OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

March 26, 2012

Obama admits GOP Governors Suing Against Obama Care are Helping him “…behind the scenes…”

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 4:57 pm

As in many other states, conservative grassroots organizations have ended up fighting against establishment Republican party members in order to stop the progressives’ take-over of health care.

In this case, Kansans have been discovering to what degree Republican Governor Sam Brownback has been playing both sides of the issue.

This from Richard Fry of SOCK (Stop Obama Care in Kansas), a Kansas group pushing back against “Obama Care” in that state for the last year:

Obama admits GOP Governors Suing Against Obama Care are Helping him “…behind the scenes…”

Obama has now admitted that “…some of those [GOP Governors] who filed suit [against Obama Care] are actually behind the scenes working with us to prepare for a day when we’ve got exchanges in these states….” I’ve been ringing that bell since June that Gov.  Brownback’s implementing OC by stealth was part of a national plan involving GOP Govs.  (NOTE: OC=Obama Care)

At that time I identified Oklahoma and Indiana. Now we have identified this happening in South Carolina, Mississippi and South Dakota. They were all using the same game plan. First they tried by stealth (like Brownback) then they made the same excuses as Brownback did i.e., OC is “…an unconstitutional law but the law of the land…”, “… we can do it our way not the OC way…”, “a state exchange will give us more flexibility…” and after being forced to give back the federal EIG, finding “alternate” sources of funding. Then the Governor simply rams it through via his administration as is happening in Oklahoma and South Dakota.

They used “controlled opposition”, in Kansas by Rep. Landwehr, Sen. Cook and Bev Gossage. Gossage stated “there is no such thing as a good insurance exchange” and kept saying “the governor just needs to be educated.” Now she denies that the Governor is in fact implementing OC when an examination of the contract and funding documents could allow no one to conclude otherwise.  

In Gossage’s defense, the last time I asked her she had not even read the current funding rule and I am not sure she reviewed the KMED now called KEES contract.  

They also used “controlled confusion” i.e., the Governor says we are doing an “insurance exchange” while the Lt. Gov tells us we are not doing it among other deceptive activity.

It is interesting to note that this technique of jointly employing “controlled opposition” and “controlled confusion” was used to get the NDAA through Congress and to now defend it. NDAA is the most direct and comprehensive attack on our Liberty in over one hundred years.

 If the President justifies NDAA to employ his National Defense Resource Preparedness Executive Order such might very well be used to brush aside all protests and  implement, under our current national “ emergency”, both Obama Care and the current version of Real ID. Then we will all be unwillingly plugged into the global information data hub.

 

 Thanks globalist Gov, this silent coup d’état was supported by you.

Richard D. Fry

The Intolerable Acts

www.theintolerableacts.org

816 853 8718

Advertisements

March 15, 2012

Health Privacy Rights – Interview with Dr. Deborah Peel on America in the Balance

OK-SAFE, Inc.  recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Deborah C. Peel, founder and Chair of Patient Privacy Rights, a non-profit organization formed in 2004 to promote patient privacy and the protection of personally identifiable health information. (patientprivacyrights.org).

Dr. Peel is also supporting the 2nd Annual International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy, to be held June 6-7, 2012 at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C.
http://www.healthprivacysummit.org

This summit is free, and will be available via live-streaming if you cannot travel to D.C. for this important event.

 

Follow this link to the 3/14/12 America in the Balance interview:
http://www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.php

  • We live in a “digital universe” – everything you do online leaves a digital trail
  • Everything you do online is valuable to someone –  including gaining access to your Social Security number
  • The most valuable information is any kind of health information – this information sells for more
  • Health information is bought and sold online – including your personal prescription information
  • Electronic health records – pharmacies, hospitals, and labs sell the information. Generally, it is sold for two reasons – 1) to sell you a product, and/or 2) to sell profiles of you to various purchasers – from drug companies, to health insurers, or for business analytics information
  • Despite the laws that says employers are not supposed to discriminate based on health information – they do.
  • Genetic bias is not supposed to take place – but it does
  • Paper records did not cause health information to be leaked out – only when a third party was brought into the picture via electronic means did personal health information leak out.
  • This electronic health information system is dangerous – not only to us, but to our children and their future.
  • Quote: “Your diagnosis and your genes do not tell us how you will live and what your life will be like.”
  • HIPPA is not about protecting your privacy – in fact, patients really don’t have any privacy rights.
  • There are problems with “mHealth”, or mobile health, i.e. the use of Smartphones, I-pads, etc.- to view personal health information  Currently, this information is not encrypted, nor is there a way to control the access to it.
  • The Health Information Exchanges mean any party to the exchange can pull your information before you get to your provider.

