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  • Can Your State Medical Association be Trusted? September 1, 2014
    by Lee Kurisko, MD I am embarrassed to admit that I am a member of the Minnesota Medical Association. In my defense, I am automatically a member through my employer, a large radiology group based in Minneapolis. I have long …
  • Ralph Weber Talks About Healthcare Pricing – Video August 29, 2014
    Physicians used to take any type of payment for their services, be it in cash or trade (goods). The doctor would give you a price up front. Why can’t you get prices now? Insurance companies hide the real prices so …
  • Hysteria’s History Episode01 FINAL August 29, 2014
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers: Safe & Quality Medical Care August 27, 2014
    by Adrienne Snavely Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) arrived on the scene in 1970. Physicians continue to own nearly 90% of such facilities. Physicians can conveniently schedule procedures, assemble their own teams of highly skilled staff, check over the equipment and …
  • Ralph Weber Talks About Transparency – Video August 25, 2014
    Prices for medical care can vary across town, across the state, and across the country. There may be no difference in a surgical technique or the training of the physician, yet the price can differ up to 20 times as …
  • Here’s The Thing #1: Transparency August 25, 2014
  • Here’s The Thing #2: Healthcare Pricing August 25, 2014
  • Here’s The Thing #3: Procedure Cost August 25, 2014
  • Save Yourself from Your Desk Job – Part II August 22, 2014
    By Sue Redmond Studies have now shown that the “couch potato” lifestyle, and even a desk job where you are sitting for long periods of time, can heighten your risk of certain diseases and even age you faster. Joan Vernikos …
  • Want to Get Lean and Fit? Don’t Do Cardio August 20, 2014
    Want to Get Lean and Fit? Then Don’t Do Traditional “Cardio” Exercise by Lee Kurisko, MD For many, this is heresy but I believe that it is true. Have you ever noticed the people frequenting the ellipticals and treadmills at …
  • The Ebola Virus: Global Threat or False Alarm? August 18, 2014
    by Adrienne Snavely The Ebola virus was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River, in what is now Congo. All 25 outbreaks of human illness or death have occurred thus far in Africa. In rural areas, people live close to …
  • Save Yourself From Your Desk Job! August 15, 2014
    by Sue Redmond Everyone knows that the couch potato “lifestyle” is unhealthy. You come home from a hard day at work and park yourself in front of the TV. Recent studies have found your desk job may be just as …
  • Thyroid Health & Testing August 13, 2014
    Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid disorders. Thyroid disorders that can affect women include: Hyperthyroidism Hypothyroidism Thyroid nodules Thyroiditis Thyroid cancer Goiter The most common disorders are hyper- and hypo-thyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroid Weight loss, even if …
  • Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2014 August 12, 2014
    Canadian families spend more money on taxes than on food, clothing, and shelter combined.The Fraser Institute’s Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2013 by adding up the various taxes …
  • Keys to Exercise Success August 11, 2014
    by Lee Kurisko, MD I have had exercise as a regular habit for 41 years. Through all of that time, I have been analyzing what I do and trying to refine my approach always in search of a better way. …
  • MediBid in Kaiser Health News & Washington Post August 8, 2014
    Patients Seeking Cheaper Care Are Soliciting Bids From Doctors Online By SANDRA G. BOODMAN  AUG 05, 2014  This KHN story also ran in . It can be republished for free. (details) Francisco Velazco couldn’t wait any longer. For several years, the …
  • Are We Heading Towards a Two Tiered Health Care System? August 6, 2014
    In 2013, 117 insurance plans were offered on average in each state. Only 41 plans are offered in the exchanges, and in 16 states, consumers have access to 3 or fewer insurers.  In addition, these plans have increasingly restricted networks… …
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 2 of 5) August 5, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • OMTEC 2014 – Keynote Interview with Industry Leaders (Installment 1 of 5) August 5, 2014
    Original, essential content from OMTEC. Industry leaders Michael Butler, Dirk Kuyper and Mike Matson discuss the intricacies of supplier relationships within the orthopaedic industry.
  • Life Without Antibiotics Would Likely Be Grim August 4, 2014
    The first antibiotics came on the market after World War II. Bacteria continue to mutate so antibiotics cannot destroy them. Some have become so resistant that nothing is effective on them. A treatment that may have worked five years ago …

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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