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Why Obamacare Will Fail

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Obamacare will fail because none of the stakeholders’ vested
interest are aligned.

The storm is brewing in the healthcare system.

Even Democrats are concerned.

Recently, I have been criticized for blaming the impending failure
on President Obama. President Obama would rather blame the impending failure on

 A reader wrote;

“President Obama is a nice
guy. He is trying very hard. Give him a chance.”

It is true. He seems like a nice guy. My criticism is not personal.
The fact is his philosophy and tactics are responsible for the mess. As time
goes on it seems more likely that Obamacare will not work out.

There are multiple reasons for the impending failure. A major
reason is Obamacare is developing new perverse incentives for stakeholders
rather than aligning all the stakeholders’ vested interests.

Obamacare is extraordinarily complex. It is confusing to all the stakeholders,
 especially as new rules and regulations
are being written.

By forcing the development of programs such as health insurance
exchanges, accountable care organizations, pay for performance plans,
functional electronic medical records, and the consolidation of healthcare
hospital systems and physicians against their will, Obamacare is creating
tensions and uncertainties that will be difficult to overcome.

Patients’ medical care and their relationships with their
physicians are personal issues. Obamacare is commoditizing medical care. It is
destroying the patient physician relationships. These relationships account for
at least one half of the therapeutic effect of medical treatment.

The 2300 page law usurps the power of the legislative branch of
government and shifts it to the executive branch. This is dangerous. It has
created additional tension and uncertainty for the nation.

Many congressmen who voted for the law did not read the law’s 2300
pages. The implications of much of the law were not understood. It did not have
bipartisan support.

In 2012, the executive branch of the federal government issued another
70,000 pages of guidance for participants in Obamacare. The executive branch
has created at least 22,000 new regulations and 68,000 new ICM codes.

The more complex a law becomes the more likely it is to be unsuccessful.

There is no question the healthcare system nears repairing. Healthcare
costs are exploding. Waste and bureaucracy are expanding.  Dysfunctional interactions between
stakeholders are mounting.

All of this results in an inability to deliver effective medical

At present 55% of Americans of all ages receive healthcare
insurance through an employer sponsored healthcare plan. An additional 32% receive
healthcare insurance through government programs.

Thirteen percent (13%) of the population are uninsured or under
insured. Obamacare’s goal is supposed to provide healthcare insurance for that

Present predictions are that Obamacare will not provide universal
care. It is predicted that it will not save $850 billion dollars. The CBO, on
the basis of numbers provided by the administration,
predicted the law would
save $850 prior to the passage of the law.  The CBO’s current prediction is Obamacare will
cost the nation an additional  $1.2
trillion dollars over 10 years.

Healthcare insurance rates are rising by double digits each year.
Employers are passing the costs of the increasing insurance rates to their
employees through higher deductibles and copays along with lower healthcare
coverage plans.

 Obamacare will require
employers, who offer skimpy healthcare benefits such as Mini-med insurance, to
provide more robust ones.

To date the Obama administration has waived more than 2000
employers from providing more robust healthcare insurance coverage. At the time
these waivers expire companies with waivers, such as McDonald’s, will scream
bloody murder.

They will opt out of providing any healthcare insurance at all and
avoid government penalties. They will accomplish this by decreasing the number
of hours an employee will work to less than 30 hours a week. This is not good
for minimum wage workers. The uninsured rolls will increase.

The penalty of $3,000 per employee is less than the $15,000 healthcare
insurance cost per employee for employees working more than 30 hours a week.

Surveys have been published concluding that more than 50% of
employers are planning to drop healthcare insurance coverage.

The federal government is trying to discourage this by invoking
the IRS anti-abuse rules;

“The IRS has indicated that anti-abuse rules
will be implemented to curtail the use of Obamacare loopholes to
dodge the play or pay requirement.

  Yet as
some have already questioned, can the IRS legitimately utilize rule-making to modify
core components of a federal act? Or will this rule-based clean-up effort
simply spawn more lengthy litigation?”

Obamacare’s health insurance exchange program is in big trouble.
Less than half the states have signed up to participate.

 States have opted out
because of the potential cost overruns. States are struggling to balance their
budgets. The federal government is only going to pay for health insurance
exchanges’ development and execution for the first two years.  The cost burden will then fall on the states.

The federal government keeps extending the deadline for states to
sign up. The federal government does not have infrastructure or manpower to set
them up.

The health insurance exchanges are supposed to be up and ready to sign
up consumer up in October 2013 and operating in January 2014.

