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CCHF Health Freedom eNews

September 4, 2013


 

Federal Genetic Profiling of Newborns?

The government wants every baby's genetic code. Today the National Institutes of Health announced federal grants totaling $25 million over five years to four institutions to develop a process to sequence the genome - the DNA - of every child at birth:

  • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO
  • University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

Genomic testing would revolutionize newborn screening -- but not in a good way. At birth, the newborn's DNA would be taken by the hospital and sent to the government (as it is today). There the genetic code would be analyzed, dissected, reported, and filed with the government. Every gene, every genetic sequence in the baby's DNA would be on record.

 

Newborn screening is already genetic testing, but it's quite limited in scope.

Today's newborn screening searches the baby's blood for specified, limited newborn genetic conditions for which there is a cure or helpful immediate care. These genetic conditions often have complex names such as "Trifunctional protein deficiency" or "Cmethylmalonyl-CoA mutase deficiency."

 

However, if newborn screening becomes newborn genomic sequencing, every child will be tested for the likelihood of getting every disease under the sun - from migraines to melanoma, from childhood-onset to adult-onset conditions. As federal official Alan E. Guttmacher says, "Genomic sequencing has the potential to diagnose a vast array of disorders and conditions at the very start of life."

 

When a reporter from Nature magazine, one of the the top scientific journals in the world, called me yesterday for a comment on the grants, I warned about the dangers. ...

 

Continue Reading....


 




 




News to Know:

Ohio Court Rejects Obamacare Lawsuit

Ohio Obamacare opponents scored a key legal victory last month, securing a place on November's ballot for an anti-Obamacare measure. On Aug. 9 the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit filed by ProgressOhio, a liberal policy group, challenging the Health Care Freedom Amendment. The amendment, if approved, will overrule the Affordable Care Act. In short, Ohio residents will not be forced to purchase health insurance or pay the penalty-tax. Go Ohio!



One-time Obamacare Supporter Now Rips Program

Link Christensen is a small business owner and a self-described "left-leaning social activist" who used to support Obamacare. That was until he realized just how much Obamacare would cost him and his employees. Christensen now believes that "it's not going to be any type of bargain for people who work for me." The program his employees are currently under, CoverTN, does not qualify under Obamacare and will disappear by 2014. Currently CoverTN costs Christensen and his workers about $60 each per month, a rate that will nearly double under Obamacare.



'Free' Benefits Not so Free

Last year, President Obama said that "free check-ups, free mammograms, immunizations and other basic services," would be early benefits of Obamacare. As it turns out, these "free" benefits come at quite a cost. In just the next year, these "free" benefits will cost Delta Airlines $8 million, and they are not the only company that will be paying. The reality is that nothing, including health care, can ever truly be free. Someone, somewhere, has to pay for goods and services. This means we can expect the prices people will not be directly paying to come in the form of tax increases and increased premiums.



Rural Health Care in Crisis

The federal government recommends removing many rural hospitals from the "Critical Access Hospital" list because they do not meet CAH requirements that they be more than 35 miles from another hospital and in a rural area. Many are closer due to waivers sought by state legislatures. While other hospitals receive reimbursement at government-dictated prices, CAH hospitals receive "101 percent of their reasonable costs." If CAHs located 15 or fewer miles from the nearest hospital had lost their designation in 2011, the savings would have been $449 million. Rural CAH hospitals have too long been dependent on federal reimbursement for their existance. As a result, rural patients may soon find themselves without a hospital.



Obamacare Not Popular Even With Federal Workers

Despite what ACA proponents may say, Obamacare is not popular, and even federal employees are not on board. According to an August survey conducted by FedSmith.com, 92.3 percent of federal workers wish to continue on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), while only 2.8 percent actually want to join Obamacare exchanges. The remaining 4.9 percent are unsure.



Prepaid Debit Cards Accepted as Obamacare Payment

In an effort to attract low-income Americans to enroll in Obamacare, the Obama administration has announced that it will require insurers to accept pre-paid debit cards as forms of payment for health coverage. Obamacare officials have made it a point to expand payment forms beyond bank-account transfers so that Americans without checking accounts can enroll. In addition to debit cards, accepted payment forms will include cashier's checks and money orders.



