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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

March 23, 2012

Letter from CCHF's President

Today is the second anniversary of Obamacare. While this is nothing to celebrate, I am very encouraged by the fact that two years later 56% of Americans are still opposed to the law. They have never resigned themselves to the federal takeover of health care.

This week, many opponents of the law are taking to the streets. There are today's Stand up for Religious Freedom rallies, tonight's Tea Party Patriots Tele-Townhall, tomorrow's Road to Repeal rally, and Tuesday's Hands Off My Health Care rally.

Next week is the constitutional showdown. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a total of six hours of oral arguments on Obamacare. There will be two hours each day from Monday through Wednesday, starting at 10:00 a.m. (Did the justices purposely schedule these arguments immediately after the law's anniversary?) Business Week just issued a great overview of next week's hearing. A ruling is expected in the last week of June.

If you want to get in, there are 50 first-come, first-seated tickets (people may already be lining up) and a separate line to get a 3-minute glimpse into the Chamber. (see below)

President Obama is not marking the anniversary and he plans to skip town next week while the court hears arguments for and against his signature law. His press secretary told reporters, "I believe in fact that we'll be traveling on, as I understand it, on the day or days of those arguments." POLITICO reports he's "going to Korea." Obamacare is perhaps an inconvenient legacy for Mr. Obama. But it is his legacy, and if free-market advocates have their way, it'll be his legacy of defeat.

This is a scary time in our country's history -- what if the court rules Obamacare constitutional? -- but it's also an exciting time. As President Obama continues to march the United States away from the prosperity of exceptionalism into the dregs of socialism, concerned Americans everywhere are becoming actively engaged.

I take heart from this. After the 2008 election, who could have imagined the Tea Party? Years from now, we will be able to say we were there when it all began. Whatever happens in June (Supreme Court ruling), whatever happens in November (presidential election), the resolve that sustained the Founding Fathers; the drive that brought freedom to America has been re-awakened. Citizens are even sitting down and reading the Constitution.

We're in an historic battle to preserve freedom in America, and I for one am glad to be with you in the fight and on the front lines.


Now on to the news . . .
 




News to Know:

Individual Mandate's Real Purpose

The individual mandate has little to do with preventing cost-shifting from the young and healthy uninsured to the insured, write former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and economics professor Vernon L. Smith in The Wall Street Journal (3/20/12). The mandate is intended to cover new costs imposed on health insurers. They write, "Without the mandate, ObamaCare imposes total net costs of $360 billion on health-insurance companies from 2012 through 2021. With the mandate, the law would provide a net $6 billion benefit - i.e., revenues in excess of costs - over the same period. In other words, the benefits of the individual mandate to health-insurance companies, along with their additional revenues provided by ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, are projected to balance, nearly perfectly, the costs that the law's various regulatory mandates impose on insurers." [my emphasis]

Save the Planet; Modify Your Child

Despite the furor caused last month by the two bioethicists who proposed killing newborns, three bioethicists now propose to save the world by genetically modifying children. As reported in BioEdge, Dr. S. Matthew Liao from New York University said human engineering must be explored because other solutions for climate change haven't worked. He suggests that drugs that would cause an aversion to meat and cut greenhouse emissions from livestock farming. He suggests using genetic modification and drugs to shrink the physical size of the population. This, he says, would reduce metabolic rates and "lower energy and nutrient needs." Drugs, he says, could also be used to induce positive attitudes toward the environment. He also proposes a quota on family size based on volume and weight rather than on number of children.

Toothless "Exchange" Threat?

While some states are racing to comply with Obamacare's state "exchange" mandate, others, like Utah, are challenging the feds saying, 'What if we don't?' Unlike Massachusetts, which is retooling its five-year old exchange to comply with Obamacare, Utah is sitting tight on its minimal exchange. Washington Post reports that Utah has yet to hear, "about the consequences for states that don't comply." The Governor's policy advisor says, "We don't have full guidance on the exchange...[T]hey haven't told us if we're compliant, what the federal exchange would look like, and, if we don't comply, what the punishment will be."

