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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

May 1, 2013

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"Big Brother" Prescription Tracking System Proposed

Tracking is a favorite federal activity. Two bills in Congress would create prescription-tracking systems, ostensibly to identify and locate counterfeit drugs: a bipartisan 85-page House bill and a bipartisan 107-page Senate bill.

The Senate bill would track every unit of every medication. Bloomberg's BNA report calls it a "National Drug Track-and-Trace System." Every transaction, every change in ownership would have to be reported to the electronic federal tracking system.

According to its authors, the Senate bill would replace a "patchwork of state product tracing laws with a strong, uniform standard that would ultimately result in electronic, interoperable unit level product tracing for the entire country." In this one statement, the authors state their intention to quash state laws, require state compliance with a federal standard, and initiate a national surveillance system for all medication - and the patients that take them.

This doesn't sound like the bell of freedom ringing. The U.S. Constitution has strict limits on federal laws to prevent laws like the one proposed. The Tenth Amendment specifies, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Too often, members of Congress dismiss the Tenth Amendment as though the Founders made a mistake or didn't really mean it. Considering all the bills they pass to preempt state law, they may think state legislatures are obstructive and state government is in place simply to impose federal laws.

Real-time 24/7 government tracking is their goal. The FDA says they need "to be able to find drugs wherever they are in the supply chain." But Timothy Davis, a pharmacist, provided written testimony saying he believes the drug supply "is largely safe and secure." He said pharmacists are concerned about "any system that would require each individual unit of medication to be electronically scanned upon arrival in a pharmacy due to the capital outlays that would be required and the time and labor costs associated with such a system."

Like the so-called federal HIPAA "privacy" rule -- which nationalized sweeping access to private patient data -- every national system solidifies federal power over health care. These bipartisan prescription-tracking bills not been formally introduced. They have no file numbers yet. But there's no time like the present to tell your members of Congress what you think about a national drug tracking and tracking system.

And there's no time like now to support CCHF's efforts to protect your health freedom. We're serious about it. Please seriously consider supporting us financially. Do it today! We depend on you!

Working with you for freedom,

Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
Citizens' Council for Health Freedom


 




News to Know:

Exchange Targets Employees

Yesterday, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced his seven appointees to the governance board of MNsure - the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange. CCHF's press release notes the strong bias and conflicts of interest of the board members. April Todd-Malmlov, the director of the Exchange claims the Exchange will let "employees make the choice of which plan is best for them while the employers are contributing to the cost of that." Yet, the Exchange coverage being offered to employees is employer-subsidized government health care for which an intrusive federal application is required.





Congress Wants Exemption to Obamacare

Obamacare requires members of Congress and their staff to enroll in Obama's health insurance exchanges. But now, according to Politico, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) are talking about exempting Congress and staffers from the mandate, and the Office of Personnel Management has a proposal to do just that. Public outrage has erupted, and Chris Jacobs at Galen Institute suggests state legislators also be required to enroll in Obamacare's expanded Medicaid program.




South Carolina Passes Obamacare 'Resistance" Bill

House Republicans pushed through a bill Thursday that would ban state employees from carrying out provisions of the Affordable Care Act and empower the state's attorney general to take action against violators. The bill passed 65-34 along party lines. Rep. Greg Delleney says it's "resistance" against the ACA. This week, the bill goes to the South Carolina Senate. More ...



Baby Ripped from Mother's Arms

When Alex and Anna Nikolayev decided that Sutter Hospital was making mistakes in the care of their five-month old baby, they left and took him to Kaiser Morse Hospital for a second opinion. Police officers, called by Sutter, went to Kaiser but left when the baby looked okay and the attending doctor said there were no concerns with the safety of the child. Baby and parents were sent home by the doctor. The next day police officers came to the parent's home under order of child protection services (CPS) and took the baby. The child is in "protective custody" at Sutter, because of "severe neglect." Nikolayevs await a hearing.



