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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

July 25, 2012

  • President's Commentary
  • No Exchanges ~ NO Penalties
  • Obamacare Troubles
  • More Reason for States to Refuse
  • ACO - The End of Insurance
  • No "Right" to Doctor's Life

President's Commentary

An Olympic-sized battle is happening -- in the U.S. As spectacular as the 2012 Olympic winners are, they have nothing on the heros in today's fight over the future of freedom in America. Since CNBC's Rick Santelli  suggested the need for a tea party, concerned citizens have been meeting regularly to engage in this must-win battle. 

I have hope for the future. Emerging from many states is a new leadership attitude that emphasizes freedom. Governors and legislators are standing up to the "yes, we can" bureaucrats and saying, "No you can't." This exciting development may yet undo much of the Obama administration's Supreme Court victory on Obamacare.

States are key. While a U.S. House committee just voted to defund huge sections of Obamacare in the Labor-HHS bill (check out my tweet) and while on July 11 the U.S. House voted again to  repeal Obamacare -- and actually called it by that name -- it is up to State leaders to say "no" to Obamacare until the law is repealed.

And the beauty is, States can. Will Obama imprison Governor Bobby Jindahl for refusing to install the exchange? Can the administration take your state legislature to jail for standing on its Tenth Amendment rights? States must refuse to conform state law to any part of the unconstitutional federal law. (See my quote in The New York Times)

State must say "no." Citizens must help their state-based stalwarts stand strong against the media, the lobbyists, and the billions in federal inducements.

Please send this eNews to your friends around the country. Ask them to  subscribe. Help us share the information needed to equip the troops for this battle! No Olympic medals promised. Just freedom!

Action Item: Contact members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and tell them to keep the Obamacare funding cuts in the Labor-HHS bill, which currently cuts the ACA prevention fund and the ACA comparative effectiveness research fund ("death panel.") It also eliminates the intrusive HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. If you would, please let me know you did it!

Now on to the news . . .




News to Know:

No Exchange; NO Penalties

The administration and Democrats in Congress call it a "drafting error" but Cato Institute calls it a deliberate choice. The ACA only authorizes tax credits and subsidies to be issued by government exchanges built by states. They are not authorized in the Federal Exchange. Thus, state legislatures that do not establish a state exchange will protect their employers from $3,000 per-employee penalties that face employers if even one employee buys insurance on the exchange and gets a subsidy or tax credit.

Cato's Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler have written a well-researched  paper  opposing the IRS regulation that the administration is using to attempt to authorize tax credits and subsidies through a Federal Exchange (FE) even though Congress did not allow it. Likewise, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, is urging states to  do nothing to establish state exchanges. 

Obamacare Troubles

Employers Will Drop Coverage: If the the ACA forces employers to offer more generous benefits, the Cadillac tax takes effect in 2018 or they find it worth just paying the penalty, a new study finds 33% will drop coverage. Expect more.  McDonalds just reported the ACA could cost $420 million a year in additional costs.  ACA Affordability Rule Leaves Children Uninsured: The ACA's Affordability Rule as proposed by the IRS will deny coverage to children according to the GAO. The rule defines "affordability" for an employee's family based on the cost of "employee-only" coverage being less than 9.5% of family income -- even though the cost of family coverage might not be considered affordable under the rule. Another "we didn't read it" glitch?

More Reason for States to Refuse

Individual premiums will increase by 2% and family premiums by $400, according to yesterday's Congressional Budget Office report (more on this next week). And although the CBO says the cost of the law has decreased by $84 billion through 2022, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), now with American Action Forum, says if just six states refuse to expand Medicaid, the cost to the federal government to insure them all through federally-funded exchange subsidies and tax credits will be $72 to $80 million. If all 50 states revolt (unlikely), the AAF calculates that the federal government will have to pay  $567 billion to $627 billion more. That would bring the federal taxpayer cost of Obamacare ever closer to $3 trillion over 10 years, giving Congress more reason for repeal. The national debt will balloon to  $29 billion in 10 years, per the CBO.

