Home

Obama Appoints Rationing Advocate to Medicare Post

Leave a comment


UPDATE to today’s “CCHC Health Care News”:

President Obama has just announced his recess appointment of the controversial Dr. Donald Berwick, MD as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Members of Congress, concerned about Berwick’s support of socialized medicine and health care rationing, had delayed his confirmation since April.

Dr. Berwick, CEO and President of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has waxed “romantic” about England’s socialized medicine system, supported rationing, and expressed support for England’s rationing-focused, euphemistically-named National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which issues government treatment protocols for British citizens. Dr. Berwick will hold significant influence over Medicare treatment options and funding during his tenure as administrator. Some call him “Dr. Death,” but the AARP supports him. More

Last Day to Oppose Government Proposal to Own & Warehouse Newborn Citizen DNA

1 Comment


ACT TODAY – Last Day to Oppose Government Proposal to Own & Warehouse Newborn Citizen DNA

Please take 5 minutes to say NO to the federal government’s plan to collect, control and own the DNA of every citizen, starting at birth.

TODAY, June 25th, is the last day to comment on the federal government’s plan to warehouse and use newborn citizen DNA without consent for government research, corporate research and other purposes.

Concerns about the government’s proposal, as stated in CCHC’s public comments to the federal government (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS)), include:

•    Fails to recommend informed written consent requirements for the storage and use of newborn DNA for research and other purposes.
•    Asserts a public claim on the DNA of newborn citizens.
•    Claims that newborn blood is necessary for “population surveillance.”
•    Does not support the 22 state genetic privacy laws and the 5 state genetic ownership laws.
•    Does not include compelling statistics from the Univ. of Michigan study that found the public appalled by unconsented government storage and research (p. 12). More

Minnesota CCHC fighting back against Obamacare

Leave a comment

CCHC ALERT!
 
 
Citizens’ Council on Health Care
http://www.healthcarefreedom.us

PLEASE ASK PAWLENTY FOR VETO!

We’d like to again ask you to contact Governor Tim Pawlenty very quickly and ask for a veto.

Unfortunately, the Governor and the legislature agreed to implement portions of ObamaCare through HF 1, the 11th-hour bill officially called the Supplemental Budget Bill. They were just passed by the legislature a little more than an hour ago.

Please call 651-296-3391 AND send email to:  tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

First, HF1, the 247-page Supplemental Budget bill makes the ObamaCare-funded Medicaid expansion State law (although it’s up to the next Governor to decide if he or she wants to implement it). If implemented the State must pay $1 for every $7 sent from the feds until the federal money goes away. Then the State is responsible hook, line and sinker.  Second,

there are several other parts of ObamaCare that become state law as well if the bill is signed into law.

ObamaCare Provisions Included in HF 1, the Supplemental Budget Bill:

  • placement of ObamaCare-enabled early expansion of Medicaid into Minnesota law
  • Government becomes primary seller of health insurance through establishment of a federally-approved State health insurance exchange (which we defeated with your help in 2007 and 2008)
  • Implementation of a federal high-risk insurance pool in Minnesota
  • Establishment of a State health care reform task force to implement ObamaCare in Minnesota
  • Authority to secure federal dollars to implement ObamaCare controls over medical decisions.

In addition, the bill also establishes a State government database of every person with a traumatic injury, and authorizes the Minnesota Department of Health to conduct surveillance and build databases on mothers and babies in birth centers without the knowledge or consent of parents. More

MN Tax Day Freedom Rallies – Come to One or More!

Leave a comment

Please come to the Tax Day Freedom Tea Party rallies around the state of Minnesota on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

I will be speaking at the Tea Parties in Milaca and the State Capitol.
Below are the TWO flyers for the rallies.

Twila Brase, R.N., PHN
President
Citizens’ Council on Health Care
651-646-8935
http://www.healthcarefreedom.us
Host, Health Freedom Minute, AM 1280
Weekdays at 7:03, 11:03, 2:03, 5:03 More

Protest the DFL Plans to Make ObamaCare Law in Minnesota!

2 Comments

LET’S PACK THE HEARING ROOM!

Protest the DFL Plans to Make ObamaCare Law in Minnesota!

TOMORROW, Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Please show up, stand up and speak up!

DATE:     TUESDAY, April 6, 2010

TIME:     3:00 PM (ARRIVE AT THE ROOM AT LEAST 15-30 min early so you don’t miss a thing – or your sticker) The hearing will likely last 1.5 – 2 hours.

TELEVISED: Just in. The hearing will be televised. For those who cannot join us, watch it on the Minnesota legislative channel (check your local listing; Channel 17 in the metro). You can also watch it online here. Prepare to watch and email these legislators comments during the hearing…or to call their offices with comments! (rep.firstname.lastname@house.mn)

FINDING CCHC: We know that we may not know each other’s faces, so, to find us and get your sticker, please look for people handing out anti-ObamaCare stickers to wear – either in the room, or outside of the room. OR…look for people that are already wearing the stickers and let them point you to us. More

Minnesota petition against conforming Minnesota Law to Obamacare

1 Comment

I OPPOSE CONFORMING MINNESOTA LAW TO OBAMACARE!  This petition is attached below.  More

healthcare reform: 16,000 new IRS agents enforce fines and penalties

2 Comments

  • $695 or 2.5% of income – the fine if refuse to purchase health insurance (or refuse to report you do)
  • $2,000 – fine on employers for failure to buy health insurance for employees
  • 16,000 new IRS agents (no new doctors, and likely loss of doctors)
  • 10-13% increase in individual insurance premiums
  • CCHC President TWEETING on the House Debate:
    Go to:
    http://www.twitter.com/nosocializedmed


    Call Congress NOW!


    The 2-hour Debate Begins soon.

    Pontification already on display.
    (view on C-SPAN).

    Speaker Pelosi does not yet have all the votes!

