OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

January 20, 2013

Why Health Entitlements are “Broke” – G. Keith Smith, MD

OK-SAFE, Inc. – This blog post by Dr. Keith Smith is so good we are re-posting it here.  Dr. Smith is one the co-founders of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, located in Oklahoma City.  This physician-owned facility is an example of the free market medicine –  see more about them here.

Dr. Smith objects to government involvement in health care, having a low opinion of so-called  “health care cartels”.  Also of note is the fact that his health care facility does not use those privacy-killing electronic health care records.

OK-SAFE applauds Dr. Smith for his stance and for working to expose the deceptive practices associated with so-called “health care reform”.

Jan. 18, 2013

Why Health Entitlements are “Broke” – by G. Keith Smith, MD

At the end of 2012, like the end of many prior years, physicians faced the draconian Medicare cuts, the threat of which has served to be one of the most effective fund raisers for politicians in history.  SGR.  Sustainable Growth Rate.  Calculation of what this cut might have been involves a complex series of factors, affecting some doctors more than others.  Some specialists were anticipating cuts of as much as 23% in pay.  Alas, the “Doctor Fix,” although temporary, arrived just in the nick of time, as sufficient contributions to the D.C. extortionists rolled in.

“Either we cut the doctor pay by up to 23% or the country might go broke!”  ”Cuts are inevitable.”  ”We will have to face this one of these days.” “There is simply no other way.”

Those of you who follow this blog know my thoughts on Medicare, indeed on any government involvement in health care at all.  However…..

Keep in mind several things.  Medicare pays the “not for profit” hospitals twice what is listed on our website for the same operations.  Hmmm.  How did this happen?  Medicare pays the local teaching hospital twice what it pays the physician-owned hospital for a joint replacement.   Hmmm.  Now my favorite.  Medicare pays hospitals for the services provided by their physician employees 40% more than for the same services provided by non-hospital employee doctors.  Hmmm.

I see not only a potential for savings, but a pattern.  This is without a doubt an assault on the private practice of medicine by the government, an attempt to drive physicians to be hospital employees, at once lining the pockets of the health cartel lobby and annihilating the remnant of doctors who take the patient-doctor relationship seriously, those doctors who are pushing back on further medical intrusion by Uncle Sam.  The buy-electronic-health-record-systems-or-else policy by Medicare is yet another move that has cut the net pay to physicians in private practice and a move that has brought many doctors to “throw in the towel.”

Click here for the rest of the post by Dr. Smith.

February 8, 2012

Brown’s Big-Government Health Information Bills Being Heard Thursday, 2/9/12 – Calls Needed

OK-SAFE, Inc. – The OK Senate is showing what is important to them – certain bills are getting an earlier hearing than others.  These must rank higher on the food chain.

The Senate’s Retirement and Insurance Committee will meet at 10:00 am on Thursday, February 9, 2012 in Room 419-C to  hear nine bills; five of the nine are authored by Senator Bill Brown.  Senator Brown happens to be the Chairman of the Committee.

Good to Chairman, hey?

Two of Senator Brown’s bills of great concern:

  • SB 999 – Health care: directing the Insurance Department to establish a comprehensive health care information system.
  • SB 1059 – Insurance; creating the Health Care Choice Act.

SB 999 Issues

In 2011 Brown introduced SB 411, which is identical to this year’s SB 999.  This comprehensive health care information system is such a big-government, big-brother bill one wonders why a “conservative” Republican is running it (again)?

This “comprehensive health information system” language is modeled after New Hampshire’s, who established their system a few years ago. OK’s language is virtually identical to New Hampshire’s.

Last year, SB 411 passed out of the Senate, squeaked out of the House Insurance Committee on 3/28/11, and almost made it the House floor for a vote.  Calls to the House members stalled the bill and prevented it’s being voted on on the floor.  What stopped it was research on the bill that identified it for what it is – another government data gathering effort, marketed as “just a website” that offers health care price comparison information to folks who visit the website.

SB 999 is Brown’s attempt to do something for “consumers.”  In reality, what it would accomplish is help make government bigger, more intrusive, and ultimately helps  “Obama Care” health care reinvention work.

Comprehensive means Comprehensive

The data set required is all encompassing: name; address (including email address, and related url and IP address); birth date; gender; family data includes information on spouse, children, parents, siblings, and legal guardian; demographic information including race, income, and location; medical information includes everything, include behavioral and mental health claims data  – “all claims related to behavioral or mental health shall be included in the medical claims file“; banking; and even auto insurance policy information.

EVERYONE’s data is captured and used by the state.  New Hampshire’s administrative rule over this system reads, in part:

PART Ins 4004  HEALTH CARE CLAIMS DATA SET FILING

Ins 4004.01  Data Set Filing Description.

