I’ve just begun (5 minutes ago) a quick read of the Rep. Kowalko & Rep. Jaques & Rep. Osienski & Sen. Ennis proposed Universal Healthcare Act for Delaware. I didn’t get very far before purely technical issues began jumping out.
I’ll focus on just one, in this post, ignoring for the moment the debate of Universal Healthcare versus Free Choice (aka Socialism versus Capitalism) — a debate in which the Country, including Delaware, has already manifestly determined that Socialism is something that they do not want.
The following is a copy of section 1604 of the Bill (House Bill 392). It establishes the overseeing entity. I’ve bolded a few areas that are problematic at the least.
§1604. Establishment of the Delaware Health Security Authority.
(a) There is hereby created a body corporate and politic to be known as the Delaware Health Security Authority hereinafter referred to as the Authority. The Authority is hereby constituted a public instrumentality of the state and the exercise by the Authority of the powers conferred by this Act shall be deemed and held the performance of an essential governmental function. [editor’s note: Messieurs Kowalko et al state that they want to attract and maintain the efficiency of the private market. How one does this by creating a controlling government entity is a fascinating piece of silliness.) The Authority is placed in the Department of Health and Social Services but shall not be subject to the supervision or control of said Department or of any Board, Bureau, Department or other agency of the state except as specifically provided by this Act. [editor’s note: Ahh.. Unelected, unaccountable, and unremovable. The Secretary of DHSS nor the Governor has any say in what this Board does — the Board is in complete control.]
(b) The Authority may purchase from, contract with or otherwise deal with any organization in which any Authority board member is interested or involved [editor’s note: Messieurs Kowalko et al are providing, by statute, the right for Board members to self-deal. And, we already know that they are unaccountable by statute as well]; provided, however, that such interest or involvement is disclosed in advance to the Authority’s board members and recorded in the minutes of the proceedings of the Authority; and provided, further, that any board member having such an interest or involvement may not participate in any debate or decision relating to such organization.
(c) All officers and employees of the Authority having access to its cash or negotiable securities shall give bond to the Authority at its expense, in such amount and with such surety as the Authority’s board shall prescribe. The persons required to give bond may be included in one or more blanket or schedules’ bonds.
(d) Board members, officers and advisors who are not regular, compensated employees of the Authority shall not be liable to the State, to the Authority or to any other person as a result of their activities, whether ministerial or discretionary, as such board members, officers or advisors except for willful dishonesty or intentional violations of law [editor’s note: Notice that “Gross Negligence” has not been included in this list. So, a Board member can legally self-deal, be unremovable & unaccountable, and be grossly incompetent — with no liability at all.]. The Board of the Authority may purchase liability insurance for board members, officers, advisors or employees and may indemnify said persons against the claims of others.
To summarize the problems with just the section that establishes the “Oversight Board”:
- It is defined as a government entity, pure and simple.
- It has no direct oversight or authority by any elected official from the executive branch despite its clear executive role (Later in the statute, 4 members of the General Assembly are placed on the Authority — and we all know their expertise when it comes to healthcare. The Secretary of DHSS is also put on the Authority as a regular member. These 5 members of a 15 member committee will have no authority to remove other members.).
- Board members are legally allowed to self-deal.
- Board members are allowed to be grossly negligent.
More on this bill, later.