    BREAKING: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) appears to have disappeared. She may not show up to vote. She voted yes on the first House bill under duress. She now needs encouragement to vote NO: 202-225-2965; FAX 202-225-5859

    Below are two separate lists of House members you can call and fax. More

    The US Cencus: From enumeration to intrusion

    Leave a comment

     
     
    CCHC Health Care News

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care
    www.healthcarefreedom.us
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Click here to read the full document: http://www.cchconline.org/pdf/CENSUS_PAPER_2010_FINAL.pdf

     by Twila Brase and Jenna Minegar*

    Starting March 15, 2010, the 2010 U.S. Census forms will be sent out nationwide.
    Since the first census in 1790, the U.S. Constitution has upheld the U.S. Census as a means of counting citizens to properly apportion Representatives and direct taxes among the 50 states. While enumeration continues to be one portion of the Census, the overall purpose of the Census has shifted as the nation has developed and grown.
    The U.S. Census and the American Community Survey now collect additional private data on Americans, including information on health status and medical conditions. The shift from enumeration to data collection has raised significant privacy concerns for Americans.  Some citizens have opted out of the Census or limited their responses despite the risk of financial penalties.
    The U.S. Census Bureau has acknowledged the public’s concern, but failed to recognize the unconstitutional nature of these intrusions. Furthermore, federal officials have failed to acknowledge the shift from enumeration to intrusion as the source of higher costs and poor compliance. The problem, however, is not the American people.
    The problem is the intrusiveness nature of the Census. One renowned financial leader offers a better way.

     

     

     

    Executive Summary
     

     

    Medical Privacy At Risk – DEADLINE: MONDAY, March 15

    1 Comment

    Medical Privacy At Risk – DEADLINE: MONDAY, March 15
     

    Please COMMENT NOW on federal plan.

    SIMPLE – Just write a few lines expressing your feeling about government forcing your doctor through monetary incentives and financial penalties to put your medical records online and into the hands of government health surveillance officials would be great. If you say nothing, they can say you did not object.

    DOUBLESPEAK – Officially, this is called the
    Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.” In truth, it’s centralized government control of your doctors through the proposed National Health Information Network (NHIN).

    TO COMMENT, check out the easy to understand info at www.forhealthfreedom.org. Then go to http://www.regulations.gov/  Enter RIN 0938–AP78 in the Keyword field and make a comment.

    Deadline: Monday, March 15, 5:00 p.m. EDT
    (4 days to go).


    Public Comment Process:

     

    A) Go to http://www.regulations.gov/

    B) Enter RIN 0938–AP78 in the Keyword or ID field. Click Search buttom.
    C) Click on the link with the following THREE pieces of information

    1) Title: Medicare and medicaid Programs: Electronic Health Record Incentive Program;

    2) ID: CMS-2009-0117-0002, and

    3) ACTIONS: Submit a comment.

    D) Enter your information as directed and write a comment (or attach a file with an already prepared comment). It can be short or long.

     

    Speaker Pelosi Unveils Monster Bill – HR 3962

    Leave a comment

    From CCHC Health Care News   info@cchconline.org 

    _______________________________________________________
    Speaker Pelosi Unveils Monster Bill – HR 3962

    Today, Speaker Pelosi released the U.S. House health care takeover bill, H.R. 3962. They say they want to debate the bill beginning on Nov 2nd.  The 1,990 page bill is nearly 1,000 pages longer than the original House bill, H.R. 3200.
    Do you trust a 2,000-page health insurance reform bill to keep your life and liberty intact? Will your Representatives read it? They didn’t bother to read the first House bill when it was only 1,018 pages

    . Here are just 11 of many concerns in the bill: More

    Minnesota Democrats and Republicans ready to seize medical files for rationed care

    1 Comment

    NOTE #1: There are 7 hours left of the Minnesota legislative session. HF1341—the health department’s bill to grab baby DNA and repeal genetic privacy—is on the Calendar in the House, but no word yet.

     


    NOTE #2:  We will continue to deliver petitions against HF 1341 to the Governor until the legislature adjourns without passage of the bill (or similar language elsewhere)..or the Governor signs or vetoes the bill.

    MN State Capitol at Sunset (TB)

    CCHC Legislative News!

    • Your Data — Their Control
    • MN Meddling: New Law Expands Government Interference
    • Medicare:  Bad New Could Be Good News
    • ObamaCare Master Plan – More Data; Less Care


      Your Data, Their Control
      Republicans should take a lesson from Hong Kong’s Sir John Cowperthwaite. As former Financial Secretary, he refused to collect data to prevent the bureaucratic impulse toward central planning.  By refusing to collect economic statistics about Hong Kong during his tenure, he helped usher in the island’s unprecedented growth into an international financial center. “I did very little,” Sir John once said. “All I did was to try to prevent some of the things that might undo it.” That would be statistics.On July 1, 2009, medical records data from all Minnesotans will be shipped electronically by insurers to a data warehouse in Maine. No consent is required. The Minnesota Department of Health will own the data and use it to monitor and analyze physician treatment decisions and patients…and eventually ration care by statistical renderings of “cost-effectiveness.” The cost of the collection and analysis program is more than $5 million over the first three years. Health officials have no idea how to do what they want to do (see MDH Request for Information) but the likely impact will be punitive bureaucratic controls…and less access to care.Too many Republican leaders fail to understand that government data collection is tied to government control. Legislation at the state and federal level supported by Republican lawmakers and free market groups is chock full of new registries, repositories and electronic data sharing. Specific collections include patient outcomes, treatment patterns, and “quality” of health care. Report cards on doctor “performance,” and payment penalties will follow.

      Rationing of health care is enabled by such government data collection, analysis and payment schemes. Supporters of a  national interoperable online medical records system expect to use the system to nationalize health care—and the data to rationalize rationing of medical care. See “Evidence Based Medicine: Rationing Care; Hurting Patients, a paper written by CCHC’s president Twila Brase, and commissioned by the American Legislative Exchange Council, 12/2008.