Physicians do not know what to do about Obamacare. Physicians feel
helpless. They know Obamacare cannot work. Physicians do not have a leadership
organization that can direct physicians to have an effective voice.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) will fail because physicians
are trained to use medical judgment. They have not been trained to obey the
rules of hospital administrators.

They bristle when their value is determined by hospital systems or
federal agencies such as IPAB. They prefer to have their value determined by
their patients.

Physician leadership needs a new mentality to enable physicians to
act and articulate  the steps needed to
be taken to repair the healthcare system.

Physicians want the healthcare system to function equitably for
all the stakeholders and effectively for their patients.

Medical organizations have been consistently losing membership
because it has not represented or articulated the needs of practicing

If Obamacare works as President Obama hopes, he will have secured
his legacy and solved the long-festering problem of the uninsured.

Obamacare will not solve the problems of increasing healthcare
costs nor provide universal care in its present form. This has been a pipe
dream all along.

Another reason Obamacare will fail is because it does not consider
the cost of defensive medicine significant. President Obama is not interested
in tort reform.

Obamacare doesn’t align any of the stakeholders’ vested interests.

When Obamacare fails it will provoke a citizen backlash that will
be very difficult to overcome.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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The Failure Of The Republican Establishment To Repeal and Replace Obamacare

« Describing Fake News | Main


Obamacare Is Failing

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The problems the Obama administration is having with Obamacare have not been in the news lately. They appear in government publications as minor policy changes or in press releases. They also appear in minor trade magazines. Little that is new has appeared in the mainstream media.

Readers of the New York Times are under the impression that Obamacare is working and is successful. The readers’ impression is that President Obama has done a great thing for the nation by getting Obamacare passed into law.

If a lie is told enough times it becomes the truth. The media is the message. All one has to do is lie to the media and the message gets through whether it is true or not.

The public’s perception of reality is not more complicated than the information fed to it whether it is true or false.

A key element in getting the message through is trust. It is my opinion, President Obama and his administration have lied to the public so much that there is a lack of trust in him and his judgment. The Republican and Democratic parties have lied to the public so much that there is a lack of trust in both parties.

It has been shown over and over again that Hillary Clinton as lied to the public. Yet, she is gathering millions of votes in her primary contests while others who have told the same lies have ended up in prison.

Black people are figuring out that the Democratic party has lied to them. The war on poverty started in 1965 and little progress has been made to eradicate poverty since then.

Why is there so much poverty and unemployment in the black community?

Why can’t black kids have a choice of public schools or charter schools in New York City? Why can’t education be a top priority?

As Leonard Cohen says, “the deck is rigged.”

I think the reason Donald Trump is running the table on votes in the Republican primaries is people do not trust politicians.

He promises to unrig the deck and make America great again. The politicians, pundits and traditional media are confused about why the public is listening to him.

The public does not trust or believe them. The public trusts Donald Trump and his promises without having objective reason.

Two significant events have occurred in the Obamacare world in recent weeks which are contributing to Obamacares further failure.

  1. President Obama caving in on the “Cadillac tax”

As part of the budget deal President Obama agreed to sign another delay in the Cadillac tax until 2020.

An Obamacare law provision levies a hefty 40 percent tax on the most expensive employer-provided insurance plans: those costing above $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families.

The Obama administration predicts it will generate $87 million per year in new taxes.

“If a plan cost $11,200, it would face a $400 tax — 40 percent of the amount above the threshold.”

The Cadillac insurance premium was a 100% tax-deductible expense to an employer providing a high cost healthcare insurance policy to employees.

High paid executives and some unions or union executives enjoy this high cost insurance. President Obama’s goal has been to provide a disincentive to employers from providing this type insurance.

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates 26 percent of current plans could get hit with the tax in 2018; Towers Watson pegs it at 42 percent. This is the result of healthcare insurance rate increases.

I think it is a trick by President Obama to discourage corporation from providing healthcare insurance for their employees. The Obama administration would like to force corporate employees to buy healthcare insurance from the federal health exchanges. When the federal health exchanges fail the government could take over everyone’s healthcare insurance and dictate the terms of that insurance.

The “Cadillac tax” was suppose to go into effect in 2017 but has been previously delayed until 2018.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed to delay Cadillac tax implementation even longer now until 2020. Some sort of political pressure has forced President Obama to sign the amendment to Obamacare. This new law will decrease the funding for Obamacare.

The traditional media has not emphasized this event leading to Obamacare’s demise.

