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Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

Get Covered

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

After much commotion, the White House is pushing for individuals to sign up for health care coverage. Many people are finding that they get reduced rates, a subsidy or even no-cost insurance.

“The bottom line is I’m going to need you, and the country needs you. And a lot of your friends and peers, they may not know that they need you, but if something happens somewhere down the road where they really need to get to a hospital or a doctor, the fact that you have talked to them and gotten them involved is going to make all the difference in the world.” — President Obama

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Pennsylvania Medicaid Expansion

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Dear Friend,

Budgets are statements of priorities, and it is clear from this week’s state budget proposal that Governor Corbett’s priorities are simply not aligned with middle-class Pennsylvania families.

Each year in Pennsylvania, uninsured patients receive nearly $1 billion in uncompensated medical care. Without coverage, their care is delayed, their conditions become more severe, and they turn to emergency rooms, where care is more expensive and the cost is ultimately borne by the taxpayers.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to reduce its uninsured population by 41% with the federal government absorbing the greatest share of costs by contributing $37.8 billion over the next decade (Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation). This would have dramatically expanded access to coverage for these hard-working citizens. Health care reform took great steps to control health care costs while expanding access and strengthening benefits for all Americans.

Walking away from reducing Pennsylvania’s uninsured population by 41% is short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible.

Although the Governor failed to create certainty for a half-million of our fellow Pennsylvanians, just this week the number of states that have adopted this Medicaid expansion opportunity climbed to 20, including our neighbors in New York, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio.

This was a missed opportunity.

Sincerely,

Allyson Y. Schwartz
Member of Congress

Be sure to send me an email and let me know what your thoughts are on expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania?

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz with State Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair, Vincent Hughes, healthcare providers, policy experts and others to calling on Governor Corbett to join other Republican and Democratic governors around the nation and support Medicaid expansion (January 24, 2013)

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Countdown to Affordable Health Insurance

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Anticipation is building, and this month we start an important countdown, first to October 1, 2013, when open enrollment begins, and continuing on to January 1, 2014, the start of new health insurance coverage for millions of Americans. In October, many of you’ll be able to shop for health insurance that meets your needs at the new Marketplace at HealthCare.gov.

This is an historic time for those Americans who never had health insurance, who had to go without insurance after losing a job or becoming sick, or who had been turned down because of a pre-existing condition. Because of these new marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will have new access to affordable health insurance coverage.

Over the last two years we’ve worked closely with states to begin building their health insurance marketplaces, also known as Exchanges, so that families and small-business owners will be able to get accurate information to make apples-to-apples comparisons of private insurance plans and, get financial help to make coverage more affordable if they’re eligible.

That is why we are so excited about launching the newly rebuilt HealthCare.gov website, where you’ll be able to buy insurance from qualified private health plans and check if you are eligible for financial assistance — all in one place, with a single application. Many individuals and families will be eligible for a new kind of tax credit to help lower their premium costs. If your state is running its own Marketplace, HealthCare.gov will make sure you get to the right place.

The Marketplace will offer much more than any health insurance website you’ve used before. Insurers will compete for your business on a level playing field, with no hidden costs or misleading fine print.

It’s not too soon to check out HealthCare.gov for new information about the Marketplace and tips for things you can do now to prepare for enrollment.  And, make sure to sign up for emails or text message updates, so you don’t miss a thing when it’s time to enroll.

There is still work to be done to make sure the insurance market works for families and small businesses. But, for millions of Americans, the time for having the affordable, quality health care coverage, security, and peace of mind they need and deserve is finally within sight.

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Let’s Put Patients and Doctors Back in Control of Healthcare!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Texas Straight Talk – A Weekly Column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

This week marks six months since Congress passed the healthcare reform bill in what has become all-too-typical legislative chicanery. Those in power crafted a mammoth piece of legislation and rammed it through Congress under a dire sense of emergency. Insisting on time enough to read the bill was dismissed as dangerous and crazy in a time of crisis. We were told that if we really wanted to see what was in the bill we would have to pass it first. I cannot imagine the Founding Fathers intended that Congress legislate in this manner. I would think if a member is not absolutely certain the entire legislation meets constitutional muster, the default vote should be “no” in accordance with our oath of office. But now that Congress has had six months to read the new law, there is a significant amount of buyer’s remorse on Capitol Hill.

