving you and your family stuck with a potentially unwanted plan for the year.

The only people that will be happier than the MIT economics professors and “government-knows-best” elitists will be the lawyers who will have the chance to litigate this bureaucratic fiasco. I actually just advised my son to change his studies to healthcare law.

The basic Constitutional question argued at the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was; Can the government force American citizens to purchase a product? Now the question has become; can the government change an individual’s private healthcare provider-without consent-just because that individual is silent and doesn’t opt-in to a new policy? The sound of silence is deafening and frightening.

Speaking of silence, CMS quietly opened a comment period on the new rule that extends until next week—ending on Christmas day.

With all due respect to the Jonathan Grubers of the world, the American people are smarter than this-they know this isn’t right. I sent a letter to CMS demanding they immediately strip this provision from the pending rule and abandon any future attempts to single-handedly choose Americans’ healthcare plans.

If not, the Republican House and Senate stands ready to take the action necessary to ensure CMS doesn’t further erode consumer choice in healthcare - as if the ACA already didn’t go far enough in doing so.

• Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In the 114th Congress, he will Chair the Subcommittee on Government Operations.

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