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    Posted July 5, 2012 by
    Farmersburg, Indiana
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    ACA - Does Anyone Know the True Cost?


    Now  that the US Supreme Court has deemed the Affordable Care Act  constitutional, the hard part begins, implementing all that the law  calls for both the federal government and state governments to do.

    The  law alloted $1 billion to implement the law. But that money has already  been spent and the surface of all that must be done and its cost has  not been touched.

    Thousands  of employees on the federal level must be hired. Hundreds of employees  in each state must be hired. New computer programs must be written. New  agencies, health insurance exchanges must be set up, and all of this  will cost billions and billions. This is just to get the law off the  ground. What the cost will be is a guess.

    The  Health and Human Services Department "was given a billion dollars  implementation money," Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana said.  "That money is gone already on additional bureaucrats and IT programs,  computerization for the implementation."

    "Oh boy," Stan Dorn of  the Urban Institute said. "HHS has a huge amount of work to do and the  states do, too. There will be new health insurance marketplaces in every  state in the country, places you can go online, compare health plans."

    The  IRS, Health and Human Services and many other agencies will now write  thousands of pages of regulations -- an effort well under way: 

    "There's already 13,000 pages of regulations, and they're not even done yet," Rehberg said.

    "It's  a delegation of extensive authority from Congress to the Department of  Health and Human Services and a lot of boards and commissions and  bureaus throughout the bureaucracy," Matt Spalding of the Heritage  Foundation said. "We counted about 180 or so."

    There has been  much focus on the mandate that all Americans obtain health insurance,  but analysts say that's just a small part of the law -- covering only a  few pages out of the law's 2700.

    "The fact of the matter is the  mandate is about two percent of the whole piece of the legislation,"  Spalding said. "It's a minor part."

    Much bigger than the mandate  itself are the insurance exchanges that will administer $681 billion in  subsidies over 10 years, which will require a lot of new federal workers  at the IRS and health department.

    "They are asking for several  hundred new employees," Dorn said. "You have rules you need to write and  you need lawyers, so there are lots of things you need to do when you  are standing up a new enterprise."

    For some, though, the bottom line is clear and troubling: The federal government is about to assume massive new powers.

    According  to James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, federal  powers will include designing insurance plans, telling people where they  can go for coverage and how much insurers are allowed to charge.

    "Really, how doctors and hospitals are supposed to practice medicine," he said.

    The  health department is still writing regulations, which can be  controversial in and of themselves. One already written, for instance,  requires insurance plans to cover contraception. It has been legally  challenged by Catholic groups in a case likely to end up in the Supreme  Court.


    From  the Cornfield, yes, the source on this one is from a network I never  watch, Fox News. I did, however, do some crossing checking and it was  verified. For more information see:

    Implementation Timeline - Kaiser Health Reform

    Summary of New Health Reform Law (ACA)

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