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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

August 8, 2012

  • President's Commentary
  • Massachusetts: Canary in the Coal Mine
  • Socialism Smuggled Into Olympics
  • Taxing the Uninsured
  • Paying Once is Enough!
  • Stats of the Week
  • CCHF Press Release 
  • Health Freedom Minute

President's Commentary

Obama's Trojan Horse is stuck. Only 13 states have said they're going to build the Obamacare insurance "Exchange" --the federal takeover center. So the federal government despite, according to  The Times, not wanting to "feed fears of a federal takeover" is....taking over. As The New YorkTimes reports,

"Obama administration officials are getting ready to set up and operate new health insurance markets in about half the states, where local officials appear unwilling or unable to do so. The markets, known as exchanges, are a centerpiece of President Obama's health care law, and running them will be a herculean task that federal officials never expected to perform...But with Republicans in many states resisting the creation of exchanges or deterred by the complexity of the task, federal officials are preparing to do the job, with or without assistance from state officials."


I want you to see three things: First, the Exchanges are the centerpiece of Obamacare, not the mandate. This is correct. Second, the feds  don't have the money to do this. And third, this one quote is filled with serious inaccuracies. Here's the reality:

Exchanges are IRS registration websites, not "marketplaces." If they were "marketplaces" as the Times claims, Republicans would jump on board. The Exchanges are web portals through which individuals must  register with the IRS their compliance with the law's unconstitutional insurance mandate. Registration occurs when individuals and employers buy insurance online using the Exchange, or when employers report employee tax ID numbers as the law requires ( CCHF's new document). Those exempt from the mandate must use the Exchange to register their exemption with the IRS.

There are no "state" Exchanges. Every Exchange is required to follow federal law and federal rules. Each must report to the federal government annually. Every Exchange links to the  "federal data services hub" which allows state government, employers, and the federal government to share medical and insurance data of each individual to enforce the mandate and collect the penalty ("tax") and oversee the entire health care system.

There will be just one National Exchange. Although the Times article says, "The federal exchanges will vary from state to state," this is not correct. The website for each state will likely have different names (e.g. The Texas Insurance Exchange) and offer different local insurers but in the background there will be one federally-designed infrastructure running the entire Exchange system ( "The big blue book"). In short, this is a National Exchange: 50 federally-regulated website portals (some state-run, some federal-run) with 50 different names plus one federal infrastructure called the "federal hub." 

One National Exchange was always the plan. The administration just didn't want to say so lest the federal takeover be revealed. That's why Congress enacted the Senate version of the Exchange language (state-run Exchanges with federal exchange option) rather than the House version (a single federally-run Exchange). The House version ( H.R. 3962) would have created one national Exchange:

"There is established within the Health Choices Administration and under the direction of the Commissioner a Health Insurance Exchange in order to facilitate access of individuals and employers, through a transparent process, to a variety of choices of affordable, quality health insurance coverage, including a public health insurance option." (HR 3962, p. 155)

So why the big ruse? Other than deceiving the public about the federal takeover, there is a financial reason: If a state runs the website portal, it must cover the costs. Federal officials hoped to force state taxpayers to shoulder the  $10 million to $100 million per year in Exchange operating costs. If HHS takes over, the expense will increase the total federal cost of Obamacare -- and the national debt. HHS has asked for  $750 million to run the Exchange for all the States that refuse. The U.S. House has said no...and it must continue to say no.  Contact your Representatives.

Now on to the news . . .


News to Know:

Massachusetts: "Canary in the Coal Mine"

What's happening in Massachusetts serves as a warning for the future if Obamacare is not repealed. RomneyCare, just like Obamacare, focused on expanding access, not reducing costs. To cut health care costs which now consume 54% of the budget, Massachusetts has seized control the practice of medicine.  A new law, signed Monday, requires all doctors, hospitals and other providers as a condition of licensure to register with a new state bureaucracy to which they'll report financial performance, prices, costs, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share, etc.

As  The Wall Street Journal notes, "Massachusetts takes 360-degree surveillance and converts it into a panopticon prison. An 11-member board known as the Health Policy Commission will use the data to set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than projected gross state product through 2017." Providers who violate this limit must file a "performance improvement plan." If the plan is not followed, the fine is $500,000. That's enough to shutter a clinic in a state where many doctors have already left. This is how rationing happens. Meanwhile  44,000 people pay the fine for not being insured. But as a result, some may have more money to head out of state when care is denied.

