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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

July 31, 2013


 

Employer Viability At Stake in ACA Lawsuit

Obamacare tremors are getting stronger. The latest poll shows 53% of voters view the law unfavorably. This is an all-time high level of opposition. Please donate today to our efforts to build the CCHF refuse2enroll campaign! Already, we've got the liberal Mother Jones magazine and other publications, like MedCity News, the Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee talking about it!

 

As I write this today, I'm listening to the testy U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee hearing on "ObamaCare's Taxes and Subsidies."

 

I'll get to the purpose of the hearing below, but as the hearing concluded, Chairman Darrell Issa, who had charged the IRS witness with refusing to provide appropriate documentation to the committee to support the agency's regulatory decisions (including ZERO emails in 500 pages of paper provided), told the IRS witness:

 

"You were pretty close to a useless witness that said, 'I don't know.'"

 

Here is the purpose of today's hearing. The ACA only allows the IRS to provide federal taxpayer-funded premium subsidies through state-established Exchanges. Thus, the State of Oklahoma has sued the Obama administration to "preserve the rule of law," to stop the administration from providing prohibited premium subsidies to individuals in federal exchanges, and to protect employers from employer mandate penalties related to any employees that get federal premium subsidies. As Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, testified:

 

"The requirements [employer responsibility payments] imposed on a large employer under Section 4980H trigger if and only if an 'advance payment' has been or could have been made or a 'premium tax credit' has been or could be allowed to or on behalf of one of the employer's full time employees. When Section 4980H triggers with respect to a large employer, it imposes a significant assessment that may be as much as $2,000 for every full-time employee at the company less a thirty employee allowance.

 

"The only way the employer may avoid the payment is to have arranged in advance to make available insurance coverage to full-time employees and their dependents. The insurance must provide 'minimum essential coverage' that meets a regulation-set 'minimum value' through an 'eligible employer-sponsored plan' at a cost satisfying standards of 'affordability' under the Act. In addition, the Act imposes other significant obligations such as detailed reporting requirements on employees."

 

This lawsuit may determine whether businesses can stay in business...and whether Obamacare succeeds or fails. If the court rules, -- as it should with a very plain reading of the text - that the law does not allow premium subsidies in the federal exchange, Obamacare will fail!


Continue Reading . . .
 




 




News to Know:

E-Health Aims to be National Exchange

In a major contradiction, eHealthInsurance, the nation's largest online health insurance broker just inked a deal with the federal government to sell Obamacare - government coverage. The deal applies to 36 states that do not have a state-established Obamacare exchange. But eHealth seems to want to be the national exchange. Gary Lauer, CEO of eHealth, said "We now hope that the 14 states and D.C. that are working hard to develop their own exchanges will follow the leadership of the federal government and allow their subsidy-eligible residents the same opportunity that is expected to exist in the 36 other states to utilize resources like eHealth.com for enrollment."  E-Health will get paid by commission, reports POLITICO (7/31/13).


 

Medicare "Doc Pay" Revision Bill Supports Rationing

On July 23, The House Energy and Commerce Committee subscommittee approved a Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) repeal bill. Today, July 31, it passed the full committee 51-0. The bill is the most significant attempt to date to replace a long-outdated Medicare-reimbursement formula. Under the bill, reimbursements are projected to grow 0.5% per year from 2014-2018, and physician payments will be spared a 25% cut. However, the bill will implement a new payment  system that will cut reimbursements to doctors who do not comply with quality and efficiency standards as set and defined by the government.



Anti-Obamacare GOP Working to Defund It

In an effort to counter the pro-Obamacare media blitz, House and Senate conservatives are launching their own counter-efforts to block the law despised by many Americans. Using the momentum from both Obama's falling approval ratings and the public outcry at Obamacare's over-complication and negative side-effects, U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is heading the charge to "starve" Obamacare by refusing to fund it. Lee has the support of many other Republicans, including heavy-hitters Sens. John Thune (SD), Whip John Cornyn (TX) and Marco Rubio (FL), with Rubio stating, "I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds Obamacare."



Hospital Denied Access to Own Records

A Wisconsin hospital has found itself in a dangerous situation as it has been "frozen out" of its own medical records by its computer company. Dissatisfied with their electronic medical records system, Milwaukee Health Services (MHS) decided not to renew their contract with Atlanta-based computer company Business Computer Applications (BCA). In response, BCA demanded nearly $300 thousand for "debts and services unpaid," then blocked MHS' access to its local servers. The disruption has prevented MHS from accessing any of its stored medical records, resulting in nearly 40,000 people being denied proper treatment. The case will be tried in Federal court.



Alaska's Electronic Medical Record System Raises Privacy Concerns

Alaskan doctors and hospitals are switching to an electronic health information system in an effort to provide better patient care, though the executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, Joshua Decker, says the patients themselves are concerned about their information privacy. "If people's medical records are going to be online, there needs to be really robust security," said Decker. Wary patients do have the option to opt-out, however that puts the burden on patients to know about the system and to take action to remove themselves (leaving a record of their action behind), and to monitor the system to be sure their medical records remain outside of the system. The opt-out provision is called dissent, not consent.



Controversial Report Reveals Unethical Experiments in Canada

According to Bioedge, a report published in the journal Social History has revealed horrifying details of "nutritional research" experiments performed by the Canadian government on native Indian children in the 1940s and '50s, sparking uproar from the Canadian Aboriginal community. The report details a number of experiments in which scientists explored various facets of malnourishment, starting with denying basic nutritional needs to hundreds of Indian children, potentially causing short and long-term damage. The experiments have been labeled as "abhorrent," and the Assembly of First Nations has since demanded the release of all information relating to the studies.