  1. President Obama backs away from new Obamacare rules for 2017.

The execution of Obamacare by the Obama administration has not stabilized the healthcare insurance industry market as promised. In fact the federal exchange markets have become more chaotic. This is partly because of the inefficient bureaucratic structure and the lack of attraction to non-sick people, who would fund the federal health insurance plans. The healthcare insurance plans dictated by the federal government do not fit the needs of the people who would buy them. Instead, even though the health insurance plans are too expensive they attract people with pre-existing illnesses. These people have no choice.

The Obama administration’s typical response to fix unintended consequences is to create more rules and regulations. The new rules and regulations will lead to more unintended consequences.

The Obama administration just backed off of two big new. The Obama administration proposed tight physician and hospital network adequacy provisions and new standardized health plan options provisions.

The previous Obamacare rules and regulations resulted in the healthcare insurance industry’s adjusting to their loss of income by creating narrower networks of physicians and hospitals. Many of the healthcare exchange plans use HMOs only and narrow networks of hospitals and doctors as a way to keep premiums lower.

The result was a decrease patients’ access to care. CMS basically backed off of the strict network options it wanted to dictate. The Obama administration once again proved that it depends on the healthcare insurance industry to function. The healthcare industry is dictating the rules.

The goal of the Obama administration to standardize options was to make it easier for consumers to compare the various levels of healthcare plans offered in the health exchanges. The Obama administration also felt it was necessary to define the levels of basic benefits to make shopping for the most affordable plan easier.

The winner is the healthcare insurance industry. The loser is the Obama administration. The biggest losers are patients both in Obamacare and those who have private insurance.

As time goes on it is becoming clearer to everyone that Obamacare is not the success that President Obama and Paul Krugman are talking about.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

 All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2016 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE


Obamacare: Its Failure Increases

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE


C-Span has provided the public with important lessons on how our government is really run by televising various congressional committee meetings.

The traditional mainstream media provides us with little of the important information that comes out of these committee meetings.

C-Span’s coverage has revealed how inefficient, political and bureaucratic our government is.

Americans should elect representatives to be our spokesmen. Our representatives should do what is right for us and not for the vested interests of various special interest groups.

The latest information about Obamacare has not been reported in the media but came out in committee.

The Obama administration had announced publicly to a subcommittee in April 2014 that its "risk corridor" plan would be revenue neutral.

In English, it means that there would be no extra taxpayer dollars available to cover the losses of the healthcare insurance companies. Those healthcare insurance companies insure enrollees through the government’s healthcare insurance exchanges.

Chet Burrell, head of Maryland insurer CareFirst told Valarie Jarrett this plan would result in premium increases of 20% or more later this year as Obamacare policies come up for renewal. 

He warned it would be "an unwelcome surprise" to the Democratic Party and Democrats running for reelection in November.

The Obama administration was very concerned about a 20% premium increase for enrollees in Obamacare. After a while, Ms. Jarrett assured Mr. Burrell the insurance industry would get 80% of the subsidy (bailout) they sought.

The 80% was granted by executive order without congressional approval. A few weeks later the healthcare insurance industry bailout was changed to almost 100% of the request with little notice from anyone.

The government guarantee affects all of the enrollees in Obamacare. It also permits the increase in private insurance plans.

There are 50 million people on Medicare, 65 million people on Medicaid, 9 million in the VA system, 7.3 million in Obamacare and an additional 149 million for employer-provided healthcare insurance.

It turns out that Obamacare is just another government subsidy program with the government throwing more money at the health care insurance industry while the healthcare insurance industry raises the premiums.

President Obama, by executive order, has created an unlimited Obamacare reinsurance program covering the healthcare insurance industry’s supposed losses.

According to some, the total subsidy to the healthcare insurance industry is $1.3 trillion dollars.

It’s no surprise that many more healthcare insurance companies are planning to participate in President Obama’s health insurance exchanges.

If a healthcare insurance company sells insurance without risk it is a great deal. Taxpayers are assuming the risk for the insurance companies. Some insurance companies are decreasing their rate to capture a larger market share. They will  cash in on the Obamacare subsidy.

This subsidy is a mistake. It adds little value in improving the nation’s health. President Obama does not seem to care about how much money he is wasting.

It is all about politics. 

The subsidy adds much political value to Obamacare because it postpones the 20% premium increase at this midterm election.

Bob Laszewski, a policy wonk and former insurance executive said,

 “The administration has succeeded in temporarily suppressing incipient Obamacare price hikes, contributing to an illusion of Obamacare sustainability.”

However, the healthcare insurance industry is finding it necessary to increase premiums an additional twenty percent despite the tremendous subsidies. This is the result of the enrollees who acquired insurance but did not pay the premiums and used the services and the terrible demographic distribution of enrollees who paid their premium.  Eighty-five percent of the people who paid premiums were high risk patients with pre-existing illnesses. 

