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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

May 4, 2012

Letter from CCHF's President

Medicaid is a threat to freedom. I realize the danger of talking about Medicaid. Your eyes may be starting to glaze over and you might be thinking about quickly skipping down to "News of Note," but I ask you to reconsider.

If you want to lower taxes and protect freedom, please keep reading.

The fiscal realities are startling. When Medicaid began in 1966, state expenditures were 0.2% of total state tax revenues. By 2005, according to a report out of the Independence Institute, state Medicaid spending consumed 21% of tax revenues. In 2010, Medicaid surpassed K-12 education to become the largest state expenditure.

Medicaid is a federal matching program. The feds match state spending from 50% to nearly 75%. Federal Medicaid spending was $271.4 billion in 2010, and is projected to be $512.9 billion in 2019 -- it will nearly double in nine years. About 64 percent of Medicaid funds are spend on the aged and disabled.

There are 60 million people enrolled in Medicaid today -- 20 percent of the American public. In 1975, 10 percent were enrolled. Obamacare will add at least 18 million more people to Medicaid. That's about 360,000 people per state.  

The impact on taxpayers will be huge. Obamacare mandates that Medicaid be expanded and prohibits any cuts in services. In addition, due to the individual mandate, people who are currently eligible but not enrolled -- approximately 11 million -- may enroll increasing costs.

Expect state deficits to climb sharply as these 29 million people (18 + 11) enroll in Medicaid.  As a result of Obamacare, "some states will see Medicaid spending increase by as much as 50 percent in 10 years," reports Gorman. Taxpayers are on the hook. This is one reason why 26 States joined Florida in a lawsuit against Obamacare. (transcript of oral arguments)

There are working solutions. Gorman suggests ending the federal matching fund program and moving to provide block grants to states for added flexibility, state-by-state creativity, reduced fraud, and reduced spending. Her report includes success stories from Rhode Island to Colorado to Indiana.

Let me also suggest charity. Charity is undervalued. Yet charity means personal investment in caregiving, restoration of recipient gratitude, lower taxes, no government reporting, reduced incentives to overutilize, no bedside bureaucrats and lower prices due to vastly reduced paperwork. Excellent care can be provided to the truly needy by the charity-minded. For example, check out Zarephath Health Center. True charity is a gift. It's not a handout forcibly wrested from the hand of your neighbor.

To preserve freedom and restore fiscal sanity, solving the looming Medicaid crisis is not an option. It must be done.

Now on to the news . . .
 




News to Know:

CCHF Quoted in New York Times

The New York Times took a comprehensive look at the battle raging over Obama's government health insurance "exchange" in Minnesota. I was quoted on the fact that there's no difference between a state and a federal exchange. Both are federal takeover centers and both follow the same federal law and the same federal rules. For two years in a row, our organization has prevented Republicans, Democrats, the Chamber of Commerce and others from helping Democrat Governor Mark Dayton get legislative authority to operate an Exchange.

MO: Prosecute Obamacare Enforcers

The Missouri House passed a bill ruling Obamacare unconstitutional, "not law, but is altogether void and of no force," per POLITICO Pro. House Bill 1534, a "sovereign immunity" bill, calls for a state constitutional amendment. It would grant citizens a private right of action to sue any state or federal worker trying to enforce Obamacare. If enacted, it would authorize prosecutors to bring criminal misdemeanor charges against any federal worker who attempts to enforce Obamacare. The bill, which now moves to the Senate for consideration, builds on a 2010 statewide ballot forbiding implementation of the individual mandate. Go Missouri!

Rebates; Schmebates

The Kaiser Family Foundation heralds Obamacare rebates soon going to 15.8 million people. That's nothing to cheer about. In 2010, 64% of 308 million Americans had private insurance. That was 197 million people. If it were 2010 today, 181.2 million people would not get rebates. This year's rebates go to only 19% of enrollees in large groups, 28% in small groups and 31% in individual market. The highest rebate will average $126.81; the lowest $72.31. Meanwhile, despite Obama's promise that he'd lower family premiums by $2,500, health insurance costs for everyone are rising. The pocketbook reality can be seen in the chart below, courtesy of Chris Jacobs from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Senate.

 



DIY MEDICARE: Save & Invest 4%

Are you trying to figure out how to financially survive retirement? The actual liability of Medicare and Social Security is "almost twice" what the government is reporting, according to John Goodman at NCPA. The unfunded liability in 2009 was " 6.5 times the size of the U.S. economy." In 2010, the liability was "cut in half" because Obamacare cut Medicare's unfunded liability by $50 trillion. But the health reform law did not cut costs to government. It simply shifted those dollars to payments for expanding insurance to young people. Mr. Goodman says the only way to cut Medicare is to pay doctors less and less. What to do? Goodman says, "workers (and their employers) must save and invest 4 percent of payroll" so they can cover their own costs. There's no time like the present to start.

Health Care's "Radical Kernel"?

Congressman Joe Heck (R-Nev) has introduced a bill prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Sounds good, but if everyone must be accepted into insurance regardless of health, it's no longer insurance. It's a third-party financing mechanism for medical care. Insurance is purchased to protect against a financial risk one hopes to never encounter. Prohibiting denials of those with pre-existing conditions is like forcing insurers to provide fire insurance to a person while his house is burning. In short, the prohibition would mean the end of health insurance.

Mr. Van Jones, a radical associate of Mr. Obama, once discussed how to advance controversial policies. For example, he said after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, "The students a few years later came out with a very minimum program. We just want to sit at the lunch counter, but, inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1954 - 1968, you know, complete revolution was on the table for this country and I think this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages."

Thus, prohibiting denials of health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions may seem a "minimum demand." But unlike the good resulting from Ms. Parks' brave stand, this prohibition could be the "radical kernel" that eliminates true health insurance and sprouts national health care.
 




Stats of the Week:

10,000  -  Number of new health IT (info tech) workers Texas needs by 2013.


56%  -  Americans that believe Obamacare will drive up costs.


55%  -  Americans that want Obamacare repealed.
 




Action Items:

Last Chance!

Comment on Fed's Plan to Get You to Swallow Your Pills

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health wants your input on how to increase compliance with prescription medications in adults with chronic conditions. What kind of intrusions could take place if government is empowered in some way to make sure more people take their pills. Let them know what you think about the idea.


DEADLINE: Send your comments in 500 words or less by Monday, May 7.

For more information, including where to send comments, click here



2012: A Conference on Stealth Euthanasia

Human Life Alliance and United for Life of Minnesota are holding a very important event. The conference, "Imposed Death: A Conference on Stealth Euthanasia" will be held in New Brighton, Minnesota. This full-day conference boasts a line-up of exceptional speakers covering a wide range of end-of-life topics.

Date:  Saturday, June 2, 2012

Place:  835 2nd Ave NW, New Brighton (St. Paul suburb), MN  55112

Cost:  $25

For more information or to register, visit humanlife.org




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Debt Collectors at the Bedside

The next time you need medical treatment, do you want a debt collector or a doctor? Minnesotaʼs Attorney General has sued Accretive, a large debt collector, for sending employees to the patientʼs bedside and for not identifying themselves as debt collectors. Some of their tactics included demanding that patients pay before receiving treatments, according to The New York TimesContinue 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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