Health Care Spending to Climb Through 2024;

 

***NEWS RELEASE***

 

For Immediate Release
August 3, 2015

CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 104,Media@HamiltonStrategies.com

 

Health Care Spending to Climb Through 2024;

Premiums Spiral Under ACA, Genome Research Could
Affect Patient Privacy; Medicare for All Citizens?

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom On Top of Several Pressing Health Care Issues and Available for Comment

 

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Health care is an always-moving, always-changing entity, with new developments every day—some of which compromise patients’ private medical information, as well as the care their doctors can offer them.

Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights, keeps up on daily breaking health care news.

“Every day, others are making decisions about health care who perhaps shouldn’t be—lawmakers, IT executives and researchers,” Brase said. “And all of them have their own agendas, from increasing spending to sharing private medical data to studying and mapping our genome sequences. In actuality, patients and doctors should be the ones making our crucial health care decisions. They are slowly but surely, however, being pushed out of the equation.”

Just a few recent health care headlines could have significant implications for patients, Brase added. The longtime patient advocate and registered nurse is available to provide further insights on these recent headlines.

Health care will comprise 20% of government spending by 2024

According to a new report by CNBC, about $1 for every $5 spent in the United States by 2024 will be spent on health care, forecasting a quickening of the health inflation rate. Health care spending will outpace GDP, growing an average of 5.8 percent per year from 2014 to 2024, due largely to the expansion in the number of people with health insurance through Obamacare, stronger economic growth and an older population transitioning into the Medicare system. These projections, Brase said, are in line with what many Obamacare opponents predicted all along—that the Affordable Care Act will not be “affordable” at all.

Premiums spiral under ACA

Additionally, many health care customers will see double-digit increases in their premiums for coverage—not only those enrolled in Obamacare. HotAir.com is reporting that “once the government ends a backstop for insurance companies known as the ‘risk corridor’ program, the escalating costs of providing care will fall directly on consumers,” and nearly every state has multiple health care plans that are facing a more than 10 percent premium increase, according to the rate requests posted on Healthcare.gov. Many plans could even see hikes of 30, 40 or 50 percent.

“Just a little over a month ago,” Brase said, “the Supreme Court ruled to keep Obamacare on life support and squandered the chance to return health freedom to all Americans. Now, with the mandate and penalties in place in all 50 states with or without a state exchange, all of us will see the result of allowing a flawed government health care system to continue to operate, even though it redistributes income, puts our private medical data at risk, ties the hands of doctors and medical professionals, and leaves Americans with less money in their pockets to pay for the higher cost of health care.”

How genome research could affect patient privacy

The Health IT Now Coalition and the Center for Data Innovation recently released the paper, “From Evolution to Revolution: Building the 21st Century Genomic Infrastructure,” on research that provides recommendations to policy makers on how individual genetic, environmental and lifestyle variability affects the health of those who volunteer their personal health data.

The paper makes recommendations to “improve interoperability and data sharing for all health data,” “ensure patients and the private sector are actively engaged” and “reevaluate current privacy and consent laws to account for modern scientific and technological advances.”

“In short,” Brase notes, “this would likely mean less privacy, less power for state legislatures to protect their constituents’ data from intrusion, and more outsider access to the personal, lifestyle, and very private medical and genetic information of all citizens.”

Medicare to cover ‘every man, woman and child’?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has said he will introduce a single-payer, Medicare-for-all bill “in the very near future,” according toTheHill.com, pushing for a universal system in which the government provides health insurance for all. “The time has come also to say that we need to expand Medicare to cover every man, woman and child as a single-payer, national healthcare program,” Sanders stated.

As Medicare and Medicaid turned 50 last week, Brase says both systems are helping to destroy the ethical confidential practice of medicine, and expanding Medicare, or a Medicare-like option—will only exacerbate the problems.

“Medicare is yet another government health care program that is severely flawed,” Brase said. “Problems abound, even after 50 years in existence. Any solution for the Medicare crisis must be based on American principles of individual freedom and personal responsibility.

Brase says there are three reasons Medicare recipients may prefer an escape plan rather than a rescue plan:

  1. Medicare is a Ponzi scheme. The first recipients received their promised benefits in full. For example, in 1966, nearly 20 million people entered the program without paying a dime. Today’s recipients have seen the promise falter. According to author Sue Blevins in “Medicare’s Midlife Crisis,” seniors are paying almost as much out of pocket now as they were before Medicare began. And for future recipients, the working young, the promise is made of air. Medicare insolvency is expected in 2030. The unfunded liability is at least $43 trillion.
     
  2. Medicare has always been severely under-funded. Consider the 1.45 percent payroll tax that funds Medicare Part A (hospitalization insurance). After 45 years of work, a person earning $35,000 a year has contributed only $22,837 for what could be 15, 20, 30 or more years of Medicare in-patient services. Moreover, nonworking spouses pay nothing into the program but are still entitled to receive benefits.
     
  3. Medicare is big government at its worst. Fifty years of entitlement spending has led to an enormous federal bureaucracy, a blizzard of paperwork requirements, bureaucratic controls on the practice of medicine, more than 130,000 pages of oppressive Medicare regulations, numerous reimbursement-based rationing strategies, the nationwide imposition of managed care and a national budget crisis.

For more information about CCHF and its “5C” Solution for Health Carevisit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cchfreedom or its Twitter feed, @CCHFreedom.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​ CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on approximately 350 stations nationwide, including 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

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, 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 intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.

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For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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