The rules of Obamacare have turned out to be totally improvised. The Obama administration changes the contents of the law in order to keep it afloat without the approval of congress.

The plot thickens. A challenge is in the courts right now on whether the government health insurance exchanges are allowed to provide subsidies to enrollees.

The law specifically states that tax credits are only available through the state health insurance exchanges and not the federal health exchange.

Funny things are going on in the courts. One panel said yes, the subsidies may be provided by the federal health insurance exchanges. The D.C. panel of three judges said no.

Attorney General Holder appealed to the D.C. court of appeals. He wanted the judgment determined by the entire panel of 9 judges not a subpanel of 3 judges.  The 3 judges’ decision was overruled by the 9 judge panel.

I still do not understand how tax credits are given to people who do not earn enough to apply a tax credit to their income tax. Why do they receive a subsidy? They pay no federal income tax.

I hope Americans wake up soon to the fact that Obamacare is deeply flawed and cannot work. The only thing that will overturn it will be an overwhelming taxpayer protest.

This midterm election cycle is a good place for voters to start. A Republican majority of the senate might be able to stop Obamacare in its tracks.   

  The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.  

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Keeping Obamacare’s Failures Out Of The News

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

The Obama administration has tried its best to keep Obamacare’s failures away from the people. However, it has been almost as difficult as putting toothpaste back in the tube. The reasons are clear to me.

People are paying attention now because most are personally affected by the failures of Obamacare.

These failures along with President Obama’s other policy failures such as the IRS scandal, Benghazi scandal, Fast and Furious, border control failures, immigration failures, foreign policy failures, NSA privacy intrusions and his lying about those intrusions, attempts at Internet takeover, and unconstitutional unilateral changing of laws through executive orders have lead the American people to lose confidence and trust in whatever President Obama and the Obama administration say.

The traditional mass media has tried mightily to protect President Obama. They have tried to help him keep Obamacare’s failures out of the news.

They have been unsuccessful. If our only source for news was the traditional news media we could be fooled.

Americans must work to stay informed in order to maintain our freedoms.

I will list some of Obamacare’s failures of the last few months.

These failures have had little coverage in the traditional media.  Obamacare has continued to move forward to hobble and then destroy the medical care system in America.

President Obama’s goal is to prove that a free market healthcare system does not work. He has disregarded the fact that the healthcare system is not a free market system.

In a recent blog I presented the reasons for physicians’ discontent with Obamacare.

Survey of Physicians And Their Discontent

In July 2014 the “Physicians Foundation” published a survey sent to 660,000 physicians. Twenty thousand physicians completed the survey.

“Forty-six percent of doctors give President Obama's healthcare law a "D" or an "F," according to a new survey from the Physicians Foundation. In contrast, just 25 percent of those surveyed gave the law an "A" or a "B."

A large number of physicians complained about the vast new bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

A physician comment read, "I'm a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policy makers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works."

The only newspaper that reported the survey to my knowledge was the Washington Examiner.

Enrollment Failures

President Obama and his administration are playing a numbers game with the enrollment figures. His March 31,2014 figures were inaccurate. The figures were grossly inflated.

President Obama said on March 31st, "this thing is working” successfully. President Obama claimed that 8 million enrolled in Obamacare.

“At a hearing Thursday September 18, 2014 at House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Marilyn Tavenner, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, finally confessed that 7.3 million were enrolled in ObamaCare plans as of mid-August.”

The 7.3 million figure is also fiction. At least 115,000 additional enrollees have not validated their citizenship or legal status.  The validation must be completed by September 30,2014.

An additional 360,000 could lose their Obamacare subsidies because of discrepancies over their income. Eighty-five percent of the enrollees are receiving government subsides for healthcare coverage.

Most do not pay taxes because they make less than forty thousand dollars a year. They will not be able to afford the overpriced premiums.  

How many of the 8 million have not continued to pay the premiums? No one knows or is telling. Enrollees have a three-month grace period.

California reported in late August that an additional 100,000 of those who enrolled through its state-run exchange were at risk of losing their coverage over citizenship issues.

By my calculations less than three million of the forty-eight (48) million people who were uninsured pre Obamacare became insured. An additional 7 million people lost their healthcare insurance in the individual market.

President Obama provided the American public with a grossly overestimated enrollment figure.

Ms. Tavenner had to put a positive spin on this latest revelation of the fictional enrollment numbers by saying,

 "We are encouraged by the number of consumers who paid their premiums."

