Non-profit

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

Website:

cchfreedom.org

Location:

St. Paul, MN

Tax ID:

41-1916724

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $429,683
Expenses: $405,061
Assets: $364,739

Formation:

1999

Type:

Non-profit

President:

Twila Brase

President's Salary:

$81,850[16]

The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) (formerly the Citizens’ Council on Health Care) is a non-partisan, public policy think tank that supports freedom of choice in health care. CCHF advocates for policy that supports individualized patient care, increased choice in health care, and patient privacy rights. [1]

The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of right-of-center and libertarian free market, state-level policy organizations. [2]

Activity

The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a non-partisan, public policy think tank that supports freedom of choice in health care. CCHF advocates for policy that supports individualized patient care, increased choice in health care, and patient privacy rights. [3]

CCHF advocates for free market solutions to healthcare that include direct primary care (DPC) and healthcare sharing ministries (HSM). CCHF claims that a proposed IRS regulation would classify DPCs and HSMs incorrectly as insurance and would limit access to care, undermining the work of private medical practices and healthcare sharing organizations nationwide. [4]

CCHF also advocates for the reform of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2019, along with the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, CCHF filed an amicus brief supporting a Texas judge’s ruling that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. [5]

CCHF supports policy that it claims will protect patient privacy rights. In 2021, CCHF advocated against a bill in Minnesota that would create a national database and expand patient data sharing. [6] In 2020, CCHF advocated against an amendment that would establish a unique patient identifier (UPI). A UPI would combine the entirety of an individual’s private information into a single number, and CCHF claims that this information could be used to limit one’s access to care, give providers access to personal information without informed consent, and increase the amount of information that could be obtained by hackers in cybersecurity breaches. [7]

In 2019, CCHF advocated against a proposed waiver of the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records (42 CFR Part 2) by the Department of Health and Human Services. Those advocating for waiving 42 CFR Part 2 claimed that patient safety is at stake and that doctors should be able to share medical histories, especially related to addiction, when appropriate. CCHF claims that protecting confidentiality rights is the highest priority and that weakening these protections may prevent patients from seeking necessary care for fear of having their medical history shared without consent. [8]

Since 2003, CCHF has been advocating on behalf of parents in Minnesota to stop the storage and use of baby DNA obtained without parental consent, claiming that it violates Minnesota’s genetic privacy law. In 2007, CCHF called for stored baby DNA in Minnesota to be destroyed, and in 2009, CCHF started organizing parents to file suit against the state of Minnesota in order to protect baby DNA. [9]

Funding

The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. While CCHF does not disclose its donors, tax filings show donations from the Chase Foundation of Virginia, which contributed between 2013 and 2018; [10] the Saint Paul Foundation, which contributed between 2010 and 2014;[11] and the Minneapolis Foundation, which contributed in 2017. [12]

People

Twila Brase is the president and co-founder of CCHF and a healthcare policy advisor to the Heartland Institute. [13] Ashley Smothers is a legislative and policy manager for CCHF. Smothers is a former field director for Americans for Prosperity. [14]

Mike Melnychuk sits as vice treasurer of CCHF and on the board of the National Association of Benefit Administrators. [15]

References

  1. “About.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/about.php. ^
  2. “The Network: Minnesota.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#MN. ^
  3. “About.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/about.php. ^
  4. “IRS Pushes to Eliminate Direct Primary Care.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, August 3, 2020. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1650. ^
  5. “CCHF Joins Association of American Physicians & Surgeons to File Amicus Brief in Landmark Obamacare Case.” May 15, 2019. Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1528. ^
  6. “Electronic Health Records.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/issue.php/30. ^
  7. “Call Congress to Oppose National Patient ID Amendment.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, July 2020. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1648. ^
  8. “HHS Proposal Weakening Substance Abuse Priv. Rule – Wrong Direction for Patients.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, August 2019. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1563. ^
  9. “5 Years Since MN Resumed Storing Baby DNA After Lawsuit Forced Them to Stop.” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, July 2019. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.cchfreedom.org/cchf.php/1553. ^
  10. The Chase Foundation of Virginia, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2013-2018, Part XV, Line 3a. ^
  11. The Saint Paul Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2010-2014, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  12. The Minneapolis Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  13. “Twila Brase.” The Heartland Institute, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/twila-brase. ^
  14. “Ashley Smothers.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-smothers-7ba08150/. ^
  15. “Michael Melnychuk.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed February 27, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-melnychuk-b969393/ ^
  16. Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1999

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $429,683 $405,061 $364,739 $9,549 N $445,870 $0 $294 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $411,265 $407,234 $330,568 $0 N $411,129 $25 $111 $80,850
    2015 Dec Form 990 $372,164 $387,103 $326,537 $0 N $371,495 $585 $84 $80,850 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $407,599 $382,841 $341,476 $0 N $403,501 $4,005 $93 $76,583 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $360,658 $357,191 $316,718 $0 N $355,809 $4,762 $87 $72,144 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $381,013 $305,937 $313,274 $23 N $372,852 $7,350 $73 $72,467 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $288,259 $231,630 $238,198 $23 N $284,087 $3,500 $77 $60,000 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

    161 SAINT ANTHONY AVE STE 923
    St. Paul, MN 55103-2308