Remember Her?


In the article Get ready for huge Obamacare premium hikes in 2017 it was explained that:

  • ..the culmination of market shifts and rising health care costs will force stark increases in health insurance rates in the coming year
  • ..many insurers have begun submitting opening bids on raising their premium rates and copayments, which will then be reviewed by the government and finalized this fall.
  • The combination of market forces and limitations imposed by the Affordable Care Act will put enormous pressure on insurers to up their premiums.
  • Finally, two of three federal “risk mitigation” programs created under Obamacare are due to expire in 2017. Those programs were set up to protect insurers from huge, unexpected losses from providing health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. UnitedHealth and other major insurers have found it difficult to accurately anticipate their costs in providing coverage to sicker or older Americans, and set premiums that were inadequate to cover their risks. Without those programs to fall back on, many companies likely will seek to jack up their premiums.

Here is the best part and something I never commented on in this blog before.  The big kahuna they interviewed in this piece is Marilyn Tavenner, the president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).  Who is she?She was the former administration official who headed the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and oversaw the disastrous launch of, the Obamacare website.  How is it even possible for her to have a straight face when talking to anyone.  She was in charge of Obamacare and now is critical of it?

From Forbes, 2011:

  • Analysts predicted that Tavenner would not make major changes to the agency’s daily operations. “She brings continuity in terms of implementing the mission,” said Len Nichols, director of George Mason University’s Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics.
  • In an announcement to staff, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tavenner’s “distinguished career in health care and deep knowledge of our efforts to implement health reform make her the right person for this job at this moment in history.”

And how do we allow former federal employees jump ship to the anyone without some type of noncompete clause? Many doctors have them.

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] 

  12 comments for “Remember Her?

  1. RSW
    April 23, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    AAFP gets feces up their nose kissing Tavenner’s butt:

  2. April 23, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This is why we single payer, for which I have been working since 1994. This woman is a disgrace, but is just a reflection of our corrupt health care system where the CEO’s of insurance companies are making millions, while denying benefits to patients. See my website,, for many public access tv shows and radio shows that I did on this very subject – Your Health Care:Choice or Chance? I have also written my book, Ellen In Medicaland:True Stories of How I Fell Down Medicine’s Black Hole and Still Lived After All, which is on Kindle. I have also written my one-woman show based on Ellen In Medicaland, called Just What The Doctor Ordered, which I plan to perform in 2016.

    • Doug Farrago
      April 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      This, Ellen, is EXACTLY why a single payer system is a mistake. OMG. Corrupt health care system or government? She helped launch Obamacare!! How did you come out of reading this thinking we need more government? “All lies in jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”.

      • April 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm

        I totally disagree. We are the only industrialized country without universal health care. Our health system is broken – totally. There is nothing so great as Medicare – no senior will give it up. We need Medicare for All – and I shall fight for it until I can fight no longer.

        • Pat
          April 23, 2016 at 9:29 pm

          Ellen, we could do away with the entire military, Medicare will still consume our entire economy by mid-century. Who will pay for it?

          Why do you think that just by virtue of reaching an arbitrary age, one should be able to steal from their neighbor and punish their doctor with more regulations and penalties?

        • RSW
          April 23, 2016 at 11:00 pm

          You do understand that universal coverage and single payer are not synonymous? Many Western European countries have complete coverage based on private insurance.

    • Pat
      April 23, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Ellen, explain to me how Ohio became the hip replacement capitol of Canada!

      Two months ago, a family member got spots in her eyes, and some blurring. A visit to the optometrist revealed bleeding over the retina. Two days later, she saw a retinal specialist who correctly diagnosed this as a vitreous humor bleed, and spot-lasered the problem to prevent a retinal detachment.
      Under your vision, she would see a half-ass, overworked, underpaid primary care someone, and would have received some worthless eye drops and a patch. The problem would not have been fixed, and would have worsened, but the care would have been “free.”

      Shame on your ilk for bullying others with your emotions. Your approach is foolish and is already a proven failure. And you want more of it. This awful woman achieved her corrupt power pursing what YOU want, and you can’t/won’t see it.

      • April 24, 2016 at 1:41 pm

        Well, I guess you will refuse Medicare when you are eligible. Good.

        • Pat
          April 24, 2016 at 7:14 pm

          And what will be my option? Your kind has taken money from me for years for a system that inflates medical prices across the board. So if I don’t play your game, the money already taken from me will be fully stolen, and I won’t be able to afford health insurance which your system will have inflated beyond my reach.

          Your response is the same tired, cowardly reflex: you have rigged the game against me, and if I don’t play, I’ll be punished even more. You cannot explain why access for Medicare patients is getting worse, and why – in this wonderful system – care is increasingly rationed. You will not explain or even address the horrific cost overruns with Medicare that are public record. If this system is the way to go, then why has it been functionally insolvent since 1972?

          Ellen, your approach and your logic has all the compassion of the Berlin Wall. If systems are so good, and so effective, then why are walls always erected to keep their “beneficiaries” in?

