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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

January 16, 2013



IRS Threatens Employers

The gloves are coming off. We're 11 months from full implementation and the real-world impact of Obamacare is hitting the newswires. Taco Bell and Wendy's just cut the hours of hundreds of employees to avoid the Obamacare employer health insurance mandate. These workers will not only not have health insurance, they will have less money to pay for it and may be forced into Medicaid under the individual mandate.

Now, the Internal Revenue Service is warning employers not to avoid the employer mandate. The IRS issued a 144-page notice which says they will soon issue proposed regulations with "anti-abuse rules."

This means penalties. The IRS intends to penalize any employer who dares to follow the law by finding the Obamacare's legal loopholes and employing perfectly legal tactics to avoid its penalties. These legal tactics are nothing new. But President Obama doesn't like it so he's called out the IRS bloodhounds.

In fact, nothing in the Obamacare law says employers can't cut hours, re-hire, split companies into separate legal entities to shrink the size of the company to the requisite penalty-avoiding 49 employees, or use temporary agencies. As the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) states, "A business can avoid the penalties by firing employees, by not hiring new ones, by replacing full-timers with part-timers, or by outsourcing."

In addition, because Obamacare defines "full-time" as 30 hours/week...

Continue reading...




News to Know:

"Debt Ceiling" Myths Undone

David Rivkin and Lee Casey do a fantastic job in The Wall Street Journal of  undoing three myths about the "debt ceiling" debate:
 

"The first is that Congress's failure to raise the debt ceiling -- the amount of money the federal government is authorized to borrow at any given time -- will cause a default on the national debt. The second is that federal entitlement programs are constitutionally protected from spending cuts. The third is that the president can raise the debt ceiling on his own."


In short, the Constitution requires all debts to be paid. Our creditors are not at risk unless the government goes away. In addition, the $200 billion in tax revenue per month is more than needed to pay off the entire debt. Second, Medicare and Social Security are not part of the "public debt" and the country has no obligation to pay anything into them, a reality the U.S. Supreme Court has supported. Third, the Constitution only allows Congress "to borrow money on the credit of the United States."

Pioneer of Health IT Recants 

"We're on the wrong path," writes Dr. William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, in a  refreshing re-evaluation and recantation of the entire health information technology (HIT) initiative. Yasnoff, an architect of the system while at HHS, writes, "We're trying to build institution-centric systems that leaves patient information where it's created and retrieve and integrate it in real time only when it's needed." This, he says, is a "seriously flawed approach" that is complex, expensive, prone to error, insecure, not financially sustainable, unable to protect privacy and prohibitively inefficient for facilitating research.

Despite $564 million in federal grants to build state-based health information exchanges (HIEs), Yasnoff says they are failing. Some have even shut down (Washington DC, Kansas, Tennessee, CalRHIO). He writes, "[T]he promise of lower healthcare costs from HIT is unfulfilled -- in fact, costs are increasing because of the improved documentation produced by EHRs." He also notes that the three barriers to HIEs -- privacy, stakeholder cooperation and financial sustainability -- have never been solved. 

Forced Vaccinations Lead to Hospital Firings

In the past two months, at least 15 nurses and other hospital staffers in four states have been  fired for refusing the flu shot, according to the Associated Press. In Rhode Island, 1,000 healthcare workers signed a petition and a lawsuit has been filed. The Centers for Disease Control says over 400 hospitals had vaccination requirements in 2011 and 29 hospitals fired employees for refusing to get the shot. 

Why? Beginning this year, hospitals participating in the Medicare Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program must submit data on flu vaccinations of healthcare personnel. Payment reductions for having less than 90% of personnel annually vaccinated begin in 2015 (p. 53531). This regulation also mandates vaccinations for the elderly in long-term care facilities. This is government in charge of health care: coercion, loss of liberty, and a threat to livelihoods.

MN Exchange: Where's the Truth in Advertising?

The very first bill introduced by Minnesota Democrats,  Senate File 1, will establish a "Minnesota Insurance Marketplace." This is the Obamacare health insurance exchange (federal takeover center). The word "exchange" is mentioned just once in the bill. The word "marketplace" is mentioned 76 times. The bill says the "Marketplace" is "established as a board." It has a dedicated state government account. It receives government appropriations. It has to report its activities annually to the legislature, it must establish an appeals process, and it cannot be sunset or allowed to expire. And it must comply with the federal reform law. The bill never even mentions the words "online" or "website." This is not a marketplace. It's a federalized state agency.




Quotes of the Week:

 

"HHS is not authorized by law to impose ANY additional consequences on the people," Randy Barnett, one of the Supreme Court attorneys who sought to undo the law commenting on HHS considering ways to more aggressively push people into buying health insurance. Politico Pro, January 14, 2013.

 

 

 

"It's time to face the facts: Our nationwide network of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) is an unmitigated disaster." -- William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, President, Health Record Banking Alliance, formerly HHS Senior Advisor for health informatics policy,  NHIN Watch, Jan. 13, 2013.

 

 

 

 

"There is no deadline." -- Gary Cohen, director of the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (the Exchange division), waving a magic wand and nullifying the statutory January 1, 2013 deadline for HHS to declare whether states were prepared to operate exchanges (and taking pressure off HHS to build the Federal Exchange),  The New York Times, January 14, 2013.




Stats of the Week:

2,000 - additional IRS agents needed to enforce compliance with insurance mandate.

32 - number of states where more than 90% of hospitals have not exchanged a single patient medical record through an online health information exchange.

41% - office-based physicians using a cloud-based electronic health records in 2011.

150 - Cincinnati TriHealth employees fired for refusing flu shots.




News Release of the Week:

Deceptive Bill Sells PPACA Exchange as One-Stop "Marketplace" for Health Insurance

ST. PAUL, Minn. - As Minnesota convened its first session of its 88th Legislature, the Senate's most important priority was to introduce and begin passage of Senate File 1: a bill for an act relating to commerce and establishing the Minnesota Insurance Marketplace. According to the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (www.cchfreedom.org), the bill is deceptive in several ways, most notably in its description of the state healthcare exchange. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Will You Live in a "Free State"?

Has your state refused to set up the Obamacare health exchange? If so, thank your Governor. Iʼm serious. You can find the contact numbers of Governors on our home page. If your state refuses to set up the exchange, your state will be one of the "free states." There will be no federal takeover center. 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...

"How the Supreme Court Doomed the Affordable Care Act to Failure," Regulation, Winter 2012-2013.

"Public Good Genomics," The Daily Scan, January 3, 2013.

"The self-tracked life," WORLD Magazine, April 21, 2012.

"Death Knocking," WORLD Magazine, April 21, 2012. - fatal house calls in the Netherlands.

"How Government Makes Us Fatter," The Freeman, December 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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