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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

February 26, 2014



 

That’s Exactly What Obama Wants

Obamacare limits access to doctors. From the Los Angeles Times: "A month into the most sweeping changes to healthcare in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business."

 

Cancer patient Danielle Nelson was told by Anthem Blue Cross "half a dozen times" that her oncologists would be in the plan she picked. But when she arrived for her oncology appointment a bright orange sign said patients in California's Obamacare exchange were not accepted. As a fan of Obamacare, she says, "I can't imagine this is how President Obamacare wanted it to happen."

 

I can.  Remember when he told a watching nation that a pill for pain might be better than a pacemaker:

 

"But what we can do is make sure that at least some of the waste that exists in the system that's not making anybody's mom better, that is loading up on additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care, that at least we can let doctors know, and your mom know, that you know what, maybe this isn't going to help, maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.

 

Danielle believed the hype when she should have read the small type: 2,700 pages of law. California doctors on the other hand, are calculating the cost of Obamacare's low payments, and choosing not to participate.

 

The ACA is set up to ration care, including rationing access to doctors. For example, Obamacare provides more money for family doctors than specialists, even though specialty care is what saves limbs, gives new life to hearts, and extends life. It also sets up the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to ration care and limit access to specialists by forbidding payment for certain care.  The law also spends a $1 billion to conduct rationing-based "comparative effectiveness" research through the euphemistically titled "Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute." PCORI research will inform IPAB decisions.

 

Danielle is experiencing the "narrow" network of Obamacare coverage, designed to make sure the price of Obamacare exchange premiums are as low as possible the next three years so people will buy this government coverage. About 70 percent of new plans under the law have narrow networks, reports the LA Times.

 

Covered California claims its exchange offers 58,000 physicians to choose from. But what if the doctor you need isn't on the network's list? What if the available specialist is so busy that you can't get an appointment for three months? Or what if the doctor is two hours away? Or what if you and the only specialist available do not see eye to eye? What if you can't build a trusting relationship with the only doctor you're allowed to see?

 

Expect continued chaos as once-happy Obamacare recipients run into the harsh realities of the law and its disastrous limitations on care. All the more reason you and everyone you know should Refuse to Enroll in Obamacare.

 

Consider talking to your favorite doctors today about a cash payment arrangement!

 

Now would also be a good time to DONATE to CCHFreedom. We're adding staff to better address threats to your freedom. To stop Obamacare and work to stop bad bills, we really need your support. Please CLICK HERE to donate today!

 

Working with you to preserve health freedom,

 

Twila Brase

President and Co-founder

CCHFREEDOM.ORG

 

 

 


 




News to Know:

Stuck in Medicare Pricing

This quote regarding Medicare access to, along with its member-price vs regular-charge comparison chart, from the FAQ page on the North Port, Florida and Port Charlotte, Florida-based Epiphany Health website speak for themselves.

 

Q: I am Currently Enrolled in Medicare, but the Epiphany Health Prices are Less Expensive than I Pay with Medicare. Can I Become an Epiphany Health Member?

 

A: We regret that patients that are eligible for Medicare are unable to enroll in Epiphany Health. Because our physicians and partners are Medicare providers, it is a violation of Medicare rules for these providers to collect money for services that are covered under Medicare.




The Medical 'Quality' Cartel

The Washington Times published Dr. Jane Orient opinion piece shining light on how good intentions can quickly go bad. As outside payors were inserted into the doctor-patient relationship, a costly and sometimes self-serving quality movement evolved. Who is going to serve as the watchdog for patients over the National Quality Forum and the others in the patient safety industry to ensure value and halt corruption as millions of consumer and taxpayer dollars change hands?



When Enough is Enough

Dr. Kristin Held, M.D. is making public her protest letter terminating her relationship with Aetna insurance as a result of its collusion in the continually changing terms of Obamacare. Among protests: Only by logging in an exchange as a prospective patient, I discovered that Aetna was selling my services without my consent, much less informing me that my services would be sold on such a site, under the auspices of new terms.



How does one maintain privacy in this flowchart?

Putting aside the cost of the financing the process in the flowchart, how does a patient maintain a sense of privacy? Where is the privacy for treating a plantar or genital wart? Perhaps the reporter put it best, lofty health policy ideas like "working more closely with community organizations" can be difficult to visualize; or, in the flow chart explanation, from wonky health policy to lower costs, better quality care - at least in theory.



Hospitals Closing, Hospitals Suing

In the new dawn of Obamacare, challenges of the former system have not disappeared and new ones are appearing. In Georgia, the fourth hospital in two years is closing due to severe difficulties caused by Obamacare's payment cuts for emergency services. Some blame the state's decision to reject Medicaid expansion, but reality is more complicated. In Seattle, a children's hospital is suing the state over " failure to ensure adequate network coverage" in the Obamacare exchanges.