ACO - The End of Insurance

The author of "Seeking Alpha" calls Obamacare's Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) an  "insurmountable" risk to health insurance companies. The ACO is an organization created when hospitals and doctors join together to receive a lump sum ("bundled") payment from insurers for the care of patients. The author notes that today insurers collect a payment based on your risk and pay doctors, hospitals and other clinicians for services provided. But Obamacare ended the need for risk-based premium adjustments (no pre-existing exclusions) and eliminated payment for services based on individual claims for care received.

The author notes, "The consensus in the hospital industry is that payment will be for period of one year to three years. The hospital or doctor will get a fixed sum of money for each patient per year from the insurance company out of which to meet all the medical needs of the patient. There'll be no need to submit a claim to an insurance company...The insurance company becomes merely a shell transferring the collected premium from insured to the ACO." [Emphasis added]

As the author writes, "The insurance company will no longer need actuaries, risk analysts, claims processing, sales people, even executives and management...And since they would just be collecting and handing over the premiums to the ACO without doing anything further of value, there would be no need for health insurance companies to exist at all, and I predict that health insurance companies will cease to exist by 2017-2018 as the ACO model becomes widespread. The ACO model means local hospital will become the insurance company and care provider in one." [Emphasis added] In other words, a major conflict of interest. On July 9, HHS announced  89 new ACOs, bringing the total to 154 ACOs, with 400 more organizations planning to apply for ACO status in August.

No "Right" to Doctor's Life

The controversial "commencement speech" that radio host Neal Boortz never gave is making its way around cyberspace. He wrote it in response to never being asked to give a speech. It's a bit harsh, but his comments on health care are worthy of your consideration: "You'll be disappointed to learn that you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.You may think, for instance, that you have a right to health care. After all, the president said so, didn't he? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no 'right' to his time or property. You have no right to any portion of his or any other person's life."




Stats of the Week:

Obamacare Tax Revenue 

(pdf with detailed descriptions of tax)

$19.0 billion - Individual mandate penalty-tax
$36.7 billion - Prescription Drug Fee
$4.0 billion - Health Plan Fee for Comparative Effectiveness Research
$30.8 billion - Medical Device Excise Tax
$106.8 billion - Annual Fee on Health Insurers (higher premiums)
$121.9 billion - High-Cost Employer-Provided Coverage
$1.7 billion - Indoor Tanning
$19.1 billion - Change Itemized Deduction for Medical Expenses from 7.5% to 10%.
$4.2 billion - Disallows HSA/FSA reimbursement for over-the-counter meds
$4.6 billion - Raise tax on HSA funds not used for medical care from 10% to 20%.
$25.4 billion - Decreases maximum amount allowed in FSA to $2,500
$337.2 billion - New 0.9% Medicare tax and 3.8% tax on unearned incomes
$55 billion - Employer mandate to purchase health insurance




News Release of the Week:

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Commends States that Have Refused Health Exchange Implementation

ST. PAUL, MN - Though the Supreme Court has ruled the taxes and Medicaid expansions within the Affordable Care Act constitutional, many states are left wondering how to effectively pay for and manage components of the law, such as healthcare exchanges, which are estimated to add $340 billion to the nation's deficit and create $17 trillion in long-term, unfunded liabilities and cost each individual state millions each year.

In response, some have come out publicly and refused implementation of these state-based portals that will be used to funnel patient information and health records to the federal government . The Citizens' Council for Health Freedom commends this action and urges others to do the same, while looking for more effective and efficient means to reform healthcare, like defined contribution health insurance rather than defined benefits insurance.  Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Obamacare Privacy Lawsuit Proceeds

A new Obamacare lawsuit will be heard in October. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and 10 other Mississippians have challenged the federal requirement that citizens disclose medical information to a health insurance company. They say it violates their rights to medical privacy established by the controversial 1973 Roe v Wade case.  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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