(a)  Beginning on June 1, 2005, and continuing thereafter in accordance with the submission schedule set forth in Ins 4005.05, each carrier and each health care claims processor shall submit to the NHID and to the DHHS, or their designee, a completed health care claims data set for all residents of New Hampshire and for all members who receive services under a policy issued in New Hampshire. ”

This means a data set on ALL RESIDENTS is collected and submitted to the NH Insurance Dept. and the Dept. of Health and Human Services.  ALL means ALL.  After New Hampshire adopted this system, the state outsourced the service to Maine.  Who, by now, may have outsourced it yet again.

In fact, so much information is gathered to make up this data set, the Administrative rules describing the data set and the coding requirements for the New Hampshire health information system is over 120 pages long.

Government is in the health information data gathering mode and is very busy figuring out more ways to get that data and link it to other networks.  This is the real purpose and intent of health care reform.

At best, Sen. Brown is naive.  He claims to just want a “website for price comparisons” and seems reluctant to ask the common sense questions.

Senator Brown, how do you think this type of website gets access to the massive amounts of necessary information in the first place?

Does you think that comprehensive data sets and treatment costs are just “out there somewhere” and will appear on the state’s website without requiring expansive and intrusive administrative rules to make it a reality?

The cost information used for price comparisons comes from the state’s being given access to everyone’s insurance claims information, in addition to a whole lot of other personal information about each of us.

Regarding the information, where is the information database anyway, and who would govern it? There is no requirement in the bill that a database of this sort must reside in the state of Oklahoma.

Senator, did you ask the residents of this state if they wanted their private medical and health information shared, and their insurance claims being used by the state, and even more third parties having access to their personal information?

The majority of folks in this state opposed “Obama Care” and hate the idea of more government data-gathering, especially health data.

Do you even know what organization set the standards for the data collected? Is it an international standards setting organization?  If so, what happens when those international standards change and require more data to be in compliance?  Then what?

Do you know how much information is being collected? What are the sources of the information, and what entities are involved? What information sharing agreements are a;ready in place, how many are in the works, and what to they state? Regarding third party access to the data, who are these third parties and with whom do they share the information?

Money for Data

Since data means money, and the state would dictates its collection, who ends up owning the data collected, who can aggregate it, and share it? Do they get to sell it? To whom? (Data gets sold over and over again, by the way.)

Last year, Brown couldn’t answer any of these questions.

SB 1059 – Insurance Compact – Or Slight of Hand?

This bill is still under examination, but it says its stated purpose is to “allow insurers authorized to engage in the business of insurance in other states to issue accident and health insurance in Oklahoma.”

If allowed to be sold in this state,  OK governing policies would not apply.  Out-of-state health benefits policies would have to include this language, as noted on page 6:

“The benefits of this policy providing your coverage are governed primarily by the law of a state other than Oklahoma.  While this health benefit plan may provide you a more affordable health insurance policy, it may also provide fewer health benefits than those normally included as state-mandated health benefits in policies in Oklahoma.  Please consult your insurance agent to determine which Oklahoma state-mandated health benefits are excluded under this policy.”

PPACA applies to U.S. Territories, referred to as a state in the PPACA law, and includes Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam,  the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

If the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA, aka “Obama Care”) is referred to as “law”  and states are being told that they must “comply” or risk Medicaid funds, doesn’t it seem likely that any state Oklahoma enters into a insurance compact with will also have to have “complied” with Obama Care?

Page 7 of SB 1059 goes on to state:

“Pursuant to the provisions of the Health Care Choice Act, a foreign health insurer may sell, offer and provide a health benefit plan to residents in this state, if that insurer:

1.  Offers the same health benefit plan in its domiciliary state and is in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and other requirements of its domiciliary state;”

So what’s the advantage to Oklahomans – more insurance options from states that are also are coming into alignment with the federal dictates?  Or is something else going on here?  Are the compacts intended to be reciprocal?

Please call the following Committee members and ask for NO votes on both SB 999 and SB 1059.  SB 999 is just a bad idea, and too much is still unknown about SB 1059 to risk passing it.

Committee on Retirement and Insurance

Senator Bill Brown – Chair    405-521-5602   Email:   brownb@oksenate .gov

Senator Cliff Aldridge – Vice Chair 405-521-5584   Email: aldridge@oksenate.gov

Senator Patrick Anderson -405-521-5630    Email: anderson@oksenate.gov
Senator Randy Bass  – 405-421-5567   Email: bass@oksenate.gov
Senator Josh Brecheen –  405-521-5586   Email: brecheen@oksenate.gov
Senator Brian Crain –   405-521-5520   Email: crain@oksenate.gov
Senator Mike Mazzei –   405-521-5675   Email: mazzei@oksenate.gov

Senator John Sparks  –    405-521-5553  Email: sparks@oksenate.gov
Senator Gary Stanislawski – 405-521-5624  Email: stanislawski@oksenate.gov
Senator Greg Treat  –  405-521-5632  Email: treat@oksenate.gov
Senator Jim Wilson  –   405-521-5574  Email: wilson@oksenate.gov

Senate toll free number: 1-800-865-6490

September 7, 2011

UPDATE: Revised First Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law Meeting Notice – Sept. 14, 2011

(9/8/11 UPDATE: Below is the revised agenda for the first joint committee meeting.)

