CCHF Calls on Congress to Oppose Repeal Bill 

 

***NEWS RELEASE***

 

For Immediate Release

July 30, 2013

 

CONTACT:

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

 

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Calls on Congress to Oppose Repeal Bill 

 

Bipartisan ‘Sustainable Growth Rate’ Medicare Bill 

Puts Doctors Under Government Control

 

ST. PAUL, Minn.Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, is urging Americans to call on Congress to oppose the dangerous “SGR Repeal” bill, which was recently passed by a House of Representatives sub-committee.

The bill is bad for health care, Brase says, giving physicians incentives for following the rules set forth by the government.

“Do Americans want the government controlling our doctors?” Brase asks. “No, but that’s exactly what will happen under this newly passed bill. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce House health subcommittee passed a version of the ‘SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate) Repeal” bill, which will change the way Medicare pays doctors and other clinicians. This mammoth 70-page draft repeals a longstanding contentious system of yearly payment cuts under a law called the Sustainable Growth Rate—but then it puts the government in charge of doctors.”

Congress has regularly passed annual “doc fix” bills to stop the SGR pay cuts. Thus, if the SGR cuts were finally allowed to take effect next year, Medicare payments to doctors would drop by 25 percent on January 1, 2014.

“Clearly Congress doesn’t want this to happen,” Brase says. “The proposed SGR repeal bill increases annual Medicare payments by 0.5 percent for five years—until 2019. But then Congress institutes an intrusive tracking system to put medical decisions under federal cost-cutting controls. This is antithetical to good patient care and constitutional rights of doctors and patients.”

The recent subcommittee vote clears the way for a full committee vote, which could happen this week. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is pushing for a full House vote on the bill before Congress takes recess in August. A lack of funding, however, could hamper the bill’s progress, as it will cost about $138 billion over 10 years.

Brase outlines just a few of the flaws of the bill, which will end up hurting Americans:

  • The SGR Repeal bill requires complicity by organized medicine. 
  • Score cards will be created. The bill appropriates $100 million from taxpayers to set up a new tracking and reporting system.
  • It’s coercion with a capital “C.” Physicians and practitioners will have to choose either government tracking and scoring of their treatment decisions or the maximum allowed compensation for care they provide to Medicare patients. They will not get both. They may not even get one. Or, they could be found deficient in providing government-approved “evidence-based medicine” and have their pay docked, all while being forced to share private health data with the government and their contractors.

Brase adds that physicians and practitioners will be scored on the basis of government-prescribed quality measures within five “quality domains”: clinical care, safety, care coordination, patient and caregiver experience, and population health and prevention.

“Perhaps the most frightening of the five,” Brase says, “is that ‘population health’ is just a code for rationing. There’s no such thing. Doctors take care of patients, not populations. ‘Population health’ advocates, however, want doctors to look at medical care as a ‘limited resource’ and to take ‘populations’ of potential patients into consideration, rather than the individual patient sitting in front of them when deciding whether to provide medical care. This is a new terrifying level of intrusion into the health care of every American.”

What can patients do?

  • Contact members of Congress at www.contactingthecongress.org and tell them to oppose the House “SGR Repeal” bill.
  • Read Brase’s article titled, “MEDICARE: Need an escape plan, not a rescue plan.” The facts still ring true, even though Brase penned the article a decade ago. Medicare now sustains a $43 trillion unfunded liability (nearly three times of the national debt). The issue is more urgent every day.

On August 10, Brase will be a featured speaker at an event in Minneapolis that will train doctors how to get out of Medicare. Read more at “Thrive – Not JUST Survive XUII – Building a Direct-Pay, Independent Practice.”

Brase has written a report on the dangers of government or HMO-standardized care through so-called “evidence-based medicine”: “Evidence-Based Medicine”: Rationing Care, Hurting Patients.” CCHF offers a list of the “Top Ten Terribles of Health Insurance Exchanges,” which include higher costs, privacy intrusions, more red tape, and poor care and coverage.

Twila Brase, a public health nurse and health freedom advocate, 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 shares health care-related news and commentary with the American public in her daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute. The Minute airs on nearly 350 stations daily, including the entire American Family Radio Network, with more than 150 stations nationwide, in addition to Bott Radio Network with over 80 stations nationwide. During the daily features, listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed health care initiatives, the ramifications of proposed policies and actions that can be taken to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 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.

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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, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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