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Beware Limitations of Freedom Imposed to Battle Coronavirus

The drastic measures elected and unelected officials are taking to stem coronavirus (COVID-19) contagion reached new heights when President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on March 18, 2020. The Korean War–era law grants the executive branch emergency powers to require American companies to increase production to combat shortages. Meanwhile, at the state level, governors have prohibited people from making purchases by closing bars, restaurants, spas, and salons.

Officials speculate the pandemic may overwhelm our limited medical resources. But as long as their data remains woefully incomplete, we must remember Newton’s Third Law of Physics: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The draconian restrictions officials are imposing could spark an economic catastrophe more disruptive to American life than the coronavirus itself. So, officials should restrain themselves from depriving people of their freedom to transact unless or until irrefutably necessary.

Read the full article at TownHall

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We Have Never Been Closer to Free-Market Revolution in Health Care

It certainly doesn’t feel this way at times, but we have never been closer to a true free-market health care revolution than we are right now.

Thanks to an executive order (EO) signed by President Donald Trump, proposed legislation by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), and existing medical savings account law, we could be witnessing a free-market makeover of health care that delivers better care at lower prices.

Now, some may incorrectly think that we already have a free-market system in health care. This is clearly not the case, however, as centrally controlled pricing and extensive crony systems are rampant, shackling Americans with the most expensive and complex health care system in the world. Despite this dysfunction and the efforts of entrenched special interests, the United States is on the precipice of substantial reform.

Read the full article at The Epoch Times

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Socialism, Health Care, and Excuses to Steal Personal Liberty

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, is one of two candidates remaining in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire who recently dropped out of the Democratic race, is now spending a fortune trying to ensure President Donald Trump loses in November.

There’s a lot of talk about Bloomberg’s previous attempt at a soda ban and Bernie’s Medicare for All. But no one is talking about the insidious assumptions that animate these policies—or how they turn health care into a vehicle for stealing your personal liberty and implementing socialism.

Let’s back up a moment. In 2012, Bloomberg, then mayor of New York City, cited public health as he proposed limiting the size of soda that New Yorkers could purchase. In a country founded on freedom, this type of unprecedented government overreach directly conflicted with the liberties we enjoy in this country. So, how exactly did Bloomberg justify such an intrusion?

Read the Full Article at Townhall

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Dr. Lee Gross and Dr. Josh Umbehr discuss the Coronavirus Outbreak on Sean Hannity

Dr. Lee Gross and Dr. Josh Umbehr of Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation appeared on The Sean Hannity Show podcast on January 28th to discuss the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak and what the outbreak means for the American public.

“To put this into perspective, Influenza, we’ve already seen 15 million cases and 8,000 deaths. When we are talking about [the Coronavirus] vs. what we’re experiencing with the flu season, it’s not time to panic but it is time to pay attention and for the Chinese government to be open and honest.”

Dr. Lee Gross, Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation

The full interview can be found at 80:00 minute mark of the episode below.

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How Four Pages Could Transform Health Care

Obamacare was trumpeted as a revolutionary bill when it passed into law in 2010. If a law’s impact depends on its number of pages, then the 955-page Affordable Care Act would have become one of the most impactful laws in U.S. history. But that has not been the case. That’s why Senator Ted Cruz’s innovative Personalized Care Act, weighing in at a paltry four pages but possessing powerful remedies, is desperately needed. The Personalized Care Act could transform health care by liberating Americans from employer-based health insurance, helping employers, providing new coverage options, and improving care quality.

This clever bill promises to revolutionize the U.S. employer-based health care system for the first time since its inception in 1942. Today, more than half of people under age 65 obtain insurance through their employer. That’s because employers purchase health plans with pre-tax dollars, while individuals buy their policies with post-tax dollars—substantially increasing the cost.

The Personalized Care Act, S. 3112, takes away this employer advantage by letting patients themselves buy medical coverage with pre-tax Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

Read the full article at TownHall.

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‘Medicare for All’ and the Free Market

Medicare for All is a single-payer, government-controlled health care system. It’s promoted as the solution to America’s high health care costs because it will eliminate competition. According to Senator Bernie Sanders’s version, all insurance-based health care plans will be eliminated and replaced by a monolithic, centrally-controlled plan that would cover the entire population. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to cover any services already covered by the government plan. Paradoxically, though, if Sanders’s plan is implemented, its shortcomings could drive patients toward free-market health care options.

If Medicare for All is implemented, wait time for testing and procedures will increase dramatically. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists will help cover the deluge of demand — since there simply aren’t enough physicians to go around. That means your visit with a medical professional will be shorter than ever, not to speak of the dropoff in care quality.

