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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

April 30, 2014



 

National BioSurveillance Plan Revealed

I recently stumbled upon two alarming initiatives. One is called "One Health," which I describe in more detail below. The other comes from the Obama Administration. Called the National Strategy for Biosurviellance, it specifically states,

 

"A well-integrated, national biosurveillance enterprise is a national security imperative."

 

Now the administration wants your comments on a related biosurveillance document. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is taking public comments on the draft of the proposed National Health Security Strategy 2015-2018, which incorporates the National Strategy for Biosurveillance. DEADLINE: Wed., MAY 21, 2014 (5:00 p.m. ET)

 

Either now or after you read this, I'd like to ask you to click here and make the following simple statement as a public comment. After you read farther into this post, you'll see why:

 

"I oppose the One Health/One World Initiative being incorporated into this draft in Priority 3.1 and I oppose the proposed biosurveillance and global sharing of my private medical data with federal, state, and international public health officials and others without my written informed consent."

 

A gift of $35, $50, $100 or more today would greatly help to support our efforts to keep you engaged in the battle against government health surveillance!

 

What is biosurveillance? According to the Strategy, biosurveillance (BSV) is defined as "the process of gathering, integrating, interpreting, and communicating essential information related to all-hazards threats or disease activity affecting human, animal, or plant health to achieve early detection and warning, contribute to overall situational awareness of the health aspects of an incident, and to enable better decision making at all levels."

 

Biosurveillance is clearly a major reason the Obama Administration mandated in the 2009 Recovery Act ("economic stimulus") that every doctor and hospital use computerized patient medical records or face financial penalties.

 

The June 14, 2013 National Biosurveillance Science and Technology Roadmap to implement the Strategy discusses the need for "examination of data from electronic medical records" and calls for "cooperation among Federal and non-federal stakeholders, including the scientific community and public and private healthcare providers...to achieve an efficient and reliable surveillance system."

 

The members of the Roadmap's four sub-working groups are listed on four pages and come from a virtual "Who's Who" of federal government agencies, including HHS, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, VA, FDA, EPA, NIH, CDC, Department of Agriculture, Homeland Security, National Park Services and more.

 

The EHR is key to biosurveillance. The federal government has already "establish[ed] a detailed data sharing framework for electronic health record information technology systems to encourage use of systems that would provide public health information directly to a public health authority." This means your medical records would be shared with government officials.

 

Does the Biosurveillance Roadmap protect your privacy? No. Here's what it says about privacy:

 

"Health data in electronic form have significant value for BSV since they provide an opportunity for more timely recognition of clinical signs in clusters of humans...

 

Continue reading...

 


 




News to Know:

Obamacare "narrow networks" may limit life-saving care

The problem of "narrow networks" is a growing reality even for people with serious medical conditions who have signed up and paid for Obamacare coverage under the new law.  For example, a 49-year old New York woman with a serious neurological disease cannot get her prescriptions filled and couldn't find a doctor who would accept her Obamacare plan even though she was told she would be covered when she signed up.  Sadly, she is not alone.



ACA Impacts Ski Resorts

New Hampshire business owners expressed concerns about burdensome new paperwork and expense requirements under the Affordable Care Act during a local forum.  The Gunstock Ski Resort may be forced to shorten its ski season, said general manager Greg Goddard.  Sen.  Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) shares the concerns and is a co-sponsor of several federal efforts to repeal or amend various provisions of the ACA that would help ease economic impact on state and local businesses.



HIV Drug Use 4X Higher on Exchanges

Taking all comers has led to higher use of specialty drugs in the Exchanges, which may lead to higher premiums. A new study of 650,000 pharmacy claims by Express Scripts shows the use of HIV drugs is four times higher in the exchange than outside the exchange.  Pain medications were 35% higher and antidepressants 14% higher. Analyst Scott Fidel told HEX, "these metrics point to higher prevalence of chronic conditions and less healthy lifestyles for exchange members." One popular analyst and blogger says, the "costly pharmacy claim experience from January and February enrollees is far more concerning than the average age [of enrollees in exchanges]." In short, once out-of-pocket costs are met, the health plan pays the rest. To be sustainable, higher premiums may be needed.



Affordable Option Still Means Obamacare Tax

Short-term health insurance, often an affordable option for the young, does not qualify as approved coverage under the ACA because the plans don't offer the law's "minimum essential benefits."  These plans do offer flexibility and limited coverage typically for those between jobs, young people, and for seniors waiting to enroll in Medicare at age 65.  But, buyer beware. These plans are subject Obamacare's tax penalty of $95 or up to 1 percent of your household income in 2015.



