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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

June 12, 2013


 

The Obamacare Surveillance System

There is an Obamacare surveillance system. Surveillance is national news today...except in health care. That needs to change. The National Security Administration (NSA) is not the only agency spying on citizens without their consent or knowledge. And the problem is going to get worse under the federal reform law, empowering the IRS in ways we've never seen before.

In fact, 700 pages of the 2,700-page Obamacare law were a rewrite of IRS code, according to expert testimony at the Minnesota legislature, giving the IRS 47 new tax provisions to administer and essentially establishing the IRS as a police force for implementing and imposing Obamacare.

The health insurance exchange system will build it. It begins with the state-based websites (e.g. MNSURE.org, CoveredCA.com, CoverOregon.com). It continues with the computerized information technology network that stretches from each website into the Federal Data Services Hub. The Hub then uses this vast national IT infrastructure to reach into the databases of state government agencies and federal government agencies to grab data on individuals and employers applying for Exchange coverage. All that private data is captured and sent to a new Federal System of Records called the "Health Insurance Exchanges Program."

The IRS and other federal and state agencies will use the data in this new centralized surveillance system to monitor compliance with Obamacare and police the Obamacare mandate that requires everyone to purchase private insurance, enroll in government coverage or pay a penalty-tax.

Data gathering will be extensive. Individuals, employers, employees, various entities, and government contractors will all be included. According to the federal document announcing the new centralized federal surveillance system there are SEVEN categories of individuals whose data will be stored:

"The system will contain personally identifiable information (PII) about the following categories of individuals who participate in or are involved with the CMS Health Insurance Exchanges Program: (1) Any applicant/enrollee who applies, or on whose behalf an application is filed, for an eligibility determination for a qualified health plan (QHP) through an Exchange, insurance affordability program, or for a certification of exemption; (2) Navigators, Agents, Brokers,...

 

Continue Reading. . .


 




News to Know:

Affordable Care Act Not so Affordable

Ohio's Department of Insurance released a statement June 6 that premiums would rise 88% under the implementation of the federal exchange in their state. The Washington, D.C. exchange released proposed rates, which it claims, are "in line with current premiums for policies in the market today." However, the California Exchange rates, which were hailed as lower than expected (although still higher than available today on ehealthinsurance.com) used "narrow network" products - policies that limit access to choice of doctor, hospital and clinic - to keep the premium increase from being quite as shocking as expected. So what's more important? Access or price?



'Gang of 8' Member Leaves Immigration Talks Due to Health Care Proposal

Raul Labrador, U.S. Representative from Idaho, left immigration reform negotiations Wednesday after failed attempts to change language in the bill which makes taxpayers responsible for the health care of illegal immigrants. "I have the firm position the U.S. taxpayer should not be liable for the health care of people who are here illegally, who are going to become legal under any of these processes," said Mr. Labrador. 



Cuts in Access to Cancer Care

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirmed June 3 there is no stopping the cuts for the reimbursement of cancer drugs due to the sequester.   Clinics around the country are turning away cancer patients, causing them to seek care at hospitals instead and thus increasing costs.  Having a promise of coverage does not provide a guarantee of care - even when you have cancer.  Yet, there has been no sequestration of the Obamacare implementation divisions, making national health care, not cancer care for Medicare patients, the administration's priority. Read more here... 



Obamacare Unpopularity Growing

As the dreary details of Obamacare emerge, public support declines for the law.  A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll taken between May 30 and June 2 found a new high of 49% of Americans think Obamacare is a bad idea, 43% "strongly" taking this viewpoint.  38% of Americans think they will be worse-off from the law, while only 19% feel they will be better off.  These are the alarming numbers for a law that has yet to fully take effect and before full cost, access and privacy repercussions are felt.



Obama Begins to "Sell" Obamacare

With support for Obamacare floundering, President Obama is going on a PR circuit to rally the enrollment of Hispanics in California. CA Endowment alone is making a $25 million contribution to the marketing effort. In a speech Friday, Obama pitched the partnership amongst the CA Endowment, Exchange and three Spanish language media companies, while blaming employers for the increase in premiums and stressing how after the implementation of Obamacare there will be tax relief for 1.3 million Hispanics in California and a decrease in premiums. 



Congresswoman Moves to Prevent IRS Obamacare Abuses

U.S. Representative Diane Black has authored a bill with 26 co-sponsors to put limits on the use of personal data gathered by the Federal Data Services Hub through the government health insurance exchanges. She points out in an op-ed about the dangers of Obamacare:

  • Granting unprecedented access and powers to the blatantly corrupt IRS and four other government agencies.
  • Creating a personal information database where private information like tax and medical information will be shared and transmitted between federal agencies.
  • Only 4 months until open enrollment begins yet the most basic questions about the Hub have gone unanswered.
  • Under Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services has proven track record of rewarding allies and punishing "enemies." 



