OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

January 9, 2014

STOP Obamacare Penalties NOW Rally in Bartlesville on Saturday Jan 11th!

You are invited!  This should be a most informative rally with information on legislation in the works to STOP Obamacare Penalties NOW.  Find out how you can help and be a part of the solution this legislative session!

STOP Flyer Revised - Bartlesville

DATE: January 11, 2014

TIME: 10AM – 12 NOON

PLACE:  First Floor – Room 100

 Bartlesville Public Library

 600 S. Johnstone

 Bartlesville, OK 74003

Share the flyer! (pdf format downloadable/printable below on Scribd)

View this document on Scribd

FEATURING

Senator Nathan Dahm

Insurance Commissioner Doak

Amanda Teegarden for OK-SAFE

Bob Donohoo for STOP

Congressman Bridenstine may send a rep from his office to speak on his behalf

Senator Ford, Rep Martin and Rep Sears have been invited

LaShelle Griffith will MC event

Group Sponsors:

Washington County Grassroots Prayer Team — LaShelle Griffith

OK-SAFE – Amanda Teegarden

Osage County Republican Party – Celia Lanham

R3publicans – Sandra Crosnoe

Bartians for Academic Freedom  – Joy Molina Collins

Tulsa 9.12 Project – Ronda Vuillemont-Smith

Oklahoma John Birch Society/STOP Coordinator – Bob Donohoo

Stop Obamacare Penalties Now – Charles Key

(teeshirts and buttons available at the rally for suggested donations of $15 and $1 respectively)

StopObamacarePenaltiesNOW.comStop Obamacare Penalties Now (rallies in 12 cities planned)

OKGrassroots

June 21, 2012

Elderly patients ‘helped to die to free up beds’, UK doctor warns

“Obama Care” has provisions similar to this – aimed at those long-term care facilities in the U.S.

From the UK’s Daily Telegraph:

NHS hospitals are using end-of-life care to help elderly patients to die because they are difficult to look after and take up valuable beds, a top doctor has warned.

By Donna Bowater

20 Jun 2012

 Professor Patrick Pullicino has claimed that doctors are using a care pathway designed to help make people’s final days more comfortable as an equivalent to euthanasia.

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is used in hospitals for patients who are terminally ill or are expected to die imminently. Under the pathway, doctors can withdraw treatment, food and water while patients are heavily sedated.

Almost a third of patients – 130,000 – who die in hospital or under NHS care a year are on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino said he believed the LCP was being used as an “assisted death pathway” with patients placed on the LCP without clear evidence, according to the the Daily Mail.

The senior consultant at East Kent Hospitals told the Royal Society of Medicine he had personally intervened to have a 71-year-old man taken off the LCP and be treated successfully, despite claims he was expected to die within hours or days. He had arrived in hospital with pneumonia and epilepsy.

Rest of article here.

June 15, 2012

It’s Not About Health Care – It’s About the IT Systems and Technology

Check out our other website at http://www.exposinghealthcarereform.com and then read this guest post by researcher Vicky Davis:

Yesterday, (June 14, 2012) there was a Senate Hearing on ‘Medicare Physician Payment Policy’.  If you had any notion that health care reform was about providing medical care, then you need to watch this hearing.

If you think you’ll need to see a doctor anytime before the grim reaper pays you a visit, you need to watch this hearing.

If there is anybody that you love who must access the health care system on a regular basis, then you need to watch this hearing.

Medicare Physician Payment Policy

June 14, 2012

Program ID:  306594-1

Category:  Senate Committee

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/306594-1 link to video on cspan site

The business of health care is no longer about physician and patient.  The business of health care is about Information Technology and Systems Management of the practice of medicine.

In this hearing, you’ll hear words like accountability, improving quality and outcomes, pay for performance.  If you have paid attention to the education system reform, you’ll remember hearing the same words.  What we see with education system reform, we can anticipate with health care system reform.

Simply stated, the Information Technology and Systems business is taking over management of the world.  Barriers between government and the private sector, barriers between you and the businesses, institutions and government agencies that you interact with, barriers between our government and foreign governments are being eliminated.  You and your assets are simply entities in the collective (database) that are being aggregated for management.

