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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

February 27, 2013

Obama Rationing Plan Revealed in Lawsuit

A federal lawsuit has revealed one of Obama's rationing plans. The Administration says states can cut Medicaid payments to doctors and other providers to hold down costs -- until they decide not to and states are stuck with the bill.

This is a breathtaking statement. President Obama's signature law, Obamacare, adds 16 million people to Medicaid. It offers states the "opportunity" to expand Medicaid at no cost for the first two years, and then offers to pay 90% of the cost in perpetuity of all individuals eligible under the expansion. The law also increases payment to primary care doctors for two years to encourage them to accept more Medicaid patients. 

Perhaps the president was never planning to pay the full cost of Obamacare.

The administration's position, set forth in federal appeals court documents in California, was revealed Monday. As The New York Times  reports, "In a brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, federal officials defended a decision by California to cut Medicaid payments to many providers by 10 percent."

"There is no general mandate under Medicaid to reimburse providers for all or substantially all of their costs," the administration claims. Again, breathtaking. AARP and other supporters of Obamacare are not happy. They no doubt feel betrayed. New Medicaid recipients should be even more unhappy. Obama's only promise is coverage, not care.

The administration's explanation for their position is revealing. ...

Continue reading . . .

News to Know:

CCHF Billboard Campaign Begins

CCHF's new billboard campaign showcases one of the many concerns about health insurance exchange: the all-powerful Board of Directors that will be put in place to implement Obamacare in each state. The government Exchange is set to be operational on October 1, 2013. With your support we could put similar billboards in other states - maybe even yours!  To help this great cause, donate here! To find out why the Exchange is not a marketplace,  click here.

Hospital Framed Physician; Planted a Gun

A jury has ordered a California hospital system to pay physician Michael Fitzgibbons  $5.7 million after the CEO framed him by planting a gun in the doctor's car. Fitzgibbons was arrested in 2006 after police found the gun and a pair of black gloves. An anonymous 9-1-1 caller said the doctor had been waving a gun around in traffic. But DNA evidence cleared the doctor of all charges. The president of the hospital system admitted in testimony that the CEO had instructed him to create a $10,000 contract for a "scary guy" after the doctor won an earlier victory over the hospital in 2006. The jury ordered the hospital to pay $5.2 million for emotional distress and $500,000 in punitive damages. Hostility from hospitals, including  sham peer reviews to terminate  "disruptive doctors" who dare to practice medicine with integrity, is on the increase. But this hospital's actions bring hostility to a whole new level.

Walker Returns Medicaid to its Purpose

Governor Scott Walker will shift 87,000 parents with incomes above the poverty level from BadgerCare to the federal exchange. His budget states that he'll then add 82,000 childless adults to the Medicaid rolls through a partial Medicaid expansion. Walker says he's returning Medicaid to its "intended purpose as a safety net for the neediest." Perhaps he'd be willing to go further. Medicaid could be provided as a medical care safety net, rather than an insurance coverage safety net. What if Wisconsin paid only for the needy who actually use medical care rather than giving money to the health plans to cover people who never use care? Health plans often profit most from public programs and Obamacare plans to add 16 million more to the Medicaid "insured" roles. No telling if they'll get care. (see Commentary above)

Beware the Smoker Question

How is "smoker" defined? Under Obamacare, Smokers can be charged up to 50% more for health insurance. In the new Kaiser Family Foundation overview of proposed health market rules, KFF  reports, "...insurers could apply a lower tobacco premium surcharge for younger individuals and a higher one for older individuals. Using the example, they report, "a younger smoker might pay a few dollars more each month while the older smoker could be charged hundreds of dollars more each month." Greg Scandlen writes, "the regulation does not define tobacco usage, or explain how a carrier is to find out about it." Think carefully before you answer any questions about smoking. Will you call yourself a smoker if you have a cigar just every once in a while? If you say yes, you'll never convince them otherwise in the future.

MANDATE: How is "Affordable" Defined?