      MN Meddling: New Law Expands Government Interference
      Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty may have line item vetoed some of the money in the health and human services bill (HF 1362), but a full-sized veto was warranted. The legislation extends to new heights government interference in health care. The list of troubling items in the bill (beyond the eligibility and spending increases) that we provided to legislators during the House floor debate include the following (with page and line #):•  Electronic prescribing mandate that will allow government tracking of your prescriptions and pharmacy choice. (62.4 )
      •  Electronic prescribing mandate allows pharmacies access to medical record information without your consent. (62.8 and 61.34)
      •  Nationalized medical records—by requiring conformance with federal sharing/reporting in Econ. Stimulus. (HITECH) (52.9)
      •  No payment for treating hospital-acquired conditions. Can hospitals and doctors prevent these various complications? (76.13)
      •  Government to establish performance thresholds for health care provider for “combined cost and quality.” (78.8)
      •  Health Services Policy Committee will track provider practice patterns. (93.19)
      •  DHS authorized to use “any other means available to verify family income” (to keep children on MinnesotaCare). (133.28)
      •  Collection of statistics on asthma hospital admissions. (151.6)
      •  Huge government-endorsed research project on patient “health care outcomes and treatment effectiveness.” (151.24)
      •  Substance abuse tracking system. (174.31)
      •  Data sharing/exchange on individuals authorized between 3 Departments (Health, Human Services, Mental Health). (198.1)


      medicare screenshotMedicare:  Bad News Could be Good News
      The future of Medicare is bleak—and that’s good news if you look at it the right way. The entitlement program’s expected demise is an opportunity to take strong steps now to free current and future senior citizens from the evolving life-threatening rationing strategies in play today and impending in the near future.Medicare will become insolvent in 2017, according to the latest Trustees report released May 12, 2009. In 2008, they reported insolvency by 2019. One year later, the date is 2017. Next year’s announced date of demise could be be 2015. Summary: “The Medicare Report shows that the HI Trust Fund could be brought into actuarial balance over the next 75 years by changes equivalent to an immediate 134 percent increase in the payroll tax (from a rate of 2.9 percent to 6.78 percent), or an immediate 53 percent reduction in program outlays, or some combination of the two.”Liberals will look at Medicare’s impending insolvency as rationale for a national health care system. Conservatives should look at the Medicare crisis as rationale for bringing freedom and free markets to the fastest growing segment of our population, people over the age of 65.  See CCHC paper: “Medicare: Need an Escape Plan, not a Rescue Plan”


      ObamaCare Master Plan – More Data; Less Care
      Peter Orszag is President Obama’s director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Obama’s chief health care strategist. He was also the person who put the $1.1 billion “comparative effectiveness research” (rationing) initiative and the national health data system into the Economic Stimulus bill. In 2007, as head of the Congressional Budget Office, he said in a presentation that electronic medical records not used for data-based controls on care will not save money. Thus, here is what he wrote in The Wall Street Journal on May 15, 2009:

    “…How can we move toward a high-quality, lower-cost system? There are four key steps: 1) health information technology, because we can’t improve what we don’t measure; 2) more research into what works and what doesn’t, so doctors don’t recommend treatments that don’t improve health; 3) prevention and wellness, so that people do the things that keep them healthy and avoid costs associated with health risks such as smoking and obesity; and 4) changes in financial incentives for providers so that they are incentivized rather than penalized for delivering high-quality care. [CCHC NOTE: incentives for one thing tend to mean penalties for the other]

    “Already, the administration has taken important steps in all four of these areas. In February, the president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is providing resources for electronic medical records, patient-centered health research, and prevention and wellness interventions so that we have the infrastructure in place to lower health spending in the long run….”

    This is a plan for centralized control, based on a national health surveillance system. Orszag can’t take full credit for this idea. Hillary had it in her plan first, along with “quality” monitoring (Title V, Clinton Health Plan).


    – CCHC –

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
    innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

    BABY DNA ALERT – The Baby DNA Warehouse bill (SF 1478)Minnesota

    Leave a comment

    BABY DNA ALERT – The Baby DNA Warehouse bill (SF 1478) may be announced last minute for Monday (3:00 p.m.) or for Tuesday (3:00 p.m.). The author is having another bill heard by the committee on Monday, and could conceivably do the baby DNA bill at the same time. Need MORE petitions to Governor
    Contact your Representatives. Vote could come anytime in the House. (rep.firstname.lastname@house.mn) Find your legislator on the right side of our home page: http://www.cchconline.org


    Citizens Line Up to Speak

    CCHC “What Happened” REPORT
    – click here for more photos

    Crowd Challenges Health Department’s Medical Records Grab

    Yesterday, in a room filled with people who came to comment on the Health Department’s medical record grab—and their planned use of the data to centralize treatment decisions and restrict access to care—the Department stalled the conversation.

    State officials used up the first hour with department presentations. Meanwhile KSTP-TV waited for the action to begin. And waited. And waited.

    After I asked them to provide their definition of health care “quality” (which they refused to answer), they cut off all audience questions until the end.

    After they used up the first hour with three presentations, they asked every person to limit their comments to five minutes.

    Engaged Audience:
    The audience, most of them wearing CCHC “My Medical Records are Mine” stickers, was very engaged once the presentations were over, occasionally shouting out vocal rebuffs of less-than-transparent answers by the Department. They also applauded various comments made by the public.

    MDH may be hoping no one ever hears about the meeting. They chose not to record attendance (no sign-in sheets) or to tape record the public’s comments.

    Today we publish the CCHC report of the meeting, with lots of photos, to make sure the public knows what actually happened.

    Coming soon…a YouTube video of a very impassioned and noisy exchange between one woman and the Health Department officials on the constitutionality of government taking private data.

    Twila Brase
    President, CCHC
    651-646-8935

    Don’t take our medical records or send them to Maine

    1 Comment

    CCHC LOGO


    MEDIA RELEASE
    Wednesday, February 25, 2009
    For Immediate Release


    Minnesotans Tell State Health Officials:Don’t take our medical records or send them to Maine!