No one is buying this explanation.

She didn't provide answers to important details for these latest enrollment figures.

  • How many who dropped out were young and healthy?
  • How many have signed up through the so-called special enrollment process?
  • How many are keeping up with premiums?
  • How sturdy are the back-office computer programs in order to detect enrollment misinformation?
  • How will the government collect the money due to it from these non-paying enrollees?
  • Is the November 15th open enrollment period going to go smoothly?


Next Open Enrollment Disaster

It is easy to see that President Obama has delayed the open enrollment time from October 15th to November 15th for political reasons. He wants the potential disaster to occur after the mid-term elections.

 Kevin Counihan, the former chief executive of Access Health CT, Connecticut’s online marketplace, was just named head of the insurance marketplaces for the federal government.

 He said, “Part of me thinks that this year is going to make last year look like the good old days.”

 The front end of the web site looks like it will run smoothly. The back end of the web site still needs work. The government is still trying to see if the links to the IRS, the healthcare insurance industry and social security are functioning properly.

There were not enough healthy young subscribers to keep the insurance rates low. The premiums were too high for many young and healthy uninsured people.

This year the healthcare insurance premiums will be up at least 20%. Healthcare insurers fear it could be even more difficult to sign up young healthy people than it was last year.

Adding to the problem is that the sign up period for choosing a new policy this year will be shorter than last. It will be 3 months instead of six months.

President Obama will probably break the law again and extend the signup period an additional 3 months.

This year it should be more difficult to receive subsidies than last year.

People will drop out of the pool because of the increase in insurance rates. The renewal procedure has not been worked out yet.

Andrew Slavitt, principal deputy administrator for Medicare said they are working hard to make the process as easy as possible.

“We’re putting in place the simplest path for consumers this year to renew their coverage.” 

 This is another Obamacare smokescreen.

I predict it will be a price disaster.

Obamacare And Zeke Emanuel Setting Us Up For Rationing

One of the most bizarre articles imaginable was Zeke Emanuel’s article in the Atlantic Monthly  “Why I Hope to Die at 75”

Dr. Emanuel, one of Obamacare’s authors, gives all the reasons why he doesn’t want to live past 75 years old.

His argument is why should you live longer since you probably are not useful to society.

You have contributed all you are going to contribute. After 75 years old affliction will accumulate and disabilities will make life less pleasant.

It is apparent to me that he is setting us up for government rationing of healthcare for seniors.

The government controls Medicare. It is cheaper for the government not to pay for procedures such as hip replacements, knee replacements, for coronary artery surgery or cardiac pacemakers. All these procedures will extend the life of seniors over 75 years old who need them.

We have also heard rumors that this bureaucratic thinking is already in progress.

Don’t we live in a free country?

Isn’t it up to individuals to make their own life decisions? 

Should we leave these decisions up to the government and bureaucrats?

Should they decide our choose of treatment for us?

 The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.  

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Will Obamacare Fail?


Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

President Obama’s healthcare reform plan will fail because of its poor construction.

The majority of Americans agree with President Obama’s goals. Americans want affordable universal high quality healthcare. President Obama’s healthcare reform bill will not accomplish these goals.

President Obama’s healthcare reform bill will waste 2 trillion dollars, restrict access to care, raise taxes, ration care and destroy infrastructure of a healthcare system that provides excellent medical care to the sick.

Our healthcare system is broken because prices are out of control. President Obama’s healthcare reform bill with a mushrooming government bureaucracy will not control prices by competition. It will try to control prices by regulations and force. Price controls never work.

Previous behavior is a predictor of future behavior. It follows that previous healthcare system reform failures are a predictor of future healthcare reform failure.

President Obama’s healthcare reform plan is similar to the failed Massachusetts healthcare reform plan (Romneycare). Romneycare was destined to fail from the onset.


The similarities between Obamacare and Romneycare are glaring;

  1. Both the Massachusetts healthcare reform plan and Obamacare mandate individual healthcare insurance.
  2. If individuals do not have insurance they must pay a penalty.
  3. Most businesses are required to participate or pay a fine.
  4. Both healthcare reform plans rely on government-designed purchasing exchanges (healthcare insurance exchanges)
  5. The healthcare insurance exchanges are supposed to provide a vehicle to control private health insurance.
  6. The uninsured are covered by the expansion of Medicaid and with Obamacare the expansion of Medicare.
  7. Qualified citizens receive healthcare insurance subsidies to help pay for their mandated healthcare insurance policies.
  8. The state of Massachusetts has set up many new boards and committees to oversee and administer the healthcare reform plan. The added bureaucracy has failed to control costs.

