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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

January 9, 2013



The Latest Perils of Obamacare

The latest perils of Obamacare have been revealed. The law is going to be more painful than many experts predicted. Besides the negative impact on quality of care, there will also be significant cost increases leading to reduced access to health insurance and patient care. 

Huge Premium Increases. The New York Times just reported  double-digit increases coming for health insurance. The reporter reminded readers that "one of the biggest objectives" of the Obama administration's law was to "stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers." 

Before he was elected, Mr. Obama  promised a $2,500 reduction in family premiums in his first term, but premiums went up by $3.065. Now that Obamacare has passed, we know that what's in it, among many other painful realities, are even higher premiums. Mark Bertolini, CEO at Aetna, predicts health insurance  premiums will double for small businesses and individuals. I predict more people to drop their insurance and pay the penalty.

What You Don't Know. Smart Business interviewed William F. Hutter, president and CEO of Sequent, about the little-known aspects of the reform law. He revealed four items, three of which have not been discussed in the major media:

1)    Health plans can refuse to offer insurance to employers. The law has two "minimum participation" standards. Either 80 percent of all eligible employees must take coverage from the employer, or 70 percent of those who decide  not to use their spouse's plan must take coverage. If these standards are not met, according to Hutter, "technically no carrier has to write it coverage. That would force the company into a state health care exchange because it would be unable to provide a health insurance program for employees," reports Smart Business.

According to Hutter, companies with 75 to 150 employees will be challenged to meet the standards. . . .

Continue Reading




News to Know:

Rationing by Any Other Name . . .

Section  3506 of Obamacare is called, "Program to Facilitate Shared Decisionmaking." The law requires creation of "Shared Decisionmaking Resource Centers," development and implementation of shared decisionmaking techniques, and the assessment of "such techniques." These tools are purportedly to help patients decide the best treatment for themselves. However, the only treatments available for patients to choose from will be "clinically appropriate treatment options."

Watch the money. It points to the administration's priorities. The law gives unlimited funds for this program: "There are such sums as may be necessary in fiscal year 2010 and each subsequent fiscal year." Is coercion in the making? Emanuel Ezekiel, one of Obamacare's authors, suggests physician and hospital  payments be reduced by 10 - 20% if they don't use the government's shared-decision-making process. Could this tool be like the  video that caused 98% of early dementia patients to decline life-saving treatment?

With Friends Like These . . .

A former policy staffer in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations recently argued in The New York Times that there's a  "conservative case for the welfare state." The writer, Bruce Bartlett, once worked for conservatives Ron Paul and Jack Kemp, but now echos the claims of the leftist Commonwealth Fund. He writes, "[T]here are sound reasons why a conservative would support a welfare state...because masses of poor people create social instability and become breeding grounds for radical movements." This statement ignores the fact that welfare makes and  keeps people poor. Perhaps he's never heard  Star Parker's story describing the trap that welfare is. Or maybe Mr. Bartlett was never a conservative at heart.

Exchanges are Data Collectors

Data is the government's favorite tool of control. Obamacare requires health plans to collect and report so-called "quality data" to the government Exchanges. Government will not only define "quality," they will use private medical data to score providers as high quality or low quality providers. These quality "scores" on hospitals and doctors will be displayed by the Exchange when individuals and employers use the website to purchase health insurance.

Seventy-two (72) public comments regarding this requirement were received by  the fed's December 27 deadline.  According to the American Hospital Association, "This will require hospitals to allocate significant resources for the collection and reporting of quality measures." The AHA says they may need "clinically credentialled personnel" to "manually review a patient's medical record against criteria defined in a measure to determine performance." This privacy intrusion will lead to outside controls and less money for patient care.




Quotes of the Week:

 

"It's a large-scale experiment," -- medical student Kristin Huntoon's response to her Plos One study that found almost half of the medical students said they were 'unsure' whether the new federal health reform law would improve the quality of care, The Village Voice, January 2, 2013.


 

 

 

"Me, I have more than $300,000 in debt. It makes no financial sense, honestly, for me to choose primary care." -- Dr. Elizabeth Wiley, MD, JD, MPH, president of the American Medical Students Association, The Village Voice, January 2, 2013.


 

 

 

 

"Demand is up, but the number of doctors is down." -- Phil Miller, spokesman for Merritt Hawkins, FierceHealthIT, January 7, 2013.




Stats of the Week:

56% - amount Medicaid pays in comparison to what private insurance pays.

$162,000 - $205,000 - average debt upon graduation from medical school.

$135 million - amount St. Paul, Minn - based HealthEast Care System will spend to build new interoperable (online, linkable) electronic health record (EHR) system.




News Release of the Week:

Americans Respond, Demand HHS Provide More Time to Comment on Proposed PPACA Regulations

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently petitioned the American public for comment about four new regulations related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the PPACA law...  Americans overwhelmingly insisted the HHS provide more time for the public to review and comment on these pending regulations. Two in particular: the multi-state plan regulation and the payment parameters regulation, received hundreds of comments and more than 70 and 80 percent respectively requested additional time for review and comment. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Federal Fishing in Private Data

The National Counterterrorism Center has recently been given access to any file that any government agency has on any person to look for any possible criminal behavior. This includes medical records. A search warrant is not required. The government can now go fishing through your life using your data. 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...

"Protection of Subjects Just One of Goals In Updating Common Rule, Pritchard Says," Bloomberg BNA Health IT Law & Industry Report, January 7, 2013. (subscription required) - human subjects research, "public goods," and improved informed consent are other reasons mentioned in the article.

"The $2.7 trillion question: Are health-care costs really slowing?" Sarah Kliff, The Washington Post, January 7, 2013.

"14th Amendment Option: Nancy Pelosi Urges Obama to 'Just Go Do It' (VIDEO)", Sam Stein, Huffington Post, January 6, 2013. - Pelosi wants debt ceiling deemed unconstitutional.

"Republicans Creating National Health Insurance Exchange?" Chris Weigant, Huffington Post, January 7, 2013 -- maybe the reporter doesn't know that every exchange is a federal exchange and if the state refuses to set it up, the federal government has no money to create a Federal Exchange.

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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