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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

May 25, 2012

Editors Note: Health Freedom News will now be distributed on Wednesday.

 

Letter from CCHF's President

Government "exchanges" are key to Obamacare. If you have any doubt, follow the money. The federal government just held a three-day "Health Insurance Exchange System-Wide Meeting" in Washington D.C. The purpose was to "bring together all State and Federal partners to discuss critical Exchange activities and operations."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare will be out by the end of June. Hopefully, the Exchanges will be tossed out, but the feds are working to the last minute to install these federal takeover centers in every state. They hope what they start will be too hard to stop.

$1 Billion has been distributed. Last week, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington received grants totaling $181 million. According to  InformationWeek, 49 states, D.C. and 4 territories received $54 million in exchange planning grants in 2010. In 2011, seven states got more than $249 million in Early Innovator grants. An additional 33 states and D.C. received more than $667 million in Establishment grants.

Feds wants states to install the Exchange. On May 16, the administration tried to make it easier for states to say yes to the exchange. They issued a  "guidance" on the Federally-facilitated exchange - a federal exchange with state participation. States would manage health plans and in-person consumer assistance. HHS would handle enrollment, eligibility and everything else. To entice states, HHS even promised to allow all qualified health plans to sell on the exchange -- for the first year. To date, no dollars have been appropriated by Congress to the federal government to create any kind of exchange.

On November 16, ten days after the election, states must tell the administration whether they intend to run their own state Exchange or partner with the feds. But officials forgot to mention the "JUST SAY NO" option. 

States must refuse to cooperate. They should refuse to establish a state exchange and refuse to partner with the feds. Unless the federal government is forced to set up a HHS-run exchange, the public may not recognize the takeover in time to stop it."

Before I go...the Council for Affordable Health Insurance has just published an  analysis of the presidential candidate's health care platforms. It's in an easy to read format. As positions moderate between now and the election, CAHI promises to update the Candidates-at a Glance chart. Have a look!

Now on to the news . . .




News to Know:

Truth About Health Care Costs

Health care costs are going up because services cost more, not because people are using more of them. From a Health Care Cost Institute  study of 3 billion insurance claims from patients with employer-based insurance: "Unlike other recent reports on health care spending, we find that the increased spending is mostly due to unit price increases rather than changes in the quantity or intensity of services. Per Politico Pro (5/21), HCCI suggests keeping an eye on the consolidation of the health care sector because large hospitals and health care systems have the power to demand higher payments from insurers.

This can't please the President. First, it means his plan to limit how much care doctors provide won't help. Second, Obamacare is based on consolidation of the industry into a few large health plans offered by government exchanges.

One World, One Health

Big Government comes in all shapes and sizes. This week, the Association of Public Health Laboratories discussed the "One Health Initiative" at their  annual meeting. "The One Health concept arose from the realization that human health and animal health are inextricably linked and that a holistic approach is needed to understand, to protect, and to promote the health of all species...." states the "One Health Newsletter" published by the Florida Dept. of Health.  The founder of One Health, veterinary Roger K. Mahr DVM,  says, "We need to create national and international awareness of the power of One Health." He wants medical students and others to be taught the "One Health Principles."

Celebrate or Agitate?

On May 16, liberal groups received a  memo with instructions for responding to the pending Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. The memo was prepared by Health Care for America Now and sent out by Herndon Alliance, which had crafted an  earlier two-page memo on how to get anti-government folks to buy into the Obamacare Exchange: call it a marketplace. While stating the importance of continuing to "project confidence" that the court will uphold the law,  the recent memo also states, "The final messaging will be either celebratory or agitational in tone depending on the result, but we will need to have both versions prepared to go."