I predicted the Massachusetts plan would fail at its onset. It has been plagued with cost overruns from the start. I cannot image President Obama’s plan can be budget neutral after ten years. I suspect many Americans can’t image it either. I think the Scott Brown election has given America the notion that the citizens of Massachusetts don’t think Obamacare can be successful.

Why did the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Plan fail?

  1. The healthcare reform plan is administered by the healthcare insurance industry. It controls the healthcare dollar and determines the premiums based on defective accounting rules. These rules permit the healthcare insurance industry to overestimate expenses and underestimate reserves. The result is increased premiums.
  2. No one has the political will to challenge or change these rules. The rules permit the healthcare insurance industry to declare a loss while it is removing sixty five cents out of every healthcare dollar from the healthcare dollar pool.
  3. There are 410,000 people who are newly insured in Massachusetts. Of those 200,000 are fully subsidized by Massachusetts state insurance exchange.

Policy makers underestimated the number of people that would qualify for subsidy.

  1. 3% of the population remains uninsured. The total 140,000 uninsured are required to pay a penalty. Half (70,000) uninsured cannot afford the premiums or penalty and receive a waiver.
  2. The state’s premiums have increased every year since the onset of healthcare reform. A typical family of four’s annual premium costs almost $13,788, the highest in the country. This is twice the cost of premiums in Texas. The premiums are 27% higher than the national average.
  3. This cost does not include out of pocket expenses.
  4. Massachusetts regulations serve to eliminate competition in the healthcare insurance market.
  5. Mandates dictate the services needed to be covered.
  6. Healthcare insurance vendors are required to sell "just-in-time" policies even if people wait until they are sick to buy coverage.
  7. Patients game the system by purchasing health insurance when they need it. Patients then drop insurance a few months later and pay the less expensive penalty. The same will apply to President Obama’s plan.
  8. Massachusetts’ safety-net hospitals are treating a disproportionate number of lower-income and uninsured patients. State compensation of these safety-net hospitals has been reduced under the new healthcare plan. It is only a matter of time before the safety net hospitals will declare bankruptcy. The alternative is to increase state taxes further. The result is people will move out of Massachusetts lowering the tax base
  9. There is a "critical shortage" of primary-care physicians as a result of increasing the number of people covered and an increase in demand for medical services.
  10. Physician compensation is decreasing. Physicians are fleeing the state. Patients cannot get doctor appointments.
  11. New patients wait 44 days to get an appointment with a primary-care doctor. A secondary market for primary-care doctor appointments is developing. People are selling their appointment times to patients.
  12. Appointment time shortages have led to an increasingly expensive emergency room visit for basic medical services. Emergency room visits increased 7%. More than half need emergency room attention. ER visits are very costly.
  13. President Obama gave the state of Massachusetts an 8 billion dollar bailout to help cover healthcare reform expenses. The healthcare insurance industry benefited by the stimulus bailout.

The state has refused to permit the insurance industry to raise rates. The insurance industry will leave the state or decrease reimbursement for services. The results are obvious.

If you do not fix the defects in the healthcare system you will not fix the financial difficulties. People must own their healthcare dollar, be responsible for their own care and have the freedom to choose. All this adds up to consumer driven healthcare using the ideal medical saving accounts.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.


Why Vermont’s Single Party Payer Healthcare Plan Failed

Stanley Feld M.D., FACP,MACE

Vermont’s single party payer healthcare plan was doomed to fail from the onset for several reasons.

Vermont had a Republican governor for eight years. He decided to retire.  Peter Shumlin (D.) won the Democratic nomination for governor after progressive activists demanded that each candidate for the Democratic Party nomination promise to enact single-payer health care if nominated.

Shumlin’s got the nod, won the election. He was anxious to pass the single party payer system.

Vermont’s consultants were Harvard’s William Hsiao and MIT’s Jonathan Gruber.

William Hsiao has spent most of his academic career helping governments install single-payer healthcare systems.

There is little evidence that the systems by developed in Taiwan and other countries by William Hsiao have been successful. They have not been cost effective or sustainable. They have not preserved freedom of choice.

Gruber and Hsiao made the same mistakes for Vermont that they made for America with Obamacare.

Hsiao and Gruber promised that single-payer health care in Vermont could save $1.6 billion over ten years. With that endorsement in hand, Shumlin and the legislature passed Act 48, a law instructing the state to figure out how to finance a single-payer system. They dubbed it Green Mountain Care.