The first meeting of the joint legislative committee on the effects of the federal health care law (Affordable Care Act, aka “ObamaCare”) on Oklahoma will be held in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:00 am in the House chamber at the OK State Capitol.

This first meeting appears to be featuring some of the key members of the Health Insurance Exchange Steering Committee from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.  The OHCA is the recipient of the federal grants to implement health care reform, including a $1 M planning grant, as well as being the intended recipient of the $54 M Early Innovator Grant the state accepted then “rejected” earlier this year.

Committee co-chairs are Sen. Gary Stanislawski and Rep. Glen Mulready. Every Oklahoman with concerns about the implementation of health insurance exchanges (now “marketplaces”), the use of electronic medical/health records and medical privacy should try to attend this meeting.  This looks to be an all-day meeting, so come prepared to spend some time.

The entire notice is below, including the joint committee members.

Future meetings are to be held in Tulsa, and then again in Oklahoma City.  Dates and times are not confirmed at this time.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

MEETING NOTICE

Date of Notice: September 7, 2011

JOINT COMMITTEE ON FEDERAL HEALTH CARE LAW

SUBJECT:                  First Meeting

MEETING DATE:   Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MEETING TIME:        9:00 A.M.

LOCATION:                House Chamber, State Capitol Building

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Agenda:

9:00 am – 11:30 am                                                                          

1.              Welcome and Introductions

2.              Present State of Health Outcomes and Health Care in Oklahoma

Julie Cox-Kain, Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma State Department of Health

                                                Mike Fogarty, Chief Executive Officer, Oklahoma Health Care Authority

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

 3.              PPACA: Description of Mandates, Costs, and Other Implications for the State Concerning Public                         Health

Julie Cox-Kain, Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma State Department of Health

 4.              Medicaid and Accountable Care Organizations

Buffy Heater, Director of Planning and Development, Oklahoma Health Care Authority

                                                Cindy Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Oklahoma Health Care Authority

                                                Jason Sutton, Policy Impact Director, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

5.              Other Business

Senate Appointees:                                                     House Appointees:

Senator Gary Stanislawski, Co-Chair                Rep. Glen Mulready, Co-Chair

Senator Cliff Aldridge                                                 Rep. Doug Cox

Senator Bill Brown                                                      Rep. Randy Grau

Senator Sean Burrage                                                Rep. Danny Morgan

Senator Brian Crain                                                    Rep. Jeannie McDaniel

Senator John Sparks                                                  Rep. Jason Nelson

Senate Staff:

Jennifer Mullens, Legislative Analyst

Alicia Emerson, Legislative Analyst

Lori Block, Staff Attorney

Andrew Messer, Fiscal Analyst

Anthony Sammons, Staff Attorney

Darrell D. Washington, Administrative Assistant

June 14, 2009

2009 Freedom 21 Conference – Oklahoma, August 13-15, 2009

Our country has changed dramatically over the last 2 decades, leaving most people wondering what happened. 

International policy agreements such as Agenda 21 and other treaties have caused the American people to lose more of the freedoms traditionally enjoyed in this country.

From personal, property and travel rights, to education and health care choices, life as we’ve known it has changed.
 
Freedom21 has worked for the last 10 years to educate citizens and public officials about the reality of the political agenda known as Sustainable Development and its ultimate outcome – the destruction of private property and the end of freedom for the American public. 

For the first time ever, the Freedom21 National Conference will be held in Oklahoma, the state in the national spotlight for standing up for what is right.

Special guest speakers include Chuck Baldwin, PA Representative Sam Rohrer, OK Senator Randy Brogdon, OK Representative Charles Key, Dr. Michael Coffman, Tom DeWeese, Dr. Jeff Marrongelle, Marc Marano, Larry Pratt, Michael Shaw, Allen Quist, Patrick Wood, Michael Chapman, G. Edward Griffin, and many more.

Sponsored by the American Policy Center, Freedom21 Inc., as well as OK-SAFE, Inc. and 18 other co-sponsors, this conference offers the opportunity to hear the no-spin facts about our country and what to do about it.  It also affords attendees the opportunity to network with other groups and individuals who are taking positive action to restore freedom and traditional values to this country.

For those who have been asking “What do we do now?” The answer is simple – make plans today to attend the Freedom 21 National Conference, August 13-15, 2009 in Midwest City, OK.

Take action armed with the real facts and the real truth.

Conference: August 13-15, 2009

Location: Reed Conference Center, Sheraton Midwest City Hotel, Midwest City, OK

Registration Information: http://www.freedom21.org or http://www.ok-safe.com

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Thomas Paine 

 

 

 

 

 

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