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I met with a concerned voter by the name of Mike today. Mike lives in Farr West and he had some serious concerns about the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
Mike’s mother had worked at the same company for sixteen years in Utah, always having the same insurance provided for her and her family. Because of certain mandated changes to available insurance in the country, the company this woman worked for had to offer their employees different insurance.
The doctors and hospital the family of Mike went to were no longer offered under the new plans. They also now have to pay three times as much for prescriptions. He told me that they used to get their needed prescriptions filled for five dollars, now they have to pay fifteen, and that is just on the generic brands. Name brand medication now costs them upwards of thirty dollars.
This is on top of them now having to pay almost twice as much per month to continue to even have coverage for the family. When is this country going to see that the “Affordable” doesn’t exist in the law. It is costing this family far more to see doctors and get the medication they need.
The saddest part is that the place of employment isn’t exactly a high paying job. As a front line employee, Mike’s mother only makes about eleven dollars per hour. This family can’t afford the changes they are forced to take.
It is time that Democrats,
Republicans, and others in the House and Senate get together and work to repeal
this law and replace it with real common sense solutions. That is why I fully
endorse the Conservative Caucus plan for changing the health care in the
As a candidate for the
"Here are the options that I am proposing will give Americans the opportunity to take a hold of their health and well being:
Individual Health Savings Accounts – you buy the insurance you need, in a competitive marketplace. Every year you contribute to your own healthcare account. Such an account would incentivize yearly check ups, which would help facilitate the early detection of disease, and would help to mitigate overall costs. A health savings account would allow the young and healthy to purchase plans more suitable to their needs. Catastrophic plans with higher deductibles are a much cheaper alternative for younger and healthier people. This allows them to build up their accounts throughout their lives , and the money will be available at any time a health issue arises. With the control over their own health care spending, patients will be able to purchase the best plans and services, at the best prices for their individual needs.
Competition is the key component for healthcare. Just this past December was the 10-year anniversary of the signing of legislation that established Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Initiated by NCPA President John Goodman, who has long been called the “Father of Health Savings Accounts,” HSAs allow individuals to manage their own health care dollars. Today, there are more than 30 million Americans covered by HSA and HRA plans through their employers. Goodman has two great books , the first was Patient Power in 1992, and his latest release is Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. I found a great summary of his ideas in an article in The American Spectator:
“When patients aren’t spending their own money, there is no way doctors can compete for their patronage based on price. When they don’t compete on price, they don’t compete on quality either. The services they offer will be only those services the third parties pay for and only in settings and ways the third parties have blessed. But give patients control over their own health care dollars and the provider community will begin to meet needs in ways the third- party-payer bureaucracies could never have dreamed of.”
For the full article, please find the link here.
Another option for our broken health care system is to encourage Americans to use their HSA funds to pay for concierge, or as they now call it, “direct primary care” services. Some of you might be wondering what concierge medicine is and how it works. The model is quite simple. Under a direct primary care system, the doctors limit themselves to seeing a certain number of patients. They charge patients a monthly membership fee which includes unlimited access to their offices and services. This model of care allows for more personalized treatment and even gives patients the option to email, text message, and call their doctors. While in the past, there has been some confusion over whether utilizing these funds for concierge medicine is allowed, according to IRS document 502, any services provided by a physician is considered an HSA deductible expense.
A perfect example of how concierge services work is the Kansas-based practice, Atlas MD. Dr. Josh Umbehr the founder of the practice, has joined my show numerous times to discuss his model of care. At Atlas MD, monthly membership fees range from $10 for children, $50 for adults aged 20-44, $75 for adults aged 45-64 and $100 for those over 65. Their membership includes unlimited home and office visits, some in-office procedures and discounted prescription drug access. On average, Umbehr saves his patients anywhere from $500-$1,000 a month on insurance because his model adjusts their insurance to cover less of what they don’t need. Umbehr believes that the idea that Americans need insurance for basic care is antiquated and says:
The membership model of concierge medicine allows us to keep the cost per person low while maximizing the availability and quality of the services. By eliminating the third-party payer—insurance—when it comes to routine care, we get ourselves back to a model more consistent with the actual, marketplace purpose of insurance and the way it works in every other area where it applies: car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance. All these things insure primarily catastrophic events. You don’t have car insurance for gasoline, oil changes, tires, etcetera; why have health insurance for family-medicine primary care.
Do you remember the last time your appointment with your primary care physician actually lasted over 15 minutes? You usually find yourself spending more time with the nurses and physician’s assistants than your actual doctor when you go for a visit. At Atlas MD, the average time a doctor spends with a patient is 45 minutes.
Through the use of HSAs and concierge care, Americans have a viable, affordable and free-market solution to the health care crisis we currently face. It can put OUR healthcare choices back in OUR hands as opposed to some government bureaucrat’s. What a novel idea."
Utilizing this plan will ensure that health care is more accessible and affordable for the American people.
To Mike, I will try and help fix this mess for you and your mother. I am sorry the shortsightedness of our current government didn’t take into account the human cost of their “affordable” plan. I will work every day to make things right for you and the millions of others affected by this train wreck.