The End of Health Insurance as We Know It?
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  • ojfl

    This will not happen unless the government keeps its hands off them. As soon as these things start happening we will hear calls from Washington to regulate, curtail, price control, etc.

    • rheddles

      The killer will be if it is made illegal for government paid specialists to accept referrals from out of system physicians. Acceptance of government payments may also be made a condition of future licensing, cutting off the supply of potential out of system physicians.

      • ojfl

        That indeed will be tragic rheddles. There are many ways the government can stifle this new development, unfortunately.

  • Robert Sykes

    These forms of health care are almost certainly illegal under Obamacare. Remember, individuals must prove to the IRS that they have government-approved health insurance under penalty of fine.

    • wigwag

      Acutally there is a provision in Obamacare which specifically encourages subscription based medicine and subscription based medicine is specifically required to be included in the health exchanges that are being set up by the states and the federal government. This was one of the few areas where Republicans and Democrats were in complete agreement. As it happens there are also bipartisan attempts in Congress to pass additional legislation encouraging subscription based medicine in the contest of medicare.
      Who hates subscription based primary care? It’s the health insurance companies. Why wouldn’t they hate it? After all, it’s a classic case of disintermediation; the two parties critical to the relationship, the doctor and the patient are writing the middle man (the insurance company) out of the equation, In fact, the cost savings, the improved service and the dramatically better working conditions for doctors are all made possible by the elimination of the insurance companies from primary care.
      Doctors love the new system; patients love the new system. If it controls costs (as it surely will) the government will come to love the new system. The only people who will absolutely hate it are executives at health insurance compainies. Count on the fact that they will fight this new system tooth and nail.
      But those companies will lose; in the end, the move towards disintermediation is inexorable. Health insurance companies will have no better luck fighting it than long distance telephone companies, music industry executives, newspapers or book publishers did.
      At least, the health insurance executives will still have a good business ripping off sick people who need speciality care. That is, until someone figures out how disintemediate those companies out of that business too.

      • rheddles

        I couldn’t agree more with the last paragraph. There is a place for government and there is a place for insurance. But neither belong between the doctor and patient. But that’s what we’ve got now and I don’t expect either to give up its sinecure without a fight.

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