    Saint Paul/Feb. 25, 2009 – In less than 48 hours, more than 500 people sent letters to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) asking for a public hearing on a plan to seize patient data without consent and transfer it to a data warehouse in the State of Maine where it will be accessible to MDH officials for tracking and analysis, according to Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC).

    A state health official contacted CCHC on Monday, confirming that 562 letters were received by the department during the last two days of the public comment period (Feb 9 – 10), each one of them asking for a public hearing.

    “We call on the Minnesota Department of Health to hold a public hearing on this intrusive data collection rule. The Minnesota public is completely unaware that their medical records will soon be sent out of state and into the online hands of state government officials. The public has no idea that their data will be used to track them and to interfere in treatment decisions. They have no idea that they are about to lose all consent rights over their most private information,” charges Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

    Detailed Patient Data
    The “encounter data” initiative become law in the last days of the 2008 legislative session after it appeared in the negotiated health care reform bill that emerged from the Governor’s office. Patient data to be collected, tracked and analyzed include, but are not limited to:

    • demographics
    • diagnoses
    • treatments
    • doctor’s name and national provider identification numbers
    • insurance status
    • insurer
    • financial information
    • service, admission and discharge dates
    • injury codes
    • relationship codes
    • medications, including whether a refill and what date filled

     More…

    – CCHC –

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
    innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

     

    Hold a public hearing!

    MN Government planning to STEAL your medical data…to RATION your care!

    Leave a comment

    Your action needed immediately!

    DEADLINE – Friday, February 6, 2009.


    MN Government planning to STEAL your medical data…to RATION your care!The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) held a public meeting yesterday (1/29) to discuss their timetable for government warehousing and analysis of the medical records data of all Minnesotans for the purpose of centralizing medical decision-making…and limiting your access to care. (see quotes below)

    List of your Medical/Insurance/Pharmacy Data that will be sent to Government

    They plan to ramrod this plan through…and avoid all public input.

    The 2008 health care reform bill negotiated by Governor Pawlenty and House and Senate leadership authorized “expedited rulemaking” therefore stripping citizens of their right to ask for a public hearing before a judge on this plan to seize the private patient data of every citizen.

    Health Department Fails to Inform Citizens
    Yesterday they had a public meeting, not a public hearing. The Department chose not to even advertise it to the general public. CCHC has found no press release. This is the ONLY public meeting they plan to have for the public to learn about their plans and provide input. Four members of the public, including CCHC, were in the room yesterday along with about 70 industry and government folks. The four individuals in the room asked many pointed questions about cost and privacy and research that clearly frustrated health department officials…and exposed their lack of knowledge on the cost of this intrusive operation. (see below)

    Please Act Immediately!
    The health department has set a February 6 deadline for hearing from you! CCHC has provided a list of the data that will be sent to the government. Please do the following:

    image

    • TELL the MN Department of Health what you think of their plan to seize your medical records data and control your doctor’s decisions! Consider sending a carbon copy to the Star Tribune’s lead health science reporter (dhage@startribune.com) and to CCHC(info@cchconline.org)  Tell others to write a letter too. It can be 5 words long or 500.
    • TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS:

      Email:
      will.wilson@state.mn.us

      Mail:
      Minnesota Department of Health
      Division of Health Policy
      65 East Seventh Place, Suite 220
      St. Paul, MN 55164-0882
      Attn: Will Wilson

      Include your name, address, and phone number!

      TOPIC:  MDH Collection and Use of Patient “Encounter Data” (M.S. 62U.04)



      ALSO:


      Real Purpose of Data Collection
      Your medical records are being seized to monitor and control your doctors (see quotes); essentially, to build “scientific”data-based rationale for centralized decision-making…and health care rationing.

      Treatment Control Threatened – QUOTES 1/29/09 meeting
      The stated goals according to comments by today’s presenters included the following:

      • “[We’re] looking at care patterns of a provider”
      • “We want to know about the entire population the provider is serving”
      • “We want to get as complete a picture as possible of a provider’s population”
      • “[Use for] development and reporting of provider peer groups” based on “cost, quality, value, and efficiency”
      • “create a single standard [of “compliance reporting”] that the community agrees on.”
      • “to look at the quality of care provided…resources used to achieve quality…and price of resources used”
      • “Payers are required under statute to use that information” to steer patients toward higher quality, lower cost, more efficient providers [ie. providers that comply with MDH’s idea of “evidence-based medicine.”]
      • “We can look and see if that individual gets the appropriate treatment” [according to the ‘series of protocols’ they have for certain diseases]
      • “We need to count. We need to classify.”
      • “Gather all medical and pharmaceutical data and track members [patients] across plans”
      • Need pharmacy data to monitor “Treatment patterns…Resource consumption…Payment information”

      Command and Control
      Your medical records and insurance data will be used to create what they call, “provider peer groups.” CCHC prefers to call them “compliance report cards” on every doctor, clinic, and hospital. In 2002, MDH tried to get access to everyone’s private medical records through a proposed rule, but the public was outraged, hearings were held, it made front page news, and the proposed rule was withdrawn in 2003. In 2004, MDH tried to get the data through “best practices” legislation, but CCHC petitions forced the legislature to sunset the language in 2006. In 2008, in the final days of session the health care reform law gave them authority to get the data. By law, all insurers are now required to send your private data to MDH, which is using the Maine Health Information Center (MHIC) as their data warehouse contractor.

      Patient Privacy Gone
      Every time you see the doctor, the data will be sent to the Maine data warehouse. Every medication you take will be reported to Maine. Every diagnosis, every treatment will be cataloged. Every medical charge, every bill you pay will be reported. Your insurance company will have to regularly send a list of all their enrollees to Maine. The data will be released to MHIC under the loosest federal definition of “de-identified.” The name of every doctor and the encrypted name of every patient will be sent with every data submission. This “de-identification” process will not likely prevent re-identification of you if MDH wishes to do so.