When you watch this hearing, you should understand that the money that was being spent on doctors and hospitals will be spent on information technology and systems.  There will not be any savings (again refer to education system) – there will only be transfers of the money spent on doctors to the IT Technologists.  Actual medical care will decrease because it is the target for cost reductions.  Qualified medical doctors will be replaced with 2nd tier – and in the future, 3rd tier providers aided by a computer support system (like the people you call for tech support to fix your computer).   Profit growth for the IT Systems people will depend on reducing costs in the actual health care business.  Regardless of the marketing trigger words used by the IT marketing who sell the idea of higher quality, it won’t happen.  Quality will decrease and cost will increase because IT systems are a profit-seeking business unto themselves.

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 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.

 

February 22, 2012

Joint Committee Finally Releases Report – Big Surprise! They Want Exchange AND Another Trust

OK-SAFE, Inc. – After almost a two month delay, the Joint Legislative Committee on Federal Health Care Reform has finally released it’s final report, 3 weeks after the start of OK legislative session.

The Governor and Leadership had seen the committee report much earlier, and legislation implementing the committee’s findings has already been planned and reserved.

No Big Surprises

The Legislature’s February 22, 2012 press release contained no big surprises, especially for those who have been following this state’s years-long implementation of health care reform, via both the HITECH Act of 2009 and PPACA (“Obama Care”).

There was no real surprise either, when yesterday (2/21/12) it was confirmed that SB 1116, a bill to repeal the title of law that created the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET), would not get a hearing in the Senate.

The Senate Leadership, and it’s author Sen. Brian Crain, made sure the bill would not get heard.

February 22, 2012 Press Release Excerpt:

“The committee’s final report (attached) recommends that Oklahoma: Continue to fight the federal health care law in court; better educate the public about ways to improve their health; prepare for a dramatic expansion of Medicaid eligibility due to PPACA; begin developing a market-based state health insurance exchange in order to prevent imposition of a federal exchange in Oklahoma; form a permanent legislative committee to monitor issues related to the federal health care law; and increase medical residency programs in order to address current and future doctor shortages – particularly in rural areas.

What the committee is not mentioning here is the fact the work to align Oklahoma with all the technology provisions of both the HITECH Act of 2009, and the PPACA, has already been started, facilitated by legislation creating electronic health records, and by the creation of a public trust called the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust, or OHIET.  If the state builds an exchange, it may say OKLAHOMA (Insure Oklahoma) on the outside, but the inside functionality, and IT standards, will be all federally compliant and interoperable.

The release continues:

“Regarding health insurance exchanges, the report recommends Oklahoma begin taking steps to implement a state-based, free market health insurance exchange. The recommended exchange is similar to the one in development by the state of Utah since before PPACA’s existence. Utah’s exchange model was recommended to the committee by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. The recommended Oklahoma exchange would be housed in Insure Oklahoma, which would be spun off from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and turned into a public trust.”

Besides pointing out the clear contradiction in the statement “state-based, free market health insurance exchange”, (you can’t have both state involvement AND be free-market), this release just confirms the state of Oklahoma, under Republican leadership, is ready to implement a federally compliant exchange, while giving the appearance of fighting “Obama Care”.

Another Trust?

The OHIET is a public-beneficiary trust that was created by stealth in the last week of May 2010.  It is responsible for the implementation of the technology infrastructure in this state that makes “Obama Care” work, establishing the ‘network of networks’ linking the patient (that’s you), the providers, and the payers.   The OHIET operates with no legislative oversight, and as the State Designated Entity (SDE), they can solicit and receive federal grants, award contracts, issue bonds, and incur debt.

In fact, due to timeline extensions by the HHS they could end up soliciting the very same $54M Early Innovator Grant that Gov. Fallin “rejected” in the spring of 2011.

The OHIET is currently using federal grant money to operate (see the Challenge Grant), and are busy awarding each other contracts for health information exchange.

The OHIET trust model was drafted by the law firm Crowe and Dunlevy.  One assumes that this same firm has had a hand in drafting the proposed insurance exchange trust language, transforming Insure Oklahoma into an insurance exchange.

It is virtually impossible to terminate a trust; there has to be political will in the Legislature anyway to make to make it happen.  The Oklahoma legislature, under Republican Governor Mary Fallin, does not want to stop the implementation of health care reform, aka “Obama Care.”

Instead, the Republican-led OK Legislature wants to keep on doing what they’ve been doing – implementing “Obama Care” while giving the appearance of opposing “Obama Care.”

It’s an election year – time to flip some Houses.

Both Committee Chairs – Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Glen Mulready have indicated they would not have supported SB 1116, saying they prefer a patient “opt-in/out” option.  This, of course, would leave the OHIET, and it’s agenda, intact.

