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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

June 20, 2012

President's Commentary

The Supreme Court decision of the century is coming. Sometime between tomorrow, June 21 and Thursday, June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obamacare." Like you, I want Freedom and the U.S. Constitution to win.

According to Avik Roy with Forbes, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg  dropped hints on what the decision may be. She discussed the utility of dissenting opinions -- perhaps she wrote one in opposition to overturning the law -- when she talked to the American Constitution Society, a group "dedicated to...countering the activist conservative legal movement." That must be the movement to protect and actually abide by the U.S. Constitution.

The tension leading up to the court's ruling is palpably high and rising. Rumors have been flying fast and furious. On Monday, when Justice Elena Kagan read her opinion on a Native American case, she said, "Maybe not what you've all come for today." Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was present too, making the media's expectations rise. But the ruling didn't come.

I hope the ruling is issued next week because I'll be in Washington, D.C. for meetings with members of Congress. I'd like to be inside or on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court when the announcement comes that the law is ruled unconstitutional. What a great moment that would be!

Of course, the justices may not rule in favor of Freedom. They may rule that the federal government for the so-called "public good" can impose whatever it wishes on the people. That would be an unconstitutional travesty...but not the last word. If the U.S. Supreme Court gives their blessing to a government takeover of health care, another major battle will begin: a battle for repeal.

Still, I'm very concerned about the plans some Congressional Republicans are making for after the PPACA is overturned. They want to introduce legislation to keep the most "popular" parts of Obamacare. These include the requirement that health plans allow "children" to stay on their parents policy until age 26, the ban on insurers excluding people with pre-existing conditions (guaranteed issue) and filling in the "donut hole" of Medicare prescription coverage. But these plans will increase premiums and resurrect the federal health reform law.

Michelle Malkin called these policymakers  "Republican Surrenderists."   Let me suggest you read her column (6/13). It's a beauty. She ends with the statement, "Who needs enemies when you've got Republican Surrenderists for Obamacare waiting in the wings?" Indeed.

Whatever happens in the Supreme Court, let's all work together, elected leaders and freedom-loving Americans, to prevent President Obama or anyone else from implementing socialized medicine in America.

Now on to the news . . .

News to Know:

"Death Panel" Hands Out $30 Million

With the Supreme Court constitutionality ruling imminent, the Obamacare Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) just announced the  50 winners of a total of $30 million in federal research grants. Projects were awarded between $230,619 and $724,894 each. Topics include "Direct Engagement of Stakeholders in Translating CER [Comparative Effectiveness Research] into Clinical Guidelines" and "A Community Partnership Approach for Advancing Burden Measurement in Rare Genetic Conditions." These are all focused on outsiders directing the practice of medicine.

Now HHS Secretary  Sebelius admits that even if Obamacare is repealed  she''ll keep it alive through the continued development and use of Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), which is primarily funded through the 2009  Recovery Act ("economic stimulus"). Clearly there are more battles to come regardless of the SCOTUS ruling. Sebelius' 2013 budget includes  $599 million for CER.

Public Wants the PPACA Repealed

According to RealClearPolitics, which is tracking the polls on the health care law, the spread between those who want the law repealed and those who want it saved has been growing. The latest poll shows 50.5 favoring repeal and 38.8 opposing repeal - an 11.7 point spread.  Have a look:

$881 Million to IRS for Obama's Exchanges

The IRS is moving quickly to implement their portion of the PPACA. The "IRS must quickly design and implement  large information technology (IT) systems used to carry out key provisions of the law. The investment is large, as IRS's implementation costs from fiscal years 2010 through 2013 are expected to total $881 million," writes the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Much of the funding will come from the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (HIRIF).

The most challenging provisions relate to the government health exchanges for which the IRS must modify existing or design new IT systems capable of transmitting incredible amounts of data to and from HHS and other federal agencies. The state-based, federally-controlled Exchanges, if implemented, will exchange personal data with at least five federal agencies, state government and employers. The IRS has responsibilities pertaining to "47 PPACA provisions," according to the GAO.

Berwick's Magical Thinking

Dr. Don Berwick, M.D., the former head of the Medicare Administration, who  resigned when Congress would not confirm his recess appointment by President Obama is out talking to the  British press about the impending SCOTUS ruling. This is somehow appropriate given how he once said he loved the British socialized medicine system and its not-so-nice rationing arm, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Signaling his concern that the law will be struck down or partially overturned, Dr. Don Berwick, now a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, says whatever the U.S. Supreme Court decides, he doesn't think the United States can go back to pre-PPACA. True. We must move forward to health freedom, a status with which Berwick is not very comfortable. He says Brits should "want hospitals that seek to be empty, doctors that seek to be idle, machines that are few." This example of magical thinking shows his continued support for rationing.

Stats of the Week:

The Labor-HHS appropriations bill has $4 billion in funding for Obamacare-linked programs, per Sen. Richard Shelby (D-AL), via POLITICO:

$1.57 billion - community health centers

$1.00 billion - Prevention and Public Health Fund

$547 million - health insurance exchanges

$430 million - childhood immunizations

$209 million - nursing scholarship, loan, loan repayment/education program

$48 million - primary care training

$41 million - rural hospital grant program

$30 million - Offices of Women's Health (there are five offices in the PPACA)

$27 million - Area Health Education Center program

$22 million  - Centers of Excellence program

$21 million - emergency medical services for children

$10 million - public health/preventive medicine training

$8 million - adult protective services demonstration project

$5 million  - defibrillation programs

$4 million - health care delivery systems

$4 million - to develop health care quality measures

$3 million - CDC's congenital health disease programs (newborn screening??)

The administration has spent millions marketing Obamacare. The office of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has released data from the Federal Procurement Data System showing that HHS may have already spent  $183 million on PPACA contracts billed as advertising, market research, public opinion, and public relations. The Obama Administration also has a  $20 million contract for an advertising campaign to market wellness benefits under the PPACA.

The  Los Angeles Times reports that a total of $76 million was spent on pro-healthcare reform advertising vs $250 million in ads against the law. The federal government spent $46 million of that $76 million - 60%. This means that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services used American's tax dollars to build support for Obamacare. It did not work. A CBS/NYT poll finds 68% of Americans want SCOTUS to at least strike down the individual mandate.

News Release of the Week:

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Denounces Current Push to Implement Unique Patient ID

ST. PAUL Minn. - The 1996 passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) entailed a hotly contested mandate to issue each and every American a Unique Patient Identifier, or UPI, number. The new form of medical identification would identify every patient, link their medical records, and allow for broad sharing, monitoring research, and analysis of the American public through the Nationwide Health Information Network, or NHIN. Public outcry against the UPI forced Congress to prohibit funding for the card, in order to stop its implementation.

But at least three new initiatives, including new rules and standardized operations in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, attempt to bypass this prohibition and advance the implementation of a national patient ID card. According to the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), advancement of this type of identification limits patient privacy and makes each patient record available to 2.2 million entities, including government officials, without patient consent.   Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Medicare's Biggest Problem - The Elderly

Many say Medicare can be saved by cutting payments to doctors, rationing
care and putting seniors into Medicare Advantage HMOs. But a new federal
chart shows thatʼs not going to work. 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

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