      Clueless on Cost
      When asked about cost during the Q&A session, MDH officials did not know the following:

      • The cost of the 27 month contract with MHIC [they said they’d send it to CCHC]
      • The cost of the health department’s administration of the program [they said they’d send it]
      • Whether the data collection will save the state any money in health care spending
      • How much reporting will cost the entities required to report. They said they didn’t even try.

    CCHC releases “Newborn Rights” notification to assist parents of new babies during hospitalization

    Leave a comment

    CCHC MEDIA RELEASE
    Thursday, January 29, 2009
    For Immediate Release

    CCHC releases “Newborn Rights” notification to
    assist parents of new babies during hospitalization

     

    Document will help parents protect their baby’s privacy rights related to newborn
    genetic testing, and state government storage of and research on newborn DNA


    Minneapolis/Saint Paul – To give parents a tangible tool to protect the privacy and civil rights of their newborn babies, Citizens’ Council on Health Care has released a “Newborn Rights” notification document for use during hospitalization.

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC) also released the following statement from CCHC’s president, Twila Brase:

    “Many parents have told us stories of the difficulties they’ve had trying to protect their newborn babies while at the hospital. Often the hospital staff knows nothing about the options parents have under the Minnesota newborn genetic testing law. Most don’t even know about the Minnesota genetic privacy law and its written consent requirements. Some mothers and fathers have awakened to the sound of their baby crying, only to learn that the baby’s blood had already been taken without their consent.

    “To help parents protect their children, Citizens’ Council on Health Care is today releasing a notification form for parents to use in the hospital after the delivery of their baby. This simple form can be copied and posted on the door, taped to the bassinet, or placed wherever the parents think best. It can be handed to staff and used by the parents to notify the lab technicians, nurses, and doctors that they want to be contacted before anyone takes blood from their baby’s heel.

    “For six years, CCHC has been calling on the Minnesota Department of Health to fully inform parents of their right to protect their newborn’s genetic privacy and DNA property rights. The Department has steadfastly refused. They have also failed to follow the required informed written consent requirements of Minnesota’s genetic privacy law. Last year, they sought to exempt themselves from the law, and when they were unsuccessful, they continued to violate it. To this day, there is no consent form, and the warehousing of baby DNA continues unabated.

    “Today, more than 815,000 children have their DNA warehoused in the Minnesota Department of Health and more than 1.5 million children have their genetic testing results in a health department database. Over 52,000 children have been the subjects of genetic research without their parent’s knowledge or consent.

    “Until the state health department begins to respect the civil and statutory rights of babies and families, we will do all we can to help parents protect their children’s genetic privacy and DNA property rights before they are stolen by the Minnesota Department of Health.”

    FMI:
    Twila Brase, President
    651-646-8935
    info@cchconline.org

    – CCHC –

     

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
    innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

    PROPOSED: Socialized Medicine, Gov’t Surveillance & DNA Grab! Minnesota

    Leave a comment


    Governor Pawlenty Supports Illegal Actions of MN Health Commissioner

    CCHC held a press conference on December 10, 2008 challenging Governor Pawlenty to require health commissioner, Dr. Sanne Magnan, M.D., to follow the state’s genetic privacy law. WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV, and FOX-9 News gave the press conference great coverage, yet the Governor did not respond.

    Instead, on January 9th, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health proposed to try again to eliminate parent consent requirements in the genetic privacy law by giving the Department access to baby DNA for at least two years. CCHC’s president, Twila Brase, was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press saying, “This is the genetic profile of every child and the bloodline of every family…What they’re trying to say is, ‘For two years, it’s ours.'”

    Last week, Twila Brase, president of CCHC, met TWICE with staff at the Governor’s Office. She met with the governor’s Director of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs, and his senior health care policy advisor. She made it clear that the Governor would have to publicly state that he is requiring the MN Department of Health to follow the law or we would feel free to assert three things as of January 21, 2009 (see below). No such proclamation has been made.

    Thus, we regret to say, Governor Tim Pawlenty supports the following:

    • Violation of state law by the Minnesota Department of Health.
    • Government ownership and warehousing of newborn baby DNA.
    • Forcing newborn citizens and their families to become involuntary subjects of government genetic research.

    To Contact Governor Pawlenty: 651-296-3391; 800-657-3717; tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us (voice mail is best)


    Time to Twitter – Get CCHC Tweets!

    CCHC has set up two sites on Twitter.

    One is focused on genetic privacy and DNA ownership rights; the other is focused on the advance of socialized medicine. Within a hour of creating the NoSocializedMed twitter site, it had a follower…before CCHC even announced the site. Expect tweets straight from the halls of the legislature.

    For those who do not know, “tweets” can only be 140 characters long. In other words, VERY SHORT!

    U.S. House Republicans used Twitter to put pressure on Democrats during their energy sit-in during the 2008 August recess.

    To see CCHC tweets – not more than two a day from each site – join Twitter and sign up to FOLLOW CCHC’s tweets. You can either come daily to the Twitter site to view the tweets…or be directly alerted whenever a new tweet is issued.

    CCHC Twitter Sites:

    http://twitter.com/itsmydna
    http://twitter.com/noSocializedMed


    Support CCHC’s Freedom-Focused Efforts Today

    Your financial contributions will help CCHC’s efforts! Please donate $10 or $25 or $100 online today

    Donations are tax-deductible!

    CCHC has been approved as a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization by the IRS.

    Will Public Health “Tyranny” Rise in 2009?

    1 Comment

    Will Public Health “Tyranny” Rise in 2009?
    Next year promises to challenge the health freedoms of all Americans.

    As we move together toward January 1 and the challenges ahead, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support of Citizens’ Council on Health Care.

    Together we have faced legislative giants and toppled them (eg. Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange…Baby DNA Warehousing). Your signature has graced petitions and emails and letters. Your calls have rung in the ears of the Governor, the President, Congress and/or the Minnesota legislature. It’s been a blessing to be a part of it all.

    CCHC’s string of successes across the years tells the tale of your faithful and active support of CCHC’s efforts.

