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Feds Get Real-Time Access to Patient Bank Accounts Under ObamaCare

By August 2, 2009

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Jeri Gleiter/Getty Images

Reading the ObamaCare legislation package is a little like reading some bad Orwellian novel set in the future.



It's not long before the reader encounters just how far-reaching and invasive this bill really is. On page 57, under section 163, there is something that would give the government power to reach into benefits recipients' bank accounts. It is called "Administrative Simplification," and Subsection 1173A of this measure, "Standardize Electronic Transactions" has a provision (a)(2)(B) that ensures that this new governmental power:

"be authoritative, permitting no additions or constraints for electronic transactions ..." (C) "be comprehensive, efficient and robust, requiring minimal augmentation by paper transactions or clarification by further communications;" and, finally, (D) enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card;" ... (E) "enable, where feasible, near real-time adjudication of claims ..." (Emphasis added)


This sounds like something the Soviets would have done (had they been given the capability) to its citizens during the Cold War. Essentially, the government has the sole authority to fish money out of patient bank accounts without constraint and in real time. Under (4)(C) of this subsection it says the government would have the capability to "enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice ... "



While there is an appeals process outlined later, the reality is that patients would be facing a bureaucracy to get money back, once the government had allocated his or her money to pay for services. There are, however, a number of safeguards for health care providers -- as well as incentives to enroll in the automated electronic transaction system -- but for individuals who opt in on a government plan, there are, according to (a)(6)(F) of subsection 1173A, "civil monetary and programmatic penalties for non-compliance ..."



The scary part? Nowhere in section 163 does it explicitly outline a requirement for patient authorization. In other words, the government can take patient money without their permission, authorization -- or knowledge. Section 163 does outline limitations on data usage and ensures that patient documents -- such as doctor notes, medications and treatments -- be safeguarded under HIPPA laws. There is not, however, a single word about obtaining authorization for financial transactions from the people who are insured under the government program.



President Barack Obama may defend this measure by scoffing it off and saying the federal government would never take its citizens' money without their permission, but unless the legislation actually says that, how are they to know?



In the six short months he's been in office, the president has broken so many promises that it would silly to simply take his word for it.



If this is the "Change we can believe in" that Obama talked about last year, Americans should prepare for it by adding an overdraft protection plan to their bank accounts.



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Photo © Jeri Gleiter/Getty Images

Comments

August 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm
(1) JH Griffin says:

And you thought Soylent Green was a fantasy! It’s Obama’s hope for change! Ironic that Charlton Heston was the star of that movie.

August 20, 2009 at 2:20 am
(2) BJ says:

That is a wonderful scare tactic. Trace what the amendemnet is about and you will find it refers to ]administrative electronic transfers between the hopitals and insurance providers. The section you highlighted is part of the verbage amending the Social Security Act. Why is that important???? Because the Medicare and Medicaid were added to the original Social Security Act.

Do your research…..first and maybe next time your column won’t be so embarassing.

August 20, 2009 at 10:05 am
(3) usconservatives says:

Actually, BJ, you’re 100 percent wrong. There is a section in the bill that amends Title XVII of the Social Security Act, but that part is under “Miscellaneous Improvements.” This part of the bill is NEW, not amending ANYTHING. Sorry, but you and your liberal friends will have to do better than that. Maybe YOU should read the bill, instead of just babbling liberal talking points you hear on MSNBC.

August 20, 2009 at 3:03 am
(4) benson bear says:

how can you have section 1173 under section 163. that makes no sense.

what you are talking about is a revision to another bill. did you look at *that* bill to see in context what this proposed insertion actually entails?

August 20, 2009 at 10:06 am
(5) usconservatives says:

Benson Bear,

DUDE. SEC. 1173 is a SUB SECTION of SEC 163. The quotes I used are from the ACTUAL bill. Why don’t you READ it?!

August 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm
(6) BJ says:

Please read it yourself:

Need a link?

H.R.3200
America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)

SEC. 163. ADMINISTRATIVE SIMPLIFICATION.
(a) Standardizing Electronic Administrative Transactions-
(1) IN GENERAL- Part C of title XI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 1173 the following new section:
`SEC. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.

It does AMEND the SS Act Part C Title XI….by inserting the verbage.

FYI, I am not a Liberal.

August 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(7) usconservatives says:

BJ: Read what you just wrote:

“… BY INSERTING THE FOLLOWING NEW SECTION:”

This section of the bill is technically an amendment, but it is actually a whole new part of the Social Security Act. In reality, the entire health plan is an amendment.

Here’s a link to the bill:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf

August 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm
(8) BJ says:

It does CHANGE the SS Act and how MEDICARE payments are processed and does specifically address that in the verbage of the bill.

One more time in case you missed it.

