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BONUS CONTENT: Twila Brase full interview

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

BONUS CONTENT: Twila Brase full interview

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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September 21, 2018 8:00 pm

BONUS CONTENT: Twila Brase full interview by David Wheaton

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Twyla, I want to start out by reading a quote in the foreword of your book, Big Brother in the Exam Room, by Greg Scanlon, who's the founder of Consumers for Healthcare Choices and author of Mythbusters, Why Health Reform Always Goes awry. And he was talking about Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, and the national mandates that go along with it. And he writes, this was imposed by a bipartisan clique. That used the hysteria of the 2008 recession to create a command and control takeover of the entire healthcare system.

The effort was fueled by a self-interested industry that enriched itself on the nearly 40 billion of taxpayer dollars that have been appropriated. It has resulted in worse care, rising costs, less competition, and destruction of the trusted relationship between patients and physicians. All this, despite the near unanimous protests of the people actually responsible for clinical care. So let's start out today, Twyla, by asking the question, what is the state of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare right now? And why hasn't President Trump been able to keep one of his campaign promises to just dismantle it and destroy it?

I would say that the state of the law is that it's pretty intact. The one thing that is the problem for them is the fact of the prices for premiums continue to rise. The deductibles are high, the prices continue to rise, and they're trying to figure out what to do with it because the money isn't there and an unending resource. And the people who are paying the prices for the premiums are still crying out for help. And so that is its Achilles heel, and Congress is trying to deal with that, but it's deceptive the way that they're trying to deal with it, which is something called reinsurance, which I can mention. But I think in the bigger question of what you're asking, like why isn't it going away, I would say that Obamacare was put into place because of Medicare. That's kind of a weird thing to say, but Medicare is on a trajectory of unsustainability. Eight years from now is when it is scheduled to go bankrupt.

Eight little years. And so I believe that Obamacare was put into place in order to have Medicare not fail on the Democrats' watch. It was a way to move towards single payer so that we can all be in a centralized program with centralized dollars, and so they'll never have to say Medicare failed, and now you can hear them say Medicare for all, right?

So this was all, in my opinion, about moving in that direction, and the Republicans feel it as much as the Democrats. They don't want Medicare to go belly up on their watch either, and so they're looking at the health plans that have been put in place through Obamacare as their savior of this problem. So I don't believe that either party really, despite all of their, everything that they say, really want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act because they need a savior for Medicare. And Trump may not understand this, but he surely hears from people in his own party who are concerned about Medicare and who want the health plans to stay in place as they have been empowered through the Affordable Care Act.

And at the end of the day, the reason he can't do it is because he's not king. You can't get rid of the Affordable Care Act. You can try to undermine pieces of it, which he has done successfully and he's moving toward, but you can't end the law. You can't repeal a law without Congress repealing the law. So from our perspective, we're not so sure that Congress is ever going to do it, which is why, you know, we've talked before, this is why we started the wedge of health freedom, because you can keep those laws in place. You can keep Medicare in place and have it go sort of belly up, but as long as you give people a way out, right, it's not going to matter.

You can have Obamacare, and if people aren't actually subject to it anymore for a variety of reasons, those laws can stay in place, but it's just like nobody has to follow them anymore. And that's sort of where we think it's possible that we have to go. And as we talked before the interview, that's sort of what our family is doing right now. We're operating in one of the Christian medical sharing organizations, which we love, and we're operating, I guess you would say, outside the Obamacare system, the Affordable Care Act nationalized system of healthcare.

So we really have been thankful for that, and it sounds like this is what the wedge, as you're talking about, will do as well. That's right. And it's sort of interesting, you know, in the past week or so, there was an article that came out about the health insurers, which are not really health insured, they're health plans. They're not real insurance companies, which are only there for catastrophic coverage. That's not what the health plan is. So the health plan is really running this entire system. And so there was an article that came out and said that this is a bull market for the insurers.

In other words, one insurer, the stock price has gone up 4,000%, right? So Obamacare gave them the entire market. And then this one investor who has talked to investors, he said, you know, Wall Street investors, they're not worried if we go to a single-payer system.

And why aren't they worried? They aren't worried if we go to Medicare for all. Because, as far as they're concerned, it will be Medicare Advantage for all. Now, for you and your listeners, you may not understand what that really means, but Medicare Advantage is the HMO, the health plan version of Medicare. So the federal government gives this money to the health plans, and senior citizens sign up with these health plans, and the health plans are the ones that have the money and decide, you know, the network and all this. They essentially run it for the federal government. So as far as these Wall Street investors are concerned, if we get single-payer, it will be run by the health plans. They're making oodles of caboodles of money off of the power that they already have through the Affordable Care Act. And in that case, we'd really have a single-payer system American style, or a socialized system American style. It would be run through the health plans. You might be signing up for it so it feels like it's private, but it really isn't. It's a public-private partnership, which looks private, but is totally public.