Although people may not have a way to opt out of all health information sharing systems, there is a Consent Form form available on the Patient Privacy Rights website, that you may like to print out and share with your health care provider to try to minimize the likelihood of your personal health information being shared.

Link to Consent Form on PPR site: http://patientprivacyrights.org/media/Consent_Form.pdf

Listen to the entire 3/14/12 interview on Truth in Focus radio:

http://www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.php

This is probably one of the most important rights issues we are facing today.

March 12, 2012

HHS Issues Final Rule on Health Insurance Exchanges

Filed under: Education — oksafeinc @ 8:48 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Just released is the much anticipated Final Rule  on the controversial health insurance exchanges.

Issued March 12, 2012 by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, these rules will dictate how the exchanges are to function, how they are to be governed, and what flexibility the state’s have if they decide to establish one.

As OK-SAFE has indicated all along – it doesn’t matter if the state establishes an exchange or the the federal government establishes it, the end result will be the same: the insertion of a third party into the traditional business model to create a managed “marketplace” – a marketplace that controls both the supply side and the demand side of health care. One that links patients, providers and payers into one technological network.

The model is the message.

Government will determine both the health care plans available (“certified” and “qualified”), as well as the health care providers patients can use, while giving lip service to such things as choice, competition, and clout.

Follow this link to read the entire HHS Final Rule.

Below are two announcements on the HHS Final Rule.

From U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2012
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Policies give states more flexibility to establish Affordable Insurance Exchanges

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced policies to assist states in building Affordable Insurance Exchanges.  Starting in 2014, these one-stop marketplaces will allow consumers and small businesses to choose a private health insurance plan and offer the public the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress.

The policies released today will help states in designing their Exchanges to best meet the needs of their consumers.  They offer states substantial flexibility as they design a marketplace that works for their residents.

“These policies give states the flexibility they need to design an Exchange that works for them,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These new marketplaces will offer Americans one-stop shopping for health insurance, where insurers will compete for your business. More competition will drive down costs and Exchanges will give individuals and small businesses the same purchasing power big businesses have today.”

Today’s policies provide states with the guidance and certainty they need as they continue to work to build these marketplaces for their residents for operation in 2014. The policies offer guidance about the options on how to structure Exchanges in two key areas:

  • Setting standards for establishing Exchanges, setting up a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), performing the basic functions of an Exchange, and certifying health plans for participation in the Exchange;
  • Establishing a streamlined, web-based system for consumers to apply for and enroll in qualified health plans and insurance affordability programs.”  Rest here.

From HealthCare.Gov:

Affordable Insurance Exchanges: Choices, Competition and Clout for States

The Exchange final rule includes standards for:

  • The  establishment and operation of an Exchange
  • Health insurance plans that participate in an Exchange
  • Determinations of an individual’s eligibility to enroll in Exchange health plans and in insurance affordability programs
  • Enrollment in health plans through Exchanges
  • Employer eligibility for and participation in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

This final rule is the latest in an ongoing series of steps to help states develop Exchanges. As of February 22, 2012, 49 states and the District of Columbia have received Exchange Planning grants, while 33 states and the District of Columbia have received Exchange Establishment grants. HHS is continuing to provide technical assistance to states, including technical consultations, monthly user groups, working groups on core functions, and conferences.”  Rest of announcement here.

Our recommendation is unchanged – don’t build an exchange in the state of Oklahoma.  Of course, SB 1629 will be hovering in the wings, ostensibly to wait for the Supreme Courts decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate – but not on the exchanges, eh?

Time to stand your ground – vote NO on SB 1629 regardless of SCOTUS decision.

March 9, 2012

Insurance Exchange Bill on “Hold” Pending Supreme Court Action – OK Senate Changes Mind on SB 1629??

OK-SAFE, Inc. – In a very interesting move the OK Senate on Thursday (3/8/12) issued a press release stating that, “legislative leaders and the chairmen of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law have opted to wait until the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings before moving further forward with SB 1629.”

SB 1629 would have established the “Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust”, governed by an appointed Board, that would administer a premium assistance plan (low income insurance, Medicaid), and assist small businesses and/or employees to purchase employer-sponsored insurance.

In other words, a state-based insurance exchange, tying users of Medicaid and private insurance together; a sort of public/private partnership exchange.

But, those phone calls, emails, in-person lobbying, and robo calls, all objecting to an insurance exchange (state-based or otherwise), paid off.   One bad bill has been stopped.

For now.

Score one for the people of Oklahoma!

However, in politics, there is always a Plan B.   What Oklahomans can expect is some other tactic being used to achieve the same end – the establishment of some sort of web-based insurance exchange in the state of Oklahoma, that will tie into the health information exchange, which is being advanced by the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (or OHIET), unstopped.

What may happen is the utilization of the existing HUB law (HB 2026 in 2009) passed a few years ago, to create an exchange, possibly bidding out some service to a third party.  (See details below press release.)

Send Thank Yous

If you would like to send a thank you for putting SB 1629 on hold, you may want to contact the following legislators, in addition to your own Senator:

  • Senator Brian Bingman – bingman@oksenate.gov
  • Senator Gary Stanislawski – stanislawski@oksenate.gov
  • Rep. Kris Steele – krissteele@okhouse.gov
  • Rep. Glen Mulready – mulready@oksenate.gov

 

Below is the text of the 3/8/12 Press Release, issued jointly by Senate and House leadership.

Oklahoma State Legislature

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2012

SB 1629 is on hold pending Supreme Court action

The Legislature will wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the federal health care law before proceeding with Senate Bill 1629, legislators announced Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer, perhaps as early as June, on a legal challenge brought by several states alleging the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Should the high court overturn the law, the possibility exists that health insurance exchanges would not be necessary. And should the high court uphold the federal law, nuances within the majority opinion could help legislators craft the most effective Oklahoma-based marketplace possible to defend against the imposition of a federal exchange.

Given these dynamics, legislative leaders and the chairmen of the Joint Committee of Federal Health Care Law have opted to wait until the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings before moving further forward with SB 1629. If the court upholds the law, the Legislature is already prepared to continue defending against federal intervention into the Oklahoma health care market.

“There are many common-sense solutions conservatives can agree on to lower the cost of healthcare, expand access and choices to more individuals, and increase the quality of our care – all through tried-and-true principles of the free market,” said Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law.

“These are ideas worth pursuing, and we eagerly await the Supreme Court’s repeal of ObamaCare so we can begin the very serious business of addressing our healthcare challenges with solutions that expand freedom instead of government,” Stanislawski said.

The Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law met five times throughout the interim to determine the effect the law will have on Oklahoma. Among its recommendations was to craft a state-based marketplace in order to prevent the federal government from imposing a federal exchange in Oklahoma.

“If the court doesn’t reject this law as we hope, developing a state-based exchange remains our best defense against unwanted federal intervention,” said Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the committee’s other co-chairman. “We think we have fashioned a good plan. We are willing to wait to ensure we have the best possible solution to protect Oklahoma from federal intervention.”

Legislative leaders supported the committee co-chairmen’s decision.

“Republicans in the state Senate will do everything in our power to block ObamaCare in Oklahoma. When President Obama rammed through a trillion dollar unconstitutional assault on the healthcare freedom of Oklahomans, he proved his values are fundamentally at odds with ours,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “The fight to preserve healthcare freedom is far from over.”

“Developing a state-based solution has always been and remains the best, most realistic way to defend against a federal exchange. The reality is we’re not yet at the point where we absolutely have to deploy that defense,” said House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee. “Should the time come, we’ll be prepared to act thanks to the groundwork the committee has laid for us.”

For more information, contact:
Nathan Atkins
405.521.5605
atkins@oksenate.gov

John Estus
405.962.7674 desk, 405.706.0084 cell
john.estus@okhouse.gov

Title 36, Section 4601 – 4603:

Article 46 – Health Care for Oklahomans Act

§ 4601. Short Title

§ 4602. Duties of Health Care for the Uninsured Board

§ 4603. Program to Encourage Individuals to Enroll in Health Insurance Programs – Referral of Uninsured Individuals to the HUB

This is the section of law last year’s HB 2130 was attempting to amend.  This will bear watching for the rest of this session.

 

March 5, 2012

HR 1004 Discharge Petition Rally – Wednesday at the Capitol – Be There!

OK-SAFE, Inc. – OK-SAFE will be joining other Oklahoma grassroots activists at 9:00 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at the OK Capitol* to petition for Open Government in the Oklahoma Legislature.

