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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

April 2, 2014



 

7.1 Million: Not the Number to Watch

The White House is gloating. President Obama is celebrating the 7.1 million sign-ups. He claims success. Not so fast.

 

The reality is quite different. First of all, these are only sign-ups. We don't yet know how many are actually enrollees. Second, the RAND Corporation estimates that two-thirds were previously insured. Only 2 million were previously uninsured.

 

Third, insurers say approximately 10-20 percent have not paid their first premium. Furthermore, 2-5 percent of those who enrolled in January have not paid their February premium. After three months of non-payment, the law requires the Exchanges to cut them from the rolls. They must be disenrolled. What will the numbers look like in May or June?

 

Here are just a few of the numbers that every American should be focusing on:

 

  • 4.5 million cancelled policies, so far
  • $5,000 to $10,000 deductibles
  • $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • 200% to 600% premium increases for "young invincibles"
  • 68% of individual policies offering narrow networks, up from 33% last year.
  • 44 percent of New York doctors refuse to participate in Obamacare
  • $15,000 "claw back" payments for older higher-income folks who no longer qualify for subsidies due to change in income or life circumstances.
  • Top 18 hospitals nationwide don't accept all Obamacare policies
  • Only 4 of 19 nationally-recognized cancer treatment centers are available in all Obamacare polices
  • 40% of small employers dumping employees into the Obamacare Exchange
  • Thousands of doctors dropped from UnitedHealth's network.
  • Families making $60,000 will be fined $1,500 by the IRS if they don't enroll.

 

Painful numbers from Obamacare will continue to emerge. One self-described single payer advocate already had this to say,

 

"Many people (like me) signed onto a marketplace plan assuming the insane deductibles only applied to big-ticket surgeries. Imagine my surprise when I found out I couldn't even see a doctor until I'd paid $6,000 out of pocket. Okay, so I decided to switch to an HMO, but then found out I couldn't see my doctors at the local teaching hospital without paying as much as $100 in co-pays - as opposed to $30 for the incompetents at the other area hospital. (Remember "you can keep your doctor"?) It seems we still have a medical caste system."

 

Premium prices are about to double or even triple for Obamacare coverage. Robert Laszewski, an oft-quoted health care expert, writes in his blog, "I don't expect the insurance industry to be patient past 2015 before it has to begin charging the real cost of the program to consumers."

 

Mr. Laszewski has written of his own consternation over being cancelled. Although a supporter of Obamacare, on one blog post, he writes about the extension of cancelled policies, "I am happy to be able to keep my policy with a better network, lower deductibles and at a rate 66% less than the best Obamacare compliant policy I could get."

 

Obamacare claims are a charade. Claims of 7.1 million are just that. Claims. Meanwhile the administration and states have kept Obamacare open for enrollment in hopes of boosting actual enrollment (premiums paid) and snaring more young and healthy into the Exchange. Please consider a generous donation toward our continued "Refuse to Enroll" campaign.

 

Working with you from realities to repeal,

 

Twila Brase

President and Co-founder

CCHFREEDOM.ORG


 


 




News to Know:

Why Many Wallets are Empty

Despite Senator Obama's statement before he became president, "Health insurance should never be purchased with tax increases on middle-class families," Obama's namesake law is, in fact, a tax law. Citizens will pay more due to new or expanded taxes, both direct and indirect as outlined by Dr. Deane Waldman, board member of the NM Health Insurance Exchange. The penalty tax for not purchasing government-approved health insurance is currently $95/year or 1% of income, whichever is greater. In 2016, it escalates to a 2.5% tax.



Two New Obamacare Taxes

Beyond the individual tax penalty for lack of healthcare coverage, two other Obamacare taxes take effect in 2014. Health insurers will pay a permanent annual tax based on their share of the market initially causing premium increases of 1.9 to 2.3 percent followed by higher increases in later years. Additionally, health insurers will pay a temporary tax on group health plans costing $63 per covered person that will also be passed onto consumers.



EHR Troubles Go Beyond High Cost

As reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last summer, prior to the Obamacare roll-out, the  HHS health information exchange (HIE) strategy was weak. As summarized by Marla Hirsch, HHS should have known this due to providers' feedback regarding the inoperability of electronic health records, including fears of privacy violations, lack of standards, problems matching patients to records. GAO was also critical of Medicare "Meaningful Use" payments, stating that the clinical quality measures to determine payments were unreliable.



Electronic Medical Records Apps for Privacy??

