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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

October 16, 2013


 

$1.4B Buys Obamacare Failure – Twice?

Obamacare must not be lost in the debt ceiling debate. Try not to be distracted by false claims of America defaulting on its debt. According to Ronald Reagan's deputy assistant Treasury secretary David Malpass, writing Oct. 10 in The Wall Street Journal:

 

"Fortunately, an actual default is a red herring. The president has sweeping powers through Treasury to continue paying the national debt. Mr. Obama alluded to this on Tuesday by listing the non-debt obligations that might be paid late, including government contractors, veterans and Social Security recipients (whose checks are due Nov. 1). In effect, the government would choose to pay them late and use newly arrived tax revenues to maintain debt payments."

 

The only reason a shutdown can be leveraged for political purposes like funding Obamacare is because the federal government can shut down too many things. It doesn't have to be that way. Case in point, New York decided to use state funds to keep the Statute of Liberty open. Arizona used state funds to reopen the Grand Canyon. Utah did the same. That's exactly how it should be. States should pay to keep their own attractions open and tourists should be charged to replenish state coffers. Individuals and states are sending far too much money to the Feds for far too many things.

 

Today's Senate debt ceiling agreement is a bad deal. The U.S. Senate's decision to raise the debt ceiling and keep spending money for things we can't afford will only take us through February 7, when President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate will again try to use the debt ceiling deadline to get more money from the pockets of taxpayers for things we don't want to buy. The minor Obamacare concession Senate Democrats allowed in today's deal was strict income monitoring of individuals seeking taxpayer subsidies in the Exchange -- which is already required by the ACA.

 

Call your U.S. Representative (#202-224-3121) and ask them to say "No" to the Senate's agreement. And please consider a generous contribution of $50, $100, or $250 to CCHF today so we can continue this critical battle against Obamacare.

 

Here's the scary reality. The U.S. Senate budget includes $1.4 billion to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to continue building the national Obamacare exchange system plus an additional $400 million for IRS tax and mandate enforcement. It's not clear yet what is included in today's Senate agreement but if the Obamacare funding is in there, that's all the more reason to wait for a better deal.

 

HHS has already awarded $1.4 billion to the Montreal-based CGI Group to build the national Exchange system and look what we got.  A disaster -- and might I say, thankfully so, despite the great loss of taxpayer dollars to build this gigantic IT system.

 

Why doesn't the Obamacare Exchange work? It was revealed in the The Wall Street Journal that HHS forced people to share personal information before revealing available Obamacare plans because....

 

Continue reading...

 




 




News to Know:

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Opt Out Today

CCHF is pleased that Americans from all over the country are declaring their intention to opt out of Obamacare helping CCHF build a state-by-state resistance profile (see bar graph below). Please opt-out today -- and share our opt-out declaration form with your friends and family. Declarations are coming in every day online and by mail. So far Minnesota has the most declarations, but Florida, Texas and Wisconsin are catching up! Go to www.ExchangeOptOut.org





Can Titus Throw Obamacare in the Basket?

Joseph Ashby, father of Titus, the toddler who became a YouTube sensation for his amazing basket-shooting abilities, just got a "you can't keep your health plan" Obamacare letter. Ashby's insurer wrote to say their insurance policy does not comply with Obamacare. According to TheBlaze.com, the replacement policy includes a deductible increase of roughly 535 percent. The plan also decreases covered doctor visits and doubles the co-pay for each visit. The family is being forced to drop their $1,000 deductible plan and forced into a $6,350 deductible plan. Ashby says the family may pay $10,000 more next year as a result of the ACA-compliant plan. So much for "affordable care."