February 22, 2012 Press Release in it’s entirety is available here.

The Final Report of the Joint Committee on Health Care Law is available here.

February 10, 2012

HB 2266 by Cox: The Virtual Doctor – Nurses to use Software Program to Treat Patients

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Who needs doctors? If one OK legislator gets his way, nurses will soon be treating patients using a virtual doctor software program and will have no need to consult a physician first.

HB 2266 by Rep. Doug Cox (R-HD 5), reads in part:

2.  “Physician-approved protocol” means a protocol such as standing orders that describe the parameters of specified situations under which a registered nurse may act to deliver public health services for a client who is presenting with symptoms or needs addressed in the protocol.

HB 2266 is going to be heard in the Public Health meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM in Room 412- C.

The bill goes on to read:

A.  Registered nurses are authorized to use physician-approved protocols to provide public health services when performing duties as an employee or as a contractor, as defined in Section 803 of Title 18 of the Oklahoma Statutes, on behalf of the city-county health departments, county health departments, and the State Department of Health.

And:

F.  Medical algorithms may be utilized or referenced in the physician-approved protocols to assist in providing the public health services.

Drawing from a  knowledge database and using if-then decision trees, medical algorithms compute standardized medical treatments, and produce (spit out) standardized treatment plans.

The Archimedes Model is one such system based on medical algorithms. Pushed by the incestuous Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (or OHIET), and financially linked to OHIET trustee David C. Kendrick, the Archimedes Model is about “quantifying healthcare,” and utilizes mathematical medical algorithms to produce (spit out) standardized treatment recommendations.

The OHIET was created by a stealth amendment inserted into SB 1373 in the last week of May 2010.  SB 1373 initially appeared as a single-subject bill dealing with just COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease); however, open records documents indicate that SB 1373 was identified early on in the session as the intended vehicle for the OHIET Trust language.

The bill’s authors were Senator Brian Crain and Rep. Colby Schwartz, both of whom claim to not remember the OHIET trust language.

[For more information see the OK-SAFE power point entitled Health Care Reform – IT, Security and Privacy Concerns, slides 33-35 about the OHIET and Archimedes.]

Replacing real doctors with “virtual doctors” is a key part of  health care reform/reinvention in this country, and serve not only to standardize health care, they are also intended to fill the provider-gap caused by covering all those additional people with health insurance.  

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Data produced by Archimedes can include such quantified information as  “Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALY), and Cost per Quality Adjusted Life Years; it performs a sort of cost-benefit analysis.  This decision support tool is intended to be usable  not only by doctors, but by nurses, physicians assistants, and policy makers as well.  Handy for the state (State), wouldn’t you say?

With HB 2266, it is evident that Rep. Cox (R-HD 5) is aligning the state with the goals of the OHIET Trust  members who want to make sure the Archimedes decision support tool is used statewide, as stated in their Operational Plan submitted to the Office of the National Coordinator in late 2011. (See page 13 of the pdf here.)

HB 2266 is going to be heard in the Public Health meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 3:00 PM in Room 412- C.

Tuesday happens to be Valentines Day, so Happy Valentines Day, Dr. Cox! Too bad the citizens of HD 5 could not utilize Archimedes themselves to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on you first, and then decide whether you are worth re-electing or not.

Calls Needed

Call Committee Chair Rep. John Enns and Vice-Chair David Derby to ask them to vote NO on this bill.

Enns – Phone: 405-527-7321  Email: john.enns@okhouse.gov

Derby – Phone: 405-527 -7377  Email: david.derby@okhouse.gov

Other committee members include:

Rep. Cannaday, Ed Rep. Cox, Doug Rep. Grau, Randy
Rep. Hilliard, Wes Rep. Holland, Corey Rep. McAffrey, Al
Rep. McDaniel, Jeannie Rep. Nollan, Jadine Rep. Peters, Ron
Rep. Ritze, Mike Rep. Roberts, Sean Rep. Schwartz, Colby

Using software programs to make medical decisions, like Quality-Adjusted Life Years, is part of our managed care future.  What a future.