Mm-hmm. Twyla braised with us today in the Christian worldview, the president and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, also the author of the book we're going to be talking about right now, Big Brother in the Exam Room, and the subtitle is this, The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records. Now, that may seem like sort of a narrow niche of a topic, but let me just read a couple paragraphs that come early in your book, Twyla, where you say the EHR, or electronic health record, is the preferred mechanism to impose socialized medicine, socialize the data, socialize the control, socialize the doctors, socialize the system. This book describes not only the dangers to patient safety, but also shows how third parties who pay our medical bills, government, employers, health plans, say our medical data is theirs.

And these third parties also say they have the right to control the practice of medicine because they pay the bills. And the way they control doctors, medical decisions, and access to care is all through the EHR, the electronic health record. So give us an overview, because this is the focus of your book, about electronic health records, what is the purported benefit of them, but what is the major downside that you cover in your book? Yeah, so the electronic health record, that computer that's sitting in the exam room or the computer that's at the bedside, it's not a computer version, a digital version of the paper medical record.

It's much, much more than that. One physician calls it a command and control structure through which every medical decision must pass. And so it's a data collection system, it's a data reporting system, and the only things that a doctor can choose to do to a patient are things that are in the electronic health record.

Now they might be able to bypass that if they can't find a checkbox for what they want to do, but it makes it very difficult for them. And so what I'm saying about the electronic health record of today is that it's really meant to put outsiders into the exam room to control the doctor's decisions, ration care, and limit access to medicine and treatment, and conduct surveillance, creating profiles of the patient and profiles of the doctor and penalizing the doctor according to how the doctor practices and whether the doctor practices according to the way the computer has set up for him or her to practice or according to the way the doctor says is best for the patient. And sometimes what's best for the patient is not the way the computer wants it done, and so then it can become a black mark on the doctor for not following the protocol that the hospital put in the computer or the health system put into the computer. And so this is not how people think of electronic health records. Now I just want to do a little caveat here and say, and I make that clear in the book, I'm talking about the government-imposed electronic health record. There were doctors that had electronic health records that worked for them before this special government system was imposed. But when the Congress did this, put this into law four weeks after President Obama was inaugurated, this is a specific kind of electronic health record. And so I call it the government EHR, the Government Electronic Health Record.

It has to be certified by the government to do the things that government wants it to do. It's not like the electronic health records that doctors had before, which worked for the doctor, worked for the patient. These are the electronic health records that work for the outsiders, for the third parties, for the government, for the health insurers, for the health plans.

This is a very different system than what was before. And so the benefits, the purported benefits, are that data is accessible, data can be put together and analyzed. You can have access to your medical records through a portal. They can do population health, which is to look at populations of patients as compared to individual patients. That has its own problem in that they want doctors to be thinking about their population rather than the individuals sitting in front of them and make decisions according to the population, and parse out the money according to the population. And I explain population and health in the book because I think people need to understand, this is the drive toward socialized medicine is this drive to population health as compared to taking care of the individual sitting in front of them in the exam room. This is such an important thing to understand about how that leads towards socialized medicine and government control.

But the dangers, let me just explain the dangers quickly. The dangers are the privacy because all of this information is being put into the electronic health record and under HIPAA, which does not protect privacy, does not protect privacy. Under HIPAA, all of these entities that want access to our information can have access for any variety of purposes, which may have nothing to do with clinical care, may have to do with selling the data, making money off the data, profiling the patient, the doctor, penalizing the doctor, rationing care, all that sort of thing.

So it's a privacy thing. But it's also a patient safety concern because the FDA admits that patients have died because of this health information technology. Errors caused by the electronic record have caused harm to patients. Doctors can't find information on patients because there's so much to look through and they can't figure out which screen to look at it.

They've been errors because they have to pull down on a pull-down menu and sometimes there's 250 items on the pull-down menu and maybe what they want is at the very bottom and they have to try and find it down there. So there's safety issues, there's privacy issues, and then there's physician autonomy issues. So as I started to say at the beginning, this idea that the doctor wants to treat you according to his or her critical thinking skills, according to the knowledge base, but the computer doesn't have that treatment or doesn't allow that treatment for that particular diagnosis.