Tapping the Health Care Slush Fund

Obamacare appropriates $15 billion in the Prevention and Public Health Fund over a 10-year period, after which $2 billion is added every year - forever. HHS has unlimited authority to spend these dollars for "prevention, wellness, and public health activities including prevention research and health screenings." However, last month, HHS released a plan to use $454 million for Obamacare implementation, including funding to the Medicare administration for the federally facilitated exchanges. Sen. Tom Harkin who created the fund isn't happy and has now stalled the confirmation of Marilyn Tavenner as Medicare administrator.



10 Myths of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

The Heritage Foundation has released a list of 10 myths regarding the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, including myths such as: it's  "free money"; states won't face costs; expanded Medicaid can bring savings; states can change their mind later and opt out. The full list is here, with a reality statement that explains why each myth is a myth.



140 Insurers Apply to Federal Exchange


So far, 140 health plans have applied to offer coverage on the yet-to-be-funded federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs), according to POLITICO. The last day to apply was recently extended until May 3. Interestingly, Utah's long-established Exchange, which is solely for small businesses, offers 140 plans. In July, the federal government will announce their final decision on approved health insurance exchange (HIX) health plans. The FFEs, if actually implemented despite no funding from Congress, are for the 33 states that have wisely refused to set up (or fund) a state portal into Obama's national exchange system.

 




Nebraska Sends Cooperative Signal?

Nebraska has initiated an "unofficial partnership" with the federal government to build the federally facilitated exchange (FFE). Lawmakers voted 28-0 to advance a state commission that would oversee the federal government's creation of a federally facilitated exchange for Nebraska. The commission will also give recommendations regarding implementation. This is essentially a state Exchange board without an Exchange. Nebrask appears to be supporting, not opposing the federal takeover. CCHF's press release.





HHS Decision Leaves Doctors Hanging

Two electronic health records (EHRs), previously certified for Medicare and Medicaid patients, have had their certifications revoked by HHS. Providers who use these record systems can no longer use them. This means that even if the EHRs worked for the doctors -- and despite the doctor's cost of implementing these EHR systems once approved by a government commission -- they can't be used. If they are, doctor's will be penalized in 2015. Government power displayed.



No Sequestration for Obamacare

The office implementing most of President Obama's healthcare law is not furloughing its workers as a result of sequestration, its director said [last] Wednesday. Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said [last] Wednesday that his office has not cut its workers' hours and pay as a result of the automatic budget cuts that went into effect in March. More . . .





Bipartisan Call for Religious Exemptions to Obamacare

House Republicans and Democrats have joined together to re-introduce a bill that would expand the religious conscience exemptions under ObamaCare. Under the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, individuals would have the option of being exempted from the Affordable Healthcare Act's mandate to buy health insurance. More...

500 Groups Urge Congress to Kill IPAB

Pressure continues building to kill Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board with more than 500 organizations banding together to send a letter to Congress on Thursday urging its repeal. "We all share the conviction that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will not only severely limit Medicare beneficiaries' access to care but also increase healthcare costs that are shifted onto employers and working men and women in the private sector," ...  More...

 




Quote of the Week:





"The challenge is that setting up a market based system ... is a big, complicated piece of business." - President Obama, The Ticket, April 30.

 




Stat of the Week:

35 - percent of Americans surveyed by that view Obamacare favorably, down 8% since election day, with 24% unsure -- the highest level since polling began in April 2010.




News Release of the Week:

Nebraska's Cooperation with Federally-Facilitated Exchanges Will Hurt Nebraskans and Lead to Higher Premiums, Privacy Intrusions and Limited Choice of Physicians

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

"Nebraska, which originally refused to create a state  health insurance Exchange, is moving to create a state commission to oversee and make recommendations to the federal government regarding the creation of a federally-facilitated Exchange for Nebraska. Continue reading

 

 




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Medicare ACO Explained

What is Obamacareʼs ACO? The Accountable Care Organization is a contractual merger of hospitals and doctors for Medicare patients. ACOs agree to manage all the care of 5,000 Medicare recipients for at least three years. Medicare pays ACOs a set rate no matter how many patients need care or how often. If the ACO fails to meet certain benchmarks, they will be financially penalized. 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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