Category Archives: Health Care Debate

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

Press Release

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement announcing that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of a state-based exchange or participate in the Medicaid expansion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

“For the past few months, my staff and I have worked with other lawmakers, Oklahoma stakeholders and health care experts across the country to determine the best course of action for Oklahoma in regards to both the creation of a health insurance exchange and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Our priority has been to ascertain what can be done to increase quality and access to health care, contain costs, and do so without placing an undue burden on taxpayers or the state. As I have stated many times before, it is my firm belief that PPACA fails to further these goals, and will in fact decrease the quality of health care across the United States while contributing to the nation’s growing deficit crisis.

“Despite my ongoing opposition to the federal health care law, the state of Oklahoma is legally obligated to either build an exchange that is PPACA compliant and approved by the Obama Administration, or to default to an exchange run by the federal government. This choice has been forced on the people of Oklahoma by the Obama Administration in spite of the fact that voters have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the federal health care law through their support of State Question 756, a constitutional amendment prohibiting the implementation of key components of PPACA.

“After careful consideration, I have today informed U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of its own health insurance exchange. Any exchange that is PPACA compliant will necessarily be ‘state-run’ in name only and would require Oklahoma resources, staff and tax dollars to implement. It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American health care and the fiscal stability of the nation.

“Furthermore, I have also decided that Oklahoma will not be participating in the Obama Administration’s proposed expansion of Medicaid. Such an expansion would be unaffordable, costing the state of Oklahoma up to $475 million between now and 2020, with escalating annual expenses in subsequent years. It would also further Oklahoma’s reliance on federal money that may or may not be available in the future given the dire fiscal problems facing the federal government. On a state level, massive new costs associated with Medicaid expansion would require cuts to important government priorities such as education and public safety. Furthermore, the proposed Medicaid expansion offers no meaningful reform to a massive entitlement program already contributing to the out-of-control spending of the federal government.

“Moving forward, the state of Oklahoma will pursue two actions simultaneously. The first will be to continue our support for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge of PPACA. General Pruitt’s lawsuit raises different Constitutional questions than previous legal challenges, and both he and I remain optimistic that Oklahoma’s challenge can succeed.

“Our second and equally important task will be to pursue state-based solutions that improve health outcomes and contain costs for Oklahoma families. Serious reform, for instance, should be pursued in the area of Medicaid and public health, where effective chronic disease prevention and management programs could address the trend of skyrocketing medical bills linked to avoidable hospital and emergency room visits. I look forward to working with legislative leaders and lawmakers in both parties to pursue Oklahoma health care solutions for Oklahoma families.”

Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable

Kaye Beach

Nov. 13, 2012

Hold the line!  Here are 13 reasons to states still shouldn’t implement health insurance exchanges.
Gov. Fallin is considering implementation of the health insurance exchanges.  Let her know the answer is still NO!

The Office of Governor Mary Fallin (405) 521-2342

From the Nation Review Online published Nov. 9, 2012

Now is not the time to go wobbly.

By Michael F. Cannon

President Obama has won reelection, and his administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare’s health-insurance “exchanges.” States also have to decide whether to implement the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no.

State-created exchanges mean higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less protection of religious freedom. States are better off defaulting to a federal exchange. The Medicaid expansion is likewise too costly and risky a proposition. Republican Governors Association chairman Bob McDonnell (R.,Va.) agrees, and has announced that Virginia will implement neither provision.

There are many arguments against creating exchanges.

First, states are under no obligation to create one.

Second, operating an Obamacare exchange would be illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted either statutes or constitutional amendments (or both) forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.

Third, each exchange would cost its state an estimated $10 million to $100 million per year, necessitating tax increases.

Read more

Oklahoma testing the water on Health Insurance Exchange

Kaye Beach

Nov. 10, 2012

Read the article below carefully.  All sorts of mixed messages.  I think this is a ‘testing of the water’  to see what reaction the “possibility” of fulfilling the rejected healthcare reform agenda garners from the public.

