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  • Third Party Free Medical Practice Case Studies March 28, 2015
    Dr. Kathy Brown, Jack Brown, and Dr. Keith Smith speak at the 69th Annual Meeting of AAPS, September 2013. http://www.oregonderm.com/ & http://surgerycenterok.com
  • A Tale of 2 Prices…or 3?‏ March 27, 2015
    by Ralph Weber About a year and a half ago, Perry Hunt needed a hip replacement. He had been in constant pain for years and owned a construction company, and could not afford to take the 6 months off that …
  • Tisha Casida interviews Ralph Weber: Free Market Solutions to Healthcare March 25, 2015
    Tisha Casida with Rebellion.life interviews CEO of MediBid, Ralph Weber, about his work educating the public and the government about common sense health care solutions. MediBid is an online marketplace with true transparency, listing not only prices, but qualities and …
  • Small Business Coverage Uncertain Future with Association Health Plans March 23, 2015
    For the last 20 years, small businesses in Washington state have relied heavily on associations and trusts to provide healthcare insurance for their workers at lower cost than in the open market. The system is popular and works well, a …
  • Outpatient Surgery Saves Patients Time and Money March 20, 2015
    The death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to …
  • Study Finds Hormones Can Help Younger Women Through Menopause March 18, 2015
    Hormone replacement therapy used to only be given to women who had completed menopause, relieving hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other symptoms. In 2009, about 8 million women used HRT, most over the age of 60. A recent Cochrane review finds …
  • Retail Health Care Clinics Multiply with Increasing Demand March 16, 2015
    Integrated care facilities offer primary care, specialty services, labs, and diagnostics all under one roof. These clinics follow a model common in Latin America. This consumer-focused type of providing medical care is gaining in popularity and increasing in number since …
  • Avoiding Caregiver Burnout March 13, 2015
    Over 43.5 million Americans care for older parents, grandparents, spouses, or other loved ones. Most family caregivers are spouses or children. The demands of caregiving can be overwhelming and can take a toll on your health, relationships, and sanity – …
  • It is Safe to Assume They Lie March 11, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith, MD I laugh every time I see headlines bragging about the number of people enrolled in “Obamacare.”  What choice to people have, after all?  ”Buy this crappy insurance plan (that you wouldn’t buy unless you were …
  • FinalHayes1 March 11, 2015
  • Physician Burnout – What To Do March 9, 2015
    Signs of physician burnout can range from decreased enthusiasm for work, increased cynicism and a low sense of accomplishment.  Where at one time the physician may have felt a burning passion for medicine, he may feel that “light” burning out, perhaps …
  • Increasing Wait Times for Hip Surgery Ruin Patients’ Lives March 6, 2015
    Frustrated patients in British Columbia are in constant pain as their wait times for hip replacement surgeries increase. Wait times for joint replacements have increased in most Canadian provinces despite promises from the government to address the problem. B.C. is …
  • Staying Physically Active: How Much Exercise is Right for You? March 4, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Everyone knows that the key to keeping a healthy body is a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. What is considered “regular” differs from person to person. The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) first …
  • Supreme Court to Hear New Obamacare Case This Week March 2, 2015
    Later this week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the results of which could affect the future of Obamacare. This case addresses if consumers who buy health insurance at HealthCare.gov are eligible to receive tax credits …
  • How to Fight and Prevent Sugar Cravings February 27, 2015
    The average American consumes about 16 teaspoons more sugar per day than what is recommended. Sugar causes the brain to release serotonin, creating a natural high, and the endorphins leave us wanting more. Kicking a sugar addiction can be tough, …
  • Hospital Closures Bring “New Day” in Healthcare February 25, 2015
    Hospitals are operating with fewer beds or closing, as patients seek more affordable medical care at clinics and outpatient surgery centers. A low occupancy rate makes for a high-priced facility, which is not competitive. These closures are due to the …
  • Do Your Part to Protect Your Heart – February Special February 23, 2015
    February is Heart month. Protect the health of your heart, preventing heart disease and stroke, with a simple blood test. Below are the February specials from DirectLabs. Lipid Profile – $19 (Regular Price $29, $98 Retail) Test includes: Cholesterol, Total …
  • The Various Dimensions of Mammogram Screening February 20, 2015
    by Adrienne Snavely Every year, over 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 40,000 will die from it. When breast cancer is detected early, it is easier to treat. Forty million mammograms are performed each …
  • Crashing the Free Market Party February 16, 2015
    by G. Keith Smith MD Riding in to rescue the victims of Obamacare and other government healthcare schemes are guess who? The legislators? The regulators? Don’t make me laugh. It is the growing group of healthcare free marketeers. The celebration …
  • Dark Chocolate is Good For You and Your Valentine February 13, 2015
    Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients, one of the best sources of antioxidants, and can improve health and lower risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is very nutritious. It contains a fair amount of soluble fiber and is full of …

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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