Can Bitcoins Protect Patient Privacy?

Several doctors are now accepting bitcoins as payment for care. As a new e-currency payment method between patients and healthcare providers, bitcoins offer a mixed bag for those seeking privacy. Bitcoins can preserve a patient's privacy by taking transactions out of the hands of credit card companies who can legally access certain protected health information for the purposes of verifying information. But while it takes some effort to uncover a source's identity, it is still possible.



 Doctors Driven by Data Reporting

Government demands doctors report certain "quality" metrics, which are chosen because they're easy to measure, not because they mean quality. Metrics lead doctors to focus on metrics not patients: "Medicine is becoming a nanny state in which doctors must chase down patients because one metric is off," opined Dr. Victoria McEnvoy who says patients should be aware of how money earned from good compliance scores drives doctor's behavior in the exam room.



Big Data's Fleeting Privacy and Security Protections

People's concerns regarding the privacy and security of personal data should extend beyond their raw data to the analysis derived from the data as well. Often overlooked is the security of the analysis as it travels around an organization. Acting in ignorance, employees are the most common culprits in a data breach. Even in the form of analysis, data lacks total anonymity and can be matched with individuals and used for all manner of purposes.



Obamacare Plan Doesn't Cover Mother's Cancer

The WSJ shares the travails of a cancer patient's experience with Obamacare. After enjoying for 20 years her expensive but terrific Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that gave her access to any surgeon or specialist, her plan was made illegal under Obamacare. Her new ACA-approved plan does not cover her condition or her medications. The writer asks, "Is my mother to die because she can no longer afford the treatment that keeps her alive?"



Democrats Unhappy With Obamacare Sales Job

To overcome negative public opinion, Democratic Governors suggest Obama highlight ACA efforts to control costs rather than stories about access to health insurance. The White House says it will have more to tell once there are more data on elements of reform, such as physicians switching to electronic record-keeping. The Administration has given up on securing positive mainstream media coverage, relying on the Twitter hashtag #getcovered and social media.             



Will Gov't Ever Make This Decision For You and When?

A new study suggests women with BRCA1 genetic mutations could cut their risk of ovarian cancer by up to 80% if their ovaries are removed by age 35. Could this procedure become a "best practice" for doctors in an effort to contain costs and obtain a high health care "quality" score despite a woman's overriding desire to bear children?  Researchers say the BRCA1 gene increases ovarian cancer risk to 39%.



Obamacare Court Challenges

The federal government must respond to a request for summary judgment by March 18 in a case brought by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The case challenges the IRS rule that allows premium subsidies to flow through Healthcare.gov, an action upheld by in two similar court cases. Pruitt asserts that the IRS regulations disrupt Congress's purpose for allowing subsidies only through state exchanges: state cooperation with Obamacare. The motion.            



Small Biz Employees to See Premium Increases

Despite White House spin to the contrary, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has spearheaded the implementation of Obamacare, recently acknowledged that new rules requiring insurers to offer guaranteed coverage and renewal options to small employers will likely drive up the price of insurance for some companies. Sixty-five percent of workers employed by small businesses are expected to experience increases in premium rates.




Quote of the Week:


"When she got to the lab [after receiving an order for blood tests from her rheumatologist], they quoted her $1,800 for the lab tests. She called our office and we rewrote the order under our Epiphany label and the out-of-pocket cost came down to about $85. In one lab test, the patient saved enough money to pay for nearly two years of primary care services [at Epiphany. .... We created an entire network of local like-minded physicians and facilities that are willing to sell services at a discount wit the understanding that the patients would pay cash at the time of service...You'd be surprised to see the pricing we get." - Dr. Lee Gross, M.D., president of Epiphany Health discussing his model of "concierge care for the little guy." The Freeman, February 25, 2014.

 


 

 




Stat of the Week:

644 - The number of doctors out of 1,429 available Anthem Blue Cross doctors that have agreed to participate in California's Obamacare Covered California exchange in Riverside County's 92503 zip code.

 

 




News Release of the Week:

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Celebrates 20 Years of Progress

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Over the past two decades, there has been a tireless force in the crusade to preserve patient-centered health care  and protect patients' rights. The organization is the Minnesota-based Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, co-founded in 1994 by Twila Brase. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Do You Want "Quality" or Care?

The term "health care quality" actually means physician compliance with government-approved medical practices in computer checklists. If doctors comply with the checklists they get good scores and more money. This means doctors focus more on paperwork than patient care. Tell your doctor to stop using these compliance checklists. Ask them to give you patient-focused quality care rather than government care. 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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