Socialism Smuggled Into Olympics

During the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, London showcased its National Health Service, the NHS. While patients were waiting for access to care, there were more than  " 600 real-life nurses and other healthcare workers" having a good time in the arena. And all 300 luminous beds on display have been donated to Tunisia. So there is enough money to frolic and donate, but not to provide care as needed to the British people? The Daily Mail in the U.K. reports that "Nine out of 10 NHS Trusts are ' rationing operations.'" An inquiry discovered that "patients face joining a waiting list to even get on the surgery waiting list."

Paul Flynn, a Member of Parliament, was thrilled that, "Wonderfully progressive socialist sentiments and ideas were smuggled into the opening romp. The Tory Olympic twosome were tricked into praising the Trojan horse..." All spectacular lighting aside, the NHS is notorious for offering coverage but making patients wait or die waiting for care. It's also in financial trouble, needing to find about $30 billion of savings by 2015. Their central computer project cost almost $19 billion and failed. But that poor performance is not what they shared with the world. This Olympic display of light shouldn't dazzle anyone who loves freedom and the free-market. All that glitters is not gold.

Taxing the Uninsured

Pity the uninsured, many of whom cannot afford the price of today's "everything but the kitchen sink" insurance policies.  The Tax Foundation recently calculated the cost of the penalty-tax on those who have no insurance. As a reminder, once fully in effect, the tax for refusing to buy health insurance is THE GREATER OF: $695 per adult taxpayer plus $347.50 per dependent under 18 years of age or 2.5 percent of income over the filing threshold for federal income taxes ($9,500 for most single filers and $19,000 for most married filers in 2011). That would be $2,500 if you're married and earn $119,000 dollars.

The tax cannot exceed the national average premium for "bronze level" qualified plans offered through the exchanges. Bronze covers just 60% of expenses for a "standard population." The Tax Foundation found poorer families pay a greater portion of their income than higher income families. In 2016, 76 percent of the 3.9 million people paying the tax will earn less than $120,000 (500% of federal poverty guidelines). Of course, people could choose a  Health Sharing Organization, get protection from medical costs at a lower price, and be exempt from the tax.

Paying Once is Enough

Many colleges require students to have health insurance. When Kim Reckinger's son James transferred to the University of Minnesota, Kim completed many forms and checked off the box that said he had a health care plan. When the University later realized that James had coverage through Samaritan Ministries, a  health sharing organization, it sent him a bill for $950 for the first semester. After talking to everyone, all the way up to the Dean, James got a waiver -- for one year only. Kim and his wife Deborah compiled 67 pages of information to show the injustice and shared it with people in the media and the University's board of regents, all to no avail.

Then he discovered Citizens' Council for Health Freedom. As an article published by  Samaritan Ministries (but not online) reports, "The Council arranged a meeting for Kim with a State Senator who at least listened to his plight. Some time later, on a day that Kim "'happened' to be off work, he received an email from the Senator's office saying that a Senate hearing on health care was being held that very day." Kim testified, met a Representative who added a provision to the Higher Ed finance bill, and state law was changed to require the insurance requirement to be waived for any student with insurance, including coverage by a health sharing organization. CCHF was very pleased to help Kim change this law for James and others!

Stats of the Week:

62% - voters that believe some companies will drop employee insurance coverage.

30 hours - a "full time worker" under Obamacare for whom employers with 50 or more employees must buy insurance or pay a fine of at least $2,000 per employee.

13.5 million - people with Health Savings Accounts (18% increase over 2011)

News Release of the Week:

CCHF Asserts: State Health Exchanges Simply a Ruse to Mandate Federal Registration of All Americans

ST. PAUL, M.N. - As states begin to process and plan for the implementation of "American Health Benefit Exchanges," otherwise known as state health exchanges, the reality of the end of personal health privacy is being realized by individual citizens. The Citizens' Council for Health Freedom has produced a detailed diagram that shows exactly how each individual state exchange is connected back to the federal government, creating a federal registration system that involves every American.

Through the Affordable Care Act, exchanges are federally mandated to handle and manage not only private health data, but they can forward coverage data to the IRS for purposes of determining tax penalties based on coverage level. Other government agencies, like the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the Social Security Administration also have access to citizen's private data, as the Affordable Care Act mandates that the Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to require "any measure or procedure" be undertaken by the exchange. Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

"Glitch" Gives Power to States

The administration says thereʼs a glitch in Obamacare. The law says tax credits and premium subsidies to purchase insurance can only be issued by state-run exchanges. But 18 states have refused to build the exchange. So the IRS said this limitation is a glitch in the law and wrote a rule allowing the federally-run exchange to issue credits and subsidies.  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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