It’s unlikely that patients will accept the long waits endemic in single-payer systems. They won’t wait months for an MRI or a specialist visit. Many patients will turn to the private market. That’s where they can enjoy meaningful, thorough physician visits in a short time frame — and receive reasonably priced tests and procedures.

Read the full article at the American Thinker.

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VA Healthcare and the Failure of a Government Run System

In less than a year, Americans will choose a president who will chart the course for the country, with ramifications that could affect many future generations. Healthcare is one such issue. Every Democrat presidential candidate advocates for more government involvement in healthcare. Most endorse some variation of socialized medicine. The most extreme candidates, like Senators Warren and Sanders, call for an end to private healthcare insurance, meaning that 180 million Americans who receive this through work, would lose it. Some candidates want to return to failing Obamacare and prop it up by introducing a government-run health insurance option. This veiled attempt to offer greater flexibility in coverage is nothing more than a Trojan Horse which would ultimately lead to a single government-run system. This is because, over time, private insurance cannot compete against a government-sponsored competitor and will be squeezed out.

Americans have been ‘hoodwinked” already with promises that we could keep our doctors if we liked them; keep our insurance if we wanted; go wherever we wanted to receive healthcare. These guarantees were as unrealistic and disingenuous as the promises now being made by the Democratic hopefuls. Who can take seriously claims that a government-run system which will cost $52 Trillion would actually save Americans money in the long run?

Read the full op-ed at Townhall.com.

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Doctors Praise White House Rules on Price Transparency to Expand Patient Choice & Reduce Health Care Costs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2019

CONTACT

Primary: Felicia Horton, Docs4PatientCare Foundation, 267-778-1170, felicia@hortonlogistics.com

Secondary: Michael Hamilton, Good Comma Editing, 937-219-5366, michael@goodcommaediting.com

DOCTORS PRAISE WHITE HOUSE RULES ON PRICE TRANSPARENCY TO EXPAND PATIENT CHOICE & REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS

Two New Rules Empower Patients to Shop for Price & Quality in Health Care, as Insurers & Hospitals Disclose Negotiated Prices

Physician says ‘price transparency is the first and best form of accountability.’

[Washington, DC] [November 15, 2019] – Today the White House advanced two rules to illuminate health care prices currently hidden from patients by hospitals and insurers, drawing praise from physicians of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation (D4PCF), the only health care organization composed of practicing physicians with hands-on, practical knowledge of the American health care system.

Physicians applauded the finalization of a rule requiring hospitals to publish clear, readable prices for patient services—including “standard charges,” negotiated discounts for select payers, and discounts for cash patients.

“The rule enlists hospitals in helping patients understand the cost, quality, and value of the medical care they are purchasing,” stated Dr. Lee Gross, President of the Docs4PatientCare Foundation. “Only when patients understand what their dollars are buying them can they evaluate whether they’re making healthy purchases from quality providers.”

Hospitals must list prices of “300 common shoppable services” in a “consumer-friendly manner” once the rule takes effect in 2021, according to an email received by D4PCF from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on November 15.

“Finally, patients will be able to shop for health care the same way they shop for every other service and product bought and sold in the United States,” Gross said. “The ability of patients to compare prices across providers will drive quality of care higher and prices lower.”

A second rule would clarify for patients what portions of their medical bills they must pay, versus how much their health insurance plans cover. Using an online tool, insurers would have to give patients real-time estimates of their liability for covered services. Additionally, insurers would have to post online the prices they have negotiated for in-network and out-of-network providers if the proposed rule is finalized.

“Price transparency is the first and best form of accountability,” Gross said. “Health insurers have kept patients guessing for too long. It’s time for patients to understand what — if anything — their overpriced insurance plans are doing for them, and which providers their high premiums let them access.”

The rules are a crucial step in implementing President Trump’s Executive Order on Improving Price Quality and Transparency in American Healthcare. D4PCF physicians attended the signing of the executive order at the White House in June 2019 and were recognized for their expertise and leadership.

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For more information or to schedule an interview with the Docs4PatientCare Foundation leadership, please contact:

Primary: Felicia Horton, Docs4PatientCare Foundation, 267-778-1170, felicia@hortonlogistics.com

Secondary: Michael Hamilton, Good Comma Editing, 937-219-5366, michael@goodcommaediting.com

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Why Doctors Oppose a Bill That Congress Thinks Will Help Them

“The most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” Ronald Reagan uttered these words more than three decades ago, but they still ring true today. Like Reagan, 1,500 physicians are concerned about the perils of government intervention that means well but fares poorly. That’s why they have signed a petition imploring the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to oppose the bill HR 3708, which is purportedly designed to help them.

