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Obamacare Side Effect Doctors Abandon the Health Care Insurance System Altogether
Acting Man ^ | 10-23-13 | Pater Tenebrarum

Posted on 10/24/2013 1:30:22 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat

Free Market Alert!

Many medical practitioners have apparently simply had enough. Instead of continuing their never-ending struggle with the welfare state's red tape, they have decided to revert to a free market model without insurance. At first glance that seems to represent a barrier to obtaining medical care for poorer strata of the population. However, a second glance reveals that this might actually not be the case. No doubt to the great dismay of the sick-care cartel and the bureaucracy administering it, the refreshing breeze of the free market suddenly intruding upon the system shows what prices actually would be if the State were not involved in health care. According to a recent report on the spreading 'cash only' medical care phenomenon:

“Fed up with declining payments and rising red tape, a small but growing number of doctors are opting out of the insurance system completely. They’re expecting patients to pony up with cash. Some doctors who have gone that route love it, saying they can spend more time with and provide higher-quality care to their patients. Health advocates are skeptical, worrying that only the wealthy will benefit from this system.

In Wichita, Kansas, 32-year old family physician Doug Nunamaker switched to a cash-only basis in 2010 after taking insurance for five years. (“Cash-only” is a loose description. Nunamaker accepts payment by debit or credit card too.)

Under the traditional health insurance system, a large staff was required just to navigate all the paperwork, he said. That resulted in high overhead, forcing doctors like Nunamaker to take on more patients to cover costs. Plus, the amount insurance companies were willing to pay for procedures was declining, leading to a vicious cycle. “The paperwork, the hassles, it just got to be overwhelming,” Nunamaker said. “We knew that we had to find a better way to practice.”

So Nunamaker and his partner set up a membership-based practice called Atlas M.D. — a nod to free-market champion Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged. Under the membership plan — also known as “concierge” medicine — each patient pays a flat monthly fee to have unlimited access to the doctors and any service they can provide in the office, such as EKGs or stitches.

The fee varies depending on age. For kids, it’s $10 a month. For adults up to age 44, it’s $50 a month. Senior citizens pay $100.

The office has negotiated deals for services outside the office. By cutting out the middleman, Nunamaker said he can get a cholesterol test done for $3, versus the $90 the lab company he works with once billed to insurance carriers. An MRI can be had for $400, compared to a typical billed rate of $2,000 or more.

Kevin Petersen, a Las Vegas-based general surgeon, stopped taking insurance in 2005. Petersen named the same reasons as Nunamaker: too much paperwork and overhead, declining payments from insurance companies, and a general loss of control. “The insurance industry took over my practice,” he said. “They were telling me what procedures I could do, who I could treat — I basically became their employee.”

Now Petersen does hernia operations for $5,000 a pop, which includes anesthesia, operating room time and follow-up visits. He negotiates special rates for the anesthesiologist and the operating room, and is able to provide the service for about a third of what a patient might pay otherwise.

Many of his patients are early retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare but can’t afford a full-fledged health insurance plan, he said, and business is booming. “My practice at this point is the best it’s been in my 26-year career,” he said. “By far.”

While the cash-only model may please doctors, some question whether it’s good for middle- and low-income people. Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy at the consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., didn’t want to speak directly to either Petersen’s or Nunamaker’s practice, as she didn’t know the specifics of each.

But in general, she fears that doctors who switch to a cash-only model will drive away the patients who can’t afford a monthly membership fee or thousands of dollars for an operation. “They cherry-pick among their patient population to serve only the wealthier ones,” Stoll said. “It certainly creates a barrier to care.”

Obviously, both the named and unnamed 'health advocates' and worriers have it completely wrong. People who don't have to pay thousands of dollars for health insurance actually can afford 'thousands of dollars for an operation' that costs only one third of what it would otherwise cost. It is not only the wealthy who can afford this free market care (besides, people who don't want it have the option to continue with the existing system).

Look at those prices! A cholesterol test for “$3 instead of $90” – that is more than 96% less! An MRI for $400 instead of “$2,000 or more” (usually will be 'or more')? Not to mention the fact that these doctors now have more time to actually care for their patients properly. What's not to like?

A Win-Win By Mistake?

