Letters of Concern About Obamacare from Texas Judge David Kithil and Indianapolis Doctor Stephen E. Frazer, M.D.
Letters from Judge David Kithil and Dr. Stephen Frazer Provide Line-item Criticism of Health Care Reform LegislationSnopes.com
Last updated: January 24, 2011
Original post date: December 2, 2009
The line-item criticism of the health care reform bill commonly known as "Obamacare" has circulated since late 2009, both as a letter sent to Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana by
As a criticism of health care reform legislation this piece has considerable flaws, the primary one being that it analyzed a bill which had not yet been passed by Congress. Substantial changes were made to the health care reform bill before it was passed by the House in November 2009; the Senate then passed its own (more conservative) version in December 2009, with the House making further adjustments to the Senate version. Thus much of the criticism was directed at elements that were not present in the bill which was actually passed into law. Moreover, as detailed here, many of the claims made in this analysis about the earlier version of health care reform legislation were inaccurate.
An Indianapolis doctor's letter to Sen. Bayh about the Bill (Note: Dr. Stephen E. Frazer, MD practices as an anesthesiologist in Indianapolis, IN)
Here is a letter I sent to Senator Bayh. Feel free to copy it and send it around to all other representatives. — Stephen Fraser
As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government's proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.
I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.
Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!
Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.
Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!
Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!
Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL
Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals' finances & a 'National ID Health card' will be issued!
Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer.
Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).
Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the 'Exchange.'
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans — The Govt will ration your health care!
Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (Translation: illegal aliens.)
Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps) to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members - your health care WILL be rationed!)
Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)
Page 12 4 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Govt monopoly.
Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association - The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.
Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)
Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees AND their families. (Employees shouldn't get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)
Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay
Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn't provide public option will pay
Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.)
Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans' finances and personal records.
Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." (Yes, it really says that!)
Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected.)
Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn't matter what specialty you have trained yourself in — you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that's not Socialism!)
Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor's time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally— the value of humans.)
Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for "private" HC industries.
Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.
Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS - Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e...
Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a
Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)
Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)
Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?)
Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want — rationing.)
Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan)
Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of 'special needs people!' Unbelievable!
Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a "Tele-Health Advisory Committee." (Can you say HC by phone?)
Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates "Advance-Care Planning Consult." (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)
Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it's mandatory!)
Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an "approved" list of end-of-life resources; — guiding you in death. (Also called 'assisted suicide.')
Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on "end-of-life." (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)
Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced-care planning consultant" will be used frequently as a patient's health deteriorates.
Page 429 Lines 10-12: An "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)
Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order. (I wouldn't want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)
Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end-of-life! (Again — no choice!)
Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. (Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)
Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)
Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.
Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.
Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.
Stephen E. Fraser, MD
Letter from Judge David Kithil provides line-item criticism of health care reform legislation.
I have reviewed selected sections of the bill and find it unbelievable that our Congress, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, could come up with a bill loaded with so many wrong-headed elements. We do need to reform the health insurance system in America in order to make coverage affordable and available to everyone. But, how many of us believe our federal government can manage a new program any better than the bankrupt Medicare program or the underfunded Social Security program? Both Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for the financial mess of those two programs.
I am opposed to HB 3200 for a number of reasons. To start with, it is estimated that a federal bureaucracy of more than 150,000 new employees will be required to administer HB3200.
That is an unacceptable expansion of a government that is already too intrusive in our lives. If we are going to hire 150,000 new employees, let's put them to work protecting our borders, fighting the massive drug problem and putting more law enforcement/firefighters out there."
Other problems I have with this bill include:
Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.
Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.
Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).
Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)
Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.
Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.
Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.
Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years.
Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order."
Finally, it is specifically stated this bill will not apply to members of Congress.
Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick "fix" to make the plan financially sound for the future."
Honorable David Kithil Marble Falls, Texas.
"YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS: ObamaCare Highlighted by Page Number ...All of the above should give you the point blank ammo you need to support your opposition to Obamacare. Please send this information on to all of your email contacts." - Excerpts from an email zooming around the United States
By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post
January 21, 2011
Zygmunt Plater, a professor at Boston College Law School, sent The Fact Checker a copy of the above email, which purports to be an analysis of the new health care law by a judge, complete with page citations. Plater's brother, Marek, had sent him a copy of the email, asking if it could be verified, after receiving it Wednesday from a senior official at the company where he works.
Under the subject heading of "Read and Heed," the official sent the email to company employees with the notation, "We are now officially out of control." There's some pretty scary stuff in here: cancer care will be rationed according to age, the government would have "real-time access" to an individual's bank accounts, the government will set all doctor's fees, and so forth. So what's truth?
Just because it is in an email--or on the Internet--does not make it true, especially when it is woefully out of date.
There is indeed a former county judge named David Kithil who lives in Marble Falls, Texas, which is about 50 miles northeast of Austin. In August, 2009, he wrote a letter to the River Cities Tribune, a local newspaper with a circulation of under 5,000, detailing his objections to one of the health care bills then pending in the House of Representatives--H.R. 3200.
As a former judge of Burnet County, Texas, Kithil is not a health care expert--and congressional language can be obtuse. His analysis is often debatable. The assertion of "real-time access" to bank accounts appears to be referring to a benign section allowing electronic funds transfers. The claim about doctors' fees refers to boilerplate saying the government will not pay less than rates set under Medicare. Similarly, the bill does not ration cancer care, but allows for a study of whether specialty hospitals are charging more for the same service as general hospitals--and then would actually boost payments to general hospitals.
But in any case, he was analyzing a bill that had not yet passed the House. The language was changed before final House passage in November, 2009. Then the Senate in December passed its own, more conservative version of a health care overhaul. By March, 2010, the House accepted much of the Senate bill, with some adjustments. While the email refers to the dangers of so-called "Obamacare," Kithil's letter has little to do with the final version of the legislation--which Kithil readily acknowledges.
"What I wrote about was a bill that never became law," Kithil said in a telephone interview Thursday. He said he has not had an opportunity to go through the final bill, but knows that some of the items that had concerned him were not enacted into law.
But the letter is certainly an email and Internet sensation. A Google search for "David Kithil and Obamacare" turns up nearly 2,000 examples of his letter posted on websites, blogs and forums--including as recently as this month. Kithil said that someone had called the newspaper and asked permission to put the letter in an email. The next thing he knew, he was getting calls from around the country. The calls have actually picked up in recent weeks, he said, adding:
"It really shows the power of the Internet."
The Pinocchio Test
The lesson here is that facts need to come from reputable, credible sources, not an email chain. Kithil is in many ways an innocent bystander. He never claimed to be an expert and merely offered his opinion to the local newspaper. There are many critiques of the health care law, both from the left and right, which have been written by health care and legislative experts. That's where people need to go for more information.Four Pinocchios--not to Kithil, but to anyone who keeps forwarding this email.