$1B EHR Crashes -- Patient Records Go Dark

Sutter Health in northern California was left scrambling last week after the $1 billion electronic health record system known as Epic EHR went offline. After the system crashed, doctors and nurses had no access to any patient information, including medication information and medical history. "No access to medication orders, patient allergies and other information puts patients at serious risk," said Bonnie Castilla, RN, legilslative director of the California Nurses Association. "These systems should never be relied upon for protecting patients or assuring the delivery of the safest care."



Medicare Beneficiaries DO NOT Have to Enroll in Exchanges

Medicare officials are facing an increased workload as they attempt to clarify any confusion regarding Medicare benefits under Obamacare. Many currently receiving Medicare benefits are confused because Obamacare promotions do not address how it will affect elderly Americans, leaving some thinking they have to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges. Michele Patrick, Medicare's deputy director for communications, clarifies saying, "we want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits are not changing and the marketplace doesn't require them to do anything."



2nd Largest Data Breach Ever

Advocate Health System has announced that the health information and Social Security numbers of over 4 million patients have been compromised, the second largest HIPAA breach ever. Advocate reports that four unencrypted company computers were stolen from an Advocate Medical Group administrative building in Illinois on July 15. Patient names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and extensive medical histories were all stored on the computers.



CMS Granted Data-Sharing Access

Through data-sharing agreements, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has received permission to access personal information from the Federal Data Hub to determine individuals' eligibility for Obamacare Exchange coverage. Eligibility will be determined based on information provided by the applicant, including income, citizenship and military service. Additionally, CMS will have access to detailed private information from federal databases including the Social Security Administration and the IRS.



VA Paid What???

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is not so great at judging character. A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the VA relies on self-reported information to gather data on members' criminal and financial history. Another report by the GAO found the VA does not sufficiently investigate history and/or circumstances. Last year, the VA paid an $11,189 "performance bonus" to a surgeon who left the operating room before a surgery was completed. Now we learn that the Obamacare Exchanges are going to rely on "self-attestation" for eligibility for federal subsidies. Expect rampant fraud.


 

Hiding 'Obamacare'

Obamacare is unpopular. The Affordable Care Act, however, is less reviled. But they are the same thing. Recognizing the unpopularity of 'Obamacare,' supporters are trying to put distance between the law and the Obamacare moniker. This means a complete re-branding. State exchanges now call themselves health insurance marketplaces (HIM's), and you have to dig in some exchange websites to even find the words "Affordable Care Act." Exchanges don't want you to know they are the key infrastructure of Obamacare. Call the Exchange what you will, it's not a marketplace; it's Obamacare.




Quote of the Week:



 

"[A]lmost a third of family doctors in rural America are thinking about retiring in the next five years." - Dr. Jeff Cain, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Fox News, August 26, 2013.

 

 




Stat of the Week:

$34.5+ billion - amount health care organizations expect to spend on health information technology in 2014.

 

 




News Release of the Week:

CCHF's 'Refuse to Enroll' Campaign Expands In Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) is urging Minnesotans to reject the government's push for enrollment into a flawed government health exchange system by expanding their current billboard campaign with bus shelter advertising throughout the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF, through the ongoing national "Refuse to Enroll" campaign is encouraging people in Minnesota and across the country to reject enrollment in the MNsure Exchange and all other state Exchanges. Throughout the month of September, the campaign will work to expose the truth about government-run state exchanges and how they intrude on privacy, increase premiums, limit doctor choice, do not provide private insurance and impose national health care. Continue reading




Featured Health Freedom Minute:

UPS to Drop 15,000 Spouses

UPS plans to cut off health benefits to about 15,000 working spouses of thousands of UPS employees starting in 2014. UPS says its because of the higher costs related to Obamacare. Because the law doesnʼt require employers to cover anyone who is not an employee, look for more companies to drop spouses whether the spouse can get coverage elsewhere or not. 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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