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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

June 11, 2014



 

Obamacare Rigged to Fleece Taxpayers

Never doubt the cleverness of Big Health. Obamacare does not redistribute wealth to the poor. Instead, the law's various requirements redistribute wealth and wages to Obama's partner in crime: large health plans. These corporations are then by law allowed to keep the cash and shortchange the care under "medical necessity" guidelines, demonstrating again that coverage is not care.

 

New evidence shows how one Obamacare tactic, called "risk adjustment" (RA), will be used to redistribute premium dollars from one health plan to another health plan. In short, the health plans with the sickest (riskiest) patients on paper win.

 

Under RA, enrollees in non-grandfathered individual plans (3.5 million people) and small group plans (18-24 million people), in and outside of the government exchanges, are assigned "individualized risk scores." These scores are used to generate an "average risk score" for each plan, ostensibly representing the plan's predicted expenses.

 

Wealth redistribution begins here. Plans that create the highest-risk scores win. As explained by the Kaiser Family Foundation:

 

"Under risk adjustment, plans with a relatively low average risk score will make payments into the system, while plans with relatively high average risk scores will receive payments."

 

HHS collects the dollars from one set of plans and hands it over to the other set. This means your premium dollars could end up in another health plan's pockets. It also means health plans that make their enrollees look the sickest can bleed their competition dry. To grab more of the RA dollars without necessarily providing more care, health plans are now conducting home visits to gather data on their enrollees.

 

Health plans are already using RA to defraud taxpayers.

 

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity revealed that auditors looking into Medicare Advantage (Medicare HMOs) have "concluded that all six health plans they visited couldn't justify the money they took in for 40 percent or more of their patients." Federal payments to Medicare Advantage health plans have been determined by risk adjustment since 2004. The overpayments for the six plans were estimated at $650 million in 2007 alone. In 200 counties, the cost of Medicare Advantage was 25% higher than traditional non-managed care Medicare.

 

Nothing was done about these overpayments. Instead, in 2013, the HHS inspector general under Obama decided to scrap future audits, blaming a budget cut, but ignoring the obvious: How many audits could be conducted with an extra $650 million a year?

 

The Center accurately states, "When risk scores overstate a patient's illness, the plans make more money from Medicare." Or better said, from you the taxpayer.

 

Obamacare moves most Americans into this public-fleecing scheme. Watch the gaming of the risk adjustment system begin as large health plans use sophisticated data systems to syphon millions -- or billions -- of dollars from premium-paying taxpayers.

 

Help us put an end to Obamacare. Your donation of $35, $75 or more today will help us secure the $28,000 we need to implement another round of our popular "Obamacare Games" billboards, which tell Millennials to stay away from Obamacare and its fraud-enabling schemes!

 

Telling the truth about Obamacare,

 

Twila Brase

President and Co-founder

CCHFREEDOM.ORG



 


 




News to Know:

More Vets to Access Private Health Care

In response to allegations of treatment delays in many Veterans Affairs health centers, the VA says more veterans will be allowed to obtain care at private clinics and hospitals. The VA spent approximately $4.8 billion last year -- about 10% of health care costs for the VA -- on medical care at non-VA health centers. Yet still a report finds 57,436 patients are on a wait list because they're unable to receive an appointment in 90 days or less.



Skin Color:  Financial Hazard for Doctors?

A black doctor writes in the Daily Beast about Obamacare's 'Pay for Performance' (P4P) system (which grades doctors on patient satisfaction among other things and reduces their pay for low patient-satisfaction scores): "[A]lthough I have been an Obama supporter, it'd be disingenuous if I didn't conclude that we're faced with the fascinating paradox that the signature policy of the first black president may indeed serve to increase our racial divides."  She says most if not all doctors will be impacted to some degree by the bias engendered by the color of their skin, and that all physicians due to P4P "may be penalized financially on the basis of race." 



Hacking of Government Agencies on the Rise

The Privacy Journal reports "The number of incidents involving personal data hacked from federal government agencies more than doubled from 2009 to 2013" per the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Furthermore, the GAO says "None of the seven agencies consistently documented lessons learned from their breach responses." One of those agencies is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is also responsible for Obamacare's Healthcare.gov, which security experts have testified should be shut down due to lack of data security.



Eliminate the Employer Mandate

Citing research from the liberal Urban Institute, the Chicago Tribune makes a good case for eliminating the Obamacare business mandate -- the requirement that employers with 50-99 employees provide health insurance coverage or pay a fine in 2016. The researchers estimate that dropping the mandate would not reduce insurance coverage by much.  A bigger concern for American workers is the likelihood that many businesses will drop coverage entirely and move employees to the Obamacare -run exchanges.



Big Brother in the Body

How would you like to have a tiny, computer camera chip implanted in your body?  It may soon be in our future, as many research teams and companies are "rushing" to make ingestible smart pills that will track the condition of bodies in real time and "in a level of detail patients have not seen before."  Some devices, which focus on elderly patients including monitoring medication schedules, have already been approved by the FDA.  



Employers Look to Cut Costs by Cutting Pay

Seven percent of employers offered coverage to their employees through the new Obamacare exchanges, according to a 2014 online employer survey conducted by Aflac.  Employers are making other workforce decisions in order to control costs, per Aflac's CEO.  For example, 32%of employers delayed or eliminated pay raises, 22% reduced benefits, and 21% shifted some full-time workers to part-time status, according to the survey results.



States Incur Big Costs Switching to Federal Exchange

Nevada, which has received $83.7 million in federal Obamacare exchange grants, will separate its Medicaid system from its state health exchange and connect it to the federal Healthcare.gov site before November 2014 -- for about $25 million. The federal government (taxpayers) will pay 90 percent of the cost and the state will pay about $2.5 million, most of which will be used for IT system functionality. Several other states, including Minnesota, face similar large costs to fix or switch their exchange sites.



Data Discrepancies on 2 Million Enrollees

One in four Obamacare enrollees were recently asked to provide additional documentation needed to verify their IRS data, potentially affecting health coverage and federal tax credits available to them.  The Obama Administration said about two million people submitted 2014 Obamacare application information that didn't match up with federal records mostly regarding their income or immigration or residency status.  Enrollees will keep their Obamacare coverage in the interim.



Hospital Execs Unhappy

A nationwide survey of hospital executives found that more than 40 percent of them are unhappy with their government-mandated electronic health records systems (EHRs).  The most dissatisfied were from rural and small hospitals.  The Premier, Inc. survey polled 127 executives in 32 states. The survey also found that spending on health IT is expected to reach $26.1 billion per year by 2017. The executives said they're "burdened by federal mandates, costs and labor for EHRs."



Nurses' Union Ad Opposes New Technology

The union of the California Nurses Association launched a social media and radio ad campaign (Insist on an RN) critical of the rising use of medical technology to discipline nurses for their judgment. They say it endangers patients.  The union says nurses are being penalized for not following specific protocols for health information technology that have nothing to do with actual patient care but are simply used for increasing reimbursement rates.



Apple's HealthKit App Worries Privacy Advocates

Apple, which has formed a partnership with Epic, the nation's largest electronic health record (EHR) company, recently announced a big addition to its new Apple iOS 8 system -- a HealthKit tool that can track users' heart rates, sleep, weight and other health-related information. It will allow providers at the Mayo Clinic to send health records to the app, which will eventually send that data to a user's doctor.  Epic refused to comment on how the data collected by Apple might be used or shared.



Food Fight: Pediatricians vs. School Officials

To reduce childhood obesity, a group of pediatricians is urging Congress to fully implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  In a recent letter to Congress, the president of the Academy of Pediatrics said nutrition standards are particularly important because some children consume up to half their daily calories in school. But school officials have asked for relief from the standards, complaining about high costs and garbage cans filled with healthy foods rejected by students.




Quote of the Week:



"If unchecked, big data could be a tool that substantially expands government power over citizens," warned a White House May 2014 report on cybersecurity of federal databases.  - Washington Examiner, May 30, 2014




Stat of the Week:

  $26.1 million = amount of improper payments made by CMS to Medicare Advantage (HMO) organizations from 2010 to 2012 for 1,591 "unlawfully present beneficiaries." 

 




News Release of the Week:

No June Obamacare Report - What's the Administration Hiding?

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Since the end of Open Enrollment, the Obama Administration has been boasting 8 million enrollees in the government-run health care plan. Ironically, not long after claiming this feat, the Administration quietly announced it would no longer release monthly enrollment reports and provided no information on when future reports might be available. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Feds Keep Health Sharing ACA Exemption Secret

It happened again. Often when media or government sources discuss exemptions to the Obamacare mandate, they donʼt list Christian health sharing organizations. First, I thought this was just because all nine exemptions are rarely listed. But now I wonder if itʼs because they donʼt want people to know these organizations exist. 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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