GAO: HHS Raised Funds for Enroll America

A federal GAO report confirms that (former) HHS Sec. Sebelius solicited private funds from five U.S. CEOs to pay for one outside group, Enroll America, that ran a national campaign to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare. The groups solicited directly were Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and H&R Block, as well as three others indirectly, including Kaiser for "nonfinancial support, such as technical assistance," even though HHS regulates those three.



Why is the Doctor Not Listening?

The average patient visit with their primary care doctor is only 15 minutes and it may be getting shorter with the new pressures under the Affordable Care Act.  Patients feel rushed and not listened to, as doctors feel pressure to see more patients.  "Doctors have one eye on the patient, and one eye on the clock," said David Rothman, of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.



Uninsured Refusing Obamacare Due to Cost  

Many uninsured people who chose not to enroll in new health coverage cited cost as the main reason, according to the New York Times.  A New York Times/CBS News " poll of uninsured people in December found that of those who did not plan to get coverage, half said that cost was the main reason. Nearly three in 10 said they objected to the government's requiring it, while about one in 10 said they felt they did not need it."



Phantom Doctors on Exchange

Anthem Blue Cross of CA "inadvertently" listed 1,000 doctors as providers under the new Covered California exchange plan, leading to confusion among many patients.  "Guda Venkatesh, a Covered California enrollee, was one of those affected.  He told KPIX 5 in February that he chose an Anthem plan because the website said the plan had a variety of Stanford doctors near him."  The CA Medical Association said Anthem Blue Cross admitted the error. One clinic staffer said, "What good is coverage if you can't use it?"



All Signed Up and No Doctor in Sight  

A problem of being medically "homeless" is occurring for CA residents who enrolled in the new health insurance exchange but discovered they cannot find a doctor who will accept them.  And, one third of the primary care providers are expected to retire soon.  "Physicians on the provider list given to policyholders said they either weren't accepting new patients or did not participate in the coverage plan," said Kevin Grumbach, of the University of California, San Francisco.



HHS Collects Big Money on HIPAA Violations   

Two entities paid HHS almost $2 million collectively for "potential violations" of HIPAA security involving electronic patient health information.  What did patients get? Nothing. In both cases, unencrypted laptops containing patient's data were stolen.  No word on what happened to the data.  "Covered entities and business associates must understand that mobile device security is their obligation," said Susan McAndrew, OCR's deputy director of health information privacy. "Our message to these organizations is simple: encryption is your best defense against these incidents." 



Rhode Island will implement All-Payer Claims Database

Rhode Island will begin to implement an All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) that requires all private and public health insurers and administrators to submit eligibility and medical claims data to the state.  State officials said the goal is to cut health care costs and improve the quality of health care.  Unlike in some states, people may opt out, but an expert says "no more than 1 or 2 percent" of potential participants in the national APCD requested to do so.  How many people even know about the database to know they can opt out?



Gene-Based Wellness Company Launches

A medical startup called BaseHealth launched a new platform (Genophen) to help patients identify potential medical conditions and take steps to prevent them.  The wellness platform uses a personalized approach to combine patients' genetic data (using genomics), lifestyle choices, medical records, and connected devices to determine known risk factors.  It can identify more than 40 "common complex" diseases from the genetic data.  Unlike similar personalized medical platforms, Genophen is only accessible through a physician.



Small Businesses Curb Hiring under Obamacare

Although small businesses with less than 50 full-time employees (which account for 96% of all U.S. employers) are largely exempt from many aspects of Obamacare, many are making plans to stay open for business by curbing hiring because of the new health law, according to a U.S. Bancorp survey, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.  Companies with 50-99 full-time workers are making changes too, though they have until 2016 to meet the law's requirement that they provide insurance.




Quote of the Week:


"CMS does not want to be in the business of exchanges indefinitely, and I think we could fairly make the assumption that eventually CMS will have to charge states for the ongoing operations and use of HealthCare.gov...This could make the move to [the federal site] more problematic in the long run even though it offers a short-term solution." - Dan Schuyler, director of exchange technology for the consulting firm Leavitt Partners, discussing states like Oregon giving up on a state exchange and moving to rely on the federal exchange. Politico  Pro, April 28, 2014.

 

 




Stat of the Week:

$121 million - the cost to taxpayers of HHS contracting with Accenture to fix and upgrade the federal Obamacare website, including




News Release of the Week:

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Tells 'HIPAA Hurt Me' Stories to Unveil the Dangers of Coercive 'Privacy' Form

ST. PAUL, Minn. - If there's one myth about patient privacy that Citizens' Council for Health Freedom wants to dispel, it's that HIPAA protects patients. Exactly the opposite is true, says CCHF, a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Equality Means No Freedom

Public health officials are collecting race data to advance so-called health equality. But Milton and Rose Friedman once wrote, "A society that puts equality - in the sense of equality of outcome - ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom." They said the force used to achieve equality would "end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests." 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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