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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

March 16, 2012

Letter from CCHF's President

What if the Supreme Court rules Obamacare constitutional? That's the question a legislator asked me during my testimony against the State of Minnesota enacting any law to create a government health insurance "exchange." I reminded him that Daniel Webster once said that decisions of constitutionality should not be left in the hands of six men in black robes.

Well I looked up the quote again and discovered that it was not Webster who said it. It was U.S. Senator John Taylor writing in the Virginia Resolve of 1798.

Specifically, Taylor wrote, "Being an essential principle for preserving theoretical liberty, used by the Federal constitution, it never could have designed to destroy it, by investing five or six men, installed for life, with a power of regulating the constitutional rights of all political departments [State and Federal governments], or at least of the most important."

Newt Gingrich says, "The constitutional judgments of the president and Congress are entitled to as much respect as those of the Court." And Thomas Jefferson stated in 1798, "The government created by this compact [the Constitution] was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers..."

I also summarized for the legislator and the rest of the committee members what Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli recently told POLITICO Pro (3/12/12). Mr. Cuccinelli suggested states could obstruct implementation by simply refusing to lift a finger to implement the law. He said, "It would be contrary to the law, yes [but] it's not like there's criminal penalties out there. It becomes a power struggle." In my testimony, I called it "a standoff."  

In fact, South Dakota is already defying the federal law. They have issued regulations that directly violate the Obamacare ban on denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

So far the U.S. Army hasn't been called in.

In response to the legislator's question, I also testified that if the Supreme Court rules the federal health care reform law to be constitutional, it will be a very interesting time in the history of our country. As you might imagine, that is an understatement.

Now onto the rest of the news . . .
 




News to Know:

Electronic Medical Records Increase Health Care Costs

Purveyors of EMRs have long claimed reduced costs once everyone's medical record is digitized. Now a study published by Health Affairs says, not so. In a study of almost 29,000 patients who visited 1,200 physician offices in 2008, the researchers found doctors with access to an electronic imaging test were 40 to 70 times more likely to order another test. The researchers speculate that ease (computerized ordering and retrieval) makes it easier to order another test. So why is the Administration giving doctors $44,000 per doctor to buy and use an interoperable (online) medical record system?

More Medicaid Means Less Access to Care

In a study out this week in Health Services Research, Avik Roy suggests that the expansion of Mediciaid in ObamaCare will reduce, not expand, patient access to medical care. Why? Because Medicaid is notorious for underpaying doctors and hospitals.  One survey found that internists were 8.5 times as likely to accept no Medicaid patients at all, relative to those with private insurance, according to an associated news blurb by Independent Women's Forum (3/12/12).

Those internists must not be located in Minnesota, where state law requires 20 percent of a doctor's practice to be Medical Assistance. If the doctor does not comply, the doctor is prohibited from caring for patients who get insurance as state or local government workers, including teachers and their families. This is known as " Rule 101."  I call it conscription.

What's in Those 644 Pages?

The fastest perusal and summary of the 644-page government health insurance exchange regulation comes from Tim Jost, a professor from Washington and Lee University. Here's his initial overview of the rules.

We did our own count of a few choice words. The proposed rule used the word "require" 811 times. The final/interim rule uses the word "require" 327 times, the word "report" 210 times and the word "must" 1,004 times. Despite all the talk of flexibility for "state" exchanges, the rule tells a different story.

Can Romney Quit Medicare?

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney turned 65 on the campaign trail. On Monday, he told reporters that he's not going to enroll in Medicare. The question is whether he's talking about Medicare Part A (hospitalization) or Medicare Part B (outpatient care). Medicare Part A is compulsory. Yes compulsory. And if you don't enroll, you lose your social security benefits. And if you disenroll, any benefits you received must be paid back. In 2008 a lawsuit was filed by the Fund for Personal Liberty. Plaintiffs include former Majority Leader Dick Armey. In November 2011, the D.C. District Court of Appeals said individuals cannot "choose" to be not covered by Medicare Part A.

Specifically, Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote, "Because plaintiffs are entitled to Social Security benefits and are 65 or older, they are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A benefits. ...The statute offers no path to disclaim their legal entitlement to Medicare Part A benefits. Therefore, the agency was not required to offer plaintiffs a mechanism for disclaiming their legal entitlement, and its refusal to do so was lawful."

The case is being appealed. To donate to the lawsuit, click here.

CBO: If You Like Your Insurance...You May Lose It

President Obama said, "If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what." But the Congressional Budget Office has a new study that says, under the worst-case scenario, 20 million people will lose their employer-sponsored coverage in 2019. That's just 7 years down the road, and  five years before Medicare is expected to be insolvent.

While the CBO doesn't think this scenario is likely, they also say, "...there is clearly a tremendous amount of uncertainty about how employers and employees will respond to the opportunities and incentives under that legislation." Thus the situation could even be worse.

CBO officials also state that they expect 3 million people per year to lose job-related coverage. Another new study finds a 10 percent decline in employer coverage already due to the economic crash (from 63.6% to 53.5% of working-age adults), and little expectation that coverage levels will bounce back even if economy improves. Then there's the Galen Institute report with specific stories about health insurers already dropping individuals and employees due to Obamacare.

The CBO claims that even if 20 million people loss employer coverage, it won't be a fiscal disaster for the U.S. because the cost of covering them using premium subsidies (in the "exchanges") and using Medicaid would be offset by employer penalties for not providing coverage as well as higher income taxes. They assume that employers who drop coverage will increase paychecks....just in time for the government to take the increase away in taxes.




News Release of the Week

'Marketplace' of State Health Insurance Exchanges Sends Patient Data Straight to Federal Government Agencies

St. Paul, Minn. - With the pending Supreme Court hearing on health care taking place in two weeks, much will be uncovered about Obamacare. President Obama and others compare the health insurance exchanges to the functionality of online airline bookings. Exchanges have been billed as online "marketplaces" where consumers can shop for the "best deal and the smartest health insurance plan." These health insurance exchanges seem harmless on the surface. Federal officials are even offering to let each state create their own exchange, giving the impression that states will have control over the process.   Continue reading

 




Action Items:

Are you opposed to the Federal government making medical choices for you?  Come to Washington, DC on March 24 and be a part of the Road to Repeal Rally.

 
 
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Hosted by the Tea Party Patriots

 


 


Americans for Prosperity invites you to a

Hands Off My Health Care Rally

The United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C.
March 27th at 1:00PM

For more information or to register, click here




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

MMR Doctor Found Not Guilty

In 1998, a British medical publication discussed 12 childrenʼs cases and called for study of a possible link between bowel disease and developmental delays, including autism. Symptoms began shortly after 8 of the 12 children received the MMR vaccine.   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.

 

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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