Obamacare at Three Weeks

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Ok, so still no luck in using the healthcare exchange website and we are three weeks in.   I am NOT trying to sabotage Obamacare.  It’s the law so let’s see what we can do with it. That being said, I still can’t use the damn thing!  Enough of the excuses.  I heard them all before.  This was President Obama on Oct 1:

“Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it.  I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”

First of all, in deference to the 1988 Presidential campaign, I knew Apple and Mr. President, you’re f$cking healthcare exchange website is no Apple.

Second of all, the key to what you said is that Apple “fixed it”.  That’s kind of important.  Why hasn’t healthcare.gov been fixed yet?

Third of all, on Oct 20, it was reported by the Huffington Post:

Last week, President Barack Obama gathered some of his top advisers in the Oval Office to discuss the problem-plagued rollout of his health care legislation. He told his team the administration had to own up to the fact that there were no excuses for not having the health care website ready to operate on Day One.

That is more like it.  Why he had to make up the bullshit on Oct. 1 is beyond me but I guess that is politics.   He is right just like I was  when I was amazed that the website wasn’t ready to go on day one.  So, why aren’t heads rolling?  Why hasn’t he gotten some smarter people involved?  This is the key to his legacy and it doesn’t work.  Three weeks and nada.

Do I want Obamacare?  Yes but only if it works and it is affordable.  If not, then NO.  All politics aside, this is about business.  The business of medicine.  We need an affordable and workable healthcare option.  I agree that what we had in the past sucked for the middle class.  (Yes, I said middle class, because Medicaid patients do not pay into the system and get free healthcare.  Medicare patients get a very cheap option as well).  If Obamacare ends up being a typical government solution (bureaucratic behemoth that doesn’t work well) then it is a problem.  If the options are more expensive then we had before then it is an utter failure.    In life, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and my first impression of Obamacare is not so good right now.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Obamacare at Three Weeks

  1. MACF
    October 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    A good health care system demands well trained professionals, top notch technology/medical research, science based guidelines and medications that work. And there is were the money needs to go.
    Nothing wrong to have a “National Health Care System” as long it places its priorities on the above groups and keep administrators/bureaucrats, malpractice lawyers and unreasonable patients out of the equation.
    If “affordability” is the name of the game, then we’ll be looking into a system similar to the one of the China shoe-less providers. And for that a 2700 pages law is not needed.

  2. John Parkin
    October 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Why is anybody surprised that a large healthcare computer system doesn’t work. Most of us are forced to work with this technocrap on a daily basis.

  3. Linda
    October 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I come from the healthcare delivery side, but have been consulting with several large Private Healthcare exchanges over the last six months. I’ve researched 2013 and 2014 plans. During this time, I have seen most people with any preexisting condition turned down or uprated to affordability (in the individual market). For the 2014 plans, I’ve seen lower monthly rates for anyone with preexisting conditions, most people over 30, but higher rates for the 26-30 somthings with no preexisting conditions. In states that already have guarantee issue – like NY and NJ, I’ve seen the rates lower across the board. Catastrophic care is also fairly reasonable (slightly higher), but now only offered to 30 or below or in some special cases. While the exchanges are not working, the ACA appears to be more affordable than some would think.

    • DrHockey
      October 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

      That is also the case for me. Keeping the identical insurance coverage I have now for my wife and I, my premium drops $700 per month in 2014. Yes, I have great coverage (low deductible, low co-pay), but it is still a significant savings for me. However, I cannot speak for anyone else.
      Our daughter had mild anemia due to heavy menses while she was in high school. She was started on a birth control patch and her anemia resolved. She was a great student throughout her schooling, never smoked, did drugs, etc. Never been to an E.R., no other history of any health problem. But, when she applied for health insurance after she left a job, she was turned down for her pre-existing anemia of 9 years earlier, although it was corrected by the B.C. patch. Crazy!

  4. October 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I’ve worked with patients and their health insurance for over 30 years. Do I think Obamacare is an “affordable and workable health care option”? No. Expanded Medicaid will help some, and subsidies will help others. And in a fair, workable health care system, people with pre-existing medical conditions should be able to find affordable health insurance and care.

    My state’s health exchange (Wash) is working very well, and I have been able to browse the plans and premiums. My own family’s insurance (catastrophic) has been canceled, and the new plan we were offered has 82% higher premiums and a higher deductible of $10,000.

    Because the benefits are mandated, all the bronze plans on the exchange are very similar in price and deductibles. Premiums are higher than ever before in our state, and the provider networks are much, much smaller. Some counties only have one choice.

    In my opinion, unless you qualify for a subsidy (I don’t) the new plans in Washington are not a good value for the money.

    But we don’t really have another option, do we, unless we want to drop insurance altogether. We will have to ante up and pay, and we will have significantly less disposable income to spend in the community.

  5. Pat
    October 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Politics aside, if this is about business, then bad philosophy leads to bad results. This was always about force and power. It’s justice, really: the government is treating patients they way they treat physicians, with ICD-10, DRG’s, MOC’s, etc et al. We’re told what’s good for us and we WILL comply.

    I restate from an earlier post: This is NOT like Apple at all! I don’t have to prove to the IRS that I own an iPhone.

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