September 11, 2013
Inside this issue
  DISTURBING: IBM, Time Warner push former employees off health care plans because of Obamacare  
  My husband Ron is an IBM retiree!!


 

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  A closer look at the Obamacare data hub  
 

Over the last several months, Americans across the country have been outraged by reports of malfeasance by federal bureaucracies. Chief among the perpetrators has been the Internal Revenue Service, and it seems that with each passing day we learn of another scandal.

We’ve learned that the IRS has been improperly targeting and scrutinizing conservative groups and that the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Americans were inadvertently posted on IRS.gov. The American people are outraged and rightly so.

But a critical component of Obamacare will make the potential for abuse even greater.

The Federal Data Services Hub, a key part of Obamacare’s exchanges set to go live on October 1, will connect seven different government agencies and create a new access point to the personal health information of millions of Americans. Proponents of the health care law say the hub is necessary to verify eligibility for the law’s myriad of subsidies and tax credits.

The IRS will provide employment and income verification. The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide information on veteran status. The Department of Homeland Security will furnish information on immigration status. Even the Peace Corps will be a part of the hub’s data collection effort. Individual state governments will also contribute and have access to the data. Potentially thousands of people, scattered around the nation, could have access to every American’s private information.

Names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, employment information, gender and ethnicity status of millions of American families will all be available through the hub. University of Minnesota finance professor Stephen Parente said it “could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic.”

In California, where state officials are preparing to launch their exchange, State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently expressed concerns about protecting data. “We can have a real disaster on our hands," he told the Associated Press.

The hub’s scope will be vast, and the potential for theft or abuse of your personal information will be unprecedented. Indeed, it is cause for great concern.
 

 

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  CoverTN won't be viable under federal health law as of Jan. 1  
 

A letter from the state of Tennessee states that as a limited-benefit plan, CoverTN does not cover all the services required by the federal law and will no longer exist as of Jan. 1.
'Bare-bones' program does not meet coverage criteria under Affordable Care Act; state notifies thousands of residents they'll lose coverage

 
Sep. 10, 2013 4:53 AM

The state of Tennessee this month notified thousands of residents that they will lose coverage under a TennCare-sponsored program that helps small businesses and the self-employed buy health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.

The letter states that as a limited-benefit plan, CoverTN does not cover all the services required by the federal law and will no longer exist as of Jan. 1. CoverTN had a $25,000 annual limit on benefits. The federal health law does not allow yearly expenditure caps.

CoverTN was established in 2006 as a program in which the state, employer and employee would evenly split premium costs based on an individual’s age, tobacco use and weight.
 

Stacy Harris of Nashville used CoverTN for preventive care and supplemented it with another policy that had a $15,000 deductible. The private insurer had notified her it would stop offering the high-deductible policy before she got the letter from the state.

“It was all I had,” Harris said.

The law establishes subsidies tied to incomes to help people buy coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace, the federal exchange. But Harris, who publishes the Internet guide Stacy’s Music Row Report and has investment income, said she made too much money to get much help.

“I figured it out,” she said. “It’s not pretty.”

Families USA, an advocacy organization for health-care consumers, was critical of CoverTN, calling it a “bare-bones health plan” in a 2009 report. The organization pointed out the plan’s limits on hospital coverage, prescription drugs and cancer treatment.

 

 

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  How to Defund Obamacare  
  by DEROY MURDOCKSeptember 3, 2013

Yet again, congressional Republicans have backed themselves into a corner by believing the Left's anti-GOP talking points - this time on Obamacare.

"Shutting down the government just because I'm for keeping it open? That's not an economic plan," Obama said in Florida last month.

"Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable through shutting down the federal government," Senator Richard Burr (R., N.C.) parroted.

As Republican senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio keep repeating, though few listen, they aim to shut down nothing. They want a continuing resolution that funds the entire federal government past September 30, except for Obamacare. If Obama signs such a measure, Yellowstone will remain open, the FAA will keep controlling jet traffic, and the FBI will continue to track terrorists. But Obamacare's cash will evaporate, as well it should.

Conversely, if Obama vetoes such a budget bill, he - not Republicans - may jeopardize federal operations while ignoring the 54 percent of Americans who disapproved of Obamacare in the latest Rasmussen survey.

Republican lawmakers should stop quivering in fear of a president with a 44 percent Gallup job-approval rating. With a little courage and creativity, Republicans could fight the defunding battle effectively - if not to immediate victory, then to this dreadful program's ultimate detriment. Here's how:

First, Republicans control the House of Representatives, the birthplace of spending bills. They should exercise their constitutional power and imminently consider language that funds everything but Obamacare.

Second, Republicans should adopt the Left's practice of giving bills delicious titles. How can they counter liberal claims that they want to padlock Washington? Call their Obamacare-defunding vehicle the Keep Government Open Act of 2013.

Third, the House should pass this bill immediately after Congress reconvenes on September 10. This legislation then would define the public debate until October 1. Democrats cannot accuse Republicans of closing the government if the GOP gives Senate Democrats and Obama nearly three weeks to respond to the House proposal.

 

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Coming: ObamaCare and Medicare Train Wrecks

by Phyllis Schlafly

September 4, 2013

The problem with ObamaCare isn’t only that it’s careening toward a financial train wreck. It’s also a slush fund to pay off Obama’s political activists to carry out a massive invasion of privacy that dwarfs the NSA’s collection of personal data on American citizens.

The Obama Administration let the cat out of the bag when it admitted it will give $655,000 in federal funds to three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire, plus $375,000 to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., to hire Navigators whose job is to assist citizens to report all their personal medical and financial information to the government. The Navigators’ project is so intrusive that we wonder why we ever worried about data collection by the NSA as exposed by Edward Snowden.

The navigators are also expected to be hired from other pro-Obama organizations such as Organizing for America and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and that will surely sweeten the budgets of those and other Democratic advocacy groups. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) says that, since money is fungible, the Planned Parenthood grants amount to federal funding of abortion providers.

To back up the collection of data from individuals, the Obama administration is creating a giant “data hub” to gather personal records from seven government agencies: Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Veterans Health Administration, Defense Department, Personnel Management Office, and even the Peace Corps.

The job of the navigators is to help seven million participants select their ObamaCare options and apply for benefits. Navigator applicants, who don’t have to have a high-school diploma, will be given 20 hours of training during the one month between the time when the money becomes available and October 1 when they report to their jobs.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi dared to say what many are worried about. These navigators will have access to thousands of Americans’ most personal and private financial, employment, medical history, and prescription-drug information, their tax returns, Social Security number, date of birth, bank account number, and place of employment.

Navigators will not have background checks or even be fingerprinted. The ObamaCare network doesn’t have any process for doing criminal-background checks on navigator applicants, and makes no requirement that navigators be covered by insurance.

The Federal Trade Commission is already worrying that this creates a massive opportunity for consumer fraud. Scam artists can pose as navigators to take advantage of people trying to sign up for ObamaCare benefits.