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CONSERVATIVE SOLUTIONS CAUCUS HEALTHCARE


By Sean Hannity | Jan. 8, 2014 12:47pm

President Obama, March 25, 2010:

"From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers — they're going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn't. They'll have to finally acknowledge this isn't a government takeover of our healthcare system. They'll see that if Americans like their doctor, they'll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You'll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you."

It will go down in history as one of the greatest political lies ever told. In fact let’s take a look at the lies the President told us in relations to his landmark legislation, the Affordable Care Act:

  • Lie #1: If you like your plan you can keep your plan
  • Lie #2: If you like your Dr you can keep your doctor
  • Lie #3: $2500 for each family in savings per year
  • Lie #4: Every American will have insurance(CBO says 30 million Americans remain uninsured)
  • Lie #5: The website will be up & running on 10-1-13

Was our healthcare system perfect before ‘Obamacare?’ No. Are there real problems with affordability, preexisting conditions, the uninsured? Absolutely. But is this the solution- spending millions of dollars and over three years on a Government website the answer? A website that doesn’t even function properly? Is funneling as many Americans as possible into the exchanges the answer? These questions are rhetorical in nature, and no doubt you have asked yourself all the same questions.

As I discussed in the economy section of the CSC, we have saddled our next two generations with astronomical debt. Now the young and healthy are being forced to shoulder yet another Obama administration burden. How can we refer to this as anything other than a Ponzi scheme? Yet again we saddle the younger generation with the burden of purchasing health plans they do not want, or need, in order to subsidize the sick, elderly and uninsured.

What does it tell you when politicians, and the very wealthy, flock to the United States for health care from their socialized healthcare countries? Care that they need so badly, and are unable to obtain in their country, that they will pay out of pocket for medical services. Haven’t we seen and heard enough horror stories from countries who promises of healthcare to its citizens have gone unfulfilled? Nations who have delved into socialized healthcare have seen the following results:
  • Extremely high rates of taxation
  • Long waits for services
  • The brink of bankruptcy

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute, has been a guest on my show many times, here is a startling statistic that he discovered:

“A Manhattan Institute analysis I helped conduct found that, on average, the cheapest plan offered in a given state, under Obamacare, will be 99 percent more expensive for men, and 62 percent more expensive for women, than the cheapest plan offered under the old system. And those disparities are even wider for healthy people.”

What happened to the President’s claims that people were going to save money? The nation should be outraged by this oppressive legislation.

THE CONSERVATIVE SOLUTION

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.
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