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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

February 6, 2013

Where Have all the Promises Gone?

It's time to remember President Obama's promises for his national health care program: Prices would drop. Everyone would be covered. And no one would be left out in the cold.

This past week, the cold truth of reality has arrived and entire classes of people will soon be wondering where all those promises went. The IRS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued two rules, in which the following broken promises are found:

  • Families of the Employed. Employer-sponsored coverage is considered "affordable" if the cost of the employee's contribution for "self-only coverage" does not exceed 8% of the household income. If, on the other hand, employer-sponsored family coverage does exceed 8%, HHS is proposing a hardship exemption to the insurance mandate. So no penalty, but no insurance or no affordable insurance either.

  • Medicaid-Eligible Individuals. HHS has ruled that individuals who would have been eligible for enrollment in the expansion of Medicaid are exempt from penalties if they live in states that do not expand Medicaid. So no penalty, but no insurance either.

  • People Who Can't Afford Exchange Policies - Individuals who say they can't afford insurance purchased through the exchanges but who experience a change in financial circumstances that would have enabled them to pay are exempt from penalties. So no penalty, but no insurance either.

Legal immigrants get coverage; citizens don't. Due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to refuse Medicaid expansion...

Continue Reading . . .

News to Know:

190% Premium Increases

The truth is out. Premiums under Obama's health care takeover law will be more than shocking. They'll be eye-popping. According to a survey of insurers by the American Action Forum, healthy 27-year old men could see 190% increases in health insurance premiums. On the other hand, premiums may drop 40% for older, less healthy women. ACA supporters say the young and healthy are able to handle the costs, and they excuse the higher cost by saying the policies will be "far more robust than the cheap, high-deductible plans on the market now," reports POLITICO Pro. In other words, President Obama forces us to buy an expensive policy with unnecessary services and forces the healthy to pay for the unhealthy. But what if healthy young people use common sense and go uninsured?

The Obamacare Blitzkrieg

We are seeing Obama's version of the blitzkrieg. To make sure health care reform succeeds, President Obama has reorganized his Obama troops into Organizing for America (OFA). His allies are preparing to unleash the 20 million-address email list to raise funds to hire 100 people at Enroll America, which is led by former Obama staffers. Enroll America plans to flood television, radio and social media with pro-Obamacare ads this fall. The purpose: to get people to buy health insurance. They even hope to sign people up by going door to door. They have set aside their qualms of unlimited cash and are planning to get all they can in this drive to make sure Obamacare succeeds.

According to POLITICO, "The private effort is relying on many of the tools, donors, and operatives that were pivotal to Obama's reelection, but also streams of cash - including secret and corporate money - that Obama once eschewed." Jon Carson, OFA's director called Enroll America, the "group that's going to be leading the charge on health care implementation." California Healthcare Foundation and United Health Foundation gave it $350,000 in seed money. The Catholic Health Association provided $100,000.

Chip Implants to Improve Morality?

David DeGrazia, writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics discusses moral bioenhancement. He asks the question, "would it pose an unacceptable risk to human freedom?" He says it might: "Imagine a computer chip that could be implanted in someone's brain such that whenever the agent decided to perform a certain kind of immoral action, he would change his mind."

He agrees that people have "different views about what a moral life would look like" and goes on to discuss the distinction between politically conservative values and politically progressive (liberal) values. DeGrazia asserts that "our public policies might support research into and possibly - if and when some forms of MB are demonstrably safe and effective and the state is prepared to make them universally available - encourage or even require the use of certain MBs that help to reduce or eliminate any of the following moral defects." (Emphasis added.) His list of defects, which he claims "all reasonable persons can agree" represent moral defects, includes:

  • "Lesser forms of moral cynicism that make one more likely than a good person to be corrupted, to cheat on taxes, not to bother to contribute what one agrees is one's fair share, etc." 

  • "Defective empathy as found in persons with narcissistic personality disorder and in others who are very self-absorbed."

  • "Significant prejudice against the interests of those outside one's group of identification."

  • "An inability to focus on unpleasant realities"...(eg, starving children, the abuse of women...) 

  • "Weak will or susceptibility to temptation"

  • "Unwillingness to find common ground when failure to compromise is disadvantageous to all" - President Obama was noted for his unwillingness to compromise in the fiscal cliff debate.

  • "Inability to find creative solutions to difficult problems involving competing interests and values."

Quotes of the Week:

"I don't view this as Obamacare at all." -- Ohio Governor John Kasich (R), on his decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Politico Pro, Feb. 4, 2013.

"We have become slaves to our templates instead of servants of our patients. The more you heap on new requirements, the worse this becomes." -- William Cook, MD, opposing the proposed requirement to add patient occupation information to medical records in public comments to the federal government on "Stage 3 Definition of Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records," January 11, 2013.

"Electronic health records have the potential to present public health with a trove of health data in real time  as well as allow two-way communication between providers and health departments." -- Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director, Trust for America's Health, in public comments to the federal government on "Stage 3 Definition of Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records," January 14, 2013.

Stats of the Week:

127.6 million - burden of Obamacare in hours per year.

20% - amount work pace has slowed at one clinic since adoption of EHRs four years ago.

5 - GOP governors planning to join 19 Democrat governors to expand Medicaid under Obamacare (Ohio, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota).

7 million - people who will no longer have employer coverage in 2022 as result of the ACA which is 3 million higher than the August 2012 estimate (p. 61).

$32 billion - the additional cost of subsidies expected for coverage through the exchanges from 2013-2022 (p. 61).

News Release of the Week:

Empty Promises: Whole Classes of Americans to Experience Obamacare Sticker Shock for Mandatory Healthcare They Can't Afford or Access

ST. PAUL, M.N. - Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services unveiled new Obamacare waivers to the individual coverage mandate, offering hardship exemptions to several classes of Americans that do not meet specific income thresholds. Among those groups are the family members of a spouse who has access to an affordable employer-sponsored individual policy and individuals who would be eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage in states that choose not to expand the Medicaid program. Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Unwanted Patients

Medicare is cutting payments to hospitals if too many patients are readmitted within 30 days. Hospitals will lose millions of dollars as Medicare seeks to limit "avoidable" readmissions. But who defines the term "avoidable"? The doctor or the bureaucrat in D.C.? 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...

Senate Bill 666 - proposed legislation by Tennessee Senator Dolores Gresham to forbid health insurers from selling insurance on the government exchange.

Obamacare's Pressure Points, Thomas Miller, National Review Online, Feb. 4

What Has America Become? Ken Huber, Iosco County News Herald, June 9, 2010.

HHS rejects broader religious exceptions to contraception mandate, THE HILL, Feb 1, 2013.

Can Computers Predict Medical Problems? VA Thinks Maybe, NextGov Newsletter, January 30, 2013.

Feds Want a More Robust Insurance Database Before Obamacare RolloutNextGov Newsletter, January 30, 2013.

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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