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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

December 12, 2012



Commentary by Twila Brase

Obamacare creates a privacy nightmare. Have you heard of the "HUB"? Last week in the USA Today, two authors laid out the national database being built by the Obama administration as part of Obama's federal exchange system. This is the " Federal Data Services Hub " (HUB). These authors  note:

 

By mid-December, the federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic. If you think identity theft is a problem now, wait until Uncle Sam serves up critical information on 300 million American citizens on a platter. 
 

The authors shot down the misleading idea of the Exchange being like "Travelocity":

 

If the plan were simply a Travelocity-style portal for choosing different insurance products across state lines, we would support it..[but]..In order to determine eligibility for health insurance subsidies, the new exchange has to bring together information about you and your family from the Treasury Department and IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, as well as your Social Security number -- all coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services.
 

Continue Reading




News to Know:

$63 "Head Tax" Proposed

To pay for the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions, the Obama administration proposes a new  $5.25 monthly fee on insurance premiums. This would increase insurance premiums by $63/year...and mean millions more in costs for employers. It's designed to raise $25 billion, with $5 billion for early retiree coverage. The proposal is on  page 129 of the rule titled "PPACA; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2014." Public comments on this 373-page rule are accepted only through December 31 -- just 19 days from today.  Comment now.

Sticker Shock Coming

Never trust an estimate. Robert Laszewski, in his Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review  blog, notes how the Congressional Budget Office in November 2009 claimed that individual premiums would only rise 10 - 13% because of the ACA. However, in his informal surveys of insurers, he predicts cost increases of 30% - 40% to account for the new taxes, reinsurance costs, benefit mandate increases and underwriting reforms. For people in their 20s and 30s, expect premiums to DOUBLE.

Exchange Resistance Continues

Approximately 25 states have said no to the state-based Obamacare exchange. They include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. On the other hand, Florida, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have not declared. Utah has asked President Obama to approve its current exchange -- which is not compliant with Obamacare. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says, "Obamacare may fail because they don't have the expertise nor the money [to run exchanges]." Perfect.

Hefty Insurance Tax

The health insurance industry is opposing a health insurance tax that starts January 1, 2014. It's a $2.00 "head tax" on enrollees. The tax will exceed  $100 billion in 10 years. Over the course of 10 years, individual policies will rise by $2,150 and family policies by $5,080.  Small employers will see increases of $2,760 for individuals and $6,830 for families and large employers will see  increases of up to $7,130 for families because of the tax. The CBO in in November 30, 2009 letter said the fees would be "largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums for private coverage." 

Seven Reasons to Say No

Merrill Matthews at Forbes gives states  seven reasons to say no to expanding Medicaid: 1) it's bad coverage; 2) the ACA becomes the largest expansion of welfare since LBJ; 3) people will come out of the woodwork to enroll; 4) "Obamacare puts Medicaid on growth hormones"; 5) federal controls expand; 6) Rampant fraud; and 7) loss of state sovereignty. In 1965, number seven should have been the top reason to say no to the program before it ever began. It's still the top reason.




Quotes of the Week:





"CMS will take over enforcement of the law in that state." -- Gary Cohen, director of the Exchange division of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) speaking to the National Conference of State Legislatures' health care reform task force about states that refuse to cooperate, December 6, 2012, Politico Pro, 12/6/12.







"Given the big rate increases that are coming because of the ACA and the political risk the Obama administration faces if they don't get the exchanges up on time, I would suggest there is another big date they need to be worried about - November 4, 2014....I would not want to be an incumbent Democrat." -- Robert Laszewski on his blog, December 4, 2012.




"...[W]e never intended for our exchange to administer Medicaid, enforce the individual mandate, or distribute federal tax credits. I believe HHS officials' current interpretation of the ACA is to require states to take a more government-centric, standardized approach to exchanges. This results in less choice and more reliance on public programs." -- Utah Governor Gary Herbert in a letter to President Barack Obama, December 10, 2012 asking for HHS to accept their current exchange rather than comply with the ACA exchange requirements, December 10, 2012.




Stats of the Week:

20% - the percentage of population that consumes 78.3% of all medical expenses.

50% - the percentage of U.S. population that consumes 3.9% of all medical expenses.

$35 million - exchange planning funds Iowa used to update aging Medicaid system. (Politico Pro, 11/29/12)

$54 million - cost of four-year contracts to build and promote Hawaii exchange.

$100 - cost per housing unit to conduct the 2010 U.S. Census (total cost  $13B)




News Release of the Week:

Revised Deadline to Declare State Health Insurance Exchange Intent Approaches; CCHF Cites Astronomical Costs as Another Reason For States to Decline

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The new, extended deadline for states to declare their intentions with regard to a state health insurance exchange is December 14, by which time the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has asked states to declare whether they intend to shoulder the responsibility of creating and operating an ACA health insurance exchange in their state. Costs are determined by a state's population and the anticipated usage of the Exchange, with costs estimated to be between $15 million for very small states with low populations, to upwards of $300 million for heavily populated states like California. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Democrats Get Desperate

Democrats passed Obamacare, but how do they get states to cooperate? U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana sent Louisianaʼs governor, Bobby Jindal, a long letter. She asked him to expand Medicaid, adopt the fedʼs costly list of insurance benefits, and install the Obamacare exchange - the takeover center. Jindal has said No. 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.




Reading Now...

"Right to Disenroll Is Now AMA Policy," - The national physician organization has adopted a resolution supporting the right of doctors to no longer participate in Medicare -  AAPS News, Dec 2010

"Surgeon in Prison; Picked Wrong CPT Code" - he saved the lives of patients through innovative arterial procedure for which government doesn't have a code and is now in prison for "making false statements." - AAPS News, Dec 2010.

"Will There Be Any Physicians Left To Implement Obamacare?" - Argentinian hand surgeon waited tables in Argentina because it became more attractive than medicine after national health care arrived - G. Keith Smith, M.D., Medibid, Dec 12, 2012.

"HERGER: Medicare reform crucial for economic health," written by the author of the Save and Strengthen Medicare Act, The Washington Times, Dec. 11, 2012.

"Lawmakers Question IT Contract for Federal Health Plan Exchange," - iHealthBeat, December 11, 2012.

"Physicians reluctantly surrender practice independence," - Number of hospital-employed physicians increased 75% since 2000, FiercePracticeManagement.com, November 28, 2012.

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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