For Immediate Release
February 20, 2017
Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102
4 Health Care Problems—And 4 Solutions
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Looks at Four of the Most Crucial Health Care Issues and Offers Ways to Ease the Burden for Many Americans Held Captive by a Failing Health Care System
ST. PAUL, Minn.—There’s no denying that problems abound in the world of health care. And while there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with talk of an Obamacare repeal—albeit one that is progressing slower than anticipated—many Americans are still struggling under the weight of a failing health care system and unaffordable prices.
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national health freedom and patient advocacy organization, is looking at four of the most pressing health care problems and offering practical solutions that will restore health freedom to millions.
“Obamacare has crippled the health insurance industry, and intruded on the practice of medicine, but there are finally some solutions in sight,” said CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase. “Now is the time that Americans can begin to take control of their health care by contacting their lawmakers and urging them to do what’s best for patients, doctors and costs.”
PROBLEM #1: Obamacare penalties
Americans are paying penalties for refusing to buy an unaffordable, government-dictated insurance plan. As part of President Donald Trump’s first executive order to decrease the financial burdens of the Affordable Care Act, the IRS will no longer require Americans to list their insured status, per Forbes.com. The IRS will accept and process tax returns even if a taxpayer is silent on coverage.
CCHF has a simple fix—“Leave it blank.” Regardless of whether those filing taxes have coverage or not, they should protect their privacy and just leave line 61 blank on the IRS form.
PROBLEM #2: Delayed repeal
The Trump-Pence team wanted a repeal bill on Trump’s desk by today, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’d deliver one by the end of February. In response, according to The Daily Signal, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) have introduced The Obamacare Replacement Act, which has the full support of the House Freedom Caucus.
Lawmakers must begin to hold hearings on the Paul/Sanford bill to maintain momentum for repeal. Brase says proposed changes to Health Savings Accounts deserve attention regardless of what bill eventually repeals the ACA. Read more from CCHF: “Where’s the Bill?”
PROBLEM #3: Exit of health insurers
Politico reported last week that health insurance giant Humana will quit Obamacare’s subsidized insurance markets altogether but will sell coverage in 2018. Humana is just the latest insurer to exit HealthCare.gov. CCHF says Congress promised insurers “rescue dollars” that could never be delivered, and after Congress refused to cover their losses with taxpayer bailouts, insurers are making the wise decisions they should have made before they agreed to participate in Obamacare.
To restore affordable coverage options, HHS Secretary Tom Price can trim the long list of costly “essential health benefit” mandates, and Congress can repeal the section of the ACA that prohibits catastrophic coverage plans, which millions of Americans lost when they were declared unlawful.
“True insurance protects against financial devastation from the rare, unexpected, catastrophic medical event,” Brase said. “Today, most people have a prepaid health care policy that covers everything from a sinus infection to a broken wrist to brain cancer, which makes it unnecessarily expensive. A health insurance policy is something that should be tucked away in a drawer and only brought out for emergencies.” Read more about CCHF’s “The ‘5C’ Health Care Solution.”
PROBLEM #4: Loss of newborn privacy
On Jan. 19, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and 15 other federal agencies issued the final rule on “Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects,” typically called “The Common Rule.” The rule updates “regulations that safeguard individuals who participate in research,” but CCHF says it leaves the privacy of the country’s youngest citizens out in the cold.
“Special protections for the genetic privacy of children and newborn citizens were enacted in the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2014, but it the Rule declares the end of those protections,” Brase said. “Now, we will urge Congress to use the Congressional Review Act to reconsider this rule due to the absence of those 2014 protections in the final Common Rule.”
Brase added that the new Common Rule states that the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2014 “made a number of changes relevant to the HHS regulations for protecting research subjects, including asserting that research with newborn dried blood spots (DBS) that is federally funded pursuant to the Public Health Service Act is to be considered research with human subjects, and that the provisions allowing IRBs to waive consent would not apply. By statute, the changes made by this law applied only until changes to the Common Rule are promulgated. Thus, the changes made by this statute will no longer apply after the effective date of this rule, January 19, 2018.” [emphasis added]
Congress has 60 session days after the rule was finalized on Jan. 19—about a month from now—to reconsider the language and return privacy rights to parents and their newborns. Read CCHF’s statement on this issue, and visit CCHF’s webpage dedicated to protecting Baby DNA.
CCHF has launched The Wedge of Health Freedom (www.JointheWedge.com) to transform the entire health care system back to freedom and restore simplicity, affordability and confidentiality to health care. Nearly 200 Wedge practices, where patients can find affordable, patient-centered care, are located in 44 states and can be found online.
CCHF is a national patient-centered health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. For more about The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., exists to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” A public health nurse, Brase has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, Politico, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as the importance of patient privacy and informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine,” “population health” and “pay for performance” and the implications of state and federal health care reform on patient choice and patient access to care.
For more information or to interview Twila Brase of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096 x104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096 x102.