The Right in a Fight

After Politico  wrote that the GOP is making plans to draw up a bill to restore the most popular parts of Obamacare if the law is partially or fully overturned, the GOP got an earful from perturbed conservatives, including  Avik Roy at Forbes. Wesley Denton, an aide to Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and member of The Repeal Coalition, a Google group of free-market groups, GOP staffers, and activists, wrote, "Should we change the name of this [listserv] to 'partialrepealcoalition' or 'someofobamacareisprettygood'?"  On May 17, Speaker Boehner responded, "The only way to change this is by repealing ObamaCare in its entirety...Anything short of that is unacceptable." Correct.

Canary in the Mine Shaft

In 2006, Massachusetts passed RomneyCare, the state precursor to Obamacare, including a government health exchange and the controversial individual mandate. According to  NEJM, almost 98% of the population is  insured, health care is expected to consume 54% of the state budget this year, and approximately $61 billion was spent on health care in 2009. A special commission recommended a "global payment system" where doctors are paid not by the services they provide, but through a capitated per patient per month fee. Proposed 2012 legislation attempts to set price controls  (Avik Roy, Forbes) and limit cost growth to 3 percent across the state (Politico, 5/4).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Gruber, the designer of RomneyCare, tells Politico (5/21) it will take 5-10 years to diagnose what's driving health care costs. He must have missed Economics 101.




Stats of the Week:

15 - number of calculations to get Obamacare small business tax credit.
7 - number of worksheets to complete to obtain 11 of the 15 calculations.
8 - number of hours it could take to gather information for the 7 worksheets.
5 - number of hours it could take to calculate the tax credit.
170,300 - number of small employers claiming the tax credit.
4 million - estimated number of small employers eligible for tax credit.
 
h/t Chris Jacobs, Senate JEC




News Release of the Week:

My Baby's DNA Went Where? CCHF Gains Minnesota Legislative Success in Newborn DNA Handling, Sets National Precedent

ST. PAUL - Having a new baby is typically a whirlwind of emotion: unimaginable bliss coupled with anxiety and topped off with a heaping measure of sheer exhaustion often leads new parents to be less than vigilant when it comes to the in-hospital paperwork and health tests or screenings related to their new little bundle of joy. Many parents don't even realize that their innocent newborn's DNA is able to be collected, stored, and used by the government for genetic experimentation through the blood obtained during routine newborn health tests.

The Citizens Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), a patient education and advocacy group, recently garnered a key victory on behalf of Minnesota newborns and their families. At the close of the spring legislative session and as a result of CCHF's work, a newborn screening amendment requiring informed parental consent about how the state can collect and use samples of newborn DNA - particularly DNA obtained through blood samples - was sent to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's desk and signed into law.   Continue reading




Action Item:

NOTE: The online comment system malfunctioned last week, but is now working.

Please comment.  The federal government is building a national medical records system. Health regulators want your comments on its governance.The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the 2009 Recovery Act ("economic stimulus"), requires the feds to "establish a governance mechanism for the nationwide health information network" (NwHIN). The HHS   "request for information" seeks your comments. 

Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 14

Submit Comments:   http://www.regulations.gov

Search Code: HHS-OS-2012-0006 or trusted exchange

Action Suggestion:

Go online and offer a PERSONALIZED version of the following sample responses to at least two questions from the   "request for information"NOTE: non-original, fully standardized responses are often ignored. 

Sample Response to Question 2 (p. 26): I do not support the creation of a Nationwide Health Information Network, or placement of my data into the network without my informed written consent. Such an action is a violation of my 4th and 5th Amendment privacy rights.

Sample Response to Question 27 (p. 42): If the NwHIN is created despite my objection, I support an opt-in approach. I support opt-in consent requirements for both placement of my data in the NwHIN and exchange of my data by the NwHIN. I oppose the three exceptions to consent proposed on page 41. Without exception, there should be no exchange, no storage and no use of my data without my consent.




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Rethinking Electronic Prescriptions

Many states require doctors to write electronic prescriptions. This means your doctor will ask you to name a pharmacy. There are reasons to think twice about the e-prescribing mandate.   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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