This would be a good time to contact state officials and remind them of your position on the issue.  Here is the action list from the July 7, 2012  Oklahoma Rally For Healthcare Independence;

ACTION List
Call the Governor’s office and your state elected officials and tell them Oklahomans still don’t want ObamaCare in the state of Oklahoma.
Tell them:
1. NO to the health insurance exchanges—either state-based or other-wise. Insurance exchanges, state-based or otherwise, are a key compo-nent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”). No insurance exchanges = no ObamaCare!
2. NO to any expansion of Medicaid in the state of Oklahoma—The country is broke and we cannot afford this!
3. Terminate the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET) – This unelected entity is busy working to establish and imple-ment the foundations that make “Obama Care” work. This unelected body has no legislative oversight and is not accountable to the People of Oklahoma—they do not represent the interest of the people!

Health exchange still a possibility in Oklahoma

Nov. 10, 2012 Tulsa World

Gov. Mary Fallin’s administration signaled Friday that it is still considering partnering with the federal government to establish a health insurance exchange in the state – although a decision may not come for some time.

The state Attorney General’s Office has asserted in federal court that “Oklahoma has not established or elected to establish an exchange, and does not expect to do so,” but Fallin’s staff seemed to reopen the issue this week when a spokesman said the governor “is continuing to explore the state’s options as they relate to health insurance exchanges.”

In an expanded statement Friday, Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said Fallin’s staff doesn’t feel pressed by a widely reported “deadline” for states to report their exchange intentions to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by next Friday.

“The November 16 ‘deadline’ to submit a plan for an insurance exchange is an internal agency deadline, not in statute, with no obvious penalties for states that do not meet it,” Weintz said. “After reviewing ACA guidelines and conferring with other states, our policy staff does not believe it is true that Oklahoma will necessarily be subject to a federal exchange if it misses the November 16 deadline.”

Read More

 

Medicaid expansion is the new SQ 744

Rally For Repeal

Kaye Beach

July 12, 2012

Here is a great write up on the Rally For Healthcare Independence that took place at the Oklahoma Capitol on July 7th by Ted King in today’s Pryor Daily Times.

Rally for repeal

Staff Writer Ted King

OKLAHOMA CITY — Around 300 people gathered at the state capitol Saturday to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to allow The Affordable Care Act to stand.

Last week, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, decided the federal government has the authority to require citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a tax. The high court stipulated the states cannot be forced to expand Medicare. This was not a large crowd compared to some rallies held at the state capitol, but the event was organized on short notice.

One of the organizers, Jon Scolomiero of the Tenth Amendment Center, said he got to work putting this rally together on the evening of the Supreme Court decision June 21. The theme of the rally was nullification of Obamacare at the state level and repeal of Obamacare at the federal level.

Protesters do not want the state to implement the early stages of Obamacare in the form of health care exchanges.

Health care exchanges were a hot topic at the state capitol last session as lawmakers argued over taking money from the federal government to set up the framework for implementation of Obamacare, set to go into effect in 2014. Some lawmakers argued that failure by the state to take the federal exchanges meant the federal government, not Oklahoma, would determine how Obamacare would be implemented in the state.

Read more

Healthcare, RFID and Medical Devices: Worry or Not?

Kaye Beach

July 10, 2011

In this post I raise two issues related to RFID and medical devices.  RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify people or objects.

One of these issues you shouldn’t worry about but the other might be cause for concern.

Although the assertion that the Affordable Care Act mandates that the majority of people receive a RFID chip implant has been soundly debunked but there has been a resurgence in the hoax.  It is concerning to see that otherwise cautious and credible people are falling for it and perpetuating this disinformation.  As I have stated elsewhere, creditability is essential and it is an all or nothing kind of a deal.

Here is the basic claim being made;

The Obama Health care bill under Class II (Paragraph 1, Section B) specifically includes ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable.” Then on page 1004 it describes what the term “data” means in paragraph 1, section B:

‘‘(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to in
formation respecting a device described in paragraph (1),  including claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of  data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary”

What exactly is a class II device that is implantable? Lets see…

Approved by the FDA, a class II implantable device is a “implantable radiofrequency transponder system for patient identification and health information.” The purpose of a class II device is to collect data in medical patients such as “claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary.”

This sort of device would be implanted in the majority of people who opt to become covered by the public health care option.

link

The claim is faulty from the get go.  Although implantable RFID chips are a Class II device, the  aren’t the only implantable device that is a Class II medical device.