Hirdy Bhathal, CEO of Zibdy Health hopes to make electronic health records as easily available as personal information on LinkedIn or Google. Since family medical records are the best predictors of a person's health, he hopes to share private health information through web-based apps. In working around the HIPAA healthcare privacy law, Bhathal said, "You can violate your privacy rights however you want, so long as you don't make the hospital do it for you."  



Inferior Obamacare Remains a Hard Sell

Extensive promotion of Obamacare procured approximately 33 million hits over the six weeks prior to March 31. The main purpose was "to increase the number of insured" according to Jay Angroff, a former HHS official. In the final analysis it appears only 7 million out of the 33 million uninsured signed up, an unknown number had other insurance, and not everyone is happy about their choice of doctors, out-of-pocket costs or paid for their health plan.



Obamacare Designed for Actors and Artists

With 43 percent of individuals in the visual and performing arts industry lacking health insurance, the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center now serves as an Obamacare navigator for these independent artists. Determining who qualifies for benefits and helping companies estimate how long they'll employ a given worker are major challenges, especially if that forces someone to pay the subsidy back to the IRS. Other challenges are high deductibles and narrow provider networks.



Got Obamacare? Good Chance IRS Might Get You

Obamacare enrollees should know that just a few dollars of extra income could result in thousands of back taxes to be paid if they received a health insurance tax credit. A study of income histories eligible Obamacare enrollees indicates that over 35 percent of families reporting no income changes would owe the IRS money. For example, if a family of four crosses the 400 percent of federal poverty threshold this could mean $10,000-12,000.



Deep Exploration of Newborn Genomes?

While newborn screening programs have been around since the late 1960s and are credited with saving thousands of lives, advocates of routine whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for newborns argue even greater detection and management of a wider array of disorders. In an article published in Science Translational Medicine, Prof. Bartha Knoppers and her colleagues lay out key questions and considerations to be addressed in interpreting the scientific validity and clinical usefulness of WGS results.



Baby DNA:  MN Grassroots Needed

The Democrat-controlled Minnesota Legislature plans to undo a 2011 Minnesota Supreme Court order for the MN Health Department to destroy stored newborn blood samples...unless parents "opt in" and give written consent. As reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, CCHF's Twila Brase said, "Anything having to do with newborn screening has to do with looking into the genetics, into the DNA, of the child. The bill would allow "a vast array of research...without consent." Take Action



Intrusive Government Coding System Delayed

Provider groups have complained that the conversion from the current ICD-9 code set to ICD-10, diagnosis codes for government health programs claims processing purposes, is too difficult and costly. CCHF says it's also intrusive. Many have said it should be scrapped entirely, others have lobbied for a delay and still others say stay the course. In the last days of March, the U.S. House and Senate voted to delay implementation for one year to October 2015.



Tattoo-like Remote Drug Dispensing

In South Korea, research is being conducted on a wearable technology via a patch that dispenses medications wirelessly. Researcher Dae-Hyeong Kim, a biomedical engineer, believes that in the future, wireless components and networks will allow doctors to diagnose conditions and dispense drugs remotely. He is conducting research on silica nanoparticles that are heat-activated that allow them to control the rate of drug delivery if needed. The next step that is in development is to activate the patch wirelessly.




Quote of the Week:

"From a regulatory perspective, the law has imposed more than $27.2 billion in total private sector costs, $8 billion in unfunded state burdens, and more than 159 million paperwork hours on local governments and affected entities. What's more troubling, the law has generated just $2.6 billion in annualized benefits, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs. In other words, the ACA has imposed 2.5 times more costs than it has produced in benefits." ( AAF, March 24, 2014)  

 

 




Stat of the Week:

27% - of subsidy-eligible individuals have enrolled in Obamacare.

 

 




News Release of the Week:

Today Marks the 'Official' Deadline to Enroll in Obamacare, 'Unofficially'

Today may mark the Opening Day of Major League Baseball, but March 31 is also a game-playing day of another kind.

Today is the deadline for Americans to enroll for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Computers and tablets are most likely buzzing today, as the uninsured and those whose policies were canceled by the law rush into a flawed system to avoid a penalty. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

The Sacrifice of Beautiful Souls

A book called Beautiful Souls shares stories of people who said no, broke ranks, or heeded the voice of conscience in dark times. These are people who disobeyed the law and lost everything but their self-respect and the admiration of those whose lives theyʼd saved. Or people who defied their own group and lived to tell about it. Or people on the inside who spoke up about what they knew even when it felt dangerous and their career was at stake. 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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