We’re Going No Where

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Got the following from a recent AMA Morning Rounds:

The Washington Times reported that despite the “drop in number of uninsured Americans under Obamacare, more put off medical treatment this year because they can’t afford it, said a new poll released Friday.” A Gallup poll found that a third of Americans say they have put off getting medical treatment that they or their family needed this year because of cost. Gallup stated that “a slightly higher percentage of Americans than in previous years report having put off medical treatment, suggesting that the Affordable Care Act has not immediately affected this measure.” The Chicago Tribune reported that some newly insured individuals who purchased coverage through the ACA “have found that medical care is still out of reach because of the plans’ high deductibles.” As a result, “many consumers with high-deductible plans are following old habits: delaying care or taking their needs to community health centers that have traditionally served the uninsured, local health administrators said.”

It turns out that the real winners are the insurance companies once again.  They overcharge because the ACA did not force any competition and now the patients won’t even use their damn plans!!

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] 

  7 comments for “We’re Going No Where

  1. Tim Hoffmann
    December 7, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    It is always very easy to point at the flaws of the ACA. I think it is important to consider the many that have benefited and gotten affordable health care under the act. The fact the the insurance companies are doing great and benefiting from the ACA should make those on the far right thrilled!

    • Doug Farrago
      December 8, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Tim, who has really benefited? I am in the trenches everyday and NO ONE says that it is affordable. And why does far right like insurance companies? How does that benefit them? Explain your thoughts in more detail because I would love to know.

  2. Pat
    December 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Doug, the other clear winners are politicians and there dull-witted followers who believe in the goodness of big government. The purposes of this plan was to provide (1) wealth redistribution [accomplished]; (2) increase government control of private entities from doctors to patients to hospitals [accomplished]; (3) create more, longer-term dependency on government, and increase the power of the ruling class [accomplished].

    All this was to be done by providing the appearance of more health care, not actual care. If it was such a great idea, why does the law depend on the force of tax penalties? If it’s so good for health care access, where are the projections for new physicians and nurses, all dying to get into the field and be ordered about, so they can care for the growing patient load?

    Promise a bunch of worried middle-agers that their teenagers can be covered till age 26, and look at the self-harm one can get them to commit.

    • politovski
      December 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      1.wealth redistributed to insurance companies [achieved] I think is what you meant to put…

      • Pat
        December 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm

        No, I meant the redistribution from those who were in established plans to those who were to be newly covered; said wealth transfer occurring through higher plan premiums for many, and premium subsidies or outright entry to Medicaid for others (note the so-called “Cadillac Plan” surtax that horrified the labor unions when they realized exactly what they had helped to create).

        Yes, Big Insurance is making out like the bandits they are – for now. This crony (non) capitalism will bite them in the windfall when progressively more customers are squeezed out of the market, increasing the calls for nationalized health care. I’m convinced this was the objective all along.

        • politovski
          December 2, 2014 at 9:48 pm

          I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The top 1% will not allow their wealth to be redistributed in any meaningful manner. They make all the rules, control the people who make the rules, control the voting on the people who make the rules, control the courts that interpret the rules, and likely have multiple other levels of control on the entire government process that we have no idea about. I think we can expect the insurance takeover of government to persist and grow…..

  3. Steve_O'_
    December 2, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I had a patient refuse admission to the hospital for blood pressures in the 190’s over 130’s. He refused to go to the ER, as he might be then hospitalized. He had no health insurance, and is financially on the ropes, and in his fifties. He is divorced.
    It is hard to dismiss his concerns as suicidal or irrational. Rolling the dice on sudden death from MI or stroke, versus massive impairment and institutionalization, seemed to him more benign and likely than achieving some sort of medical coverage in America.
    Many of our elders with serious health problems retire on the “.40 caliber plan.” Today’s Geriatric Medicine offers, “Older adult suicide is often triggered by elders’ loss of control over health conditions or financial circumstances that results in feelings of hopelessness.”
    …”Most older adults who have experienced stressors and problems throughout their lifetimes have developed successful coping mechanisms and responses that have enabled them to deal with distressing or burdensome situations. But elders who experience an elevated risk for suicide embrace a psychological perspective of inability to tolerate the level of psychological pain they are experiencing, believe there are no solutions for their problems, perceive themselves as powerless to change their life circumstances, feel that they are a burden to others, or find that life has no meaning, according to McIntosh.”
    When does it stop being a concern, and start becoming an unspoken policy? Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel stated in a recent copy of the Atlantic Magazine: “Seventy-five. That’s how long I want to live: 75 years.” That is easily assured, given the prevalence of easily accessible means of demise for elders. When does it become a cultural policy of Elder Cleansing?

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