The feds haven't revealed any consequences, and the "federal exchange" is pretty much under wraps. The administration is hoping states will install a state-run, federally-controlled website portal out of fear of the unknown. Let's hope they don't. As CATO's Michael Cannon says, the feds can't make states do it. It would be unconstitutional ( video clips)

Cost of Obamacare Doubles

Prior to the passage of the law, the CBO had projected that the law would cost $960 billion over the first ten years. This was an accounting gimmick. The projection took into account only six years of implementation. Much of the law will not be implemented until 2014, four years after its 2010 passage. The new CBO 10-year projections reveal that the true cost will be double the estimate. Covering the first nine years of implementation, the new "10-year" cost of Obamacare is expected to be $1.7 trillion dollars. How much higher will the true cost of the law be when the first ten years of full implementation are finally revealed next year?

Medical Ethics or Gov't Protocols?

Jeffrey Singer, an Arizona surgeon writes, "The medical profession must decide - and soon - which ethical doctrine to follow: Are doctors to be agents of their patients or agents of the state?" He says most doctors will be "employees of hospitals and will be ordered to practice medicine according to federally prescribed guidelines - guidelines that put the best interests of the state ahead of the interests of individual patients." Dr. Singer warns of the "disturbing transformation" of the profession from a "Hippocratic Ethic" to a veterinary ethic. Also, "Medical students and residents are now being trained to follow federally-derived protocols and guidelines as a normal part of medical practice." Or as one doctor told me, "If it's not on the computer, I can't do it." Read the article and begin to ask your doctor questions.

Physician decisions will be restrained by employer-hospitals. According to FierceHealthcare.com, Medicare will reduce payments according to performance "scores." This is call "value-purchasing." A 1% cut is coming in 8 days for care rendered last July to the end of March. "The scores already happened. Before the sun set in calendar year 2012, the payments are fixed," says Edward Murphy, chairman of Sound Physicians. According to the article, to maximize performance payments, "[Murphy says] hospitals need increased use of and adherence to protocols, real-time monitoring and feedback, focused scorecards, and better training for doctors and nurses on patient communication techniques." In addition, Murphy says, "aligned physician compensation is absolutely necessary."

Prevention or Problem-Making?

Prevention through screening and early diagnosis has taken on a life of its own. H. Gilbert Welch, writing in The New York Times, counters the public's positive intuition about prevention: "The truth is, the fastest way to get heart disease, autism, glaucoma, diabetes, vascular problems, osteoporosis or cancer...is to be screened for it." Doctors used to make diagnoses and prescribe treatment for people who came to them with problems, but now doctors are looking for problems in seemingly well people leading to increased anxiety, side effects and surgical complications. Keep all this in mind when you think of Obamacare's many "prevention and wellness" initiatives, and the Administration's disturbing National Prevention Strategy released June 2011. ( CCHF Capitol Hill Briefing video)
 




News Release of the Week

Missouri Business Owner First to Sue Federal Government Over Religious Freedoms in HHS Mandate

St. Paul, Minn. - In the inaugural case of its kind, a Missouri business owner is the first
individual to sue the Department of Health and Human Services, saying its controversial
contraceptive mandate violates his constitutionally-protected religious beliefs.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice on behalf of St. Louis business
owner Frank O'Brien, requests a permanent injunction prohibiting HHS from requiring those
who have religious objections to abide by the mandate. The mandate, which has created a
national religious freedoms debate over the past few months, requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.   Continue reading

 

 




Action Items:

U. S. Supreme Court - Oral Arguments on Obamacare

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a total of six hours of oral arguments on Obamacare. There will be two hours each day from Monday through Wednesday, March 26-28, starting at 10:00 a.m.  There are a few first-come, first-serve tickets every day for those who come and wait to get them.

If you plan to attend, please visit the Supreme Court Visitor's Guide information here.




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Single Seller Vision for Government Exchange

Last week, the former chief of Obamaʼs health "exchange" division talked about state-based government exchanges. He discussed his vision for these government websites. He said the state "exchanges" are not just for Medicaid. They are "ultimately for a much broader swath of Americans." He also said 10 to 15 years from now everyone will get their insurance through the government website.   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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