Imagine for a moment what might happen if the government were to get out of healthcare altogether and there would be free competition between all health care service providers. What would happen to prices in that case? It is probably fair to assume that they would come down precipitously even from the low prices free market doctors are already able to obtain for their patients nowadays.

It is actually a good bet that the onerous red tape and the likely explosion in costs due to Obamacare will accelerate the move toward a free market in health care – unless the government explicitly forbids it, that is (unfortunately we cannot rule out completely that such tyrannical steps will eventually be taken – the government generally doesn't like it when its 'help' is refused).

If so, the Obamacare Act could turn out to become a win-win by mistake so to speak, as more and more people decide to opt out of the system. It seems clear that the free market solution is preferable to the cartelized health care system imposed by government and the lobbyists that have co-written the laws. The doctors portrayed in the article above are leading by example, and we expect their ranks to swell in coming years.

Addendum: Somewhat Staged Looking Fainting Spell During Obamacare Speech

During a speech promising that the totally botched web implementation of the Unaffordable Care Act will one day actually be fixed, a pregnant (and diabetic as it later turned out) woman standing behind the president faints and is caught by him 'just in time'. Apparently, the president has eyes at the back of his head too.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: obamacaredefrauds; obamacaredoctors; obamacarelies; survivingsocialism
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To: PLMerite
I find the “concierge” approach interesting, but what does one do for catastrophic insurance in these days of Obamacare ?

Seems like you'd need to have a separate catastrophic plan. Of course Obamacare has made those kinds of plans illegal. It might be time to look for a "religious exemption" and get a plan set up under that.

What about prescription drugs though? I sure haven't been offered any discounts when I have to buy a prescription with cash because my insurance doesn't cover it.

51 posted on 10/24/2013 2:42:17 PM PDT by JediJones (The #1 Must-see Filibuster of the Year: TEXAS TED AND THE CONSERVATIVE CRUZ-ADE)
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To: JediJones

A lot of pharmacies have a list of drugs they sell for cheap to address this issue. Wal-Mart has a pretty long list of ones that are $4/month or $10/quarter, Costco also has a reduced-price list. Also, ALWAYS shop around for prescriptions. I’ve seen variations of as high as 3:1, and it’s not like the pharmacies always place in the same order for cost. One that was the cheapest on one item might be very high on another. It’s very strange, but you save a lot if you do the work every time.


52 posted on 10/24/2013 2:47:06 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Still Thinking

For example, for every prescription, I call Wal-Mart, Costco, a grocery-store pharmacy, and a couple conventional pharmacies (well on a refill or other prescription I’ve had before I might only call the previous winner to verify current pricing). I don’t think I’ve ever had one of the regular pharmacies be lowest on anything, but there’s no telling whether Wal-Mart, Costco, or the grocery store will come out on top in any given case.


53 posted on 10/24/2013 2:49:54 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Perhaps a voucher system would be better.


54 posted on 10/24/2013 2:52:59 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: elpadre

There are excellent Dr.s in those countries. Many of them trained here and some practicing at US accredited hospitals . We will not be bringing then here because they are not dumb enough to come. We will be going there.

My surgeon moved back to Spain. I will follow him anywhere and he can now do an operation for 1/10 th of his old rate. But you do give up your ability to sue.


55 posted on 10/24/2013 3:02:32 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: workerbee

Or we may split up like the old Soviet Union.


56 posted on 10/24/2013 3:11:05 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

I do Primary Care, 50% off for cash!


57 posted on 10/24/2013 3:16:50 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: AzSteven

I posted years ago that when Bozo is done you will be able to get an abortion on Main Street but you will have to buy Lipitor in an alley shoved through the car window.


58 posted on 10/24/2013 3:18:19 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Junk Silver

Hah! The libturds may think Healthcare is a Right but I got some bad news for them. Try getting what I have learned over decades out of my brain against my will. Good luck with that.


59 posted on 10/24/2013 3:20:13 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

My veterinarian says that the lack of widespread pet health insurance is what keeps her prices relatively low in comparison to people docs. She says malpractice insurance drives her prices up but nowhere near what widespread pet insurance would do to prices.


60 posted on 10/24/2013 3:20:54 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: elpadre

Medical tourism will ‘necessarily skyrocket’.

Whoever comes up with the medical cruise ship will make a lot of money.


61 posted on 10/24/2013 3:26:00 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Marx smelled bad & lived with his parents most his life.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
I'm abandoning it also, at age 61.

The people who designed, voted for and implemented.

Oh, wait. The major players voted themselves the best health care and insurance on the planet.

62 posted on 10/24/2013 3:39:43 PM PDT by elkfersupper
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To: workerbee

This is offshore medicine that is onshore for the time being but that status is subject to change.


63 posted on 10/24/2013 3:53:03 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: fwdude

“So - ironies of ironies - could Obamacare actually result in the greatest healthcare system ever by forcing a free-market medical system?”

Yeah, kind of makes you smile, doesn’t it? Evil sowing the seeds of it’s own destruction and all.


64 posted on 10/24/2013 3:54:34 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: workerbee

“I guarantee you that medical treatment outside of Big Gov’s purview will be illegal inside of 10 years. And that may be an optimistic estimate.”

The government appears to be doing it’s best to make the underground economy the only part of the economy that functions.


65 posted on 10/24/2013 3:55:50 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: PLMerite

“I find the “concierge” approach interesting, but what does one do for catastrophic insurance in these days of Obamacare?”

Most likely the individual would get one of the catastrophic policies when they got sick. No pre-existing conditions restrictions, remember? The problem is if it happens suddenly and you aren’t able to get a policy immediately.


66 posted on 10/24/2013 4:03:50 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: expat2

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3083217/posts


67 posted on 10/24/2013 4:04:53 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: Be Careful

“1. Legitimate state of the art Medical Tourism facilities will start to develop on the other side of the south border. Such as those that currently exist in Panama.”

Excellent point. If the US doesn’t want the doctors, they can always set up shop elsewhere.


68 posted on 10/24/2013 4:06:18 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: Old Yeller

“Yep. CommieCare will control the doctors IF they want to remain doctors.”

They’ll just go overseas. Or across the southern border. NAFTA irony.

Remember: mcconnellcare needs doctors.


69 posted on 10/24/2013 4:07:51 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: JediJones

“What about prescription drugs though? I sure haven’t been offered any discounts when I have to buy a prescription with cash because my insurance doesn’t cover it.”

One word: costco. Check what your scrip costs there and you’ll be stunned. And you don’t have to be a member to use their pharmacy.


70 posted on 10/24/2013 4:09:22 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: wastoute

“I do Primary Care, 50% off for cash!”

Kewl! What general part of the Commonwealth might I ask?


71 posted on 10/24/2013 4:10:51 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: fwdude

“So - ironies of ironies - could Obamacare actually result in the greatest healthcare system ever by forcing a free-market medical system?”
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

IF ONLY!! I doubt that very many people have a clue to how much the government has run up the cost of healthcare. I still recall when Medicare first began in 1966. Within a very few years I read a study reporting that a person entering the hospital under medicare would have a copay greater than the entire bill would have been before Medicare. Before medicare a person who entered the hospital for a week without insurance could expect to pay his own bill one way or another. It would not have been any fun but it was not totally out of reach. Most people I know now would have no possibility of ever paying the debt. It only takes a day or so to run up bills exceeding the gross income of a full time minimum wage worker for a full year.

All too many Americans have this very foolish notion that the government exists to SOLVE problems, those of us who live in the real world realize that government only thrives by CREATING problems.


72 posted on 10/24/2013 4:14:45 PM PDT by RipSawyer (The TREE currently falling on you actually IS worse than a Bush.)
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To: RKBA Democrat

“It certainly creates a barrier to care.”

Yeah, seeing as how the poor had no barrier to care previously...>sarc


73 posted on 10/24/2013 4:19:49 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
The government appears to be doing it’s best to make the underground economy the only part of the economy that functions.

Well said, FRiend. Very profound!

74 posted on 10/24/2013 5:17:04 PM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1)
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To: RKBA Democrat

If this model catches on and becomes more than statistical noise the gubmint will make it illegal. They’ll have to - can’t have the sheep escaping the pen.


75 posted on 10/24/2013 6:13:47 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: RKBA Democrat

Tidewater.


76 posted on 10/24/2013 7:28:33 PM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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