Tag Archives: alternatives to insurance

Washington Post features Americans opting out of Obamacare

Sean Parnell of the Self-Pay Patient blog writes:

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.

More: Washington Post features Americans opting out of Obamacare.

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Filed under insurance, tax code, HSAs

Primary Care Can Be Comprehensive and Convenient for $2 a Day

For example of how people can get primary health care without insurance, see John Goodman’s post: Primary Care Can Be Comprehensive and Convenient for $2 a Day. Goodman notes that “all this will go away, however, if Obama Care is fully implemented.”

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Filed under physicians & medical quality

Concierge medicine: doctors tire of dealing with politically-controlled insurance

The Boston Globe reports:

Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I’ll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you’ll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention.

But this arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul. …

Concierge doctors say they’re not out to exclude anyone, but are trying to recapture the personal connection shredded by modern medicine. Instead of juggling 2,000 or more patients, they can concentrate on a few hundred, stressing prevention and acting as advocates with specialists and hospitals.

MDVIP, a wholly owned subsidiary of consumer products giant Procter & Gamble …represents the largest group of concierge physicians in the country.

MDVIP marketing executive Mark Murrison says its doctors do not sell access, but a level of clinical services above what Medicare or private insurance cover.

See also:

More doctors gravitate toward boutique practice
Fed up with long hours and limits on fees, they aim to offer a more personal approach — at a price

(Via FIRM)

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Filed under physicians & medical quality

The AMA & biased legislation vs. health care mutual aid societies

Mary Ruwart nicely summarizes how the American Medical Association and legislation biased toward insurance companies crowded out health care mutual aid societies. Today their equivalents are health care cooperatives.  The following is from The Liberator Online, June 24, 2010:

QUESTION: I think part of the problem with today’s health care system is the over-reliance on insurance companies. They are (rightfully) in the business of making money, and as a result they keep raising premiums.

What about the idea of competing with them by fostering the creation of non-profit insurance and/or medical co-ops? In a co-op, any profits would stay in the co-op to offset the additional cost of helping those currently lacking basic care.

MY SHORT ANSWER:
You’ve pretty much described the “mutual aid societies” that once protected Americans against medical disasters — before government regulated them out of business for the benefit of the doctors and insurance companies.

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Filed under Policy - National, regulation

CNN: Doctors opt out of Medicare

Should we expect more of this if politicians expand government-run health programs? From CNN:

When you think of low-paying jobs, doctor doesn’t usually come to mind.But with a 21% cut in Medicare payments slated to take effect later this month, physicians who say they are making an OK living may be reduced to income levels that no longer make their profession viable.

… [Dr. William Schreiber of Syracuse NY] expects the cuts to take away $3 out of every $5 he currently earns. And, as a primary care physician, he already wasn’t earning anything near the salary of a specialist.

“After the costs of my own benefits are deducted, that will leave me with the equivalent of a minimum wage job,” he said.

Unless Congress acts to adjust Medicare payments without considering the impact of rising health care costs, Schreiber said he could be forced into bankruptcy or shut his practice. …

Overall, Medicare pays between 63% and 72% of the costs for one of Schreiber’s patients — although the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services applies different payment rates in different states.

(Via Mark Steyn‘s reference in the Orange County Register, via FIRM)

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Filed under Medicaid/Medicare/SCHIP

N.Y. Bureaucrats vs. Dr. John Muney & the uninsured

The case of Dr. John Muney shows the outright injustice and immoral nature of government regulations that rob us of our individual rights to associate with one another in a peaceful manner.  Next time you talk about mandated benefits on insurance, here’s a concrete example of how they violate rights.  (Whether Dr. Muney is technically providing “insurance” is irrelevant.)

New York, NY – The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor’s ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs.

“I’m trying to help uninsured people here,” he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.

But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan – which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Just who do these government bureaucrats think they are?  Here we have a physician who wants to offer his services for a price, and patients who think it’s a good deal.  But apparently this is not allowed, because government authorities forbid it.  What of individual rights?  Here’s an other section of the article:

“I’m not doing an insurance business,” he said. “I’m just providing my services at my place during certain hours.”

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn’t have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.

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Filed under regulation