Flat Out Wrong


If you haven’t heard, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning.  Of course, the president said all the right things about how great she was.  Blah, blah, blah.  I will let others debate that.  My issue still goes back to the jewel of this administration, which is the Affordable Care Act.   Here is what Sebelius now says about the Oct 1 launch (my comments in parenthesis):

“Clearly, the estimate that it was ready to go Oct. 1 was just flat out wrong” (Really?  You think so?  So why was it launched?)

“Well, I think there’s no question — and I’ve said this many times — that the launch of the website was terribly flawed and terribly difficult” (Is anyone else bothered by the arrogance of our government doing whatever it wants and then admitting their guilt with an attitude of arrogance?)

“People have competitive choices and real information for the first time ever in this insurance market” (Competitive?  The prices for these plans are ATROCIOUS!  And why can we still not shop across state lines?  Why are there no commercials that say for 15 minutes you can save 15% on Humana or Cigna health insurance?)  

And, lastly, what “real information” is Sebelius talking about?  No one knows how many newly insured there are vs. people who lost insurance and then bought new and shittier plans.  Remember, the “back end” of the system to figure this out is not done yet.  Once again, I believe that believe the people in charge blew it (hence why Sebelius is resigning) and should be ashamed of themselves for passing this expensive piece of crap off on the public.  “Afffordable” heath care my ass. I have yet to find a middle class person tell me that their “skin and bones” plan they bought through the exchange was cheaper.  Just the opposite.  Everyone has a massive deductible, are paying huge monthly premiums and and don’t want to come into the doctor’s office because of it.  Nice legacy, Kathy.

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] 

  21 comments for “Flat Out Wrong

  1. tad hominem
    April 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

    1. no one told us what LELTs are.
    2. Sir LAL -running the police force or the military are far different from the launch of a free to use website. My kid spent $60 for a video game to play online and the game launch has been a dismal failure (Electronic Arts) If for profit companies with experience in tech and $$ to spend botch it why are we surprised when govn’t (with the restricions of competitive bidding procedures and the entire contracting process) can’t get it done on time ??
    The Fed govnt is just one of the big players in the health “industry” and the cost of getting the ACA was getting one of the bigest players with the muscle and money to kill it (the insurance companies) on the govnt’s side. or risk failure as hapened in 1994 to the Clinton initiative. BTW, with Medicare and Medicaid, the govnt, fed and state, will always be inolved in healthcare now.

    • Pat
      April 21, 2014 at 1:38 am

      Tad you are right that the fraud that is Medicare/Medicaid has permanently federalized health care – the biggest villains in that sorry story are the doctors in the mid-1960’s who did not put a stop to it then.

      As for the federal government being “just one” of the big players…which of the other big players can fine, de-license, or even imprison physicians?

  2. Pat
    April 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    As I have written previously, the ACA in fact HAS worked. It was never designed to actually deliver health care/coverage more affordable or efficiently; and it was never designed not to do those things.

    I am so weary of establishment pols, media disciples, Hollywood vacuum-heads, and medically-trained do gooders all parroting the popular premise of the ACA as though they actually understood it. They don’t, or are lying, and either way…

    The purpose of the ACA was to further codify all of health care as the responsibility of the federal government, and to invest permanent power in the party of big government. It was designed to play on peoples’ fears and excite them into asking for more of that which caused the initial problem. The ACA is to health care what the TSA is to airline safety: it won’t provide happy, affordable, accessible health care. At best it will provide the illusion of those goodies. And even if it fails at that, it will still give the federal government a larger role in your daily life. From that perspective, it is working just fine.

    • Sir Lance-a-lot
      April 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Pat, while I agree with all that you posted, I would add something else.

      In addition to the government codification that you posted (which will also serve to eviscerate the remaining power of one of the only independently powerful groups in the country – doctors – bringing that power to the government), the ACA serves to deliver, in as permanent a way as is possible, the roaring stream of healthcare dollars directly to private insurance companies, who can now rest assured that their position, including their exemption from anti-monopoly legislation, will be stable for decades to come.

      Look for the corporate overlords of the healthcare business to become the next Lockheed, Boeing, ITT, etc. – the unassailable “military-industrial complex” joined by a new partner, the “healthcare-industrial complex,” with all the same revolving-door interchange of executives between the federal government and the corporate offices.

      • Pat
        April 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

        A point which I never think on enough, but you are absolutely right Lance.

  3. Sir-Lance-a-Lot
    April 20, 2014 at 10:22 am

    So, if that arrogant ass Farago’s solutions are the last thing any of us need, and if his magazine, blog, and speaking engagements have been unable to engage people, what, exactly, are your, far superior, suggestions for improving the healthcare system?

    Got any?

    Or is there more than one arrogant ass on here today? Well, I’m here, so are there more than two?

    • Doug Farrago
      April 20, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Got rid of his/her comment because he/she is always a douche and I don’t feel like looking at his/her crap on my site. Most LELTs on this site are militant and they look for a chance to whine here. So…I delete them. Sorry, Sir-Lance-a-lot but that is why your comment is out of context now.