The  proposed IRS rule to implement the individual mandate says individuals lack affordable coverage if their required contribution for minimum essential coverage "exceeds a percentage (8 percent for 2014) of the individual's household income for the most recent taxable year...."  Click here to see how "household income" is defined. In addition, employed spouses must determine "affordability" using their own employer's "self-only" policy" even though the aggregate cost of covering both of them may exceed 8 percent of family income: "Neither individual may determine the affordability of coverage using the premium for family coverage offered by the other individual's employer." As Greg Scandlen  writes, "Now, 8% of $100,000 is only $8,000. Good luck finding a family policy for $8,000 under this law."

Religious Exemptions from Individual Mandate

The  proposed IRS rule to implement the individual mandate says members of a recognized religious sect exempt (by approved  application) from self-employment tax are exempt from the mandate. The IRS says a qualified religious sect or division: "(1) has established tenets or teachings by reason of which its members and adherents are conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act); (2) maintains, and has maintained for a substantial period of time, a practice whereby its members make provision for its dependent members that is reasonable in view of their general level of living; and (3) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950." NOTE: members of the  three Christian-based Health Sharing Organizations are also  exempt.

Quotes of the Week:

"Just because you require an insurance plan to cover it doesn't mean you can buy that coverage," -- Katie Mahoney, executive director of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussing the new "essential health benefits" rules. The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2013.

"On a really good day, you might be able to call the system mediocre, but most of the time, it's lousy," -- Michael Callaham, chairman of the Emergency Room at San Francisco Medical Center, which turned on a $160 million digital records system eight months ago, The New York Times, Feb 20, 2013.

[Flu Shots are] such a perfect starter, a 'gateway drug' to a future state in which healthcare leaders have sufficient courage to identify certain practices that we all should be does, to say just that, and then to enforce it.." -- Robert Wachter, M.D., chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine, Wachter's World, January 18, 2013, a month before the flu shot was deemed just  9% effective for senior citizens.

Stats of the Week:

36% - percent of individual health plans currently offered that would fail Obamacare's maximum out-of-pocket limit.

49% - percentage of 400 providers not enrolled in Medicaid who see patients who can't afford to pay full fees - either pro bono or for what they can afford. 

9% - effectiveness of current flu shot for senior citizens.

9.5% - maximum percent of employee income that's considered "affordable" for employer-sponsored coverage.

8% - percent of income considered "affordable" for individually purchased policies.

$20,000 - estimated cost of typical family health insurance policy purchased through an employer in 2016.

$15,400 - estimated cost of family insurance policy bought on government Exchange in 2016.

News Release of the Week:

CCHF's "NOTaMarketplace" Billboard Campaign Exposes Federal Deception in Rebranding PPACA Health Insurance Exchanges

ST. PAUL, M.N. - The Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, launched a new billboard campaign today aimed at exposing the federal government's deception of the American public in rebranding Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) health insurance exchanges as "marketplaces."

The new campaign exposes research conducted by the left-leaning Herndon Alliance that determined that "marketplace" is the best word to use to garner the American public's support for the unpopular, expensive, and intrusive health insurance exchanges. As a result, both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as individual states like Minnesota, California and Connecticut, has changed its terminology in discussions and official documents related to the exchange. Continue reading

Featured Health Freedom Minute:

What is an Exchange? - Three Things

What is an exchange? You need to know that the Obamacare exchange is three things: IT connections, a website and a board of controllers. The website is a federal website connected to the federal government. It may have a state name like Access Health CT or Covered California, but the website is federal. 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...

The Great Exchange War of 2013, Commentary Magazine - discussing the 50-state battle over the development of the Obamacare exchanges.

IT in Healthcare: Why Building an Interoperable Health IT System is So Tough, U.S. official on HealthITBuzz discussing the creation of a national medical records system.

Here Comes The Boom: CMS Slashes Medicare Advantage; 'Disarray For Many Seniors,' Forbes - discussing the 7-8% actual reductions after four changes are made.

End LGBT Invisibility in Health Care Now! Do Ask, Do Tell, Huffington Post - discussing the LGBT campaign to convince federal officials to add requirements for doctors and hospitals to ask and record a patient's sexual orientation and gender identity in electronic medical records.

Obamacare vs. Children's Health, Scott Gottlieb, American Enterprise Institute - discussing how children in the more generous Children's Health Insurance Program will be forced into Medicaid through Obamacare's automatic enrollment requirement.

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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