Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Health Coverage? Not Unless The Government Gets a Piece

God forbid the private sector figures out a way to solve a pressing public problem. Fortunately, we have a strong "public" sector to nip it in the bud and stamp it out.

This very interesting plan was hatched by a New York family doctor:

The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor's ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs.
"I'm trying to help uninsured people here," he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.
But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan - which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Muney insists it is not insurance because it doesn't cover anything that he can't do in his offices, like complicated surgery. He points out his offices do not operate 24/7 so they can't function like emergency rooms.
"I'm not doing an insurance business," he said. "I'm just providing my services at my place during certain hours."

Sounds great for the uninsured - granted, he can't help them with major surgery, but he can provide relief from most illness and even offer sophisticated diagnostic and preventive services. All this for $79/month, $950/year, with convenient locations all across the greater New York area.

How can he do it?

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn't have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.
"If they leave me alone, I can serve thousands of patients," he said.

But in Obama's America, "leaving you alone" is something that will never happen. Every bit of your life will be infiltrated by government regulation, stifling innovation such as Dr. Muney's by dint of it being a round peg that cannot fit into the square holes created by bureucrats. (Ever try to build a 12x10 backyard shed in the People's State of New Jersey? Not without a dozen permits, you don't!)

And these patients of Dr. Muneys will now go without, until Obama comes up with a trillion-dollar plan to create a more expensive and less efficent alternative that winds up hurting more than helping.

Welcome to the future. It looks...stifling.

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