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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

August 21, 2013


 

Obamacare’s Billion-Dollar Siren Song

The Obamacare bombardment is escalating. And you, the American taxpayer, are paying for it. Here are some of the latest entries into the nationwide marketing blitz:

  • HHS has teamed up with the liberal "Young Invincibles" to award $30,000 for over 100 prizes for video productions that will "attract youth to sign up" for Obamacare....and HHS awarded $150 million to community health centers nationwide for outreach and enrollment work.
  • MNsure, the Minnesota Exchange has revealed their $9 million "Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox" marketing campaign which includes billboards, television commercials, bus ads, radio ads and more. But they managed to irk the northern Minnesota communities in which the legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan is seen as a strong heroic type, not a bumbling "birdbrain" who can't confront a beaver or throw his trusty ax without hurting himself.
  • Planned Parenthood has received a $375,000 grant from the DC Health Benefit Exchange to assist with enrollment efforts.
  • Obama Administration has awarded $67 million to 105 groups that will serve as "navigators" to steer people into the Obamacare government Exchange. They planned to spend only $54 so for the increase they dipped into the ACA's public health and prevention fund for $13 million to cover the cost.

 

That's not all. The television industry is expecting a bonanza from Obamacare exchange advertising. From health plans alone, $1 billion of advertising over two years is expected. A Bloomberg Government study revealed plans will receive $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars directly from exchange enrollment - 98% of new spending in Obamacare. Additional television ads will come from state exchanges and HHS - all taxpayer-funded.

 

Exchange marketing requires name branding. The States and Washington, D.C. which have funded their own exchanges (state website portals) have also some up with their own names for those websites. The rest of the states, whose residents must go through the federal website portal (healthcare.gov) for Obamacare coverage, may or may not choose a state "storefront" name to disguise the federal nature of the entire system. The following names have been created names to sell the state-based Obamacare Exchanges:

 

 

Do you see a common pattern? Connect. Exchange. Connector. Finder. The state exchanges (website portals) are all part of a national computerized data system operated under the 2,700 page federal ACA law and more than 20,000 federal rules and created using a standardized playbook for each state, which I call "The Big Blue Book."  These websites are not independent. They are not "state exchanges." They are all hooked into the Federal Data Hub. No matter what their name is, no matter who pays for them, they are all part of a federal system intended to impose Obamacare.

 

The sales pitch for Obamacare enrollment has begun in earnest. Expect a fevered pitch as the October 1, 2013 date for open enrollment nears and stretches to March 1, 2014. Without enrollment, Obamacare will fail. They know it and we know it. And that is where the battle between health freedom and socialized medicine is being engaged.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Obamacare will lead to single-payer health care after the insurance system is dismantled. But I believe the ultimate goal is a "single seller system" of networked government exchanges under federal control, which will be enabled by the nationwide data-collecting Federal Data Hub and managed by government contractors (health plans) for a hefty fee. The tagline of MNsure appears to concur: "Land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance. (And one great place to find it.)"

 

One place. The plans for a "single-seller system" are already evident. In Vermont and Washington, D.C., the only place for individuals and small businesses to get coverage is the government Exchange. All other options have been prohibited.

 

Don't enroll in Exchange coverage. (See refuse2enroll.org). Insufficient enrollees means insufficient funding which will lead to Exchange failure. Help us keep this "single-seller" apparatus from becoming a permanent fixture in America. Share the truth about Obamacare ... as the million-dollar marketing campaigns sing the siren's song to lure your friends and family in.

Working with you for freedom,

 

Twila Brase

President and Co-founder


 




 




News to Know:

"I Believe That Obamacare is Bad for America... and So Does the President"

Rep. Dan Webster (R-Fla.) sparked criticism and outrage at a town hall meeting in Winter Haven, Fla. when he remarked: "I believe that Obamacare is bad for America ... and so does the president." Constituents responded swiftly and loudly, shouting "No he doesn't!" and "Stop lying!" Webster backed up his statement by explaining that Obama has signed every submitted change to the Affordable Care Act. His point is that if the ACA were truly a good bill when submitted, why are all the changes necessary?



Choices? Not Many in Obamacare

Individuals who plan on enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges come Oct. 1 need to realize soon just how limited their options, and coverage, will likely be. If enrolled in coverage under Obamacare, consumers will be limited to doctors within their provider network, while some plans will require referrals for specialists or insurer authorization prior to procedures. It's time to pay attention.  Obamacare offers coverage that may not allow you to get the care you need from the doctor you want at your side.



Obamacare Cutting Workers' Hours

Though employment has grown by 2.2 million (1.6%) in the past year, the number of people working 30-34 hours per week has decreased by a monthly average of 146,500 (1.4%) in the same period. This trend can be attributed directly to Obamacare's employer mandate, which requires employers to offer coverage but only to full-time workers, or those who work 30+ hours per week. In response, employers are moving workers to less than 30 hours per week to avoid penalty under the employer mandate. Though the White House denies that Obamacare will impact worker hours, the evidence suggests otherwise.



Bargain for Buyers or Boon for Insurers?

U.S.Senator Max Baucus who famously called Obamacare a "train wreck" just three years after he pronounced the law a wonderful solution for "mal-distribution of income" lives in Montana. Two days ago, Montana's Insurance Commissioner released pricing of premiums. Will the targeted group of young healthy people choose to pay the price? The BCBS price for the cheapest plan for a 30-year old varies between $200 and $300 a month. That's $2,400 to $3,600 a year, plus copays and deductibles. The cheapest "bronze" plan has copays of 30% and a deductible of $3,750. The 30-year old may decide the $95 penalty-tax for choosing to be uninsured is a bargain.



Oregon Delays Access to Exchange

Oregon state officials have said that Cover Oregon, the online government exchange set up under the Affordable Care Act, will not allow residents to get coverage on their own when open enrollment begins on October 1. At least through mid-October, Oregonians will need to use an insurance broker or a state-trained aide to log on and find coverage. Oregon is the first state to announce that its exchange will not be fully operational by the Oct. 1 deadline, confirming that the Obamacare exchanges are presenting more problems than promised.



Obamacare Worries State Attorneys General

Thirteen state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius to express their concerns that her agency is not adequately protecting the privacy of those enrolling in the health insurance exchanges. Their chief worry is that navigators who will not be subject to background checks, lack the training to best protect personal data, stating in the letter, "we take very seriously the privacy of our state consumers and believe that your agency's current guidance regarding these groups suffers numerous deficiencies." HHS has provided at least $241 million in federal grants for the nationwide Exchange IT infrastructure, which the OIG says may not be secure in time for the October 1 launch.



"Predictive" Health Care Coming?

With the shift from "pay for service" to "pay-for-performance," health care institutions and physicians want to focus on preventive medicine rather than diagnostic treatment. This foreward-looking approach requires health IT systems, and data analysis that can "predict what's next." Current analytics systems assess patient records and history to determine care methods, while "predictive analytics" would expand this method, anticipating future problems and recommending the best options for care. Where might this lead and do you want to go there?



Can Appropriations Bills Defund Obamacare?

The answer is yes. None-the-less, some have argued that Congress is powerless to stop Obamacare's "mandatory spending" for entitlements such as Medicaid expansion and Exchange subsidies. But the Heritage Foundation lays out why this is not true. In short, Congress has a long history of eliminating or cutting "mandatory spending" by using appropriation bills. In fact, Congress has already eliminated the $2.2 billion "mandatory spending" for Obamacare's co-op insurance provision. Congress has the power of the purse and has long used it to defund programs or reduce spending.



Big Data; No Consent

According to the Institute of Medicine, in health care, you can never have too much data. Michael Murray, executive director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Effectiveness Research at the Regenstrief Institute wants to communicate to the public that he thinks reusing their health data can benefit patients as a result of large-scale studies. Murray believes that not using information could be a "missed opportunity." Notably, the studies would compile massive amounts of patient information, with no input or consent from the patients whose data would be analyzed.



Abortion Coverage for Congress?

Currently, members of Congress, their staffers, and all federal employees on the government plan are prohibited from receiving abortion coverage. That could change under Obamacare because of the exclusive waiver recently given by the Obama administration to Congress and their staffers which enables the federal government to subsidize their Exchange coverage. Since government employees are required to receive coverage through the exchanges, they will have access to plans that include abortion coverage. If federal employees receive abortions using their coverage, would not those procedures be funded using federal dollars?


 

Kansas Centralizes Medical Records

Expanding upon a growing trend of electronic health records, Kansas is hoping to implement a state-wide electronic health records sharing system. The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) is in the midst of connecting the electronic health records systems of thousands of providers in hopes of launching a statewide patient portal in September. With privacy a growing issue, patient safety a continuing issue, and electronic records systems often causing confusion and when used in hospitals, what will happen when the notoriously problematic method is expanded to include an entire state?




Quote of the Week:



"Those markets won't function properly if people don't enroll. That outcome is looking increasingly likely. The exchanges are designed to take premiums from the young and healthy, who typically consume less care, to subsidize coverage for the aged. The individual mandate was designed to force these young folks to participate. But if they ignore the mandate, the exchanges will crumble." - Sally Pipes (CEO, Pacific Research Institute), Union-Times San Diego, August 1, 2013.

 




Stat of the Week:

$100 million - amount of Obamacare money Governor Rick Perry's administration is hoping to get from Obama Administration.

 

 




News Release of the Week:

50-State Report Unveiled; States Track Medical Data from Birth to Death Without Consent

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Today, Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, CCHFreedom.org) is releasing the findings of one of its most important works to date. For the past eight years, CCHF has been researching health departments in all 50 states to find out how they use funding from the federal government to obtain and store citizens' private medical information - in most cases, without patients' consent.

CCHF's report, "Patient Privacy and Public Trust: How Health Surveillance Systems Are Undermining Both," includes details about all of the private patient data that states collect and maintain. One alarming fact, says patient advocate and co-founder of CCHF, Twila Brase, is that the information is stored and identified along with the name of each individual American. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

Ready for $50,000 Health Insurance?

How much could insurance cost? Obamacare has community rating. No person can pay more than three times what the least expensive person pays, regardless of the risk. Rates can only differ by smoking, location and age. When New York adopted community rating premiums skyrocketed, enrollment fell 38 percent, and insurers fled. 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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