The Healthcare Mortgage Payment

Are you ready to pay through the teeth for health insurance that you will never use, because of the high deductible?

This is from the Associated Press (not Fox or other right leaning media outlet):

Millions of people who buy individual health insurance policies and get no financial help from the Affordable Care Act are bracing for another year of double-digit premium increases, and their frustration is boiling over.

Some are expecting premiums for 2018 to rival a mortgage payment.

What they pay is tied to the price of coverage on the health insurance markets created by the Obama-era law, but these consumers get no protection from the law’s tax credits, which cushion against rising premiums. Instead they pay full freight and bear the brunt of market problems such as high costs and diminished competition.

So, what is this saying?  Basically, the insurance companies are running the system.  They are the “house” in Vegas and the house never loses.  Why is the price tied to the markets created by Obamacare?  Because they want it to.  Because it makes them the most money.  They can use the inept Congress as scapegoats and hide as they gouge Americans.  They are the same as those who raise food prices and gas prices after a hurricane or flood.  The only difference is that they get away with it.

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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] 

  9 comments for “The Healthcare Mortgage Payment

  1. RSW
    September 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    “They can use the inept Congress as scapegoats”

    It is completely inaccurate to describe Congress as flawless – they execute the orders they receive from their owners flawlessly.

    • RSW
      September 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      Correction – It is completely inaccurate to describe Congress as inept.

  2. Pat
    September 6, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I keep waiting to hear the advocates and defenders of Obamacare that read this blog to make sense of this; you know who you are.

    Where are the ObamaCare cheerleaders now? Some of us were writing on here from the start that this would do exactly what it did: raise prices, reduce access, and set us up for single-payer. The huge crony-corporatist payoffs are just a nice bonus.

    Where are the drones who want to blame the hapless GOP for not providing increased ‘risk corridor’ payments? That’s akin to blaming those cowards for not using more gas-soaked logs as a firebreak. C’mon you single-payer warriors, tell us how this shows that more gov’t involvement can make this all cheaper and efficient.

    Our society is fearful and needy, doctors play into that enabling constantly, Big Insurance wrings extorted billions from it with ease, and big gov’t exploits it perfectly. Disgusting all around.

    • Bridget Reidy
      September 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

      I’m pro single payer, please don’t confuse me with a supporter of that compromise which was chosen because it was the only thing the Dems knew the other party would agree to, actually designed by the other party. I was never in favor of handing more power and money to the insurance companies, or even having insurance companies. That’s not what single payer is about. I raised the question “Why do they think high deductible insurance will improve access to chronic care” at a huge conference of journalists and business of health care experts at U of Mich, right before implementation, where most the speakers had presented that as the main reason it would save money. The only question no one had an answer to.

      • Pat
        September 7, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        Bridget, thanks for being standup. I think you ask a fair question, but in a narrow context. Questions I have:
        1. Why is access to chronic care any business of the federal government? (I realize a lot of people accept that as a given, but I don’t).
        2. Medicaid and Medicare inflict HUGE cost overruns upon the taxpayer (or the nat’l debt), and both programs feature over-utilization by their clients simply because they can. How would single-payer prevent people from going to the ER or urgent care at any time, for anything, with the bill passed on to the taxpayer, when we can’t even control the the impulses of the elderly and the low-income?
        3. We agree that no more money or power needed to be handed to Big Insurance. But it was don via government, the party you now want to invest with total power. How is this an improvement? Certainly you don’t argue that the ethics and intelligence of congresspersons equals or exceeds that of insurance CEO’s? Of course Big Insurance can’t send in the IRS to destroy someone, so I guess that’s one difference…

        Cheers!

        • Bridget Reidy
          September 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

          What party do you think I want to hand power to? I was only pointing out you can’t confuse single payer with Obamacare. And wait times are a fair rationing. Most of the complaints you hear about in Canada, where I escaped corporate medicine, regarding wait times are for unnecessary specialty visits, tests and procedures, though a little US style money could quickly fix the few things that medically should be done a bit faster, stress myoviews, knee and hip replacements being my main concerns, but the middle class could buy those with travel medicine for less than they pay for basic insurance in the States, and we have lots of over-utilization too. People resist ER because the wait. The unsophisticated still go to walk ins for bug bites and colds, but it only costs the government $33, and there’s not many doctors happy with easy visits enough to encourage them with antibiotics. No system is perfect, but at least I get the same things I would be paying for in the US for others but not me, at the same tax rate going to health care I’d be paying in the States. Yes government is different than business, they have to at least convince the public they are acting in their best interest or lose their jobs. Health care journalism improves when government runs health care so it gets harder to outright lie, or obfuscate with unnecessary complexity. And no one tells me what to document here, which alone makes my work day, especially the end, so much more pleasant. I could keep listing, but it would be mostly anecdotal, reasons my day and my patient’s health care is better here.

  3. Perry
    September 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

    If this doesn’t convince the public that the insurance companies wrote Obamacare, I don’t know what will.

    • RSW
      September 6, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Obamacare is frequently derided as a government takeover of healthcare, when it’s actually an insurer takeover of the government.

  4. September 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Ah, yes! The insurance mafia strikes yet again.

    I have a suggestion. Instead of paying BUCA and the like exorbitant premiums for a product which you cannot afford to use, find yourself a Direct Primary Care practice, join a health sharing plan, use one of several price transparency tools to find cash pricing on imaging, labs and meds and save yourself a ton of $. No copays, no deductibles, no exorbitant premiums for 7 minute visits.

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