Wednesday’s effort is being spearheaded by Kaye Beach of Axxiom for Liberty.  This citizen rally is meant to secure the remaining signatures necessary to cause HR 1004 to be discharged from committee and move directly to the House floor for debate and a vote.

HR 1004, by Rep. Charles Key, simply states that if a legislator requests that his bill get a hearing in the committee it has been assigned to, the chairman of that committee must hear the bill and allow a vote.  It’s that simple.  As it stands now, a committee chairman, under direction of the Speaker, can prevent a bill from ever being heard in committee, effectively exerting top-down control of the legislative process.

Below is an excellent post by Kaye Beach detailing the purpose of HR 1004 and instructions for Wednesday’s efforts.

HR 1004 Discharge Petition-Calling All Oklahoma Activists for Representative and Open Government!

By Kaye Beach, March 2, 2012.

Blog Post Excerpt:

One More Chance – The Discharge Petition

House rules allow for discharge petitions as a means to get a bill brought out of a committee for a vote on the House floor.  We need the signatures of 66 House members to get HR 1004 (read HR1004) discharged from committee and on the House floor for a vote.

Right now we have 45 signatures but we need a minimum of 66 signatures.  That means we need 21 more signatures in order to get HR 1004 to the floor for a vote.

Your help is needed!

On Wednesday March 7, 2012, grassroots activists from across Oklahoma interested in ensuring transparent and representative government throughout the entire legislative process will meet for a petition drive for HR 1004 at the Oklahoma State Capitol at 9 am. 

RSVP on Facebook!  Oklahoma Action Alert – HR 1004 Discharge Petition Drive

Read entire post here.

*Folks will initially meet in the first floor rotunda area for instructions, then head upstairs.  The media has been invited.

March 1, 2012

SB 1629 – Exchange “Marketplace” Bill Models ObamaCare

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Things are “getting curiouser and curiouser” in the Oklahoma legislature.  According to some Senate Republicans, if you’re against “ObamaCare,” you would be for a bill implementing “ObamaCare.”

Alice in Wonderland  pretty well sums up what it felt like when SB 1629 was being presented by Tulsa Senator Gary Stanislawski.   To read a great parable about the Senate’s Health and Human Services committee meeting see the Oklahomans for Liberty site here.)

For the record, OK-SAFE opposes legislation that facilitates the implementation of “ObamaCare” health reform, and therefore opposes SB 1629, establishing a state-based exchange called a marketplace.

Senate Bill 1629 by Pro-Tem Brian Bingman, which passed by a vote of 7-2 on Monday,  would establish the very insurance exchange, or “marketplace” model called for in the PPACA, aka “ObamaCare.” Even though the Republican members of the Senate Health and Human Services committee said they oppose “ObamaCare,” not one of them voted against SB 1629, or even mentioned the actual content of the bill,  which included the creation of yet another trust to oversee the exchange/marketplace.

The word marketplace is alternately used to describe an exchange; the word exchange has now become too notorious to use.  Curiously, Sen. Tom Adelson has submitted an amendment to the bill, nullifying it if the Supreme Court shoots down PPACA, or if a new Congress does.

The Individual Mandate

Most of the questions in this committee were about the “individual mandate” (not included in the bill.) A fraction of the Affordable Care is about the individual mandate; most of the rest of the bill deals with items such as the exchanges and the reconfiguration of the insurance market.

The committee members either hadn’t read the bill, or they were working from talking points or a summary; they did not discuss what the bill actually says.

SB 1629 Creates a Marketplace/Exchange and Another Trust – The Middle Man Model

SB 1629 creates a public-beneficiary Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust.   [See diagram below]

This Marketplace Network Trust would (initially) do two things: 1) take over and administer the premium assistance program (Insure Oklahoma) from the OK Health Care Authority, and 2) “develop and implement a marketplace assistance program to assist small businesses in the offering of employer-sponsored insurance purchased from the private market insurance carriers.” (In other words, an insurance exchange.)

This new trust has a twin called the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust, or OHIET.  Created by  stealth in the last week of session in 2010, the OHIET is busy establishing the network of networks that facilitate the transfer of electronic health records everywhere.

Why would insurers be advocates for an exchange?  “Insurance companies are urging state officials to set up exchanges because they generally prefer state regulation.  In addition, they stand to gain because the United States Treasury will send subsidy payments directly to insurers on behalf of low- and moderate-income people who enroll in health plans offered through an exchange.”(National Center for Policy Analysis article here.)