      • Sir-Lance-a-Lot
        April 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

        I figured that out right away (four years of medical school and all that…) :D, but, from one arrogant ass to another, you’re doing a great job here, and have a Happy Easter!

        • Doug Farrago
          April 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm


      • V N
        April 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        What is an LELT?

  4. JRDO
    April 20, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Unlike the foreign countries where healthcare really is more affordable, the U.S. government does not set prices, instead it makes rules and regulates about what can and cannot be done. Do you think the U.S. government should set prices for healthcare insurance premiums and the cost of medical services? To me the heart of the question is whose interests should the government prioritize: the citizens, the corporations (no, I do not agree “that corporations are people too”), the physicians, the politicians? Unfortunately all of those groups more or less have competing financial interests when it comes to healthcare. Personally, I think the focus should be on the citizens (including the least among us) and I acknowledge it is a very difficult balancing act.

    I think it obvious that the government blew it big time with the launch of healthcare.com and they deserve a ton of criticism for that. However, it always puzzles me how we shrug off private industry’s failed endeavors (e.g. Microsoft Vista, Gateway Computers, Palm, Vonage, Microsoft Zune et al) or the bankruptcy of Vencor, Conseco, Worldcom, Washington Mutual, Lear, Plastech et al as “industry growing pains” and caveat emptor and yet the botched up launch of healthcare.gov or the bankruptcy of Detroit become casus belli for our political tribalism. Do we hold government to a higher standard than we do private industry?

    • Sir-Lance-a-Lot
      April 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

      If the focus of the plan were truly on the citizens, I don’t think any of us would be complaining nearly that much, what with the whole Hippocratic Oath thing and all, but with the focus being on the corporations, it’s a whole different story.

      “Do we hold government to a higher standard than we do private industry?”
      You’re kidding with this one, right?
      Do we hold the organization with the soldiers, cops, boms, and guns, that is empowered to take whatever we have, make us do whatever it wants, lock us up, or kill us to a higher standard? Ummmmmm… Yes, we do.

    • Pat
      April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Our federal government – as it was founded – has no appropriate role in the provision of daily health care. The major flaws in our health care delivery system are the direct result of federal involvement in health care.

      • JRDO
        April 21, 2014 at 8:21 am

        Our federal government- as it was founded- allowed for slavery and did not include voting rights for women.
        I am happy the U.S. government is able to evolve. Would you really prefer our government be devolved back to 1776?

        • Sir Lance-a-Lot
          April 21, 2014 at 8:30 am

          Slavery was eliminated and women’s suffrage was instituted by Constitutional amendments, ratified by supermajorities of the US Congress and state legislatures, in accordance with the requirements of the US Constitution.

          Nobody asked whether it would be okay for the government to increase its scope in the way that it has, and nobody has passed any amendments saying that it was okay for them to do so – they just did it, as people in power have done for millennia, and will continue to do, unless stopped by the People.

          • V N
            April 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

            Interesting discussion.

            The problem comes in where the government says we need to step in for “public good”. It is defining “public good” and where those rights start/stop that is up for debate.

            Is health care for the public good? If the answer is yes, does that mean the government has the right to take money from some and redistribute it to others? Does the government have the right to dictate the prices for said services?

          • Sir Lance-a-Lot
            April 21, 2014 at 9:07 am

            VN: “The problem comes in where the government says we need to step in for ‘public good’. It is defining ‘public good’ and where those rights start/stop that is up for debate.”

            There is no problem. The term “public good” appears nowhere in the Constitution.
            The things about which Congress is allowed to pass laws are specifically enumerated in Article I, Section 8, and the “public good” is not one of them, nor is health care.
            Further, the Tenth Amendment states:
            “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
            thus specifically prohibiting Congress form making laws about anything other than what they are specifically allowed to.

          • V N
            April 21, 2014 at 10:13 am

            I agree with you on the common good item. That’s what they use because they know the law doesn’t support what they do legally.

          • JRDO
            April 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

            It is certainly off topic from the general purpose of this blog and from the beginning of this particular thread, and it may be splitting hairs- but Slavery was eliminated via executive decree (The Emancipation Proclamation) and later codified via constitutional amendment. The point being that sometimes we get caught up in procedure rather than results. I think it good that slavery was eliminated and I don’t care as much whether it was done via executive decree or constitutional amendment. Similarly in healthcare, I think we often hear from people too caught up in procedures rather than in results.

          • Sir Lance-a-Lot
            April 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm

            JRDO: “… Slavery was eliminated via executive decree (The Emancipation Proclamation) and later codified via constitutional amendment.”

            Flat-out wrong.

            What has gone wrong with the educational system in our country?

            Slavery was eliminated in the Confederacy by an executive order of the President of the United States, which had no jurisdiction in the rebelling states at that moment in time.
            It was specifically NOT eliminated in the US (in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and other areas that had not already outlawed it).

            Slavery was not officially and indisputably eliminated in the US until the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865.

  5. V N
    April 20, 2014 at 7:42 am

    It is run by the government. Why does that surprise you?

Comments are closed.