CCHF Urges Minnesota Lawmakers to Oppose ‘Reinsurance’ Legislation

***NEWS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT:
Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Media@HamiltonStrategies.com

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Urges Minnesota

Lawmakers to Oppose ‘Reinsurance’ Legislation


Bill Up for Vote on Monday Will Dramatically Change Individual Insurance Market, Raise Costs and Compromise Medical Privacy
 

ST. PAUL, Minn.—On Monday, Minnesota House lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill that will dramatically change the individual market in Minnesota.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national health freedom and patient advocacy organization, is urging those lawmakers to oppose “reinsurance” legislation, which will create a new taxpayer-funded program for the entire individual insurance market, fool patients about who is paying their medical bills, raise costs for taxpayers, and compromise and share their private medical data.

Earlier this week, Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF, submitted written testimony on this important Minnesota health care issue to the state Senate Health and Human Services Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means committee. She reminded legislators of what happened to the federal reinsurance program under Obamacare; the program came up $2 billion short and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled that HHS diverted billions illegally to insurers.

“Does Minnesota have a backup plan that’s not a bailout when and if there’s a shortfall?” she asks.

Brase adds that the reinsurance bill coming up for vote takes much of the insurance function away from health plans in the individual market and lays it on taxpayers. Under the House bill, HF 5, taxpayers will pay up to 70 percent of all medical bills between $50,000 and $250,000.

“Taxpayers will cover up to $140,000 of the cost of patient in the individual market after $50,000,” she says. “This huge donut hole is a major shift in state tax and health policy. This bill also creates a new government program for the individual market, the Minnesota Premium Security Plan. Minnesotans will have a Blue Cross or a Medica card in their hand, but essentially they’ll be in a government program. It just won’t look like it and it won’t feel like it because they won’t have a MN Premium Security card. And it doesn’t look like they’ll be told they’re in this government program, but as soon as their costs rise high enough, their data will be shared through a special portal with the government-established entity running this program. It doesn’t look like they’ll hear about the data-sharing either. They’ll think the plan is paying.”

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Read Brase’s full testimony here.

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CCHF is also sharing a diagram and five reasons for lawmakers to oppose the reinsurance proposal (SF 720) advancing in the Minnesota Senate:

  1. Taxpayers Become Insurers—Relieves insurers of their insurance function in the individual market and lays it on taxpayers, who will pay 80 percent of all medical bills between $45,000 and $250,000. Taxpayers will cover up to $164,000 of the cost of patients in the individual market after $45,000. Insurers will likely buy reinsurance to cover all costs over $250,000.

  2. New Invisible Government Program—Minnesotans in the individual market will have a Medica, Blue Cross or HealthPartners card but they’ll be in a government program: Minnesota Premium Security Plan. They’ll think the health plan is paying their bills, but as soon as their costs rise above $45,000, taxpayers will be paying—a boon for health plans; a bane for taxpayers.

  3. Data Shared with Government—A special health plan portal will be set up to share medical data with the government-established entity (MN Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA)) that will pay 80 percent of medical bills exceeding $45,000.

  4. High Cost—MCHA’s peak enrollment was 38,000 people. There are approximately 250,000 in the individual market. Expected costs are $300 million per year. The new government plan does not sunset and will use the provider tax/health care access fund, which is scheduled for repeal in 2019.

  5. House vs. Senate—The bill, HF 5, dictates that coinsurance is 50 to 70 percent of costs after the first $50,000 up to $250,000.

CCHF is a national patient-centered health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. Read more about CCHF here.

CCHF has launched The Wedge of Health Freedom (www.JointheWedge.com) to transform the entire health care system back to freedom and restore simplicity, affordability and confidentiality. Nearly 200 Wedge practices, where patients can find affordable, patient-centered care, are located in 44 states and listed online.

For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. For more about The Wedge of Health Freedom,
visit
www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.

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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

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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