Kinda explains SB 1629 doesn’t it?

The Model as Devised by SB 1629This diagram depicts the middle-man model. (For a great explanation of the not-free-market model, see the Vicky Davis article entitled The Model IS the Message.)

OK-SAFE Summary of the Bill:

  • Section 1 of the bill describes the legislative intent: to expand the “mission” of Insure Oklahoma by “moving the administration of the Insure Oklahoma program from the purview of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to a state public trust established in this act.”

Translation: they’re moving management of government-sponsored insurance from one state bureaucracy to a newly created one.

  •  Section 2 establishes the new trust – B. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust shall be established as a state-beneficiary public trust.
  •  Translation: Oklahoma (government) is the beneficiary of the trust.
  • Section 2 defines the trust governance:  C. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust shall be governed by a Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Board.

Translation: This section increases the power of the Executive branch due to powers of appointment; Fallin would get to appoint most of the Board members.  Board members are unelected and not accountable to the public.

  • Of the 7-member board Governor Fallin would appoint three  members, the Pro-Tem and the Speaker each appoint one; the other two are Insurance Commissioner John Doak and Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Terry Cline (also appointed by Fallin.)
  •  C. …The board of trustees shall consist of seven (7) members as follows:
  1. One member appointed by the Governor representing health insurance carriers granted a certificate of authority by the Oklahoma Department of Insurance;
  2. One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives representing consumers and who has purchased policies through the Trust or is reasonably expected to purchase policies through the Trust;
  3. One member appointed by the Governor who shall be a health care provider;
  4. One member appointed by the Governor who shall be a representative of employer groups;
  5. One member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who shall be an insurance agent or broker;
  6. The Insurance Commissioner – (John Doak)
  7. The Secretary of Health and Human Services- (Terry Cline).
  •  F. The board of trustees shall promulgate rules as necessary to implement the provisions of the act.

Translation: The appointed board will be insiders, and they can make the rules for the trust, not the legislature.  Also the board members elect the Executive Director, who will likely be Dr. Cline – just as was proposed in HB 2130 the HUB bill.

  • Section 4 is New Law authorizing trust to administer a premium assistance program for low-income individuals, and to assist small businesses (up to 250 employees for a for- profit; up to 500 employees for a not-for-profit).  This was the Insure Oklahoma section, being defined for the trust.
  • Section 5 reads in part:  A. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust is authorized to develop and implement a marketplace assistance program to assist small businesses in the offering of employer-sponsored insurance purchased from private market insurance carriers which shall go into effect January 1, 2014. 
  • E. The board of trustees shall, by rule, determine the funding mechanism for the marketplace assistance program authorized in subsection A of this section

Translation: The new trust is given full authority to develop and implement the exchange (oops, marketplace) in any manner they see fit. The board of trustees can make any rules they’d like to govern the funding mechanism.  Nothing in this section prohibits the trust from seeking federal funding, including federal grants that are available for states to develop an exchange – one was called the Early Innovator Grant, remember?

  • Section 6 severs Insure Oklahoma from the OHCA, and gives it to the trust.  Section 7 deals with waivers.

 

  • And finally,  Section 8 of the bill reads:  NEW LAW   A new section of law not to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes reads as follows:
    The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is hereby directed to seek any and all Federal approval necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

This really shows the legislative intent.  Federal approval.  And Stanislawski said it would not be “ObamaCare” compliant?  Want to bet?

[Aside: One wonders how and where that 40% excise tax will fit in once that becomes effective by 2018?]

Call Your Senator and Say NO to ObamaCare SB 1629

OK Senate Switch board: 1-800-865-6490, or 1-405-524-0126

Republican Senators who voted Yes in Committee for SB 1629 on 2/27/12:

  1. Senator Brian Bingman:                 1-405-521-5528                 Email: bingman@oksenate.gov
  2. Senator Gary Stanislawski:           1-405-521-5624                 Email: Stanislawski@oksenate.gov
  3. Senator Rick Brinkley:                    1-405-521-5602                 Email:Brinkley@oksenate.gov
  4. Senator Brian Crain:                        1-405-521-5620                 Email: crain@oksenate.gov
  5. Senator Rob Johnson:                    1-405-521-5592                 Email: johnsonr@oksenate.gov
  6. Senator Dan Newberry:                1-405-521-5600                 Email: newberry@oksenate.gov
  7. Senator Steve Russell:                   1-405-521-5618                 Email: Russell@oksenate.gov

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: