Nearly two and a half months ago, I posted here that a reporter had contacted me and waslooking for people to interview who had chosen to opt out of Obamacare. Several dozen of you responded, and I was able to pass along your information for her to include in her article.
The article finally ran last week in the Washington Post (her editor had bumped it until after the end of Obamacare’s open-enrollment period, hence why it’s only now coming out), and I’m pleased to say I think the reporter did a good and fair job explaining what some Americans are doing.
How could a bloated government bureaucracy achieve such low-cost success? As we found out recently, it’s by quietly sticking veterans on a waiting list and putting off their treatment for months-sometimes until the patients are far too dead to need much in the way of expensive care. Which is to say, calling it a “success” is stretching the meaning of the word beyond recognition. And, while the White House insists it learned from press reports about the secret waiting lists, Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledges that the administration long knew about “the backlog and disability claims” that have accumulated in the VHA.
The article begins:
Just a couple of years ago, Paul Krugman pointed to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as a “huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform.” He gloated, “yes, this is ‘socialized medicine.'”
From the Associated Press:
[M]ore consumers realize they bought plans with limited doctor and hospital networks, some after websites that mistakenly said their doctors were included.
Before the law took effect, experts warned that narrow networks could impact patient’s access to care, especially in cheaper plans. But with insurance cards now in hand, consumers are finding their access limited across all price ranges.
The dilemma undercuts President Obama’s 2009 pledge that: “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.”
Via the NCPA.
Paul Hsieh, MD writes:
There will always be limits on who will or will not receive expensive medical treatments. We have no choice about that. But we do have a choice of whether those decisions will be made by patients based on their personal and economic priorities — or by government bureaucrats. The first protects the doctor-patient relationship. The second creates divided loyalties for doctors, who will always be serving two masters. As a doctor, I prefer the first. As a patient, you should too.
Colorado Health Exchange premiums ~ equal to high-risk pool premiums, and you can’t keep your doctor.
Linda Gorman describes how the so-called Affordable Care Act required one Coloradan to leave Colorado’s high-risk pool for a plan on Colorado’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. The premiums are similar, but the exchange plan’s a narrow physician network did not include her doctor. Read more: Colorado Health Exchange Premiums Roughly Equal to Those of High Risk Pool | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.
Do you use sunscreen or sunblock? The Washington Post explains how the FDA forces you to use inferior products:
The tourists flocking to the French Riviera or Spain’s Costa del Sol this summer will slather on sunscreen containing the latest ingredients for protecting against the sun’s most harmful ultraviolet rays.
But American beachgoers will have to make do with sunscreens that dermatologists and cancer-research groups say are less effective and have changed little over the past decade.
That’s because applications for the newer sunscreen ingredients have languished for years in the bureaucracy of the Food and Drug Administration, which must approve the products before they reach consumers.
“We have a system here that’s completely broken down, and everybody knows that it has broken down,” said Wendy Selig, president of the Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research.
Via Marginal Revolution: Still Burned by the FDA.
It’s FDA policies like the above that validate my view of the agency as one run by paternalistic overlords.