Can Your Genetics be Hacked?

In a world where email accounts, phone records, browsing history and credit card information can hacked, why wouldn't people be able to hack into and obtain genetic information? It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but it is a very real possibility. In January Yaniv Erlich, an Israeli scientist revealed that it was possible to identify individuals that contributed DNA to research projects. Using five samples from a database of 1,000, Erlich was able to identify exactly who the DNA belonged to using information that was publicly available on the internet. This raises concerns because if the information can be obtained scientifically, it can likely be hacked into and obtained without patient consent.



Obamacare: Not Like Travelocity After All

Despite assurances of ease-of-use, the reality of the government exchanges is that they will be far more complicated than initially promised. Once described as being "like Travelocity," some states are now delaying online tools that would make searching for coverage under the exchanges more hassle-free, instead comparing the current process to "buying a car." According to the Associated Press, "It's a complicated transaction with different components, including arranging financing and picking the right product, each with its own choices and trade-offs. You may need a glossary of health insurance terms."




Surescripts Expands Reach

According to an article published in the Sacramento Bee, Surescripts, the country's largest health information network, has increased its reach by allowing five additional health technology vendors to offer messaging capabilities to their users. Surescript's basic messaging and communications product will now be available to users of Inofile, Greenway, SCI Solutions and Vitera. Users of SOAPware will be able to access the Surescripts network on a limited basis. This expansion allows care providers to communicate and share clinical information across the five databases.



Obamacare PR Push Continues

President Obama has taken another step in publicizing Obamacare by meeting with celebrities interested in helping promote the signature health care law. Celebrities ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Will Ferrell, along with representatives for several TV shows and entertainment companies "expressed personal interest in educating young people about the Affordable Care Act," an administration official said. Use of celebrities is the latest tactic in a PR blitz to encourage 18-35 year olds, the most-crucial demographic, to enroll in the exchanges. If too few healthy young people enroll, it could cause premiums to skyrocket and capsize Obamacare early.



Survey: Docs Don't Blame Selves for Rising Costs

A recent survey by Mayo Clinic researchers has found that one in six U.S. doctors believe they have some responsibility in keeping healthcare costs low, but those doctors also believe responsibility falls more on lawyers, health insurers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and even patients. 75% of doctors surveyed reported that they were aware of the costs of tests and treatments they recommend, but still believe the majority of responsibility in keeping health costs low falls to lawyers and patients. A Mayo Clinic associate commented, "What physicians are trying to tell us is that they don't see themselves necessarily any more responsible for healthcare costs than all of those stakeholders."



Don't be Rude: You'll Need a Good Doctor

You'll want a trustworthy good doctor under Obamacare, especially if the care you need doesn't match a government protocol. So, according to Consumer Reports, if you want to maintain a good doctor-patient relationship, there are a number of things you should refrain from doing, like answering a cell phone during an appointment. Some " doctor pet peeves," like arriving late and being a no show, sour relationships by inconveniencing the doctor. Other patient behaviors, like asking doctors to lie, can endanger doctors' careers and will not be tolerated.



ACTION ITEM: Health Sharing and Tax Reform

Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) and U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), have launched TaxReform.gov, a website to obtain input from the American people on needed tax reform. The health sharing organizations (e.g. Medi-Share) are asking their members to use this platform to request that the federal tax code be amended so members of health care sharing ministries are eligible to utilize health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), and flexible spending accounts for "cash for care" payments to doctors and hospitals. Go to https://taxreform.gov/, fill in the contact information, and submit your input.



50 Years...and Parents Still Uninformed

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of newborn screening in the United States. Since 1963, babies have been tested by government for diseases using blood taken from their heel. This practice has expanded from testing for a limited number of life-threatening treatable conditions to intrusive testing for a broad range of genetic conditions. Direct consent for newborn genetic screening is not required except in the District of Columbia leaving most parents unaware of the program -- and the data (genetic test results and Baby DNA) can be kept on file with the government from several weeks to forever.




Quote of the Week:



"I've been astonished by how many Republicans in Washington want a fig leaf ... but they don't actually want to succeed"
- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, TheBlaze radio show, July 29, 2013.




Stat of the Week:

67 + 13 - Number of house Republicans (67) and Senate Republicans (13) that have signed onto a letter urging GOP leadership to use the government funding bill to defund Obamacare. (POLITICO, 7/31/13)

 




News Release of the Week:

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Calls on Congress to Oppose Repeal Bill

Bipartisan 'Sustainable Growth Rate' Medicare Bill Puts Doctors Under Government Control

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, is urging Americans to call on Congress to oppose the dangerous "SGR Repeal" bill, which was recently passed by a House of Representatives sub-committee.

The bill is bad for health care, Brase says, giving physicians incentives for following the rules set forth by the government. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

It's Not Breaking the Law

Iʼve been talking to a lot of reporters lately about our Refuse to Enroll campaign. Most of them tell me our organization is encouraging people to break the law.Thatʼs when I have to explain to them the U.S. Supreme Court decision. The Court said we all have a constitutional right NOT to buy health insurance. We have a right not to be covered. That means we have a legal right to refuse to enroll in government Exchange coverage. 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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