In the United States, medical devices are regulated by the FED, the Food and Drug Administration. Medical devices can be defined as any physical item useful for diagnostic, monitoring, or therapeutic purposes.

There are three classes of medical devices.  Devices are regulated according to their intended use and by level of risk posed to the patient with a Class I device being the most lightly regulated due their non invasive nature and slimmer possibility for harming a person and Class III being the most heavily regulated.  link Examples of Class I devices  include bandages and  hand held surgical instruments. Examples of Class II medical devices includes dental fillings, sutures, and yes, RFID implantable chips.

RFID chips are only one example of a Class II implantable device. 

What is a Class II medical device?

Class II devices have a higher potential to cause harm and require both general and special controls, such as special labeling, mandatory performance standards, and postmarket surveillance. These devices are typically nonimplanted, although some are partially invasive. Examples include x-ray machines, wheelchairs, infusion pumps, and surgical needles. Link

Also, the original (HR 3200)  bill did not mandate that anyone must have anything implanted. the language was actually proposing a national registry of medical devices  and furthermore this language was not included in the version (HR 3590) of the bill that actually passed into law.  A registry of medical devices certainly could be something to worry about but that is not what is being addressed by the above claims that are being passed  from person to person around like a bad rash.

Mark Lerner, co-founder of the Constitutional Alliance, researched the issue and provides this statement on his findings regarding the matter;

I have been asked if RFID (chips) implants are mandated as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR3590, Public Law 111-148) often referred to as “Obamacare”. The answer is “No”.

An earlier version of the legislation (HR3200, 111th Congress) did allow for class II devices that are “implantable” but that legislation never made it out of the House of Representatives.

Do not take my word for it; visit http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php and select “advanced search”, then select 111th Congress (2009-2010) and enter the bill number HR3590.

You can do the same for HR3200 and find out that HR3200 never was passed, much less signed into law. If you follow the directions I have provided you will be able to read and do a word search for the word “implantable”in both of the pieces of legislation and determine the last Congressional action taken.

I want to say unequivocally there are times when incorrect information is shared not because people intentionally are attempting to mislead others but rather because we do not always do our homework before passing on emails and other information. Let the man or woman or has never shared erroneous information come forward today and you will find nobody including myself that has not committed this error.”

Now here is an issue that involves RFID and medical device that may warrant some legitimate concern;

Published July 10, 2012 in the RFiD Journal

FDA Issues Proposed Rules for Unique Identification System for Medical Devices

The medical manufacturing and health-care industries have 120 days to comment on the new rules, which will require many medical devices to carry a printed text identification number and bar-code label or RFID tag ID that would be stored on an FDA database.

Read more

The concern is that medical devices that are either worn or implanted into a person that carry a unique identification number whether it be by bar code, RFID or simply text printed on the device-is traceable and could be combined with other personal data.  I find the idea, on its face, to be worrisome and will be doing some addition reading on this issue.

For more information on the privacy  problems with item level RFID tagging, read;

Bye Bye Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart Radio Tags to Track Clothing

Oklahoma Rally For Healthcare Independence: Invite your Reps!

Kaye Beach

July 3, 2012

Let your elected representative know that the people of Oklahoma have,  and will continue to reject the President’s Health Care Reform Law and that we appreciate their willingness to stand in the gap for Oklahoma citizens in the face of the Supreme Courts ruling to uphold the misguided health care reform policy.

Invite them to attend the Rally for Health Care Independence on Saturday July 7, 2012 and stand with us!

 

Press Release for the event

Here is a sample letter that you can use.

Sample Invitation Letter for Officials

Feel free to personalize and please, share with us the responses you receive by either posting in the comments section of this post or sending and email to axxxiomforliberty@gmail.com.

If you do not know who your state representatives are, click here.

Don’t forget to invite the winners of the recent state primary candidates for office!

This is a great way to open up the lines of communication between you and your elected representatives (or future representatives)!

