A physician gets it right when it comes to why Obamacare seems to be an expensive way to insure us. Check this out


A physician gets it right when it comes to why Obamacare seems to be an expensive way to insure us. Check this out

Everyone has an opinion on healthcare, on Obamacare, on why we pay more than anyone else in the world for the care we get. So far, I see little value for the consumer derived from the plans on the exchanges (see the article on The NJ Obamacare exchange). As usual, we find out later on Obamacare is a plan designed to preserve the people who caused a huge part of the problem, the drug companies, the insurance companies and hospital prices (this blog contains numerous articles on these problems).

So, as it rolls out, rules in Obamacare, some of us professionals are finding out, eliminate the ability of our organizations to help us get our coverage for less, causing cancellations of plans that were quite comprehensive, and met the ideals of Obamacare.

The exchanges are full of plans that have more limited choices, and have no out of network benefits. Perhaps this is the insurance industry’s way of forcing doctors, who by the way have no pricing power by themselves due to rules that allow insurance carriers to get together and set pricing, while providers cannot legally do the same thing. That is of course the power of money, and of paying legislators so they put in what you want, to their benefit, rather than the benefit to whom they are supposed to be serving.

This physician wrote an essay in the Houston Chronicle which I believe explains the problem correctly. When this finally blows up, say hello for Medicare for all.

Zwelling: Reform efforts will fail when decisions are driven by profit

By Leonard Zwelling December 14, 2013 Updated: December 14, 2013 5:17pm

The ObamaCare (Cyber) War wages on. Was the Affordable Care Act a good idea or a terrible one? Before deciding that, what the heck was the idea behind the law anyway?

My father was an industrial engineer who loved mathematics. He taught me two rules for solving all math problems. First, define the problem. Second, don’t divide by zero. I think I used the latter advice only twice in my life, but the first, I continue to use every day as I did in medical and business school.

Then I went to Capitol Hill as a U.S. Senate staffer during the opening months of the health care reform debate in 2009. To me, the problem of health care reform was threefold: reducing the American expenditure on health care (estimated at about $2.7 trillion annually); increasing access to health care, particularly for those without it or without a means to pay for it (i.e., insurance); and increasing the quality of health care, although there still is no consensus on what this looks like.

The problem, I quickly realized, was that my idea of the problem of health care reform and that of the Congress and the entrenched interests I call the health care-industrial complex (with all due deference to President Dwight Eisenhower‘s military-industrial complex) were not the same.

Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and one of the leading experts on the workings of Congress, summed it up in one sentence during a briefing for the press and politicos in November 2008. He said:

“Everyone’s idea of health care reform is the same: I pay less.”

Where I was trying to get my head around a solution to the three tenets of my idea of health care reform, everyone around me was trying to preserve or increase his piece of the health care payoff pie. I was looking for a legislative solution to assist the country in arriving at the place where the rest of the civilized world was – the provision of some form of universal health care as a right of citizenship. Everyone else was looking to cut a deal that preserved his place at the trough of health care profiteering. Guess who won?

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