So there's that concern. And the other concern is that there's really a drive here to take away access to physicians and have the computer be in charge. In other words, some physician would input all of these treatment protocols into a computer.

It would standardize them and say for these diagnoses, these are the treatments. Even though every patient is very unique, I'm a nurse, so every patient is very unique and what might work might work for 80% of patients but not 20, but it makes it difficult for those 20% of patients to actually get the care they need. But the idea here is that a doctor puts all of this in or a group of doctors agree that these will be the protocols and then the patient only gets a nurse practitioner or a physician's assistant who will look at the patient, input the symptoms, that will create a diagnosis, and out of that will come treatments. And yet the physician assistant and the nurse practitioner, none of them have had medical training. They are not doctors. They are not physicians. They cannot practice medicine. They may not even know the best questions to ask to get the answers.

That's where this is being driven as well. And so these dangers to privacy, autonomy, access to a doctor, and safety are all part and parcel of the mandate, the government mandate to use a government certified electronic health record in the exam room. Yeah, and you go into this in great detail in the book, and I would really highly recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in the healthcare system and your own healthcare, and I've definitely noticed what you're talking about. You go to the doctor now and you don't necessarily see a doctor. You see a nurse practitioner. You see a physician's assistant.

Some of these things you're saying I'm sure being experienced by many listening today. The title of the book is Big Brother in the Exam Room, the Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records. You can find this book linked on our website.

It's also for sale on Amazon. Okay, now some of the things you mentioned in your last answer, Twyla, about the difference between a medical system that caters to the individual, the patient's need, versus the collective. You talk about a computer making decisions.

Well, behind that computer is someone, is the government, someone, a person who's setting the parameters for how someone must be treated according to government mandates. You're really getting into a worldview situation, government controlling more of our lives, and we're talking specifically about the healthcare system. More people in our country, especially the younger generation, favor more government intrusion, I would call it, but more government control over the lives of citizens. It's called socialism. When you have an educational system, Twyla, a media and many in the political class who are being elected and advocating for this, what's going to change people's minds? How is this not going to happen where government is going to be gaining more and more control over people's healthcare decisions? So, I think it's true, but I think they don't have any idea what socialism is. I mean, if they just went and lived, you know, let's just send them to Venezuela for a while to just check out what the system is like when socialism reigns to its maximum and people can't have access to care, they can't have access to food, right? I mean, you know, that's where socialism can go.

I think, you know, it is entirely possible that, as I said, we build a system outside of whatever the government does and there will be people stuck in the government system in more socialism. But, you know, if you can't socialize the doctors, if we open these escape hatches, I like to call them escape hatches, right? And then doctors choose to be free, and more and more doctors choose to be free, and other doctors look outside of the socialized system and go, hmm, you know, actually, I kind of like that freedom too, right? And then more and more of them break free, and in this country, you'd have to upend the Constitution to say that they couldn't break free.

And so, you know, I think it's all about breaking free, moving back to cash, and, you know, I think this is all about breaking free. But at the end of the day, when you say worldview, and we think about Christians, just think about where did healthcare come from? Where did medical care come from, right?

So, Jesus, as the great physician, a big part of what he did was he healed people, and, you know, and people came to him for that. But this is an upending of what the medical profession is supposed to be. It's supposed to be a mission.

It's not supposed to be a business. And the fact that we are moving away from the mission and making it a business, making doctors into data clerks and data reporters, and having them focus all their time on gathering the data and clicking the boxes and following the protocols, all of that is moving completely away from the very beginning of the very purpose of the practice of medicine. I mean, we're really moving towards a time where the doctors and the patients become pawns to all the agendas, the profiteering agendas, the political agendas of people outside the exam room. And the two people who matter most inside the exam room are, you know, are getting short shrift in this.

So I feel like it's so important. We must retain the mission of medicine. Patient's lives are at stake. Their quality of life is at stake.

You know, the determination of when they have value is at stake and whether they will be cared for is at stake. And so all of this is so important that we maintain the escape hatches and broaden the options of people to go outside, the doctors and the patients, to go outside of a system that is moving towards socialism and retain the constitutional rights that we have here to be free and to not be in a socialized health care system. Twyla braised with us today on the Christian worldview. She's the president and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom. They have an excellent website.

You can find out more at cchfreedom.org. Just a final question for you, Twyla. People have listened to the conversation today.

What do I do with this information? You know, I have trouble affording my health care. People are in a lot of different situations. Some have pre-existing conditions, maybe can't get into a Christian health sharing organization.

What do you want people to do with all the information you've given us today? What can they do to find out more about how to get the best health care, the most freedom at the best cost? So I would check out health sharing.