    I’d like to say we won, once and for all. But I can’t. In 2009, we expect state and federal public health agencies to reach for more intrusive controls on patient care and individual lives. Here are a few pending examples:

    • Health care rationing will be pushed under the guise of “value,” “quality,” “equity,” and “evidence-based medicine” – as defined by corporate and government officials working together. (My paper published by ALEC refuting EMB)
    • As a sign of things to come, the New York Commissioner of Health is supporting an 18% “fat tax” on soda pop.
    • The Minnesota Department of Health is expected to try again to eliminate our consent rights for government warehousing of newborn blood and baby DNA. If you haven’t already, please sign the CCHC petition asking Governor Pawlenty to dismantle the Baby DNA warehouse.
    • Senator Ted Kennedy plans to establish Hillary’s national health data system to put all the private details in your medical records online and electronically accessible to public health officials. (“Wired for Health Care Quality Act”)
    • Mr. Kennedy will also attempt to create a new national entity appointed to use your private data to grade your doctors “performance,” likely in concert with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • The Minnesota Department of Health appears ready to support Minnesota hospitals and others as they push for corporate ownership of the tissue, blood and DNA you leave behind in clinics, and laboratories and hospitals.
    These plans, however, are just that. Plans.

    Although they have some heavy duty backers, these plans are no reason to give up. As a wiser person than me has said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” It thrills me to know that you are one of the good people that acts. It remains a grand and noble challenge to protect the freedoms we were blessed to receive by birth.

    Eternal vigilance is key. In 2009, CCHC will work to educate you on the issues so your vigilance is spot-on and timely.

    I am reminded every day of how you are the backbone, the breastbone, the legs, the arms and often the ears and eyes of CCHC. We prize your active engagement with our efforts and your active support for the great and exhilarating cause of freedom. With your help we will be ready and able to meet the challenges of 2009. 

    I know that these are difficult days financially.

    As you consider the possibility of year-end giving, we would be grateful to be on your list. If you’ve been planning to give and haven’t yet…please Donate Now

    Faithful friends are precious indeed. Thank you for all you do to support CCHC.

    I look forward to working with you in 2009.

    Yours in freedom,

    Twila

     


    Twila Brase, RN, PHN
    President, CCHC
    651-646-8935 

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
    innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care
    1954 University Ave. W., Ste. 8
    St. Paul, MN 55104

    Minnesota Department of Health Continues to Store Baby DNA without Required

    Leave a comment

    MEDIA RELEASE
    Wednesday, December 10, 2008
    For Immediate Release



    Minnesota Department of Health Continues to Store Baby DNA without Required

     

    Parent Consent; Violates Genetic Privacy Law…and Governor’s Veto

     

     

    CCHC calls on Governor Pawlenty to require compliance with state law

    St. Paul/Minneapolis – In a press conference held today, concerned parents and the Citizens’ Council on Health Care (CCHC) called on Governor Tim Pawlenty to require his Commissioner of Health to cease and desist the warehousing of newborn blood and baby DNA without informed, written parent consent.

    “Despite Governor Pawlenty’s veto of the health department’s DNA warehousing bill last legislative session…we have confirmed that the Minnesota Department of Health is continuing to warehouse baby DNA without parent consent. This is a direct violation of the genetic privacy and DNA property rights of parents and children,” said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

    DeEtta Moos, mother of four children, said, “Last session, there was an attempt to undercut Judge Neilson’s ruling, but thanks to Governor Pawlenty’s veto, the Minnesota Genetic Privacy Law still demands the requirement of parental consent for storage of blood and any purposes beyond the initial testing.”

    Ryan Sibinski, expectant father of twins, expressed his disappointment saying, “My wife and I are acutely aware that storage of newborn DNA is still being done illegally by the MN Department of Health.  We thought the Governor’s veto was supposed to solve this, but we have now discovered that the storage continues.”

    Mr. Sibinski continued, “In two months or less, our babies will be born. I request here today that the Department of Health make sure that I am clearly asked to consent to the storage, use, and sharing of my children’s blood and DNA.   This is my legal right under the law.”

    Attorney Nathan Hansen, who has been attempting to obtain public documents regarding the transfer and use of newborn DNA for research studies, said, “No excuse has been given by the Department for this information not to be handed over.”

    Notable History:

    • August 1, 2006 – Minnesota Genetic Privacy Law (M.S. 13.386) becomes effective. Informed written consent required for collection, storage, use and dissemination of genetic information by government and others.
    • January 23, 2007 – At request of concerned citizens, a public hearing was held on the health department’s proposed revision to the newborn screening rule.
    • March 23, 2007 – Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Barbara Neilsen rules that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is violating the 2006 state genetic privacy law’s informed written consent requirements for storage, use and dissemination.
    • July 3, 2007 – Chief Administrative Law Judge Raymond R. Krause denies Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach’s appeal of the Neilsen ruling.
    • August 29, 2007 – Commissioner Mandernach withdraws the proposed revision to the newborn screening rule.
    • February 25, 2008 – Legislation introduced in the Minnesota legislature to exempt the newborn screening program (collection, storage, use, and dissemination) from the genetic privacy law’s requirements for informed, written consent.
    • May 19, 2008 – Governor vetoes S.F. 3138, prohibiting an exemption to the genetic privacy law’s consent requirements. He mentions ALJ ruling in his veto letter.
    • November 18, 2008 – David Orren, MDH Chief Legal Counsel, confirms to CCHC that MDH continues to store newborn blood without consent.

    Ms. Brase called on Governor Pawlenty to act, saying, “We call on Governor Pawlenty to take immediate steps to assure the public that he supports the rule of law, and holds his administration accountable to follow the law. Let me suggest that he issue a statement today guaranteeing the health department’s compliance with the written informed consent requirements of the genetic privacy law. He could decree that no newborn blood be warehoused, used for research, or shared with others without informed written parent consent. He could order the health department to release public documents in compliance with the Government Data Practices Act. And he could also promise to dismantle the state’s DNA warehouse, protecting the genetic privacy rights of the more than 780,000 children whose DNA has been claimed by state government and warehoused without consent.”

