Rep. Darrell Issa Questions Governor Mark Dayton about Troubled State Exchange

***NEWS RELEASE***
 
For Immediate Release
April 7, 2014
 
CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com                           
Rep. Darrell Issa Questions Governor Mark Dayton about Troubled State Exchange
 
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Says Gov. Dayton Must Provide Answers to Why MNsure Didn’t Deliver
 
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), Chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, has written a five-page letter to 10 governors, including Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, holding states accountable for troubled Obamacare health insurance exchanges, namely Minnesota’s exchange—MNsure. Dayton has been given until tomorrow, April 8, to reply.


The letter, addressed to Dayton on March 25, asks for internal documents and communications between state employees, contractors and Obama Administration officials regarding the state insurance exchange dating from last May forward. Issa also requests audits of MNsure’s development, readiness and security dating back to the summer of 2012. Additionally, the committee called MNsure’s interim CEO Scott Leitz to testify at a hearing, which took place on Thursday and was titled, “Examining ObamaCare’s Problem-Filled State Exchanges.”


Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization with the goal is to preserve patient-centered health care and protect patient and privacy rights, says the letter calls the struggling Minnesota exchange on the carpet, demanding reasons that the exchange has been unsuccessful, even with millions of dollars in federal support.


“This letter from Rep. Issa holds MNsure accountable for putting patients’ private medical information at risk and failing to uphold its responsibilities to Minnesota residents,” said Brase of CCHF, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year. “MNsure’s marketing campaign, featuring Paul Bunyan and Babe, never told people their data would be insecure and their deductibles high and never told them they might have to switch doctors . The committee has brought to light the flaws that Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom has been highlighting for months.”


“It is clear that the Minnesota exchange,” Issa’s letter reads, “has failed to live up to expectations. Despite receiving over $155 million dollars in federal grants to set up its ObamaCare exchange, the exchange has managed to enroll only approximately 38,000 people. Put differently, for every person enrolled by the exchange, federal taxpayers gave the State approximately $5,000.” Since the letter was written, the number of enrollees has increased, but only to approximately 47,000.


The letter went on to state that since enrollment opened in October, “the Minnesota exchange has consistently failed to deliver a useable product for its citizens.” For example, MNsure had to manually process 30,000 applications due to software errors; the original executive director, April Todd-Malmlov, resigned, and talks loomed about scrapping the state system altogether.


Representative Jim Jordan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, and Representative James Lankford, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, also signed the letter.


Brase says signing up for government-run health care coverage puts Americans’ private medical data at risk, compromises care, ties the hands of medical professionals and takes more money out of Americans’ pockets. CCHF has outlined three legal ways to avoid the flawed system.

 

  1. Buy private insurance outside of the government exchanges, such as a private policy, employer-sponsored coverage or private insurance exchange.  
  2. Pay the penalty tax in 2015 for being without coverage in 2014, either $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is greater—this is less expensive and less risky than high government premiums.  
  3. Claim one of 14 Obamacare exemptions.


Earlier this year, CCHF launched its “Refuse to Enroll” billboard campaign to educate the public on the dangers of Obamacare and the legal alternatives to enrolling in the government-run system.


CCHF has also published a list of the Top Ten Terribles of Obamacare, including four main reasons not to enroll in state exchanges:

 

  1. No Private Insurance: Obamacare is “Medicaid for the middle class.” 
  2. No Privacy: Patient data enters a federal database that is accessible by the IRS.  
  3. Limited Choice: Health care coverage utilizes “narrow network” policies.  
  4. High Premiums: Income redistribution and subsidies


Twila Brase shares health care-related news with the public in her daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide on the American Family Radio Network and 90-plus stations on the Bott Radio Network. During the daily features, listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed health care initiatives and policies and what they can do to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. Brase, a public health nurse and health care freedom advocate, informs listeners of crucial health issues, such as the intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy and the need for informed consent requirements, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.

Twila Brase has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” She 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. Brase shares health care-related news and commentary with the public in her daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on nearly 350 stations daily, including the 150-station American Family Radio Network and the 80-station Bott Radio Network. Health Freedom Minute is sponsored by the Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn. CCHF supports patient and doctor freedom, medical innovation and the right of citizens to a confidential patient-doctor relationship.###

Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), Chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, has written a five-page letter to 10 governors, including Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, holding states accountable for troubled Obamacare health insurance exchanges, namely Minnesota’s exchange—MNsure. Dayton has been given until tomorrow, April 8, to reply.


For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

 

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