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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

January 23, 2013

Really, Mr. President?

This week I'm taking the liberty to use the "News to Know" section to answer the many and persistent questions I've been receiving about the exchange. But first, let's discuss the President's inauguration.

Actions speak louder than words. Who was President Obama trying to convince otherwise in his  inaugural speech?

The president, with a four-year litany of big government actions showing little concern for our Founding documents, dared with his speech to put himself in the same league as the brave Founders who the wrote and signed them. 

The president who commandeered an auto company, imposed a national health care system, bypassed Congress to protect illegal immigrants, and now threatens our Second Amendment rights dared to draw comparisons between his administration and those 56 founders who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to secure our independence from British tyranny. 

Obama quoted our founding documents. He attested their significance. He even mentioned "Republic" once. Three times he mentioned "founding" (founding creed, founding principles, founding documents). Five times he said, "We the people." And although he referenced Newtown, he never mentioned his 23 executive orders on guns, mental health or curtailing the Second Amendment.

He mentioned "we" 86 times. Maybe previous  news reports about him saying "I" and "me" are why he stuck to "we." But the longer he went on, the more I felt like his "we" was not "we the people" but "we the government." The Wall Street Journal thought  the same.

It's hard for a liberal to hide liberalness. Mr. Obama's big government philosophy emerged in statements like...

Continue reading. . .

News to Know:

Abortion and the Exchange

The public has been getting mixed messages about abortion and the Obamacare Exchange. For instance, MCCL, a Minnesota pro-life group last year issued a press release and lobbied for a state Exchange. But this week, Planned Parenthood's enthusiasm for the Minnesota Exchange was overheard at a meeting in Minnesota. Here is the tweet:

The law allows health plans to offer abortion, and requires that anyone buying a plan with abortion coverage pay a separate $1 per month surcharge payment to the insurer. However, the prospective enrollee is kept in the dark. As LifeNews  reports, "the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment." 

The law requires state exchanges to offer two multi-state plans administered by the federal government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM). One must not offer abortion. The other can. Thus even if the state prohibits abortion in the exchanges, the OPM plans may offer it. As LifeNews  reports, "...questions remain about whether OPM multi-state plans will include elective abortion. If such plans do include abortion, there are concerns that the abortion coverage will even be offered in states that have prohibited abortion coverage in their state exchanges."

In the proposed multi-state rule issued in late November, the following is stated in section 800.602 labeled "Consumer choice with respect to certain services": (a) Assured availability of varied coverage. Consistent with §800.104, OPM will ensure that at least one of the [multi-state plan program issuers on each Exchange in each State offers at least one [multi-state plan] that does not provide coverage of [abortion services]... (b) State opt-out. An MSP may not offer abortion coverage in any State where such coverage of abortion servicds is prohibited by State law." 

The public was only given 30 days over the holidays to respond to this proposal. Depending on who responded, and the Department's decisions, the final rule could look very different. It may not allow the state opt-out.


What is an Exchange?

It's all over the news. Many state legislatures are debating whether to install a "state" Obamacare exchange, or to team up in a "partnership." In technical terms, the Exchange is actually the establishment of IT connections from various state agencies to a central government server, the Federal Data Services Hub. The so-called state exchange website is just a federal website hosted on the federal Hub.

The following diagram details the Minnesota Health insurance exchange using information from the contract to build it.

Is it a state exchange or federal exchange? A "state exchange" means the state funds the IT connections to the federal government and the 24/7/365 data flow. A "federal exchange" means the federal government funds the IT connections from the Hub to the states who refuse to build them and the contractual costs of maintaining the data flow. 

How it works. The federal Hub is like a spider. It reaches into the open portals of a vast array of state agencies in every state around the entire country and into many federal agencies. The Hub gathers data on individuals to determine identity, determine incarceration, employment, tax, medical and family status, and to determine what health plan options the individual on the website will be shown. This national data system will provide the IRS with a tool to enforce the mandate and its penalties.