More on Archimedes, MyHealth Access Network, Beacon Communities (federally funded), and David Kendrick:

Archimedes’ Individualized Guidelines and Outcomes (IndiGO) Deployed at Tulsa Health System

– Clinical application of Archimedes’ physician and patient decision support tool grows –

“San Francisco, CA and Tulsa, OK – January 19, 2012 –  Archimedes Inc., a healthcare modeling company, and MyHealth Access Network, a Beacon Community in Oklahoma, today announced the planned deployment of Archimedes’ Individualized Guidelines and Outcomes (IndiGO) platform, a physician and patient decision support tool.  IndiGO could ultimately be used by doctors to work with their patients to inform the health decisions of as many as 810,000 Oklahomans.  The MyHealth Access Network deployment marks the third deployment of the tool in the past three months.”

And:

“MyHealth Access Network, a Beacon Community, will deploy IndiGO across its region…“The IndiGO tool will enable our healthcare professionals to sift through the enormous volume of healthcare data on each patient to focus on what is most important,” said David Kendrick, M.D., M.P.H., principle investigator and CEO of MyHealth Access Network.”

Rest of article here.

January 12, 2012

UPDATED! OK-SAFE Training in Dates – Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process – One Class Left

UPDATE 1/31/12: One more training class left:  Saturday, February 18, 2012 in Norman, OK.  See time, location and agenda below.  Remember to bring your pcs and/note taking material as these are working sessions. Handouts provided.

UPDATE: Due to Tulsa County’s precinct meetings being scheduled for Saturday, February 4th, 2012, the Norman Tea Party has agreed to move their Citizen Involvement training date to Saturday, February 18th, 2012.  Same time, same location.   Thanks!

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Upcoming Training Dates

In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 Legislative Session in Oklahoma, OK-SAFE will be conducting their annual Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process Training.  These training classes are working sessions, so please be prepared to bring a laptop/notebook pc and notepaper.  Handouts will be provided.

These events are free and open to the public. We do ask, however, for a small donation to offset the associated expenses. Light refreshments will be served.

The Oklahoma Legislative session begins on the Monday, February 6, 2012 and runs through the last Friday of May.  This year plans to every bit as contentious as last, since more people are aware of the bad legislation being passed in this state.

For instance, last year’s HB 2130, dealing with the health insurance exchanges, is still a live round. This highly controversial bill passed the OK House by a narrow margin on March 17th, 2011.  Due to all the backlash the bill was not heard in the Senate, but because it was not voted on, it is still an active bill.  Diligence will be needed by all those with concerns about the “Obama Care” health insurance exchanges – there will be several attempts by this legislature to establish one.

Training/Working Session Dates and Locations

Tulsa –

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012 (COMPLETED – Thanks for attending)

Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: HQ building, 1008-B N. Hickory Ave., Broken Arrow, OK

Oklahoma City –

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012 (COMPLETED – Thanks for attending!)

Time: 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: The Village Library, 10307 N. Pennsylvania Ave., north Oklahoma City, OK

Norman, OK – NOTE NEW DATE!

Date: Saturday, February 4, 2012  February 18, 2012

Time: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm

Location: First Assembly of God Church in Norman, 2500 E. Lindsey, Norman, OK (NOTE: Address Correction Made 1/18/12!)

Note: Host is Norman Tea Party.

Agenda:

 1st Hour

  • Introductory – The basics of citizen involvement in the legislative process.  1) Overview of the Legislative Process in OK; 2) Identifying your legislator, 3) Entering contact information in cell phones and contact list; 4) How to write an email to a legislator; 5) Making the OK Legislature/OSCN your home pages.

2nd Hour –

  • Intermediate – Builds on Hour 1. 1) The OK legislative process, i.e. interim studies, bills introduced, bill committee assignments; 2) The committee process, and when to advocate for a bill; 3) Creating group email lists for both House and Senate Committee members, 4) Understanding the role of Speaker, Pro-Temp, Floor leader, and Whips.

3rd Hour –

  • Advanced – Builds on Hours 1 & 2. 1) Understanding political doublespeak, i.e. smaller, smarter government; economic development; knowledge-based economy; 2) How to read a bill with understanding and find the titles of law; 3) Understanding Health Care Reform and the OHIET Trust: 4) Federal grants and who benefits from the passage of legislation.

The OK Legislative Session begins on Monday, February 6, 2012 and ends on the last Friday on May.  This year will prove to be

January 8, 2012

Kansas State Sovereignty Rally – State Capitol, January 13-14, 2012

If you live in or near Kansas, be sure to mark your calendars to attend the upcoming Kansas State Sovereignty Rally and “Making of America” seminar, to be held on Friday and Saturday, January 13-14, 2012 in Topeka, KS.

This event is sponsored by November Patriots.