H.R.3200
America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)

SEC. 163. ADMINISTRATIVE SIMPLIFICATION.
(a) Standardizing Electronic Administrative Transactions-
(1) IN GENERAL- Part C of title XI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 1173 the following new section:
`SEC. 1173A. STANDARDIZE ELECTRONIC ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS.

The bill uses the word “AMEND” I did not choose it arbitrarily.

The point that you are trying to deny is the verbage you cited does refer, add, change, alter, amend etc the Medicare segment of the SS Act and how payments are processed between hospitals and the insurance provider. That is what I addressed in my first post and you stated I was 100% wrong. Read the verbage and your incorrect information.

Your quote follows:
“There is a section in the bill that amends Title
XVII of the Social Security Act, but that part is under “Miscellaneous Improvements.” This part of the bill is NEW, not amending ANYTHING”

If it doesn’t amend ANYTHING then why did they use that specific word “AMEND” in the bill?

You chose the section and the verbage and to continue to suggest someone read the entire bill is an attempt to deflect the issue from the portion YOU selected.

You are welcome.

August 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm
(9) usconservatives says:

BJ.

You can argue semantics with me, but the bottom line is the bottom line.

The fact of the matter is that HR 3200 in ITS ENTIRETY is an Amendment to the Social Security Act. So, of course, it’s going tos ay “Amends,” “amending” and “amendment” all throughout the document — even when something new is added. Sometimes nothing new will be added. It will just be expanded or removed, which is what I consider to be an ACTUAL amendment.

For example, the section that deals with the so-called “death panels” (which I’ve said is completely inaccurate) are what I consider to be an AMENDMENT, because it actually AMENDS something. It doesn’t add anything new. It simply expands what Medicare will pay for.

Sec. 163 adds something completely new. This may amend the document in that it is affixed to it, but it doesn’t expand or remove something or even change it a little or a lot. It ADDS SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW: in this case — a new way to pay providers with YOUR money. It’s not amending how providers get paid — because the preexisting language doesn’t exist regarding that aspect of Medicaid. This is COMPLETELY NEW.

August 20, 2009 at 8:20 pm
(10) BJ says:

Thank you for acknowledging this does refer to the Social Security Act.

A nice scare tactic for the 87% of the population under the age of 65 and not part of or a participant in the Medicare program. The other 13% of the population is hopefully shaking their head also.

I refer you and others to your own mission statement:

The mission of this site is to provide accurate, thoughtful and informative content for people interested in learning more about the conservative movement and its political agenda.

The key words: ACCURATE and AGENDA

Your words not mine and not subject to semantics.

See ya!

August 21, 2009 at 3:21 am
(11) benson bear says:

You wrote in reply to me “DUDE. SEC. 1173 is a SUB SECTION of SEC 163″

No, it isn’t. That lexically makes no sense of course. The phrase “SEC 1173…” is in quotes. It is not a subsection of the current bill. It is a piece of legislation that the section 163 of the current bill proposes be inserted into another entirely different already passed bill.

“the quotes I used are from the ACTUAL bill. Why don’t you READ it?!”

I did read this section, and I learned that I cannot determine what these proposed insertions into ANOTHER different already long passed bill mean without looking that bill up too, which is why I asked the question above.

I didn’t look it up because I am confident that your interpretation is a misreading, and it’s not worth wasting my time on every wacky misreading that appears on the disinfonets.

August 21, 2009 at 9:47 am
(12) usconservatives says:

Yeah, benson bear. After all, why on earth would you want to understand the bill?

October 20, 2009 at 9:01 pm
(13) Brad Sylvester says:

“Adjudication of claims” has NOTHING whatsoever to do with taking money from patients accounts. It means determining at the time the patient signs in to the hospital how much their insurance will cover and pay for. This allows patients to know in advance if their insurance covers the service and to what extent. In other words, telling the patient before hand how much they’ll need to pay for the service – NOT yanking the money from their accounts. I understand that these are big words, but you scare people away from something that is good for them and gives them some additional leverage against their insurance companies. I never cease to be amazed at how easily people are convinced by lobbyists’ talking points to vote against their own best interests…

October 20, 2009 at 11:54 pm
(14) usconservatives says:

As for nationalized healthcare being “good for” people, I’m afraid I disagree with you there. Sorry, but you’re way out of your league on this one.

Finally, the original bill didn’t say what you’re claiming it did. Check out HR 3200 unabridged sometime — oh, wait. I included the language for you in the blog post. Take a look at it. I read the bill. It DID give government powers to access personal bank accounts of patients. Not the way we do with ATM cards, either. It was a poorly written bill, that’s all there is to it. It’s been amended to exclude this language, I’m told. I have not read the revised bill. I’m doing that this weekend.

Frankly, I never cease to be amazed at how quickly gullible liberals will eat up and spit out whatever Obama tells them to.

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