Intrusive Story is False...but Possible

A "Will Sheehan" stated on Facebook that the Obamacare prices were too expensive, so he "opted out." He claimed he later received an email explaining that his fine for opting out would be $4,037 per year, and that penalties for non-payment include having his driver's license suspended and having a federal tax lien placed against his home. This can't be true. The "opt out" fine (uninsured tax) is much lower and IRS liens are prohibited by the ACA. We were unable to verify that this person exists, but we report this story because such an email could be sent in the future. If the Exchange collects a person's email address (requested as part of application before even being allowed to look at Obamacare prices), the email address is accessible to the IRS through a new federal Exchange database.



Will Pharmacists Take Place of Doctors?

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 493 on Oct. 1, greatly expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists. The new law declares that California pharmacists are healthcare providers and are authorized to provide "expanded services including preventative care, chronic disease management, medication therapy management, immunization delivery, and wellness screenings." The bill comes shortly after a measure seeking to expand the roles of California nurses (allowing for them to work without a supervising physician) was defeated.



Media Frenzy over "Freakin Excited" ACA Supporter

State exchanges saw quite a bit of traffic, but very few actual enrollments. Trying to find just one successful enrollment on day one, media outlets scrambled to interview Chad Henderson, a 22-year old student who was "so freakin' excited" about Obamacare. Henderson told national news outlets, including The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, about his experience and enthusiasm in enrolling in Obamacare. But it was discovered that he never enrolled. Henderson completed the application, but didn't actually purchase a plan. Apparently even avid supporters are confused regarding the specifics of enrollment.



Restaurant Closed by Obamacare

A recently closed Carl's Jr. restaurant in Texas is empty except for a sign in the window that reads "Closed by Obamacare." While no official statement has been made regarding that sign or that particular store, Carl's Jr. CEO Andrew Puzder has not been shy about voicing his disapproval of the health care law. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Puzder wrote that he does not think Obmacare will work and that Americans may end up paying more than they think.



Exchanges will Increase Costs

David Goldhill, president and CEO of the Game Show Network, writes an insightful article on why exchanges will actually increase health care costs. As an example, he writes, "Rather than compete aggressively for customers, insurers can use exchanges to informally divide the market among themselves at high premiums." He compares the exchanges with the 1965 enactment of Medicare when seniors paid only 10% of their income on health care. Today, because Medicare increased the cost of health care, seniors pay about 17% of their income but still think the program is "irreplaceable."



Maryland Exchange's Lack of Privacy Policy

Like a number of websites, Maryland's Obamacare exchange, the Maryland Health Connection, has a privacy policy that users must read and agree to. However, this policy contains an interesting detail buried among the usual legal jargon. Though the policy states all personal information will be kept strictly confidential, it also declares, "we may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities."  [Emphasis added.] The policy fails to mention if the authorities are state or federal, and what exactly would warrant such broad sharing. So much for "strictly confidential."



Data Security: "No Way in God's Green Earth"

According to U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, the federal data services hub of personal, financial and health care information is vulnerable to hackers. The data hub, a key part of Obama's health care reform law, is used to verify eligibility and share enrollment and other personal information between state databases. Rogers expressed concern that hackers could be able to access the hub and steal health records, credit histories, Social Security numbers and other data due to lack of proper security measures. "There's no way in God's green Earth they can secure that system today," said Rogers.



Obamacare's 75% Failure Rate

The official rollout of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges drew a large audience, but low approval ratings. According to an AP-GfK poll, only 7 percent of Americans say the rollout went extremely well or very well, and 42 percent said they were unsure of how to judge the rollout, indicting a persistent lack of awareness. Of the millions of Americans who visited the exchange websites and tried to enroll, nearly 75% reported problems, validating early concerns that the sites would not be up and running before the rollout began.



Millennials Opting-Out

To be sustainable, Obamacare depends on the enrollment of young healthy people to subsidize the older sicker Americans who will require more care. But to many millennials, the target of Obamacare and exchange marketing, Obamacare is simply another unnecessary expense. With student loans and the less than stellar employment rates, many young adults are opting out of Obamacare because they do not want to pay for a service they are not likely to need.