Governor Shumlin said, “If Vermont gets single-payer health care right, which I believe we will, other states will follow,” pronounced Shumlin. “If we screw it up, it will set back this effort for a long time. So I know we have a tremendous amount of responsibility, not only to Vermonters.”

Unfortunately, Americans have a short memory, the short memory promoted by the conformational bias of the traditional mass media toward a progressive agenda.

Progressive Americans and their progressive politicians had better wake up fast. “Medicare for All” does not work.

Medicare does not work in a financially sustainable way for the government or seniors. It was not sustainable in the Bernie Sanders small state of Vermont. It is nice to believe you can provide healthcare benefits for nothing to all. However, nothing is free especially when it is run by central bureaucrats. It has been proven over and over again.

First, bureaucrats and healthcare policy consultants do not understand the medical care system. The history of Vermont’s single- payor story is interesting.

In December 2014 Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D.) announced that he was pulling the plug after four years on Vermont’s single-payer, government-run health care system.

“In my judgment,” Governor Shumlin said, “the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.”

Rather than saving $1.6 billion the Green Mountain Care would cost an additional 2.6 billion dollars in tax revenue for 2017 alone. The law would require a 151 percent increase in state taxes.

“Fiscally, that’s a train wreck. Even a skeptical report from Avalere health had previously assumed that the plan would “only” cost $1.9 to $2.2 billion extra in 2017.”

“In 2019, Costa estimated that Green Mountain Care would have required $2.9 billion in tax revenue vs. $1.8 billion under pre-existing law: a 160 percent increase in revenue.”

The result should explain why the dream of single-payer health care in the U.S. should be dead for the foreseeable future.

Daily, we read articles calling for “Medicare for All” from progressive politicians running for office.

How stupid do they think Americans are?

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

Copywrite 2006-2019

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The Republican Establishment’s Failure

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

I am coming to the conclusion that the Republican establishment does not want to Repair the Healthcare System.

The Republican establishment has the same goal as the Democratic establishment.

Recently the mainstream media is saying that a single party payer system is looking good.

Neither party has any interest is having consumers control their healthcare dollars. It looks as if both parties want the government to control the consumer’s healthcare dollars.

All the politicians ignore the fact that government control is unaffordable. It also ends up not working.

The best example is the bureaucratic VA Hospital System and its system wide corruption.

A reader wrote:

I have read your last blog post carefully and agree with many of the points put forward but there is a glaring omission.” 

 “How are patients supposed to be responsible for their healthcare dollars when there is absolutely no transparency and no consistency in pricing.”

The lack of transparency is a major defect in our present healthcare system.

Only 20% of consumers use the healthcare system at any one time. Eighty percent of the consumers have not run into the lack of transparency problem in the healthcare system.

Most consumers do not care about transparency because they have first dollar coverage provided by their employer. They think their medical care is free. They believe they have excellent healthcare insurance.

President Obama took care of that notion with Obamacare. The defective structure of Obamacare caused healthcare insurance premiums and deductibles to skyrocket. First dollar healthcare insurance became too expensive for most employers.

Employers stopped providing first dollar coverage. Middle class employees are now noticing that out of pocket expenses have made their healthcare insurance unaffordable. Consumers have tried to compare prices of competitive providers. They have discovered that it is impossible!

Consumers are becoming aware of the lack of transparency. They have been astonished by this lack of transparency.

There is nothing in the new Republican bill that addresses Republican politicians’ awareness that the lack of transparency is a major defect in the healthcare system.

The lack of transparency is only one of the major defects in our healthcare system.

There is nothing in the Republican bill that speaks to the consumers’ responsibility for their health and healthcare dollars. Consumer driven healthcare is completely ignored.

There is nothing in the bill that addresses effective tort reform. The Massachusetts Medical Society survey showed that defensive testing to avoid lawsuits costs the healthcare system between $250 billion to $700 billion dollars a year.

The lack of the development of systems of care for chronic diseases cost another $700 billion dollars a year that our healthcare system does not address. There is nothing in the bill that emphasizes this very important defect in the healthcare system.

The Republican establishment thinks consumers are too stupid to take care of themselves.

The mainstream media likes to tell us that people love entitlements. The public does not want to give up these entitlements.

My question is how come less than 9 million people signed up for Obamacare’s individual healthcare plans last year if they love entitlements?

It is because they cannot afford to buy the health exchange insurance even though 85% of the premiums of those 9 million consumers are subsided by the government. Their high deductibles are not subsidized.

The Republicans are going claim they are promoting health savings accounts. The public is not told the amount of money they can put into a health savings account or whether it will provide first dollar coverage over that amount if they get sick.