    -CCHC-

    Links to the Governor’s veto letter, the Administrative Law Judge’s decision, the Minnesota Department of Health and CCHC documents can be found at http://www.itsmydna.org

    Citizens’ Council on Health Care supports freedom for patients and doctors, medical
    innovation, and the right to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.

    PLEASE ACT – MN government wants to own your DNA!

    Leave a comment

    ACT NOW !                                            

    TAKE OUR DNA SURVEY

    UNDER ATTACK:  Your Parent, Patient, Privacy & DNA Property Rights!

    While the MN Genetic Privacy law today requires informed written consent before government or others can collect, store, use or share YOUR genetic information….state government bureaucrats and special interests in a state genetic committee want to eliminate the consent requirement next year!


    The Threat                

    NEWBORN DNA: The MN Genetic Information Working Group has met for a year. During these meetings, the issue of newborn genetic testing…and storage and use of newborn DNA-filled blood spots…has become very contentious. (see quotes below)

    BIG GOVERNMENT: Working group members from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) want government control and ownership of citizen DNA for “public health” purposes. Their recommendation seeks to undo the informed written consent requirements of the 2006 genetic privacy law (MN Statutes 13.386).

    • INVOLUNTARY RESEARCH: The lawyer representing Mayo Clinic in the working group wants all blood, tissue and body parts taken in the course of your medical care to be available without your consent for medical and genetic research by your clinic, hospital and laboratory.

    OPPOSED TO GOVERNOR’S VETO: Mayo’s lawyer also stated during one of the meetings that Governor Pawlenty’s decision to veto the 2008 DNA warehouse bill should not have happened (Notice: Mayo has a contract with MDH to do genetic testing of all babies).


    Your help is needed now!

    The 2009 legislature will soon be asked to decide whether to protect or eliminate your consent rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights.

    A report from the MN Genetic Information Working Group will go to the 2009 legislature in December.

    Twila Brase, CCHC’s president and an appointed member of the working group, has pressed for retaining informed written parent and patient consent requirements. She has said that government and private institutions must be required to obtain informed written consent for almost all collection, storage, use and dissemination of biological specimens (blood, tissue, fluids, organs, hair, etc). She has repeatedly told the working group:

    • Individuals need the right to protect themselves from having their genetic data used against them and their families.
    • No person should be forced to be an involuntary subject of medical and genetic research.
    • Genetic experts are already warning that there can be no guarantee of anonymity in research because of the proliferation of databases.
    • Even if DNA and genetic testing data could be anonymized, individuals should not be forced to participate in research they may find objectionable.

    Today, the Mayo attorney told members of the working group that if they accept CCHC’s recommendations regarding research, Minnesota would become an “outlier.” Twila Brase disagreed, saying Minnesota would instead become a leader.

    Help us protect your parent, patient, privacy and DNA property rights!

    If you haven’t already done so…please take CCHC’s very brief DNA OWNERSHIP SURVEY today!

    Please ask everyone you know to take the survey as well!

     

    STATEMENTS HEARD AT TODAY’S MEETING OF THE   MN GENETIC INFORMATION WORKING GROUP:

    “People have to be very careful in weighing the risk of discarding  specimens…If you limit the ability to test these spots or keep these spots, you’ll limit the ability to test for lethal conditions in the future.”

    (Ruth Lynfield, MDH Epidemiologist, arguing for continued government retention of newborn blood taken from all babies at birth)

    “Yes, that’s rightThat’s how it’s historically been done.”

    (Lynfield, MDH, in response to a member’s question about whether newborn blood spots now retained by the state health department have already been used for research to develop additional newborn screening tests)

    “Yes, perfectly healthy children’s blood spots were used.” (David Orren, MDH attorney, in response to a question about the Mayo Clinic’s research project on Wilson’s Disease using government-retained newborn blood spots – without parent consent or knowledge)

    “Having a population-based [blood spot] repository is incredibly important.”

    (Lynfield, MDH)

    “Public health is such a broad purpose.”

    (Orren, MDH, arguing against parent and patient written informed consent requirements for secondary uses of DNA, biological specimens, and genetic information retained by government)

    CCHC ACTION ALERT info@cchconline.org

    Private Medical Records Can Be Identified and Used Against Patients and Doctors.

    Leave a comment

    PART 2  from CCHC….Minnesota  mailto:twila@cchconline.org

    Private Medical Records Can Be Identified and Used Against Patients and Doctors.

    The following is from the Senate version of SF 3099.

    RE-IDENTIFICATION – Note that language about de-identification references the so-called federal HIPAA “privacy” rule (§164.514 – line 48.16). This allows the provider of the data to assign an identification “code” that allows the data to be re-identified, meaning that the data is NOT anonymous.

    MEASURING DOCTORS – On lines 49.5 and 49.12, it is clear that the data will be used to “grade” doctors and clinics, reporting and measuring doctors by how many services they provide and how expensive they are.

    RATIONING CARE – Physician payments will be attached to these report cards, potentially leading to limited services for patients in the near future.

        Sec. 20. [62U.10] PAYMENT RESTRUCTURING; PROVIDER INNOVATION
    47.35TO IMPROVE COSTS AND QUALITY.