Tom Coburn, Congressional Republicans Ask Governors Not To Implement Health Care Exchange

Kaye Beach
July 3, 2012
If you were wondering what Dr Coburn thinks about the implementation of the controversial Health Care Exchanges-wait no more…The good Doctor says NO!
From CapitolBeatOK
Patrick B. McGuigan
Published: 03-Jul-2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – Twelve U.S. Senators and 61 members of the U.S. House have written every governor in America, including Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, asking the state chief executives to oppose implementation of health care exchanges under the controversial Affordable Care Act. The new developments unfolded as turmoil continued to surround what might be the most contentious judicial decision in the modern era.
Meanwhile, grass roots activists in Oklahoma are organizing a rally at the Oklahoma state Capitol for Saturday, July 7.  (link to more info)
Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Muskogee joined several colleagues in signing the letter. Leading the charge to gather signatures on the missive was U.S. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

Oklahoma Lawmaker Plans to File Bill to `Nullify’ Individual Mandate

Kaye Beach

July 3, 2012

 

Oklahoma House of Representatives     Media Division

July 3, 2012

Lawmaker Plans to File Bill to `Nullify’ Individual Mandate

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mike Ritze plans to reintroduce a bill to
“nullify” the individual mandate in the 2010 federal health care
legislation in Oklahoma.

“I disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling and believe that
state governments were intended to serve as a check on the federal
government,” said Ritze, R-Broken Arrow. “The Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, which is better known as ObamaCare, is an example of
federal overreach and my legislation will authorize the state to resist it
and ban the enforcement of it.”

Ritze said his legislation would authorize the Oklahoma
attorney general to defend citizens who fail to purchase health insurance
against the federal government and criminalizes the enforcement of the
individual mandate.

“My hope is that ObamaCare will be repealed, but I do not
think that means we have to wait for the repeal to happen. Oklahoma
lawmakers should do what they can to support our choice to make our own
health care decisions,” Ritze said.

###

Sat. July 7, 2012 9-11 am Oklahoma State Capitol-

Rally For Healthcare Independence Sat. July 7, 2012 Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma Bill will provide drug data

Kaye Beach

April, 11, 2012

In order to create the Prescription Monitoring Program in the first place, they had to reassure citizens and their elected officials that even though personal medical information was being exposed to the cops and other bureaucrats, it wouldn’t go any further.  Now that the program is in place, now comes the slow but sure expansion of sharing that data.  Right now it is just statistical data being shared with a few more select stakeholders but this is just the first step.  (See article below)

The Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program tracks all drugs Schedule II-V, not just opioids like Vicodin as mentioned in the article.  And naturally since the federal government has applied ample amounts of  both the carrot and the stick to the states to create these tracking programs, now they want to link them all up.

“Now that 48 states have authorized PMPs, it is high time we get these systems linked up to eliminate the interstate doctor shopping which has been fueling the pill pipeline around our country,” Rogers continued. “The ID MEDS Act paves the way for secure prescription data exchange so that doctors and pharmacists around the country will be able to make informed decisions about prescribing these powerful drugs, and law enforcement can more easily root out corrupt drug dealers. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation.” Read more

Here is an insightful comment about the Prescription Monitoring Programs that I just had to share.  From JasonPye.com

It’s funny, when ObamaCare was passed last year. Republicans claimed that it would interfere with doctor-patient relationships, etc. But when pushing a bill that could cause doctors to under-prescribe patients because of the fear that they could be tied to someone that is doctor shopping. While this concern will be downplayed, it’s a serious issue that has ruined careers and caused patients to suffer unnecessarily. Read more

 

From Tulsa Today

Bill will provide drug data

Written by Staff Report Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Oklahoma Sen. Gary Stanislawski said a bill allowing access to statistical data about drug prescriptions has been approved by both chambers and is one step closer to becoming law.   Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, is principal author of Senate Bill 1065, which deals with the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).  The database is maintained by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) to track prescriptions of specific types of drugs, like Vicodin.

Physicians, pharmacists and law enforcement can access the PMP to search a patient’s prescription history.  The purpose was to identify patients who would visit multiple doctors to obtain duplicate prescriptions, raising flags about possible addiction or the illegal distribution of dangerous drugs.

“When the PMP was created, there were concerns about the inappropriate disclosure of private medical information, and so it was a misdemeanor to share any of this data with the public or the press,” Stanislawski said. 

Read More

SB 1629 is on hold pending Supreme Court action

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