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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

July 30, 2014



 

Will They “Value” Your Life?

Government wants doctors paid for "value." On July 1, Politico held a briefing called " Value vs. Volume." Data-crunchers, in cahoots with government, say access to our private medical data can be used to pay doctors for "value," instead of for the services they provide to patients.

 

Amazingly, they believe doctors should work according to government and corporate values -- which could include rationing -- and without knowing if they'll get paid. "Value-based purchasing" is key to Obamacare controls (Sec. 3001). Enforcement includes penalties on doctors that don't report "quality measurement" data to the government (Sec. 3002).

 

This is serfdom.

 

Republicans are also to blame. John McCain proposed a "value-driven" health care system and former U.S. Senator majority leader Bill Frist and former Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote, "The most powerful way to reduce costs (and make room to expand coverage) is to shift away from 'volume-based' reimbursement (the more you do, the more money you make) to 'value-based' reimbursement."

 

This all-points control system, including its onerous, expensive reporting requirements, will persuade more doctors to leave medicine. It will also act as a coercive force, encouraging doctors trapped by medical school debt to violate professional and medical ethics. Patient lives and physician autonomy are in jeopardy because:

 

1) Congress enacted Medicare.

 

The U.S. Constitution does not authorize the federal government to run health care. The Founders      knew our very lives depend on health freedom. But Congress enacted Medicare in 1965 to move toward a single-payer system.

 

2) Physicians accepted government money.

 

Many doctors, instead of refusing to participate in Medicare, increased their fees to take advantage of the new unlimited government payments. And now, 132,000 Medicare regulations later, if physicians refuse to install interoperable electronic medical records on ALL patients, Medicare will dock their pay beginning in 2015.

 

3) Citizens gave up control over their health care dollars.

 

Employees gave up wages, letting employers decide the kind and cost of their you-can't-take-it-with-you coverage.  Seniors gave up private insurance, allowing the federal government to impose medical decisions.  Individuals gave up true insurance (catastrophic coverage), allowing prepaid HealthPlans to centralize dollars, data, and decision-making in one of the nation's largest ongoing wealth transfers.

 

How will you protect yourself? The sooner citizens find a cash-for-care doctor, the more protected they'll be from government-corrupted medicine. The sooner physicians transition to cash, the better position they'll be in legally, financially, and ethically as patients search for someone they can trust. Consider requesting your entire employee compensation in cash, joining a health-sharing organization, saving more, and leaving your Obamacare-priced, wealth-redistribution policy behind.

 

Make financial decisions according to your values. Someday the taskmasters of your value-paid doctor may not value your life. Find a doctor who accepts private pay - and values your life as much as you do. Don't miss our "5C" solution for health care.

 

Offering a way out for patients and doctors,

 

Twila Brase, R.N., PHN

President and Co-founder

 

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 

 


 




News to Know:

Big Win for Obamacare Foes

Last week, the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to stop the federal government from subsidizing Obamacare in the 36 states that refused to establish a state-based exchange. If the Halbig vs. Burwell ruling holds, it will prohibit Healthcare.gov from issuing federal premium subsidies, and it will protect the non-subsidy states from the Obamacare mandates and penalties. The subsidies received by 4.5 million enrollees average $264 a month per person (open link to see graphic in full size). The case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.



Physical Activity Report

A bill in Congress, "Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act" (S. 531/H.R. 2179) would require the Department of Health and Human Services to issue reports about how Americans, categorized into various government-determined groups, should exercise, beginning in 2018.  Two similar reports were published in 2008 and 2013, without specific authority from Congress and apparently using slush funds. Thus, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) now estimates that the bill's mandate would "not significantly affect spending."



Doctors Won't Magically Appear

Yesterday, House and Senate negotiators agreed to spend $15 billion to address the shortages in veteran healthcare, including allowing individuals who reside 40+ miles away from a VA clinic to visit a private clinic. But 20% of Americans live in areas that already have a shortage of practitioners, says reporter Bob Brewin. He believes that transferring patients from one area of medical care deficit to another will not change anything other than the location of the problem.



Medical Mix-up Madness

An electronic medical record mix-up turned back pain into lymphoma. After being treated at Cambridge Medical Center for his back, Lonnie Shelley was sent home with a cancer patient's records in his discharge papers. He now must hassle with paperwork and get the approval signature of four doctors to have the faulty lymphoma information excised from this medical history. If this mistake is not adequately resolved it could result in harmful treatment in the future.



Rush to Subsidies Creates Safety Hazard

The combination of $30 billion in federal subsidies to digitize medical records has put patients at risks. Human and technological errors compound, resulting in patient fatalities, yet death and injury reports from EHR implementation are not mandated. Polls report doctors' increasing dissatisfaction with digital systems that are not considered doctor-friendly. Unfortunately, incentives for improvement lag because EHR companies have already capitalized on the $30 billion subsidy.



