MN House Author Drops Attempt to Repeal MN Health Data Collection Law

While we are pleased that our efforts have stalled the health department's data collection plan, it appears the public must wait at least another year to secure the right to keep the government out of their medical records," said Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care.

APRIL 14: Official End of Medical Privacy Rights for America's Patients

The so-called federal medical privacy rule will add confusion, cost, and complications to health care access, but it will not protect the privacy of patients. In essence, the rule is a federal license to intrude," says Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, a St. Paul-based health care policy organization.

CCHC encourages U.S. Labor Secretary to help Americans move out of employer-sponsored health insurance

At today's small business roundtable discussion with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, the idea of moving away from employer-sponsored coverage was raised by Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC).

Health department's legal authority to collect private medical data remains intact

Although the Minnesota Department of Health has today withdrawn the proposed rule to collect patient medical record data without patient consent, the public should not be relieved. So says Citizens' Council on Health Care, the Minnesota health care policy organization who has long opposed this plan.

Minnesota Committee Votes Tomorrow On Creating Inventory Of "Less Than Perfect" Children

The Minnesota House Health and Human Services Policy Committee will vote tomorrow on the HHS budget bill, which includes the requirement for medical testing of children, and the requirement that a state birth defects registry be created.

Prepare Citizens For Future Without Medicare

In only 23 years, Medicare Part A (hospitalization) will be insolvent, according to the just released Medicare Trustees Report. This is four years sooner than reported by last year's trustees. In 2026--only 61 years after Medicare was enacted into law--the hospital trust fund will run out of money unless health care services are sharply reduced, payments to health care practitioners are cut significantly, or payroll taxes are almost doubled.

Bipartisan Senate Bill to Stop State Health Database Introduced

Senator Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) this morning introduced a bill to repeal the Minnesota health department's authority to collect medical record information without patient consent.

INCREASE IN MINNESOTA'S HEALTH CARE TAX SET FOR 2004

The MinnesotaCare provider tax on health care services was established in 1992, and set at 2 percent. However, in 1997, the Minnesota legislature temporarily reduced the tax to 1.5 percent beginning January 1998. For five years - half the life of the tax - the legislature has maintained that temporary reduction. However, on January 1, 2004, the tax will increase to 2 percent unless the legislature moves to extend the reduction - a move that could be made more difficult by the fact that the Pawlenty budget is based on the tax returning to 2 percent.

CCHC OFFERS LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE 18 SUGGESTIONS FOR "DOING MORE WITH LESS"

The Minnesota Health and Human Services Finance Committee has been holding hearings on "Doing More with Less". The public, individuals and organizations, have been asked to share their ideas, and according the committee chair, the ideas have been pouring in. The last hearing to provide such testimony may be tomorrow, Thursday, February 6.

BUSH MEDICARE PLAN IS BOON FOR HMOs, NOT PATIENTS

Brase, whose article "Blame Congress for HMOs" was published in the 2001 Congressional Record of the U.S. House of Representatives, claims that the latest proposal is just another step in what is now a 30-year process. She says that HMOs could never have gained dominance in health care without the endorsement of Congress through the passage of the HMO Act of 1973.