States set up a governance structure (board of appointees) primarily to sign information technology (IT) contracts, maintain open state agency data connections (portals) with the Federal Hub, follow federal law and regulations, and choose what federally-qualified health plans will be allowed for display and purchase on the federal website that has a state name (e.g. "Iowa Health Insurance Exchange).

The state Exchange is "State in Name Only." The Minnesota contract with Maximus, Inc. to build the health insurance exchange (HIX) calls the exchange the "federal MNHIX." It's federal, not state.

The feds cannot impose a federal exchange. They cannot force states to open their portals and connect with the Hub. That would be unconstitutional commandeering. That's why they are giving millions of federal "establishment" grant dollars to states to do it for them. Meanwhile HHS has renamed the Exchange to keep the public in the dark. The website calls it the "Health Insurance Marketplace."

Don't believe it.

What Obamacare Says on Guns

President Obama thought it necessary to write an executive order to clarify that Obamacare does not prevent doctors from asking about gun ownership. This is true, but not worthy of an executive order. E.O.s  are directives to state agencies. This was a directive aimed at doctors. The  Second Amendment section of the law does not discuss doctors or prohibit doctors from asking about gun and ammunition. However, among other restrictions on HHS, it also says individuals cannot be forced to answer the question:


Quotes of the Week:

Where other governments expand, we grow smaller. -- Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS), Politico Pro, January 16, 2013.

(Hood) said I have the authority. -- Mississippi State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney regarding Attorney General Jim Hood's opinion that Chaney has authority to create and run a state exchange over the Governor's objections., Clarion Ledger, January 15, 2013.

I've never seen a health reform bill like this in the past 50 - 60 years...We get one shot at this. -- Minnesota Senator James Metzen on the Minnesota Health Exchange bill, euphemistically called the "Minnesota Insurance Marketplace," Senate Commerce Committee, January 16, 2013.

Stats of the Week:

45 - States using or requesting federal dollars to link Medicaid eligibility with the Social Security Administration (precursor to FEDERAL data services hub connections).

11 - States with STATE data hubs for Medicaid eligibility.

22 - States that agreed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

4 - U.S. House Democrats co-sponsoring repeal of IPAB "death panel" (Schwartz (PA), Bishop (NY), Matheson (UT), Christensen (USVI)).

29 - Republicans voting "No" on H.R. 307 "all hazards preparedness" bill. (Voting yes: 199 GOP and 196 Dems), which among other things will "identify steps necessary to achieve a national biosurveillance system for human health, with international connectivity, where appropriate, that is predicated on State, regional, and community level capabilities and creates a networked system to allow for two-way information flow between and among Federal, State, and local government public health authorities and clinical health care providers..." 

News Release of the Week:

House Debates National Biosurveillance Bill That Will Collect and Share New Real-Time Health Information Without Consent

STATEMENT by Twila Brase, President of the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom:

"This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider and debate the merits of H.R. 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013. The act would authorize the federal government to connect online with private clinics and hospitals to collect and share real-time private health information and to share the information nationally and internationally. It also authorizes the updating and enhancement of current biosurveillance activities, at a cost of more than $138 million over the next four years. Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

The Big Fat Lie about BMI

Body Mass Index is your weight divided by your height. BMI is supposedly to measure obesity, but it doesnʼt measure body fat. The problem, say scientists, is that it "lumps together all body mass, including bone, muscle and beneficial fat" rather than just dangerous fat around your abdomen. 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...

For Obamacare, four more (uncertain) years, Washington Post, January 21, 2013.

Exchange Reality #1: Not A Marketplace, Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, January 22, 2013.

Restaurants Crave Smaller Venues, The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2013.

[Florida] Senator hear opposing viewpoints on Affordable Care Act, The Miami Herald Blog, January 22, 2013.

IPAB repeal to get another chance in House, Politico Pro, January 22, 2013 (subscription required).

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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