Amish Girl Forced to Resume Chemo

An Ohio court has granted the power to make medical decisions for a 10-year-old Amish girl to an attorney for the Children's Hospital in Akron after the girl's parents decided to end her chemotherapy treatments. Doctors fear the girl may die within a year if treatments are not resumed, and estimate the chemotherapy will give her an 85 percent chance of survival. The Children's Hospital took the family to court in July seeking a temporary guardianship, and if the decision holds, it could set a nationwide precedent for how parents are allowed by government to make medical decisions regarding their own children.



Bureaucratic Bungling on Exchanges

The Obamacare exchange system has had a litany of technical glitches. For example, HHS underestimated traffic to the Exchange, designing the federal website  to only handle up to 60,000 simultaneous users. Over 250,000 people attempted to use the system within the first days of operation, a reality that shutdown the Exchange. But even people who did successfully sign up are being affected by a separate set of errors. Some insurers are receiving incomplete and confusing application information, sometimes receiving duplicate information and even being unable to match applicants with the correct information.



Cancer Therapy Not Covered?

Several major insurers have stopped covering proton beam therapy for prostate cancer, saying it is effective but not cost effective enough compared to other treatments. Citing the expense, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Aetna are dropping coverage, while WellPoint continues coverage after negotiating the cost down. NOTE: Obamacare sets up a national institute to conduct "comparative effectiveness" research and the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to limit access to care deemed not cost-effective. Insurers will no doubt try to influence their decisions. ("Cancer Therapy Under Attack," The Wall Street Journal, p. B1, Aug. 29, 2013).



Older Buyers Get Exchange Deal

Federal subsidies included in Obamacare Exchanges are reversing the long-held insurance rule that the riskier, sicker customer pays more. Due to federal subsidies and new ACA rules, older pre-Medicare Americans with low incomes could end up paying significantly less for coverage than younger, healthier Americans with similar incomes -- despite being more likely to require care. Young Americans will not only be paying for the treatment required by older Americans, they will also be paying for the subsidies older Americans receive ("Subsidies for Older Buyers Give Insurers a Headache," The Wall Street Journal, p. A1, Aug. 30, 2013).




Quote of the Week:




"For some reason the system is enrolling, unenrolling, enrolling again, and so forth the same person...It has got on to the point that the health plans worry some of these very few enrollments really don't exist." - Robert Laszewski, on how the federal exchange is functioning, Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review blog, October 11, 2013.

 




Stat of the Week:

11,588,500  - estimated number of words in the 109 final Obamacare regulations written so far, compared to the 381,517 words of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), which amended the ACA a week after its March 23, 2010 passage. Thus, the regs are 30 times as long as the law.

 

 




News Release of the Week:

As Online Obamacare Enrollment Fails, 'Glitches' Endanger Personal Data
 

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Since October 1, enrolling online in Obamacare's federal health insurance exchange has been an epic failure, as technological glitches abound in a poor and outdated IT system.

Obamacare supporters say the glitches, delays and problems with the enrollment process are due to the popularity of the health care program. But HHS has now been forced to admit to major technological failures. Should Americans be pointing and clicking their way to a place where their private personal, financial and health data is entered into an IT system fraught with security flaws and susceptible to fraud? Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Is Obamacare or the ACA Better? 

I think weʼre living in the age of the not-informed voter. Itʼs worse than the low-informed voter. So many people havenʼt a clue what is happening, but they sure have an opinion about what they donʼt know. The Jimmy Kimmel Live program went to the street to ask people whether they liked Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act better. They are of course the same thing. Continue reading

Twila Brase broadcasts a daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which brings health care issues to light for the American public. Health Freedom Minute airs on the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide.

Click here to listen to this week's features.

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom
161 St. Anthony Avenue, Ste 923
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: 651.646.8935 • Fax: 651.646.0100
Email: info@cchfreedom.org
www.cchfreedom.org



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