And of course, anytime you're in a system like this, there are some people who will find it difficult to find their way out. But if you have the option, check out a health sharing organization. We list all six of them, the major ones, on our website. Look at the wedge, jointhewedge.com, and see if you can find a physician in your area that is taking only cash, check, or charge. It's much more affordable, and that doctor is working for you, not the insurance company, not the government, because it's just a direct relationship. And then, you know, the book really explains the danger that people are in, but it also has, as it's very last part, it has specific action steps to take to protect yourself in the exam room, and to ask legislators for certain things to help you get your safety, privacy, safety and privacy rights back, and to not answer questions that will make it more difficult for your doctor to treat you, or make it more difficult for them to profile you. You know, I have really concrete examples in the book of what to do for patients, for doctors, for state legislators, and for Congress.

So four separate lists. And then take care with the consent forms that you sign. Look at them carefully if they are coercive, saying, you know, you only get treatment if you sign that you'll share your data for this, this, this, this, this, and this. You know, you can call our office and figure out how to answer those forms or not answer those forms.

That's part of what's in the book as well. And then we're looking at just different policies that will bring people more freedom back. So for people with pre-existing conditions, I understand the concern, but we have to move back to real insurance, real insurance. Which is there for people who don't have the conditions already.

But we would like to move further than that. We would like to have pre-birth health insurance that parents can buy for their child before the birth of their child. And that can then be owned and passed off to the child at maturity so that there's never a problem of being stuck with a pre-existing condition from a family policy, or being stuck with a pre-existing condition from an employer's policy. And that's the two typical places that people get stuck with pre-existing conditions. So our organization is looking at big solutions to get at the big problems. But it's always difficult for some people, you know, that are kind of stuck in the middle.

And, you know, that's just reality. But we have to choose freedom or socialized medicine and no freedom. And, you know, I'm hopeful that more people will choose that they want to be free and have a relationship that's with their doctor that individualizes their patient care and at an affordable price. Okay, Twyla, just one more question about the person who is working for a corporation. And they have their family on the health care plan from that corporation provides them.

But they really don't like it. What is that person supposed to do if they're part of a company that provides health care for them? A lot of times they settle for it because they like it, it's free, so to speak.

What should that person do? That person should talk with their employer and see what the possibilities are, that the amount of money that is being used to pay for that compensation, whether that amount of money can be provided to the worker. Because then the worker could take that money, which is really their compensation. It's money that is not ending up in their pocket. It's money that's being given to a health plan of the employer's choice.

But it is their compensation. So if they were given that money in wages, they could choose something else. They could choose an insurance product that they like. They could choose to go health sharing. They could choose these new short-term limited duration policies, if they would prefer that for one of their family members.

All of those are options, but they have to get the employer to agree to give them the money in cash. This is one thing that I would say that people don't understand. Much like you said, for free.

That is exactly how it feels. But it's unbelievable the amount of money that an employer is paying for an individual. That kind of money. I remember this one woman who said that her employer was paying $20,000 a year towards this policy. Well, if the individual were given $20,000 more in cash a year, would they choose that policy? Would they choose perhaps a higher deductible? Would they choose health sharing? Would they choose some other option if they had their full compensation in cash? And so I think that that is something that we need to have employees starting to ask their employers. Because the fact of the matter is, lots of employers would just as soon be out of the insurance business and would prefer to just be in whatever their business is. You know, if they're selling cars, they prefer just to sell cars. You know, let the individual get their own insurance.

And that's where our organization would like to drive coverage. We would like individual ownership and therefore have the employers completely out of it. In my book, I do talk about the timeline that got us to the point where we have third parties paying our bills. And it starts in the 1940s with the War Board during World War II deciding to let employers offer health insurance.

And that was the beginning of the problem that we're in. Well, I think that's good advice. And I would just recommend that listeners today who have questions about health care and want to get out of the system, the main Obamacare system, to go to your website, Twyla, cchfreedom.org.

Give your office a call. There are ways to get out. Our family had to go through this. We're so thankful for the help you provided and the counsel you provided when we were going through that, Twyla. And we appreciate the fact that you've dedicated your career to health freedom. It's a major part of one's life. If the government controls from the time you're born to the time you die and your health, your health is such a major thing.

That's a big deal. And you've really fought for liberty solutions, I would say, to health care. And so we thank you for that and thank you for coming on the Christian Real View. We wish all of God's best and grace to you. And also congratulations on your new book, Big Brother in the Exam Room. Thank you so much, David, and thank you for having me on.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-10 12:49:15 / 2023-11-10 13:01:27 / 12

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