Despite the House resolution’s upbeat title and good intent, the Primary Care Enhancement Act of 2019 would hamstring the most innovative category of primary care physicians in the country — harming doctors and their patients.

Most of the doctors who have signed in opposition to HR 3708 practice under a patient-friendly model called direct primary care (DPC). These doctors practice outside of the insurance-based payment model. Instead, DPC physicians offer comprehensive primary care for an extremely low monthly fee — and offer huge discounts on more specialized care.

Liberated from the time-consuming and costly insurance industry, DPC physicians can devote more time to their patients — providing better care and cheaper prices on services, labs, imaging and medications. And if the IRS clarifies the ability to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for DPC, everything could become even more affordable. HSAs use pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. Counting DPC monthly fees as HSA-eligible expenses would result in huge savings for patients.

Read the entire Op-Ed at Townhall.com

 

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Doctors Shatter Attendance Record at Annual Direct-Pay Conference

By Michael McGrady

 

Registration is open for the 2019 edition of an annual conference for doctors who are turning the country’s backward health care system right-side up.

 

Last year’s conference, titled “Direct Primary Care 2018: Nuts and Bolts to 2.0” and hosted by the Docs 4 Patient Care Foundation, drew record numbers of physicians from across the U.S., as health care professionals from 41 states rallied at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

 

Attendees were greeted with a cocktail reception before devoting the next two days to teaching and learning about direct primary care. Speakers, breakout session presenters, and regular attendees coached their fellow doctors in all aspects of how to launch and grow their own direct primary care practices.

 

Direct primary care is disrupting the dominant and costly insurance-based model by enabling patients to pay doctors directly for care. Patients across the U.S. are obtaining unlimited doctor visits and numerous labs and tests for flat monthly fees ranging from approximately $40 per person to $150 per family.

 

Doctors who attended received credit for up to 13.75 hours of continuing medical education, which most states require as a condition of licensure. The conference brochure boasts more than 20 sponsors, including the Physicians Foundation.

 

Movement in the Making

Roaring applause from 370 conference attendees welcomed Dr. Hal Scherz, board secretary of D4PCF, to the stage on the first full day of the conference. Scherz congratulated the crowd for shattering the previous year’s then-record of 263 attendees. Attendance grew by more than 40 percent between 2017 and 2018.

 

Scherz says the explosive growth of in attendance indicates the direct primary care movement is gaining momentum.

 

“Our conference has been a way that we have tapped into the enthusiasm and the emotion of the movement,” Sherz said.  “I think that they are almost synergistic and they both feed off of each other.”

 

D4PCF is connecting the current generation of direct-pay doctors with the next generation of innovative physicians, Scherz says.

 

“We are a vehicle to help promote this movement by bringing in people who are the experts in direct primary care who really were pioneers in this movement,” Scherz said.

 

D4PCF is the nation’s preeminent nonprofit organization advocating for the direct primary care model. Under this model of care, patients and doctors are able to create intimate relationships built on trust, equitability, and shared values. Supporters of the model emphasize the importance of creating a health care economy that is based on free-market principles, affordable and transparent pricing, and patient choice.

 

‘Mecca for DPC’

Each year the conference expands on D4PCF’s vision by exposing health care professionals to the modern challenges of running a direct primary care practice. Droves of doctors are choosing these challenges over the physician burnout and insurer- and government-induced headaches associated with the dominant model of health care.

 

“This is the Mecca for DPC,” Dr. Chad Savage, a Brighton, Michigan-based direct primary care physician and speaker at the conference, said. “The growing attendance shows an increase in enthusiasm amongst physicians selecting direct primary care over the broken insurance system.”

 

Topics last year ranged from broad to specific. Speakers addressed current trends in health care policy and the direct primary care movement’s footing in Congress and among the states. Breakout sessions delved into marketing one’s direct primary care practice, patient acquisition, and technology.

 

Keynote speakers included the Trump administration’s James Parker, senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II, and Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a leading think tank for free-market health care reform based in Washington, DC.

 

Entrepreneurial health care professionals can still register for the 2019 conference, once again at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, on November 14-16.

 

Michael McGrady (mmcgrady@mcgradypolicyresearch.org) is a free-market health care journalist. McGrady’s work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner, Newsday, The Hill, Patient Daily, The Heartland Institute’s Health Care News, and others internationally.

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