Friday – The Kansas State Sovereignty Rally will be held from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Friday, January 13th, at the Kansas state capitol in the old Supreme Court chambers. Address for the Capitol is 10th and Jackson, Topeka, KS, 66612.

Saturday – The “Making of America” Seminar will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 14th, at the Kansan Grill, 705 South Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS, 66603.  Presentation will be by Dr. Earl Taylor, President of NCCS.

This is the fourth annual rally sponsored by November Patriots, set to coincide with the beginning of the Kansas Legislative Session.

Friday’s Rally Speakers and Topics:

  • Dr. Earl Taylor, president of the National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCCS) – The U.S. Constitution: The States’ Safeguard Against a Rogue Federal Government
  • Jeff Lewis, National Director of the Patriot CoalitionOriginal Jurisdiction, State Sovereignty & the U.S. Constitution
  • Amanda Teegarden, Executive Director, OK-SAFE, Inc.Health Care Reform – IT, Privacy and Security Issues and Concerns
  • Dr. George Watson, former President, American Association of Physicians& SurgeonsThe Physicians’ Charity Project: Budget Relief Without ObamaCare
  • Ken Dunwoody,  NOlathe’s BlogAgenda 21 & ICLEI
  • Rep. Pete DeGraff, Kansas House Appropriations Committee –Kansas Budget Gimmickry: A New Look at State Accountability & Transparency
  • Dave Trabert of the the Kansas Policy InstituteThe Truth About Kansas’ Financial Conditions & Implications of ObamaCare for Kansas
  • Larry Pratt, Executive Director, Gun Owners of AmericaThe Feds Out of Control, Sheriff’s Pushing Back, Operation Fast & Furious, and other 2nd Amendment Issues.

Saturday’s “Making of America” Seminar

This day-long event runs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Kansas Grill, 705 S. Kansas Ave., in Topeka, KS.  “Making of America” will be presented by NCCS President, Dr. Earl Taylor. Donations of $10.00 to NCCS (National Center for Constitutional Studies) for the seminar workbook are requested.

Contact:

For information about both events, contact Richard D. Fry at 816-853-8718 or by email at richard@novemberpatriots.info

See Rally flyer below for all these details and more.

December 8, 2011

One Weird Meeting on Health Insurance Exchanges at the Capitol – Update and Correction!

12-9-11 Update and Correction  to this post –

We received a call today from Kate Richey of the OK Policy Institute, offering to correct some of the information in the post below, for which we are grateful.  Prior to this morning, information on who called this meeting was not exactly forthcoming.

Item #1- The OK Policy Institute did not sponsor this meeting on Health Insurance Exchanges.  Kate Richey was invited to speak by Claudia Kamas of Kamas Consulting, and Sandy Ruble of Rx Net,. (Kamas and Ruble are both registered lobbyists in Oklahoma).  According to Richey, the invitation to the meeting went out to several lists, not just the legislative assistants.  The purpose of the meeting was informational for those who missed the prior health care meetings.

Item #2 – Richey clarified her statement about who would run the exchanges to mean within the context of Medicaid expansion of coverage. The quotation marks have been removed, per her clarification.

Item#3 – We agreed to disagree on the statement that it doesn’t matter who establishes the insurance exchange or who governs it – either way it will be operating according to federal requirements.

OK-SAFE, Inc. 12/8/11 –

Off the record – it doesn’t matter who establishes the exchange or governs it – it will be run according to federal requirements. (In the context of Medicaid expansion of coverage, per Richey’s call  12/9/11)

“Utah is working to make their state compliant with the federal law.”

“Those are the only two choices available now – a state-run exchange, or a partnership with federal government.” Regarding the interim study just finished – there is one basic fact – if Oklahoma establishes a state-run exchange, it has to be basically compliant with the feds.  “If we do one poorly, we will end up with a federally facilitated exchange anyway.”   – Kate Richey, OK Policy Institute

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For some reason that is still unclear, the progressive OK Policy Institute sponsored Claudia Kamas of Kamas Consulting, and Sandra Ruble of Rx Net, invited a member of the OK Policy Institute to speak at a meeting this morning on Health Insurance Exchanges in room 419-C at the Oklahoma State Capitol.   They invited only the legislative assistants. The invitations, according to Richey on 12/9/11, went out to several lists, not just legislative assistants. (OK-SAFE Note:  Sen. Stanislawski’s office did not know of this meeting until a day or so before the event.)

Both Kamas and Ruble are registered lobbyists in Oklahoma.