Cutting Payments to Doctors Doesn't Work

There is no more wasteful entity in medicine than a rushed doctor, according to Dr. Sandeep Jauhar.  "Health care costs must be controlled, but cutting payments to doctors is a self-defeating strategy," he writes in The New York Times. For most physicians, it means that in order "to maintain their income, they've had to see more patients. When you reduce the volume of air per breath, the only way to maintain ventilation is to breathe faster."



Medical Error Ruse?

A Harvard professor told Congress patients are no safer from harm today than 15 years ago. One testifier claimed errors cause "400,000 deaths annually," and suggested a new bureaucracy, a National Patient Safety Board. The 1999 IOM study claiming 44,000 - 98,000 preventable deaths per year from medical errors has been soundly refuted. The National Safety Council list of mortality causes doesn't include medical errors. The CDC's 2011 "Mortality Data" lists 2,584 deaths from "Complications of medical and surgical care."



Defrauding Taxpayers

Undercover investigators obtained taxpayer-subsidized Obamacare coverage in 11 out of 12 attempts, a July GAO investigative report reveals. Congressional investigators tested potential weaknesses of the federal exchange using fake social security numbers and false citizenship information. U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman David Camp (R-MI) said the health law is "rife with incompetence, waste and the potential for fraud." (Politico Pro, July 22, 2014)




Immoral Research on Children

A pediatrician reveals the convoluted process and expensive "maintenance of certification" required by the board of pediatrics. Dr. Meg Edison cites a disturbing example of a MOC requirement that involves pulling patient charts, enrolling them in studies without their consent and reporting the results back to the board. This includes almost 400 research projects being done on children without consent. This is both immoral and costly to patients, Dr. Edison writes in a blog.



Bureaucratic Interference

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which Republicans almost shut down in 1994 because of planned interference in medical decision-making, will merge two existing centers - the Center for Primary Care, Prevention and Clinical Partnerships and the Center for Outcomes and Evidence - into the Center for Evidence and Practice ImprovementThe new center will set policies focusing on "accelerating practice improvement" and "evidence-based medicine" -- promising to further interfere in medical decisions and patient care.



Are Cronies in Charge of Obamacare?

With the recent hiring of Andrew Slavitt, a United Healthcare executive, as the second-in-command at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congress questions the Obama administration about cronyism. In 2012, Steve Larsen, head of CMS's Obamacare Exchange division, left CMS to become a UHC executive. United Healthcare, the nation's largest insurer, bought QSSI after QSSI acquired an $84.5 million government contract to construct the CMS federal data hub, the Exchange's central server for all data transactions, including those of competing insurers.



Google's "Better Body"?

Raising significant privacy issues, Google plans to begin studying the genomes of 175 anonymous participants in a project called "Baseline Study." Baseline's goal is to create "the fullest picture of what a healthy human being should be," reports WSJ. Google, which has one of the most expansive computer networks, says individual genomic data will not be shared with insurance companies and that ethical standards will be monitored and imposed by institutional review boards. Do you want Google in your genes?




Quote of the Week:

"Many payers do not release [patient] claims data that could fuel incredible insights into intervention opportunities because they have a large business selling that data to pharma companies. Electronic health record companies don't make it simple to exchange data with other EHRs because it reduces 'switching costs' of moving to a different EHR for hospitals." - Dave Vockell, CEO, LyfeChannel, testifying to Congress in "21st Century Technology for 21st Century Cures," July 17, 2014.

 



 




Stat of the Week:

85.8 million - pages of paper printed at four "paperless" hospitals. (Source Lexmark's MPS, per HIMSS blog)




News Release of the Week:

Minnesota to Resume Storing Baby DNA August 1 without Parental Consent


ST. PAUL, Minn. - This Friday will mark a huge step back in privacy rights for Minnesota's tiniest residents - and the new law could have national implications.

Minnesota once asked parents for consent to have their newborn baby's DNA stored by the state and/or used for research. But as of August 1, 2014, no consent is required. Parents must take the initiative to tell the hospital that they don't want their baby's blood spot used for any purpose other than newborn screening. Unfortunately, most parents won't even know the state is storing their child's DNA or that they need to opt-out to prevent government storage and use. Furthermore, the required opt-out form that should be available to all parents and hospitals has yet to be posted on the Minnesota Department of Health's website. A representative said the form is at the draft stage.

Continue reading

 




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Government to Issue Fitness Plans

There's a troubling bill in Congress called the "Promoting Physical Activity by Americans Act." This short bill could have a long future of intrusive government growth. This bill would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to issue physical activity recommendations every 10 years. And federal agencies would be required to promote these recommendations in government programs like Medicare and Obamacare.

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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