  3. Pat
    April 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    hahaha…I remember watching this execrable person’s testimony on CSPAN, just shaking my head at the false theater they were all presenting. I’ve heard and read so many colleagues pleading, “but we have to do something”, and “we should give the ACA a chance…” No, no, no! It was evident from the start that Tavenner was a lying government apparatchik from the start, a mouthpiece for bad ideas supported (still) by academicians, traitorous organized medicine, and most of the Beltway establishment. They know they are destroying marketplace competition, but they are rationalizing that it would happen anyway, its wha the people want, so why not make a buck during the turmoil?

    Taverner headed CMS – the organization controlling Medicare and Medicaid. these programs are both economic disasters, and philosophical disasters for medicine. By claiming to help the elderly and the poor, they are harming everyone else through price inflation, regulatory inflation, faltering state budgets, and a cartoonishly exploded national debt. Wretched figures like Tavenner know this, and will not admit it.

    What Tavenner et al know further, is that this rotten Medicare/-caid-ACA system is designed to move us to a single payer system. Don’t kid yourself, this system has brilliantly set patients against doctors, bringing most of the latter to heel. This hateful, destructive Tavenner represents the triumph of everything physicians were supposed to oppose, but didn’t.

  4. Randy
    April 23, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I hate to say I told you so, OK actually I kind of like saying I told you so, but it was clear from the outset the ACA did not really do anything to control costs. Add to that the penalty for not carrying insurance is weak, leading to smaller insurance pools of sicker patients since for most people it’s cheaper just to pay the penalty and buy insurance when/if you need it. What’s sad is many people who fell through the cracks before still fall through the cracks, unable to afford routine care of the diabetes, BP, cholesterol, etc.

    If you read the linked article above the government claims things aren’t really so bad when you figure in government subsidies. What this leaves out is all the people who decided not to get insurance because it was too damn expensive and they didn’t get significant subsidies.

  5. Steve O'
    April 23, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Bureaucracies flourish when a crisis is at hand. If there is no crisis, one must be generated, for them to expand their command authority, for that is what they do.
    There is no need to worry if the crisis of Obamacare is genuine. It is. Bureaucrats exist for feeding the power loop of failure, ideas and mandates. Without failure, there is no need for senior bureaucrats to take command.

    Failure. Something must fail, and the current system of overloading the point-of-care until it fails works splendidly. Genuine medical problems are frequently missed due to the onerous weight of crapwork required in a visit. Get the vaccination done, miss the tumor.

    IDEAS. Ideas are the product of a bureaucracy confronted by failure. Government flourishes under the premise that failure is due to lack of ideas, not failure of diligence in crafting methods for what is already understood. They live in the industrial world of PRODUCT, and have no mind for PROCESS.

    For example: the presence of addictive mu-agonists in societies – opiate, narcotics – is nothing new. Opiates have been in human society far longer than the written word has existed. Let me repeat that. Opiates have been in human society far longer than the written word has existed. There is no new solution for opiates in society. The fact that celebritards can readily bully their way through the existing drug laws to obtain lethal amounts of stupid-candy, shows a problem with society not with mu-receptor agonists. But there will be a flood of IDEAS about opiates. If Prince Rogers Nelson died of an overdose of stupid-candy, there will be a lynch mob formed against doctors prescribing opiates, and more people will suffer from it.

    Mandates. Bureaucracies are inherently fascist, in the same way that the big cats are inherently carnivores. They can, of course, be given synthetic nutrients in a zoo. But killing and eating prey is their nature. Read Max Weber – bureaucracies and fascism are merely two arms of the same beast.

    Mandates are issued by people who do not understand what, if any, the nature of the failure is, and presume ignorance on the part of the assembly line workers. These ignorant chumps doing things need more instruction! Thus, we see, for instance, all the cigarette tax money going to high-dollar Madison Avenue national firms, to manufacture billboards and craft slick ads to tell the mules that SMOKING IS BAD! And, if the carrot doesn’t work, the stick should make up for it. Make more mandates for doctors to not prescribe opiates!! Beat the bad doctors, send them to jail!! But don’t allow them the authority to say “no” to a patient in a clinic – that’s bad business, bad doctors!

    Failure, ideas and mandates are the eternal circle of the bureaucrat, the metastatic disease that they inevitably become. So now, Marilynn Tavenner shows up to scream failure at the wreckage she has already made? That bothers you? That is the life-cycle of the Washington parasite – shrieking about ‘failure’ so as to be selected to join the bureaucracy, and then merrily joining the bureaucracy to create more wreckage. I’ll bet that the Tavenner family have not fretted about the payments on their vacation house(s) or where the kiddos go to school. That’s for the people in flyover land.

    Look at the Pentagon – it’s a house of bureaucrats with prettier suits (which, incidentally, we pay for too.) They have been in business since 1947 Has anyone fretted over the Pentagon shutting down and losing influence, as we have had infrequent wars and lost our Cold-War threats? Are worried commanders faxing their resume for distribution, furtively calling around for jobs? Don’t worry about it!
    What the Pentagon had in 1947 and the great Homeland Security started in 2002, Obamacare is only in its infancy. Bring it on!

Comments are closed.