Republicans feuding over future of Medicaid

Republicans are battling it out over federal dollars for Medicaid.  Under Obamacare, if states choose to expand the program, the federal government will cover 100% of costs initially, and eventually scale back to 90%.  Even GOP favorites, like AZ governor Jan Brewer, cannot fight the temptation to accept billions of dollars from the feds and is attempting to add 300,000 people to Medicaid in her state.  But a House committee recently refused to move the proposal forward. Meanwhile Mississippi Republicans threaten to put an end to the Medicaid program entirely on July 1 to stop the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.




Genetic treasure trove for data collectors
 
The National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that an agreement was made to create a global database of genetic and clinical data.  More than 70 medical, research and advocacy organizations active in 41 countries and including the NIH are involved. The New York Times article says it would only be with consent of the study subjects. Any researcher or doctor would have access to this database filled with private data such as DNA sequences.  The real question is how the consent is obtained and whether the subject know what they're consenting to, whether the consent is written and informed, whether the subjects have any control over the studies, or can opt out in the future. Truly informed, voluntary consent isn't as simple as it seems.

 

National Data Infrastructure becoming a stark (and expensive) reality

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) issued a request for proposals last week for the establishment of a national network for comparative effectiveness research.  The network will hold data of patients across the country.  PCORI, an organization created under Obamacare to conduct research that may lead to rationing strategies, contributed $68 million in April for the development of the network. The drive for a national research database has been ongoing. In 1988, a major paper was issued by the National Research Council, "Toward a National Research Network" not only for medicine, but also for all sorts of sciences. Click here to read 1988 report (medicine on page 21).



The broken & disingenuous heart of medicine today

Dr. Stephen Wahl shares how the government has transformed the career of physicians from one formerly based on a personal desire to relieve suffering, to a government mandate instructing doctors who to treat and the value of their service based on the individual served. If patients and doctors don't work to restore the patient-doctor relationship, the only doctors left may be those who have been taught to follow government directives, not the long-standing, historic, and foundational charitable and compassionate mission of medicine that patients need.



Controversial ruling in pediatric transplant case

A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled Thursday 11-year old Sarah Murnaghan should be placed on the adult transplant list after her parents filed a lawsuit to allow their daughter to be transferred from the children's transplant list to the adult list.  News reports today say donor lungs have just arrived. The family of 10-year old Javier Acosta, also waiting for a pediatric organ transplant, filed suit after the ruling. A national association of transplant surgeons isn't happy with outside interference in waiting lists.  But who should decide? Is this what it will be likely with the HHS Secretary in charge under Obamacare? Whoever gets the most media attention or has the money to sue wins? Check out LifeSharers for another organ donation option.



Small business overrun by big system

Business owner and neurologist Nancy Futrell, sued Intermountain Healthcare alleging the company refused patients the right to visit her clinic causing it to close.  Futrell says Intermountain wanted the clinic to go out of business, as it was not included on the provider panels.  Her treatment plan for non-emergency stroke victims was more efficient and less expensive than hospitals.  Under a fee for service (FFS) plan with true insurance for major medical individuals would have more control over their care and could choose Dr. Futrell's clinic rather than be at the whims of a large system. But an Internal Medicine commission recommends eliminating FFS as an option for paying doctors.

 

 

 




Quote of the Week:

 

 

 

"If the young and healthy don't sign up for the law's health insurance exchanges, the insurers could see a situation in which the only people who wade through the bureaucracy are the very sick. Their high costs would overburden the insurers, sending the exchanges into a tailspin." Jennifer Haberkorn and Brett Norman, reporters for POLITICO Pro, May 28, 2013.

 




Stat of the Week:

$14.6 billion - federal grants paid to nearly 395,000 eligible providers and hospitals that have adopted and used interoperable electronic medical records (EMRs) according to the federal "meaningful use" incentive program.




News Release of the Week:

Americans Face Fiscal Cliffs in Health Insurance Exchanges
 

ST. PAUL. Minn. - Patient advocate Twila Brase, co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, has found unsettling and confusing problems in the health insurance exchange programs. The problems are quickly exposed by using the Minnesota state exchange premium calculator as an example.

The calculator makes a confusing problem much clearer. The inequality built into health exchange premiums could spike the costs for some Americans, forcing them to pay 18 to 20 percent or even nearly a third of their income for federal health insurance coverage.

Continue reading

 

 




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

The Bureaucratic State


There are laws and there are regulations. The other word for regulations is rules. Imprimus has an excellent interview with Larry Arnn, the president of Hillsdale College. Larry says the following "...too few prominent conservatives are skillful at explaining the problem of the modern bureaucratic state. This form of government proceeds by rules, and rules upon rules, and compliance with those rules becomes a key activity of the entire nation.



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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