From the online view of the meeting, however, it looked like several of the attendees were not legislative assistants.  Lobbyists?

Not Part of the Joint Committee

This meeting was not part of the Joint Legislative Committee meetings on Federal Health Care Reform Law held earlier, and which concluded on November 15, 2011.

The speaker was Kate Richey, hired by the OK Policy Institute in January 2011, who gave a somewhat rambling presentation on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and the requirements for the Insurance Exchanges.

Blame the Tea Party!

When it came to the discussion of the federal timelines, and the grants, a couple of men attendees complained about  “the Tea Party” causing the establishment grant money to be rejected.  (One can only assume they meant the Early Innovator Grant, rejected by the Governor in March of 2011, after first accepting it.)

(The term “Tea Party” is thrown out there randomly by people who are generally unfamiliar with the conservative grassroots efforts in this state.  It’s another way of saying,  “There are organizations and groups out there I know nothing about so I’ll just call all of them Tea Partiers.” )

The questioner would be more accurate if he meant the 65% of Oklahomans who rejected the implementation of “Obama Care” in this state caused the rejection of the establishment grant – then he’d be right.

A few of the notes from Richey presentation, 12/8/11 –

  • Question from attendee on the governance of exchange.
  • Richey – No opinion on which form is best.  Wait until the state moves forward with legislation.  Each model has their pros and cons.  “We need to take action and move forward.”
  • On Feb. 29, 2011 the federal government issued some answer in the form of Q & A on State Exchanges.  Is OK ready to run an exchange by Jan. 2013?  The exchanges have to launch by 2014, so has to be “beta ready” by Oct. 2013.
  • Regarding states not being ready – “the feds are willing to meet you where you are and walk with you through the exchange.  If we turn down establishment grants, there is money still out there.  If we miss the deadlines the funds will still be available.
  • Question about grants – Yes, they will be available on a rolling schedule through 2014.
  • Question: Where is the advocate in Oklahoma for the exchanges? Seems like we got derailed by the Tea Party they just didn’t want the state to commit…? 
  • We’re working on the governance structure.
  • Not sure why the money was returned.  Will have to reapply for another establishment grant.
  • Comment from attendee: NAHU (National Association of Health Underwriters) are behind (advocate) it.  The OHCA working groups are active.  We were sad to see those funds return.  The Tea Party blocked it.
  • There were groups there at the beginning, various advocates.
  • Feds will set up exchange if they need to, but they don’t want to run it for long run.  Will eventually turn it back over to the states for most of the functions.  (Except data hub?)
  • Grant agreements come with benchmarks that must be achieved. “Even if we miss the deadlines on these grants the money will still be available until 2014.”  As far as Richey knows no one has applied for a Level 1 or Level 2 grant.  “Even if we move ahead there will be some level of federal involvement.”
  • There is a tentative federal-state partnership plan being developed.  There will be some sharing of some responsibilities.  Feds will regulate, run the hotlines, operate data hub.  It will take more planning, some sort of partnership model.
  • Those are the only two choices available now – a state-run exchanges, or a partnership with federal government.
  • Regarding the Interim study just finished – there is one basic fact – if Oklahoma establishes a state-run exchange, it has to be basically compliant with feds. If we do one poorly we will end up with a federally facilitated exchange anyway.
  • Health care reform requires the electronic health records infrastructure.  A group in NE Oklahoma is working to get the state compliant with the electronic information technology infrastructure.
  • OK’s High Risk Pool will be folded in to the state exchange for their coverage.

For the entire OK-SAFE notes on today’s Health Insurance Exchange meeting, a pdf is available here.

For the real definition of Health Care Reform see this OK-SAFE post

So, Who Gets the Grant Money Now?

The question that is on the table is this – has there been a move to change the State Designated Entity (SDE), overseeing the distribution and use of the federal grant money, from being the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (the OHIET)?  This Trust is working behind the scenes to implement the information technology provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) in this state, and has already been instrumental in awarding contracts.

Despite the wishes of the people of Oklahoma.

Richey PPT –

Supposedly, the Kate Richey/OK Policy Institute power point presentation will be available online at some point in time via their website – http://www.okpolicy.org .   As of this writing, it is not yet posted.

In the meantime, keep calling your legislators and tell them “Oklahomans said No to Obama Care in 2010” – and we still mean No!

OK House: 1-800-522-8502

OK Senate: 1-800-865-6490

For contact information for the OK House members, click here.  OK Senate members, click here.

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