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  • High Deductible Plans are Changing Patient Interaction June 26, 2015
    High deductible plans are changing where patients get medical care and how they pay for it. Once a bill exceeds 5% of household income, patients most likely cannot pay for it themselves. Major employers offer high deductible plans (an average …
  • Beet Juice Lowers Blood Pressure June 24, 2015
    A small study in London showed that drinking a cup of beetroot juice significantly lowered blood pressure in hypertensive patients within six hours. After 24 hours, their blood pressure remained lower than those in the control group. The benefits come …
  • Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare Subsidies to Come This Week June 22, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD The Big Lie of ObamaCare is in the title: the Affordable Care Act. Administration officials invoke “affordable” over and over again. The U.S. Supreme Court could well blow the Democrats’ cover in King v. Burwell if …
  • Shopping While Hungry Leads to Poor Eating All Week June 19, 2015
    A study at Cornell University examined the food selections that a group of shoppers put in their virtual online grocery cart. The shoppers that had not eaten four or five hours beforehand selected 23% more processed junk food than those …
  • Long ER Waits Continue in Canada as Budget Cuts Increase June 17, 2015
    Lee Parker of Ottawa had to wait 48 hours in the Emergency Room before being admitted for heart attack complications. He watched other patients come in, but since there was no room for them, they lay on gurneys in the …
  • Health Benefits of Cucumbers June 15, 2015
    There are hundreds of varieties of cucumber and dozens of colors. Cucumbers are a fruit, not a vegetable, as most people think. They are a good source of phytonutrients with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. The peel and seeds are …
  • Should a Business Offer Healthcare Benefits? June 12, 2015
    Offering healthcare benefits is optional for small businesses, but is important to an employee as one of the most popular benefits in a compensation package. An employer who wishes to stay competitive with other businesses in the community will most …
  • Study Shows Some Hospitals Inflate Prices 1000% June 10, 2015
    A study published recently in Health Affairs shows that hospitals mark up their prices, often 10 times the actual cost. The 50 most expensive hospitals in the US are for-profit and have an average markup of 1010%. Out of network …
  • How to Keep Mosquitos Away June 3, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely In the summer, spending more time outdoors means spending more time out with mosquitos, of which 200 species can be found in the US. It seems to be hard to escape their itchy bites, but protecting yourself …
  • Buying Real Health Insurance is a Crime June 1, 2015
    It’s illegal to sell true health insurance in America. With true insurance, such as auto insurance, we pool our risks to reduce the financial burdens brought on with unforeseen accidents or illness. Insurance originated with churches and labor unions, then …
  • Coffee Bean Extract Lowers Blood Sugar May 29, 2015
    Manufacturers of green coffee extract in Austin, TX conducted a study in India on the effects of unroasted coffee beans on blood glucose. All participants were normal weight with normal blood sugar. All of them had results of lowered blood …
  • Implanted Heart Devices Affected by iPads May 27, 2015
    A new study has found that the magnetic interference from iPads could alter the settings or even deactivate implanted defibrillators. This interference comes from the magnets imbedded in the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover. Magnets in the heart devices …
  • Canadian Cancer Patient Says Korean Surgery Saved His Life May 22, 2015
    Gerd Trubenbach of British Columbia was diagnosed with cancer, as a huge tumor was growing in his neck. His family doctor suggested that the tumor could not be removed and there was nothing else that could be done. The wait …
  • How to Prevent Hemorrhoids May 20, 2015
    Many people have hemorrhoids at some time, and they are a common problem. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal, which can be painful but not usually serious. They are caused from too much pressure on the veins in …
  • Emergency Room Visits Increase with Obamacare May 15, 2015
    Obamacare predicted that expanding health insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits. A new study has found that newly insured people are actually visiting the ER more often, 40% more often than those who are uninsured. …
  • Transparency: Changing the US Healthcare System May 13, 2015
    Ralph Weber, President and CEO of MediBid, is interviewed by David Saltzman of ShiftShapers. Mr. Weber has been in the benefits business since the mid 1990s, serving clients in the US, Canada, and around the globe. A lack of information …
  • Appalachia Sees Increased Cases of Hepatitis C May 11, 2015
    Infections of Hepatitis C, a contagious liver infection spread by blood contact, has more than tripled in Appalachia – Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – fueled by prescription drug abuse in rural areas. About 73% of patients are under …
  • An American Response to Losing ObamaCare Subsidies May 8, 2015
    by Jane Orient, MD This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court could, in King v. Burwell, uninsure 8 million Americans by finding that subsidies are illegal outside State Exchanges. Some Republicans are saying “Let it burn.” For Democrats, it’s “ObamaCare or nothing.” Can …
  • Arthritis Awareness – May Lab Specials May 6, 2015
    Nearly 53 million adults and 300,000 children in America have arthritis. By 2030, 67% of the population will suffer from one type of arthritis.  Arthritis, joint pain or joint disease, is the leading cause of disability in the United States. …
  • American Women are Drinking More Heavily May 4, 2015
    Barbara Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News Whether quaffing artisanal cocktails at hipster bars or knocking back no-name beers on the couch, more Americans are drinking heavily – and engaging in episodes of binge-drinking, concludes a major study of alcohol use. …

10 Ways Obamacare Limits Patient Choice

We know that the ACA or obamacare severely limits choice, and increases costs. MediBid does the opposite. We increase choice, and lower cost. For increased choice, and lower costs, visit MediBid and give us a try.

10 Ways Obamacare Limits Patient Choice.

Ten Ways Obamacare Limits Patient Choice

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare, Americans should remember that higher taxes are not the only negative consequence of the law. Obamacare limits patient choice through expansive federal regulation of the insurance market, government interference in the decisions patients make with their doctors, and increased dependence on government health programs.

Obamacare limits patient choice either directly or indirectly in a variety of ways. Here are just 10 Obamacare provisions to be aware of.

1. “Free” Preventive Services

Obamacare requires health plans to cover all preventive services ranked A or B (recommended) by the United States Preventive Services Task Force and does not allow them to share these costs with policyholders. This means that all patients will be forced to pay for this coverage through higher premiums. This additional expense will mean that some patients miss out on the coverage they actually need. As health policy expert Scott Gottlieb explains, “Many services that get ‘Cs’ or ‘Ds’—such as screening for ovarian or testicular cancer—could get nixed from coverage entirely.”[1]

2. “Free” Women’s Preventive Services

Obamacare creates additional preventive care coverage requirements for women, which, like other benefit mandates, means that women are prevented from choosing health plans that suit their needs and reflect their values. These provisions require Americans to pay for products such as the full range of contraceptives, including abortifacient drugs, even if they object as a matter of conscience.[2]

3. Essential Health Benefits Package

Obamacare requires health plans to cover whatever benefits are deemed essential by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. As Heritage expert Ed Haislmaier explains, “The new federal benefit requirements represent a blatant assertion that Congress and federal bureaucrats know best how to design health insurance policies. The effects will be one-size-fits-all coverage—so that patients are not ‘confused’ by having choices—and elimination of employers’ freedom to design their own self-insured plans.”[3] Special-interest groups will most certainly lobby for inclusion of generous benefits, and the more expansive the “essential” benefits package becomes, the more it will cost. The coverage “floor” will become the ceiling, and Americans will have fewer options.

4. Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Requirement

Health plans with health savings accounts (HSAs) give consumers more power over their health spending, which explains in part why enrollment in these plans grows every year.[4] But MLR ratios—which require insurers to use a certain percentage of premium revenue on medically related costs—threaten this popular option. One reason is that, since HSAs often cover most or all of participants’ routine medical expenses, the claims that a high-deductible health plan experiences are larger and may fluctuate significantly from year to year. According to one study, “For high-deductible and HSA plans to be viable, both from a consumer and carrier perspective under [Obamacare], an adjustment to the MLR formula for the impact of HSAs may be necessary.”[5] Otherwise, HSA plans may disappear, robbing consumers of an attractive and popular option.

5. Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

Obamacare creates a board of unelected bureaucrats to implement ways to keep Medicare spending below a new cap. The board is limited mostly to changing provider payment rates, but reducing reimbursement will make it more difficult for providers to continue to care for Medicare patients. IPAB will also be empowered to contain costs by restricting access to certain treatments or services. Though the statute authorizes IPAB to “protect and improve Medicare beneficiaries’ access to necessary and evidence-based items and services,” this directive can be used to justify restricting access to care that the government does not consider necessary or evidence-based for most patients.[6]

6. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Obamacare creates this entity to advance comparative-effectiveness research (CER), which compares treatment options for a disease or condition. CER might be useful to doctors and patients in a purely informational role, but it should not be used to influence decisions without consideration of each patient’s values, lifestyle, preferences, and goals. Obamacare will allow CER to be used by government to restrict choice through a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine.[7]

7. Medicare Value-Based Purchasing

Obamacare creates a Medicare value-based purchasing program to pay hospitals differentially based on their performance on federal quality measures. This model has not proven effective in demonstration programs, and it could, in fact, discourage high-quality, personalized care. For example, value-based purchasing could lead providers to focus more on care that is financially rewarding than on the needs of individual patients. In some cases, this may mean giving preference to ineffective or even harmful care.[8]

8. Medicaid Expansion

Medicaid, the federal–state program that provides health care for the poor and disabled, often fails to ensure timely access to appropriate care because of low reimbursement. Obamacare will add at least 17 million Americans to the program, exacerbating Medicaid’s existing problems. More patients will be subject to the limited access to providers experienced by current Medicaid beneficiaries, reducing choice of physicians for current and new enrollees.[9]

9. Medicare Provider Payment Cuts

Obamacare cuts Medicare spending by about $400 billion by using one of the most damaging cost-containment mechanisms: reducing provider reimbursement rates. As payment for provider services falls, seniors will find fewer doctors and other providers who accept Medicare. The Medicare actuary predicts that reductions in provider payment rates under Obamacare will lead to 25 percent of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies operating in the red by 2030.[10]

10. Medicare Advantage Cuts

Obamacare cuts payments to health plans in Medicare Advantage. This popular and successful program allows seniors to receive Medicare benefits through a private plan of their choice. But the cuts will force seniors to either pay more in premiums or receive fewer benefits. The Medicare actuary projects that enrollment in the program will be cut in half as seniors’ options become limited and they are forced back into traditional Medicare.[11]

Health Care Reform: Empowering Patients or Government?

Many of the problems in health care today can be traced to the disconnect between patients and decisions that affect their care. Health reform should reverse this and put patients back in charge. But Obamacare does the opposite and gives more power to the government rather than individuals and families. The impact of the health law on patient choice is just one of the many reasons Obamacare should be repealed.

Kathryn Nix is a Policy Analyst in the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.



At MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
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