The Pre-Existing Condition Debate

I hate politics. They use our healthcare system as a chess piece in their game of thrones. I hate health insurance companies. They are the ultimate evil. Add the two together and you have hell on earth. Actually, the biggest lobbying group in this country is health insurers so they are all in bed together. This is why talking about pre-existing conditions sucks.

The old system would charge you more if you had major medical problems. Boooo. But wait. It was still cheaper than the cost of health insurance today.

Sometimes you couldn’t even get coverage if you had a disease in the old days. Booo. But wait. States would have options for uncovered patients in what was a high-risk pool.

Many people with the most common medical problems did have to pay more for insurance in the old system. Booo. But wait, the overwhelming majority of medical problems are from behavioral decisions to smoke, drink, overeat and never exercise.

That leads me to this article in the WSJ. They explain that:

One of the biggest political cons of the past decade is the left’s claim that only ObamaCare could keep these Americans from being deprived of health care. In fact, the law’s regulations and mandates have often resulted in narrow networks and high out-of-pocket costs for patients who most need good and affordable care.

Ok, so let’s not get into left or right here. The above is a charged statement but it doesn’t mean it is false. Narrow networks and high out-of-pocket costs are a reality.

I just want to highlight some other things in the article:

  • a 2018 survey that found more than 90% of National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers are “out of network for some or all health exchange carriers in their state.” 
  • The survey notes that coverage mandates may have “accelerated the use of narrow networks to control health plan costs” on the exchanges
  • Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center doesn’t accept “a single private health insurance plan sold on the individual market in Texas.” Having an insurance card is no comfort to cancer patients shut out from top hospitals and doctors.
  • The Galen Institute’s Brian Blase pointed out last week that the Affordable Care Act is on track to cost taxpayers $1.8 trillion over the next decade, and too much of that goes to pay insurance companies for “healthy enrollees who need massive subsidies to afford the coverage that the ACA made much more expensive.”

I understand this topic is massively controversial. Fine. I don’t need to hear people say Obama was evil or Trump is evil or whatever. The fact is that the only one winning from the ACA are the health insurers and that is not good. They raise their rates every year and more and more people who are forced to pay, for others who don’t have to, are dropping out. Yes, some in this country get their insurance for free but with more people not paying it creates an endless cycle of cost increases.

I am a free-market guy. I am not in favor of socialized medicine. I do not want healthcare to become the DMV or the USPS. Direct Primary Care has proven this can bring prices down massively. It’s time we get rid of the major insurers. It’s time for transparent medical prices. We need a safety net for the very poor but the overwhelming majority should pay something and there should be competition for the cost of medical services and the cost for health insurance.

Get our awesome newsletter by signing up here. We don’t give your email out and we won’t spam you.

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]

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Pat says:

    It bears repeating ad nauseum that the ACA did not create a single new physician, nurse, or hospital bed. It exeplified and celebrated the point that “coverage does not equal care.”

  2. Hunter Schultz says:

    Not to mention government’s personal privacy track record. OPM data hack anyone? Form SF-86 data is a blackmailer’s treasure trove.

  3. Jennifer Hollywood says:

    “Sometimes you couldn’t even get coverage if you had a disease in the old days. Booo. But wait. States would have options for uncovered patients in what was a high-risk pool.”

    I remember those days. The few that got into the pool found themselves with a plan with very limited coverage. And no physicians took the plan as it was so limited. It was absolutely horrible. The coverage was so bad that you might as well not even have it.

    “Many people with the most common medical problems did have to pay more for insurance in the old system. Booo. But wait, the overwhelming majority of medical problems are from behavioral decisions to smoke, drink, overeat and never exercise.”

    Many of the people that I saw that were denied insurance had things like asthma or a history of cancer. IF they got insurance, it often had exclusions. Like no coverage for asthma or anything related to their previous cancer. BUT it wouldn’t say this anywhere on their card. So you would see them for a visit for said asthma or cancer follow up and it wasn’t covered. BUT you wouldn’t find out until later. The patient was surprised and would not pay, because they had insurance.

    THE OLD SYSTEM DID NOT WORK.

    But I also think that Obamacare was a scam on the American people. It’s a Trojan Horse for insurers to get their hands on more money and more patient private information all while trying to look like they are being helpful.

    • Stewart says:

      Good comment.

      Take home message: the insurers always win, patients and physicians always get screwed.

    • Mamadoc says:

      State high risk pool (at least in my state) was worthless. I saw people die from their pre-existing conditions and some die after they chose not to treat new conditions because they didn’t want to leave their family in unpayable debt. The old system did not work. The ACA was highjacked by insurance companies.

  4. Stewart says:

    “I do not want healthcare to become the DMV or the USPS.”

    No big fan of either, but both are far more efficient and user-friendly than the currently medical care non-system.

Get plugin http://www.fastemailsender.com
%d bloggers like this: