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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

April 27, 2012

Letter from CCHF's President

Medicare will go bankrupt in 2024 -- or potentially as early as 2017. Medicare trustees have released their 2012 annual report. Find two sobering charts below.

The Trustee's report is based on unrealistic assumptions, including hoped-for increases in physician productivity (conveyor-belt care, anyone?), 165 Obamacare provisions, the 31% cut in physician pay Congress regularly refuses to implement, and payment changes issued by the Obamacare  "death panel" called IPAB - the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Trustees admit these assumptions could be very wrong. If care delivery does not become more efficient and "achieve productivity increases" and if Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals from insurers remain the same, the Trustees say:

"...the availability and quality of health care . . . would fall over time, generating pressure to modify Medicare's payment rates. Given these uncertainties, future Medicare costs could be substantially larger than shown in the Trustees' current-law projection." [emphasis added]  In short, this means Medicare insolvency could be even sooner.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner notes more retirees and increased longevity as causes, calls the report "somewhat more pessimistic" and says, "one of the most important things we can do right now to preserve Medicare is to implement the Affordable Care Act fully and effectively."

Not true. We do not need a $2 trillion federal takeover of health care that promises coverage, guarantees nothing, and leaves us with a $17 trillion funding gap. Mr. Geithner says Medicare is one of the "twin pillars of retirement security in this country," but there is nothing secure about  bankruptcy. If the Obama Administration is so concerned about senior's security, why refuse to let seniors leave Medicare?

In truth, the Administration is espousing an illusion of security, forbidding private payment, denying plans to ration care, and planning to "tax the rich" to keep this grand illusion alive.

Medicare should not be preserved long-term, expanded, or rescued. Instead, we need an escape plan with real security and health freedom for all.

Now on to the news. . .

News to Know:

'Fess Up or Pay Up

A total of 21,522 Oregon state employees have refused to fill out an online survey that asks personal health and lifestyle questions such as whether they smoke or exercise. Their punishment: a $17.50 (or more) per month surcharge beginning July 1. Five employees filed a potential class action lawsuit on February 14 asserting a violation of their Fourth and Fifth amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. They also assert a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits disability-related inquiries and medical exams. Nearly 70,000 state employees have shared their lifestyle data, and will not pay the penalty.

Post-SCOTUS Kaiser Health Tracking Poll

74% - aware of individual mandate to purchase health insurance
30% - like the mandate
51% - want Court to overturn the mandate
59% - expect Court to overturn the mandate
42% - have favorable view of Obamacare
43% - have unfavorable view of Obamacare
33% - Seniors who Obamacare favorably

Pro-Earth & Anti-Child

Environmentalists are not just greenies. Some are meanies. As noted by Robert Zubrin in The Washington Times, the Club of Rome once said, "The Earth has cancer, and the cancer is man." Paul Ehrlich's "Population Bomb" once called for the U.S. to create a Bureau of Population and Environment empowered to issue or deny permits to have children. Now a Canadian feminist, Christine Overall, has published a book, "Why Have Children?" She has her own children, but believes most people have them for the wrong reasons. She's not worried if no one has children: "I have not found adequate reasons to show that the extinction of the human species -- provided it is voluntary -- would inevitably be a bad thing..."

Elder Abuse & Euthanasia

Hollywood action Mickey Rooney testified before Congress last year about the elder abuse he experienced from his stepchildren. He stars in an upcoming documentary on the topic: "Last Will and Embezzlement." In a trailer to the movie, he says, "If it can happen to Mickey Rooney, it can happen to anybody." Why a movie on elder abuse? According to the trailer, it's safe, profitable, and "We are about to experience the largest transfer of wealth from one generation to the next in history." According to BioEdge, "elder abuse has been flagged as an important reason why it would be dangerous to legalise euthanasia."

Fat Frenzy

The Secretary of HHS is empowered under Obamacare to decide which treatments are "essential." Now 17 House Democrats have written her a letter asking for "policies recognizing the medical necessity of both preventing and treating obesity." They applaud the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force "for its recommendation that clinicians screen all adult patients for obesity." The 17 signers want every insurer to cover expensive bariatric surgery. Not only is the idea of an obesity mandate troubling; these KINDS of letters are troubling. The fact that Congress comes begging to federal bureaucrats shows who is really in charge. It's not Members of Congress. Last year, at our annual fundraising event, Virginia attorney Jonathan Emord said nine-tenths of federal laws are written by regulators.  "Houston, we have a problem."

Behold Bankruptcy - Two Charts

The 2012 Medicare Trustee Report has illustrative charts showing Medicare's financial troubles. On one of them, note that "I" is the Trustee's low-cost estimate, "II" is the intermediate estimate, and "III" is the high-cost estimate. Keep in mind, there are no actual "trust funds." It's all IOUs in the Treasury. The charts:

1) The balance of the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund ( Medicare Part A - hospitalization ) at the intermediate estimate;

2) The projected HI Trust fund balance at the three different levels of estimated spending.

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Obama Diverts $500M to IRS for Obamacare

The President is quietly diverting $500 million to the IRS to hire 837 new employees. They will enforce the controversial individual mandate, and distribute $777 billion in subsidies through Obamaʼs exchanges - the federal takeover centers. Last week Republicans demanded information on how the IRS has used the first $200 million. No response yet..  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

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