    48.1    Subdivision 1. Development. (a) By January 15, 2009, the Health Care
    48.2Transformation Commission shall report to the legislature recommendations for advancing
    48.3an innovative payment system for the chronic conditions of coronary artery and heart
    48.4disease, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression.
    48.5    (b) By January 15, 2010, the Health Care Transformation Commission shall report to
    48.6the legislature additional changes necessary to accomplish comprehensive payment reform
    48.7designed to support an innovative payment system to reduce costs and improve quality.
    48.8    (c) By January 1, 2011, the Health Care Transformation Commission shall develop
    48.9rules to implement a comprehensive payment system that encourages provider innovation
    48.10to reduce costs and improve quality.
    48.11    Subd. 2. Encounter data. (a) Beginning September 1, 2009, and every three months
    48.12thereafter, all health plan companies and third-party administrators shall submit encounter
    48.13data to the Health Care Transformation Commission. The data shall be submitted in a
    48.14form and manner specified by the commission subject to the following requirements:
    48.15    (1) the data must be de-identified data as described under the Code of Federal
    48.16Regulations, title 45, section 164.514;
    48.17    (2) the data for each encounter must include an identifier for the patient’s health care
    48.18home if the patient has selected a health care home; and
    48.19    (3) except for the identifier described in clause (2), the data must not include
    48.20information that is not included in a health care claim or equivalent encounter information
    48.21transaction that is required under section 62J.536.
    48.22    (b) The commission shall only use the data submitted under paragraph (a) for the
    48.23purpose of carrying out its responsibilities in designing and implementing a payment
    48.24restructuring system. If the commission contracts with other organizations or entities to
    48.25carry out any of its duties or responsibilities described in this chapter, the contract must
    48.26require that the organization or entity maintain the data that it receives according to the
    48.27provisions of this section.
    48.28    (c) Data on providers collected under this subdivision are private data on individuals
    48.29or nonpublic data, as defined in section 13.02. Notwithstanding the definition of summary
    48.30data in section 13.02, subdivision 19, summary data prepared under this section may be
    48.31derived from nonpublic data. The commission shall establish procedures and safeguards
    48.32to protect the integrity and confidentiality of any data that it maintains.
    48.33    (d) The commission shall not publish analyses or reports that identify, or could
    48.34potentially identify, individual patients.
    48.35    (e) The commission may publish analyses and reports that identify specific providers
    48.36but only after the provider has been provided the opportunity by the commission to review
    49.1the data and submit comments. The provider shall have 21 days to review and comment,
    49.2after which time the commission may release the data along with any comments submitted
    49.3by the provider.
    49.4    Subd. 3. Utilization and health care costs. (a) The commission shall develop a
    49.5method of calculating the relative utilization and health care costs of providers. The
    49.6method must exclude the costs of catastrophic cases and must include risk adjustments
    49.7to reflect differences in the demographics, health, and special needs of the providers’
    49.8patient population. The risk adjustment must be developed in accordance with generally
    49.9accepted risk adjustment methodologies.
    49.10    (b) Beginning April 1, 2010, the commission shall disseminate information to
    49.11providers on their utilization and cost in comparison to an appropriate peer group.
    49.12    (c) The commission shall develop a system to index providers based on their
    49.13total risk-adjusted resource use and quality of care, and separately for the conditions
    49.14of coronary artery and heart disease, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary
    49.15disease, and depression. In developing this system, the commission shall consult and
    49.16coordinate with health care providers, health plan companies, and organizations that work
    49.17to improve health care quality in Minnesota.

    The “Super Broker” Bargaining Chip??..CCHC Insurance Exchange Update

    Leave a comment

    PART 1   CCHC Minnesota  mailto:twila@cchconline.org

    Bargaining for Power in Health Care “Reform” Bill

    While it is of little use to spend all one’s time at the long
     and long-winded conference committee meetings, it is
    good to gather intel every once and awhile as we move to
    what will hopefully be a veto of SF 3099 by the Governor.
     

     

    Health Plan and other lobbyists today told CCHC that the Super Broker is still in the bill, along with myriad other bad stuff, like the bureaucratic, all-controlling Health Care Transformation Commission and payment reform, which is essentially the imposition of price controls. We understand that Sen. Berglin wants the Super Broker for the purpose of transferring subsidy program funds from the State to the health plans.

    However, it’s clear that nobody else wants the Super Broker. One lobbyist told me, in so many words (paraphrased): “Nobody wants it. The Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want it, the Governor’s office says they no longer need it, the insurance agents don’t want it. Why is it in the bill still?”

    At which point, CCHC suggested that it’s being used merely as a bargaining chip by the Senate author, Sen. Linda Berglin, with the Governor. The lobbyist concurred…perhaps the Senator is using it to get the financial/budget issues to slide in her direction. That’s one good reason the Governor shouldn’t put anything in the bill he might not want to become law.

    On the other hand, one seasoned lobbyist said that a policy bill (SF 3099) is unlikely to be signed into law. That would be good news, but there’s no guarantee, so remind your legislators and the Governor what you think of the “Super Broker” proposal. The cast and crew of two off-season committees (the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force and the Legislative Health Care Access Committee) meant it when they proposed these ideas. They want them to become law. Governor Pawlenty is all that stands in the way of the Super Broker and socialized medicine.

     

    Will Your Private Medical Records be “Dumped” into the Hands of Government?

    In 2002, the public became outraged when CCHC exposed the Minnesota Department of Health proposed rules to require every health plan and every hospital to ship all the private details of your private medical records to the government. It made front page news, and the rule was dropped several months later after well-publicized legislative hearings. That said, the 1995 LAW allowing Health Department access to all your medical records still exists, a point we’re never going to let be forgotten.

    Now, the health care reform bill, SF 3099, proposes to require all health plans to ship your private medical records (right down to all the details of each encounter between patient and doctor) to the Health Care Transformation Commission, a $12 million “super agency”of political appointees, for data mining, analysis, and anything else they choose to use it for…now and in the future.

    Proponents of rationing and price controls could use your data to propose certain types of people not receive care, or to propose legislative and other policies that target individuals for intervention strategies, including in the future, genetic manipulation. Don’t forget to sign our petition against Minnesota’s DNA warehouse, genetic registries and unconsented genetic research. (Please do not sign it twice. Thank you.)

    Let legislators and the Governor know what you think about SF 3099’s “Data Dump” (the sharing of your private medical”encounter data” with a group of political appointees).

     

    Who to Call – Bill Busters!
    1) Contact the Senators and Representatives that represent you.

    2) Contact Governor Tim Pawlenty: 651-296-3391; 1-800-657-3717; tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

    %d bloggers like this: