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With its self-imposed deadline for health care reform only four weeks away, major health care overhaul proposals in both chambers of Congress leave key details up to unelected Obama administration officials, giving the administration the power to ultimately define what health care reform will look like.
In fact, bills working their way through both chambers give the administration broad powers over a key "reform" component -- health insurance “exchanges,” a new national purchasing pool from which individuals and businesses could choose health insurance from a range of options, including private plans and a government alternative.
The health insurance exchanges would be run by the administration, allowing Obama administration officials and the bureaucrats they employ to design and run a permanent government health care bureaucracy designed to act as part insurer, part enforcer for the new exchanges.
The administration is even allowed to define a “qualifying” health plan and how that plan pays for care, meaning that while states can establish a gateway, they can only establish the type of gateway the federal government wants them to.
“The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish criteria for certification of health plans as qualified health plans,” and “The Secretary, in consultation with experts in health care quality and stakeholders, shall develop guidelines concerning,” how qualifying plans pay for health care.