CCHF Pitch Note | 11.26.18
Many Reasons to ‘Refuse to Enroll’ in Obamacare During Open Enrollment, Says Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom
Just a few weeks remain before the open enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act ends on Dec. 15. And as in years past, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) is urging Americans to “Refuse to Enroll.” The reasons are numerous, but the top considerations should be cost, privacy and access to care, says CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase.
CCHF has created a list of the “Top Ten Terribles” of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, which include the following problems:
- Compromised privacy. Just this fall, HealthCare.gov was hacked and nearly 94,000 people now have their private information—both medical and personal—at risk. Plus, through the federal and state exchanges, the federal government collects data on individuals, employers and navigators from application forms, state databases, health plans and other sources to track and store data on household income, tax status, employment, family status, health, citizenship, incarceration and more. Even more frightening, data is dumped into one giant federal database, accessible to outsiders for nine “routine purposes.”
- Increased costs. Obamacare has caused premiums to skyrocket and employer costs for health insurance to increase by double-digit percentages in some cases—and those costs are passed along to taxpayers and employees. Higher premiums were unavoidable because the ACA-mandated coverage is richer in benefits than most policies, underwriting based on health status is not allowed, plans must cover patients with pre-existing conditions, and Obamacare imposed various taxes and costly regulatory and reporting requirements.
- Fewer health care choices. To keep costs lower, many health plans offering coverage on the exchanges offer a limited choice of doctors, clinics and hospitals, called “narrow networks,” which have been an unpleasant surprise to enrollees who seek care. Narrow networks mean longer waiting times for appointments, fewer options for specialists and longer drives to receive care. Additionally, HMO-like managed care plans are the only options. Catastrophic major medical plans—true insurance—have been outlawed by Obamacare except for individuals age 29 and younger.
- Tying the hands of doctors. Under the ACA’s “value-based purchasing” model, doctors will be paid for “value,” not for actual services given. Thus, doctors may have to comply with one-size-fits-all treatment protocols, accept outsider definitions of “value,” focus on population health instead of patients or agree to participate in ethically challenged “team-based care,” where clinic staff are allowed to follow computer-based treatment protocols leaving patients at the mercy of non-physicians—and in the dark about who’s actually responsible for their care. The electronic health record (EHR) mandate imposed in the 2009 Recovery Act and the ACA’s reporting requirements will be used to judge physician compliance with the “value-based” and the “team-based” models.
- Ending insurance and growing big government. Obamacare’s national exchange system, prohibition on indemnity insurance and a ban on pre-existing conditions exclusions were established to eliminate private insurance and expand government coverage. Everyone seeking coverage on an exchange applies to the federal government for coverage approved by the federal government. If the ACA is not repealed, and the costs of coverage skyrocket further in 2019, the national exchange system will likely become the nation’s only source of coverage.
“Americans are so engrained in the health insurance way of doing things that they often forget there are other options—options that existed long before the current state of affairs, where the corporate health plans make all the money and the patients get the short end of the stick when it comes to care, cost and privacy,” Brase said. “Rather than paying for health insurance, with its costs inflated by subsidies, bailouts, mandates, red tape, overhead, regulations, and government intrusion, Americans should consider health care sharing, short-term, limited duration plans and other affordable options.”