The ACA Helped Kill Primary Care

Remember how the Affordable Care Act was going to allow you to keep your doctor?  Well, it didn’t.  Remember how it was going to increase your access to healthcare?  Well, it didn’t.   Here you go:

Primary-care physicians saw 18% fewer patients from 2012 to 2016, according to new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute that compiled data from Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare. There has been a relatively steady decline in primary-care visits for adults under 65 years old with employer-sponsored insurance since 2009.

So what happened?  Health insurance is NOT healthcare!  I believe the ACA, with the expensive premiums, made it hard for patients to see their family doctors due to the high deductibles.  Patients just couldn’t afford both.

The bottom line is that the ACA was mostly an utter failure. Maybe a discussion that doesn’t involve helping the insurers and drug companies is in order?  Maybe a discussion about have a real free market is in order?  Just saying.

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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] 

  10 comments for “The ACA Helped Kill Primary Care

  1. Kurt
    November 21, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Thank heavens I’ll be able to get out of this F’head system when I retire in 34 months and take my skills of 5.5 years of post graduate medicine with me. Too Effing bad. Tried my best to advise folks on how to improve their situations but most walked out of the door and did the same danged
    health behaviors. May God condemn to Hades all those who “dupe” young people to go into primary care at this present time. DPC? Yeah sure. Go to the wrong geographic area and go bankrupt like the private practices of old did.

  2. Brinkdaddy
    November 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    You, the King of Medicine, were obviously not among the backsplash of white coats who adorned the press coverage of Obama’s ACA. Thank you

    • Doug Farrago
      November 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Nope and I have 16 years of this blog to prove it

  3. PW
    November 20, 2018 at 9:30 am

    After reading “America’s Bitter Pill” it is clear that insurance companies, lawyers and hospital lobbyists wrote the ACA. You are correct, health insurance does not equal care. Premiums continue to rise, and insurance companies continue to deny care. While the ACA may have helped some Americans, most have gotten screwed.

    • RSW
      November 20, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      “insurance companies, lawyers and hospital lobbyists wrote the ACA”


      There’s nothing in the ACA that mandates narrow networks, changing doctors, high deductibles – the point is that there’s nothing in it that prohibits the use those in order to maximize corporate profits.

      It’s not a government take-over of health care – it’s a health care industry take-over of the government.

      • PW
        November 20, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        Well said. The problem is, the government went willingly along.

        • RSW
          November 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

          As did the moronic medical academies.

          • PW
            November 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm


  4. Seneca
    November 20, 2018 at 8:26 am

    My best estimate of a cause of lower volume in primary care offices would be the widespread adoption of EMR’s. I seem to recall one study-can’t recall where-in which there was an immediate 33% loss of volume upon adoption of EMR’s in primary care offices with some degree of recovery (never complete) at about the two year mark.

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