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

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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.

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

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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.

Congress Passes S. 1858 creating DNA Warehouse for all US Citizens

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To contact President Bush:
Comments:   202-456-1111
Switchboard:   202-456-1414
FAX:  202-456-2461
EMAIL: comments@whitehouse.gov
The president has 10 legislative days to sign the bill or veto it.

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

 

National “DNA Warehouse” bill passes; American citizens to become unwilling subjects of genetic researchCCHC calls on President Bush to Veto the Bill

 

 



Minneapolis/Saint Paul
– Yesterday, in a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to authorize the creation of a national DNA warehouse and broad-scale genetic research on the American public.

 

S.1858, passed by the U.S. Senate last December, has been sent to the President for signing.Twila Brase, president of CCHC, makes the following statement:”We are asking President Bush to veto this unethical, immoral, and unconstitutional bill.

 

Congress has voted to strip citizens of genetic privacy rights and DNA property rights. The bill also violates research ethics and the Nuremberg Code.”Soon, under this bill, the DNA of all citizens will be housed in government genomic biobanks and considered government property for government research.

 

The DNA taken at birth from every citizen is essentially owned by the government, and every citizen becomes a potential subject of government-sponsored genetic research.

 

“The public is clueless. S. 1858 imposes a federal agenda of DNA databanking and population-wide genetic research.  It does not require consent and there are no requirements to fully inform parents about the warehousing of their child’s DNA for the purpose of genetic research. Already, in Minnesota, the state health department reports that 42,210 children of the 780,000 whose DNA is housed in the Minnesota “DNA warehouse” have been subjected to genetic research without their parent’s knowledge or consent.

 

“President Bush should not sign this bill.”

Twila Brase
is president of Citizens’ Council on Health Care. She can be reached at 651-646-8935.

 

 

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

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