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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

May 30, 2012

Editors Note: CCHF Health eNews will now be distributed on Wednesday.

 

Letter from CCHF's President

Half of America is on the dole. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,  49.1 percent of the American population lives in a household where at least one member is getting at least one government subsidy. And many of these households likely receive more, including Social Security and Medicare.This will only increase. See graph below

Some will quibble with Social Security being considered a government subsidy. However, by law Congress need never pay back what was taken from workers and may simply dismantle the entire system when it runs out of cash in 2033. SS is structured like an entitlement. So if it looks, talks and walks like a duck.....

Who will vote to give up their entitlement? As the author reports, "The more people who receive benefits, the harder it's going to be to make cuts, and it's never popular to raise taxes." Perhaps that is the plan. Robert Knight, looking at past comments by President Obama, writes the following: "the real cause of government gigantism is a breakdown in the moral culture and the rise of envy, the beating heart of socialism, which is the desire to have what someone else already has."

Thus, in 2009, Obama declared in his first budget statement:  "For the better part of three decades, a disproportionate share of the nation's wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy. Technological advances and growing global competition...[have] accentuated the trend toward rising inequality."

As wealth is redistributed from the 51% who worked and saved for it to the 49% who did not, it's interesting how inequality is measured only in dollars, not in the effort to earn them.

Millions more will soon be entitled. If Obamacare is not overturned or repealed, up to 26 million more people are expected to receive Medicaid. Yet, according to the recent Physician Practice Trends Survey,  51% of primary care doctors are refusing new Medicaid patients.

Here's some good news.  Cash is king. When entitlements fail and doctors refuse to participate, the  lowest price can sometimes be obtained only if you do not use an insurance card.

Government takings and government handouts threaten the future of American freedom and prosperity. As Lady Margaret Thatcher reminds us, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

From The Heritage Foundation



 

 

Now on to the news . . .




News to Know:

AARP's Pick-Pocketeers

Terrence Scanlon, president of Capitol Research Center, at  is  not happy with AARP. The organization formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons -- back when they still identified with senior citizens -- is now a $1.6 billion moneymaking empire under  Congressional investigation. AARP supported Obamacare and is in cahoots with UnitedHealthcare. UHC fees to AARP for product endorsements (supplemental Medicare) are stunning: $284 million in 2007, $427 million in 2009, and $670 million in 2010. There are only 40 million members. At $16.00 per year, AARP's revenue would be only $640,000. They took in $1.2 billion in 2010. Even if all 78 million babyboomers were members (they aren't), the revenue would be $1.25 billion. Concerned seniors are now joining the American Seniors Association per  CBS News.

AMA Fails Doctors

The American Medical Association supported Obamacare and no longer counts on physicians for most of its income. With less than 20% of America's physicians as members, the AMA depends on a licensing agreement with the feds. The AMA has a government-protected monopoly on the creation and sale of books with the thousands of treatment and diagnostic codes used by Medicare for billing and tracking doctors. Now, "American Medical Association President Peter W. Carmel, MD,  commended HHS for assisting states with 'the important work of establishing and implementing [Obamacare's] health insurance exchanges.'" All the more reason for physicians to flee the AMA and join  Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), Docs4PatientCare, the  Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS),  Doctors for Patient Freedom, and the  Doctor Patient Medical Association.

Will Insurance Agents Call it Quits?

Almost one-third of health insurance agents may stop selling insurance. In 2010, there were  411,500 insurance sales agents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, a provision in Obamacare -- the medical loss ratio -- has  dramatically cut commissions paid to agents by insurers for selling health insurance. In short, insurers must use 80-85% of the premium dollar on health care (and "quality improvement" activities) or rebate customers a ($1.3 billion rebate payout expected). Obamacare means fewer jobs in the private sector, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said of Obamacare, "It's about jobs. In its life it will create four million jobs,  400,000 jobs almost immediately." Now the President's press secretary seems to  disagree: "The president does speak about health care on occasion...but he is...doing the things he can...to grow the economy and create jobs." Perhaps the president should just repeal Obamacare.

Death Panels - Alive and Well

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently recommended no prostate cancer screening for men over age 75. Mr. Tom Perkins, age 80, writing in the WSJ,  begs to differ. Several years ago, he was screened, cancer was found, and  therapy was applied. The cancer returned, but now the PSA test controls all treatment even as he scuba dives half way around the world. Happy to be alive, he notes, "A healthy market-driven free economy leads to innovation and the development of breakthroughs, like the PSA test. A highly taxed and highly regulated economy leads to 'Death Panels,' like the U.S. Preventative Health Service." The USPSTF has issued  120 recommendations, has  28 recommendations in development, and claims  45 of the recommendations are "relevant for implementing the Affordable Care Act." This is not comforting.

Digging Deep into Baby DNA

Two federal agencies aim to dissect baby DNA. The National Human Genome Research Institute ($511.4 million budget for 2013) together with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development ($1.32 billion budget for 2013) "will award  $25 million to projects that study how genome sequencing can be applied to newborn screening." No press release could be found on either website. Each institute will devote  $2.5 million per year for 5 years. Sequencing is analysis of the  3 billion "letters" in the individual's DNA. Government sequencing of every newborn citizen -- and entering the data into a government database and the child's permanent medical record -- has ethical, legal and social issues which researchers also intend to study...since newborn citizens cannot choose to say yes or no. A  research agenda for the two agencies was discussed in December 2010. With regulators focused on anti-obesity campaigns, will "fat genes" be included?




Stats of the Week:

$20,000 - average annual cost of family health insurance policy
$8,500  - average amount employee pays for $20,000 family policy
$11,500 - average annual amount of wages paid in "coverage" instead of cash
112%  - increase in the cost of health insurance over the last 10 years.
 5.2% - increase in hourly wage of entry-level college educated men 1979 to 2011.

The Economic Policy Institute




Action Item:

Two Weeks Left to 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

Enter Search Code: HHS-OS-2012-0006

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:

You Can't Keep Your Insurance...Again

Remember how Mr. Obama said if we like our health plan we can keep it. Not so. A new study says 51 percent of Americans with individual insurance policies will not be allowed to buy these policies on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges.  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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