There is no financial incentive for consumers to be responsible for their healthcare or their healthcare dollars.

My Ideal Medical Saving Account is a much better idea.

These are only a few of the major defects in the Republican establishment’s concept to fix the healthcare system.

President Obama did some of the awful things to Obamacare through rules and regulations after certain vested interests complained about the law. Obamacare’s rules and regulations have to be eliminated

There were crony waivers that would make one’s blood boil. In fact, elected congressional members got the best exemptions.

It is becoming apparent that congress doesn’t want to fix the healthcare system for the majority of Americans. The congressional establishment wants to control consumers.

Socialism does not work!

Socialsim for blog

Our political establishment does not tell us about the economic result in other countrys’ single party payer universal healthcare systems.

We don’t have to go to other countries. We only have to go to the indigent areas in California were everyone is covered by Medicaid.

The Republican establishment needs to get off the stick before all of them are kicked out of congress.

Just imagine the healthcare systems savings if every consumer were empowered to shop for the best healthcare at the best price.

The result would be a free market healthcare system in which competition would cleanse the system and make it affordable to everyone.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” is, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2017 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

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Obamacare Coverage: The Big Lie

Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE

President Trump keeps telling us Obamacare is a disaster. Paul Krugman and Ezekiel Emanuel keep telling us it is a success.

The Obama administration told us that 20 million new people have obtained healthcare insurance because of Obamacare.

We know 14.5 million people lost their healthcare insurance in the individual market the year after Obamacare was passed.

Many assumed they got their insurance back through Obamacare. There is no evidence for that assumption.

I followed Obamacare enrollment carefully on

This site was supposed to be publishing the exact numbers published by the government weekly.

It turns out that the numbers published were inaccurate. They were too high.

“Since the release of the HHS study, the government has published two additional surveys of health-insurance coverage – the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the American Community Survey (ACS). Both offer data through the end of 2015, allowing for comparison with the NHIS estimate.”

The government now claims these studies are only estimates of nonelderly adults, under the age of 65, who gained insurance coverage.

The estimate in increased adult coverage ranges from 13.5 million in the CPS study to 16.5 million in the NHIS study.

Where did the number 20 million new lives covered come from? Bill Clinton boosted the number to 25 million when campaigning for Hilary Clinton.

Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski of the Heritage foundation examined data from insurance company regulatory filings and from the government’s own headcount of Medicaid enrollment.

“Their study found that 14 million people (including children) gained public or private coverage in 2014 and 2015.”

This total is even lower because it includes S-Chip coverage for children.

Compounding the government lies of estimated enrollees was that 84% of the new enrollees was either Medicaid or S-Chip children.

This means only 2,240,000 people signed up in President Obama’s Health Insurance Exchanges.

It also means that there were 11,760,000 new Medicaid or S-Chip patients.

Edmund F. Haislmaier concluded in testimony to congress;

“While the final figures will be somewhat different once the more complete end of year data is available, at this point it is reasonable to expect that

for the three year period 2014 through 2016, the net increase in health insurance enrollment was 16.5 million individuals. Of that figure, 13.8 million were added to Medicaid and 2.7 million were the net increase in private sector coverage enrollment.”

Eighty-five percent of the 2.7 million have pre-existing conditions. Most are receiving government subsidies.

The 2.7 million covered under Obamacare have destabilized the healthcare insurance market so that healthcare costs for businesses have become unaffordable.

No one has even mentioned the cost of this Obamacare folly to the average hard working taxpayers with healthcare coverage from their employers.

Obamacare’s failure to has been devastating.

The authors also found that nearly half the new Medicaid enrollees met eligibility standards that were in place before the ACA.”

Maybe Jonathan Gruber is right when he said we, the public, are too stupid to know the wool is being pulled over their eyes.


“For all the hoopla about the ACA exchanges, it appears that Medicaid accounts for the lion’s share of coverage gains and that many new Medicaid enrollees would have been eligible for that program even if the ACA had never passed.”

Medicaid is a single party payer system (socialized medicine) that works very poorly. It is almost as bad as the VA Healthcare System.

Is this what the public wants? No

America needs a better healthcare system. Hopefully Dr. Tom Price knows what to do replace Obamacare with once he dismantles all of the Obama administrations regulation.

Maybe Jonathan Gruber is wrong.

The general taxpayer may be smarter than Dr. Gruber thinks. Maybe it is the reason the public elected Donald Trump.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” is, mine and mine alone.

All Rights Reserved © 2006 – 2017 “Repairing The Healthcare System” Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
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