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Obamacare: Sold to the Highest Bidder

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new-logo25By  Dr. Marilyn Singleton,

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The Affordable Care Act is like the television show Storage Wars, where unclaimed items in storage lockers are auctioned off after a quick peek through the door. People bid top dollar and hope for the best. Some find a goldmine, but the unseasoned bidders usually receive a Pandora’s Box.

Let’s look at some of the winners. The Center for Public Policy, a non-partisan public interest think tank in Washington D.C., estimated that $120 million was spent lobbying for health reform. Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) alone spent $26 million lobbying for Obamacare in 2009. And PhRMA has spent well over $100 million on ad campaigns promoting healthcare reform legislation.

Upon passage of the bill, the stocks of some of the largest health insurers, including Cigna, UnitedHealth Group,WellPoint,and Aetna climbed. Major makers of electronic health records (EHR) systems lobbied hard, locking out smaller competitors. Chicago-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions former CEO Glen Tullman, who had served as health technology adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, made more than $200,000 in contributions to the campaign, and was frequent guest at the White House during 2009. With some nudging from the Stimulus mandate for EHRs, annual sales of Allscripts more than doubled from $548 million in 2009 to $1.44 billion in 2012. Cerner, another software purveyor, spent $400,000 lobbying for EHR. During the same three-year period, sales rose 60 percent.

Of course, AARP’s CEO, Barry Rand, wrote that the ACA was “vital” for the nation’s seniors. This makes no sense when the ACA in fact cut a half a trillion dollars from the popular Medicare Advantage program. It seems the ACA’s passage was vital to AARP’s insurance Medi-gap insurance products – which people with Medicare Advantage do not need. More

Medical Privacy At Risk – DEADLINE: MONDAY, March 15

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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.

 

Economic Stimulus Bill Mandates Electronic Health Records for Every Citizen without Opt-out or Patient Consent Provisions

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http://www.forhealthfreedom.org/Publications/Privacy/EconomicStimulusAndPrivacy2.html

Economic Stimulus Bill Mandates Electronic Health Records
for Every Citizen without Opt-out or Patient Consent Provisions 

 


January 23, 2009

(Washington, DC)—The Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) warns that the economic stimulus bill mandates electronic health records for every citizen without providing for opt-out or patient consent provisions.  “Without those protections, Americans’ electronic health records could be shared—without their consent—with over 600,000 covered entities through the forthcoming nationally linked electronic health-records network,” says Sue A. Blevins, IHF president.

“President Obama has pledged to advance freedom.  Therefore the freedom to choose not to participate in a national electronic health-records system must be upheld,” Blevins says. “Unless people have the right to decide if and when their health information is shared or whether to participate in research studies, they don’t have a true right to privacy.”

IHF calls on Americans who care about health privacy to contact their members of Congress and President Obama to voice their own opinions about the need for opt-out and patient consent provisions, to ensure true patient privacy rights.

Some provisions of the economic stimulus bill include:

* “The utilization of an electronic health record for each person in the United States by 2014.”

* “The National Coordinator shall perform the duties…consistent with the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information and that…facilitates health and clinical research…”

The federal medical privacy rule promulgated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) already permits the disclosure of personal health information without patient consent for treatment, payment, and oversight of the healthcare system.  IHF has long called for modification of the HIPAA rule to restore patient consent in order to preserve the confidential doctor-patient relationship. The stimulus bill fails to restore patient consent, while at the same time, mandating electronic health records and facilitating the electronic exchange of every American’s health information.

The Institute for Health Freedom is a national nonprofit, educational organization whose mission is to bring the issues of personal health freedom to the forefront of the American health-policy debate. IHF monitors and reports on national policies that affect citizens’ freedom to choose their health-care treatments and providers, and to maintain their health privacy—including genetic privacy. IHF is not affiliated with any other organization. © 2009 Institute for Health Freedom.

http://www.forhealthfreedom.org/Publications/Privacy/EconomicStimulusAndPrivacy2.html

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