The more constituents learn about the law, the more angry they become. 60% of Americans are now to be said in favor of repealing the entire thing. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to repeal a law than it is to pass a bill. I wrote a while back about the egregious provision to require businesses to issue 1099s for all transactions over $600 as a way to partially pay for it. I have co-sponsored legislation to fix this issue, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg.

First of all, in spite of the administration repeating over and over that this legislation would not increase costs for Americans, they are now saying they knew all along that it would. The Congressional Budget office estimates that American families will see their premiums rise by an average of $2,100 by 2016. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the cost of compliance is forcing some insurers to increase premiums by up to 20% as soon as next year. Also, in spite of repeated claims from the administration that we could all keep our plans and doctors if we liked them, the administration’s own officials are now predicting that won’t be true for up to
117 million Americans who will lose their current plans.

Major insurers are also dropping child-only plans because of mandates and price fixing on such policies leaving parents with fewer choices for their children, not more. In addition, in spite of claiming this law would contain government costs, not increase them, administration actuaries now predict it will increase healthcare spending by over $300 billion. This additional spending comes along with doctor shortages, fewer choices and more taxes, perhaps, worst of all, increases in labor cost because of health insurance mandates are discouraging employers from hiring new workers and even triggering more layoffs.

Anyone with a basic understanding of Austrian economics could have predicted the unintended consequences of these new healthcare policies. Central planning never increases choices and quality or cuts costs as promised. Price controls and government mandates always create artificial scarcity. Healthcare is not a right or privilege. It is a product, like food or clothing. As with any good or service, the free market regulation of supply and demand provides the optimal quality to the maximum number of people.

Once we realize the problems we are trying to solve today were created by government intervention beginning in the 1960s, we can begin to put patients back in control of healthcare, rather than third party oligopolies and government bureaucrats. The sooner the better.

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A response from Kathleen Sebelius

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

We sent in a petition regarding food safety and Senate Bill 510 – “The Food Modernization and Safety Act”. The response was typical, Washington, bureaucratic BS, we are doing it to protect you nonsense.
UGGGGGHHHHHHH!

Dear Sir,

While we will respond to the specific issues you raise as soon as we can, I wanted to let you know that your message has been received and that I appreciate your taking the time to write.

The mission of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to protect the nation’s health and provide essential human services, and, as part of that mission, we are at the forefront of the federal government’s efforts to address a wide range of critical issues and challenges. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our work.

First, on March 23, after more than a year of extensive debate, the President signed into law health reform legislation that brings down health care costs for American families and small businesses, expands coverage to millions of Americans and ends the worst practices of insurance companies. As a result of the new law, Americans will begin to see significant benefits take effect this year, with other important reforms following shortly after. In the weeks, months, and years ahead, our department will be responsible for implementing many of these reforms. You can be assured that we are firmly committed to explaining these changes to the American people clearly, and to enacting them carefully and effectively. For information about the new law, I would encourage you to visit www.healthcare.gov.

Meanwhile, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we’ve made hundreds of millions of dollars available as part of a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative, Communities Putting Prevention to Work. This new initiative supports local efforts to reduce obesity, increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and decrease smoking – the four most important things we can to do to fight chronic diseases and improve public health. And it’s right in line with the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, which calls on Americans to work together to solve childhood obesity in a generation. You can learn more about these and other Recovery Act initiatives at www.hhs.gov/recovery.

In addition, it is a core responsibility of HHS, through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure the food we eat is safe. Toward that end, I am firmly committed to working with my colleagues at the Department of Agriculture to achieve the President’s goal of upgrading and strengthening our food safety system; restoring trust in the FDA as the leading science-based regulatory agency in the world; and fulfilling our obligation to the American people to ensure that the food they purchase and serve to their families is safe to eat. For more information, please visit www.foodsafety.gov.

Finally, HHS plays a vital role in getting our children ready to learn and thrive in school, helping low-income working families struggling to make ends meet in this difficult economy, and meeting the basic needs of vulnerable populations, such as abused and neglected children, refugees, and individuals with disabilities. As the Administration works to turn around our economy, we recognize that the economic downturn has had its greatest impact on the most vulnerable among us – low-income families with children. Through child care, child support, energy assistance, and other efforts, the Department helps low-income parents and their communities weather this economic storm. We will continue to work hard to improve these programs through evidence-based approaches that make a difference for these families and children.

Again, thank you for writing.

