Obamacare on a Stick?


August 27, 2014
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At the Minnesota State Fair almost everything is served “on a stick.” Walking around last week, I found deep fried Snickers on a stick, walleye on a stick, alligator on a stick, meatballs on a stick, hot dish on a stick, frozen chocolate-covered cheesecake on a stick, meatloaf on a stick, spaghetti on a stick, pork chop on a stick, breakfast on a stick, shrimp dogs on a stick, lobster on a stick, and key lime pie on a stick.

Hungry yet?
Don’t tell Michelle Obama. She’d probably try to outlaw everything except salad on a stick, even though I’d expect her to buy a bucket of our “Fresh French Fries.”
Last year, Obamacare was marketed on a stick. The MNsure state-based Obamacare exchange handed out white circles with full-color MNsure designs stuck to a stick.
This year there’s no stick.
Perhaps that’s because MNsure has mostly signed up Medicaid enrollees, who may not be able to afford to go to the fair or buy the pricey on-a-stick food.
MNsure, which hasn’t released any disenrollment numbers yet, says 300,085 Minnesotans have enrolled through MNsure as of August 21st, but 246,315 are in Medicaid or MinnesotaCare, a Minnesota-only Medicaid expansion program. Only 53,770 enrollees are in the “qualified health plans” of Obamacare, which MNsure calls “private coverage.”
But Obamacare is government coverage. Every enrollee applies to the federal government using a standard federal form. Then just like people on Medicaid who have Blue Cross Blue Shield on their Medicaid card, Obamacare recipients get a private plan listed on their Obamacare card. But it’s all government coverage.
In fact, such “private coverage” can be 100% taxpayer-subsidized. Information at MNsure’s State Fair booth says: “Tax credits for private coverage for some adults. Monthly premium as low as $0 after tax credits.”
Obamacare, on or off a stick, is not good for your health.
Obamacare is the federal takeover of doctors, hospitals and medical decisions. And States like Minnesota that established a state-based exchange – a base for federal data collection and control -- expose citizens to costly Obamacare expenses, mandates and penalties that do not apply in the 36 states that refuse to establish a state exchange, according to four lawsuits challenging subsidies issued by the federally-established exchange.
No one should be fooled into accepting Obamacare on or off a stick, even if it’s “free.” Those who do should expect no end of federally-imposed indigestion.
Advancing freedom (on or off a stick) every day,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder
**CORRECTION: In the August 13 edition of the eNews (“Trapped in Medicare”), I stated that no Medicare recipients could pay cash for care denied unless the physician opted out. However, an astute reader in the medical field reminded me that physicians may choose to offer patients Medicare’s Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-Coverage (ABN) for services they think Medicare may not cover. Patients who sign the form agree to pay cash for those services if Medicare refuses coverage. But because the physician has to tell Medicare that the patient has made such a choice, might it be more likely that Medicare will refuse coverage? I’d be pleased if doctors and patients would email me their personal experiences with using the ABN form.