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End the Mandate

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Texas Straight Talk – A Weekly Column
Rep. Ron Paul (R) – TX 14

Last week I introduced a very important piece of legislation that I hope will gain as much or more support as my Audit the Fed bill. HR 4995, the End the Mandate Act will repeal provisions of the newly passed health insurance reform bill that gives the government the power to force Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance.

The whole bill is rotten, but this provision especially is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Defenders claim the Congress’s constitutional authority to regulate “interstate commerce” gives it the power to do this. However, as Judge Andrew Napolitano and other distinguished legal scholars and commentators have pointed out, even the broadest definition of “regulating interstate commerce” cannot reasonably encompass forcing Americans to engage in commerce by purchasing health insurance. Not only is it unconstitutional; it is a violation of the basic freedom to make our own decisions regarding how best to meet the health care needs of ourselves and our families.

The new law requires Americans to have what is defined as “minimum essential coverage.” Some people may claim that the requirement to have “minimal essential coverage” does not impose an unreasonable burden on Americans. There are two problems with this claim. First, the very imposition of a health insurance mandate, no matter how “minimal,” violates the principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded.

Second, the mandate is unlikely to remain “minimal” for long. The experience of states that allow their legislatures to mandate what benefits health insurance plans must cover has shown that politicizing health insurance inevitably makes it more expensive. As the cost of government-mandated health insurance rises, Congress will likely respond by increasing subsidies for more and more Americans, adding astronomically to our debt burden. An insurance mandate undermines the entire principle of what insurance is supposed to measure – risk.

Another likely response to rising costs is the imposition of price controls on medical treatments, and limits on what procedures and treatments mandatory insurance will have to reimburse. This is happening in other countries where government is intrinsically involved in these decisions and people suffer and die because of it.

This will only increase the bottom line of the very insurers the legislation was supposed to control. Meanwhile, alternate methods of healthcare delivery and financing, such as concierge doctors, alternative medicine, or physician owned hospitals will be greatly harmed, if not put out of business altogether, when the entire country is forced into the insurance model. It will be difficult for families to come up with extra money to pay for alternate healthcare of their choice when their budget has been squeezed by this mandate to buy insurance. This will in turn reduce competition for healthcare dollars. Health insurers, like many other corporations in other industries, have now used the legislative process anti-competitively to corner the healthcare market. Instead of calling this socialized medicine, we should call it corporatized medicine, since the reform is to force us all into being customers of these corporations, whether we like it or not.

Congress made a grave error by forcing all Americans to purchase health insurance. The mandate violates fundamental principles of individual liberty, and will lead to further government involvement in health care. It is time for legislation that fights back for the freedom of the people on this issue. It is time to End the Mandate.

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Peter Schiff: Why Obamacare is unconstitutional.

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Peter Schiff Youtube: Why Obamacare is unconstitutional. Why the war on drugs is illegal.

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Stupak Deal Illegal And Unconstitutional

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Ron Paul on Fox News: Stupak Deal Illegal And Unconstitutional – 3/24/10

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Impeach the president?

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Washington Times
March 19, 2010

Impeach the president?
The ‘Slaughter Solution’ would violate the Constitution

The Democrats are assaulting the very pillars of our democracy. As the debate on Obamacare reaches the long, painful end, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confronting a political nightmare. She may not have the 216 votes necessary to pass the Senate’s health care bill in the House.

Hence, Mrs. Pelosi and her congressional Democratic allies are seriously considering using a procedural ruse to circumvent the traditional constitutional process. Led by Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, New York Democrat and chairman of the House Rules Committee, the new plan – called the “Slaughter Solution” – is not to pass the Senate version on an up-or-down vote. Rather, it is to have the House “deem” that the legislation was passed and then have members vote directly on a series of “sidecar” amendments to fix the things it does not like.

This would enable House Democrats to avoid going on the record voting for provisions in the Senate bill – the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” the tax on high-cost so-called “Cadillac” insurance plans – that are reviled by the public or labor-union bosses. If the reconciliation fixes pass, the House can send the Senate bill to President Obama for his signature without ever having had a formal up-or-down vote on the underlying legislation.

Many Democrats could claim they opposed the Senate bill while allowing it to pass. This would be an unprecedented violation of our democratic norms and procedures, established since the inception of the republic. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that for any bill to become a law, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That is, not be “deemed” to have passed, but actually be voted on with the support of the required majority. The bill must contain the exact same language in both chambers – and in the version signed by the president – to be a legitimate law.

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HellCare for all!

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

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