Physician Patient

Archive for November, 2014

Time for Post-Obamacare Health Care

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Since HMOs came on the scene over four decades ago, health care in Minnesota has dramatically changed. Ironically, In 2014 the idea of enhancing a patient’s access to private medical practices which are not subordinated to payments from insurance companies and the micro-management of government or insurance company administrators and bureaucrats is a “new” concept for most patients and doctors in Minnesota.

Regarding government programs, in recent years Minnesota state government has allied with (nonprofit) Minnesota HMOs to “manage” the expanding Medicaid population. But Minnesota’s contracting Medicaid HMOs assume no financial “insurance” risk for this activity and are making lots of money doing it. HMOs claim that their government Medicaid contracts are “proprietary” and thus are immune from the scrutiny of policymakers and Medicaid patients and families. This must change in 2015.

Voters in the November 2014 election empowered new political leadership in the Minnesota House of Representatives and the US Congress — an opportunity and responsibility to change course on misguided health care policy. Our legislators and advocates can put forth real patient-centered health care insurance reform measures by following John Goodman’s six principles: Enhancing patient power, insurance coverage portability, choice of providers and coverage through competition, fairness, access to true health care insurance, and universal coverage.

Healthcare Solutions for
Post-Obamacare America

In keeping with a year’s worth of opinion polls, the midterm elections once again demonstrate the American electorate’s disdain for the federal takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. The question is: will the new 114th Congress pass legislation designed to correct only the surface flaws of Obamacare—or will it try to address the deeper, systemic problems that plague American healthcare? And which principles should policymakers embrace in order to craft common-sense reform?

Fortunately, Independent Institute Senior Fellow John C. Goodman, who has contributed to the healthcare debate for more than three decades, offers thoughtful answers in an insightful and timely new study, Healthcare Solutions for Post-Obamacare America

Part I of Goodman’s report looks at the six major problems of the Affordable Care Act. Part II takes a closer look at six principles for commonsense reform—choice, fairness, universal coverage, portability, patient power, and real insurance. Part III puts forth additional proposals, including four measures such as a fixed-sum tax credit, along with Goodman’s vision for a more equitable healthcare system.

Whether you’re a policymaker eager for fresh ideas or a concerned citizen who wants to better understand the causes and cures for America’s healthcare predicament, read Goodman’s diagnosis and prescription for a vitally needed contribution to the healthcare policy debate.

Available as a downloadable pdf or a printed report
52 pages
8.5 x 11 inches
11 figures, 1 table
ISBN 13: 978-1-59813-202-1

MPPA Considering how to replace Obamacare. We want your views!

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

MPPA Board member and Public Policy Director at the Center of the American Experiment Peter Nelson on October 1, 2014 released the CAE recommendations for health care reform in Minnesota. See

Please read Peter’s report. In 2015 Republicans will assume control of the Minnesota House of Representatives and the US Senate, and after the 2014 election the GOP added to its majority in the US House. Republicans (and Democrats) will be putting forth legislative proposals with ideas like those from Peter and Ben Sasse, the new Senator-elect from Nebraska (highlighted below). So the question is: Repeal or replace Obamacare — with what?

At the coming November 13 MPPA Board meeting (6-8 PM Central Medical Building in the Midway, Conf Rm. 450) our think tank will discuss proposals, obstacles, and strategies to achieving patient-centered, consumer-directed health care in Minnesota. This will be an ongoing effort. And we want your help.

MPPA is a think tank with no dues for participants. We truly value and invite your views! See and send your email address to join the MPPA Listserv. And invite your friends.


[From Nebraska Senator-elect Ben Sasse]

To lower costs and increase access to health care, we need to:

Repeal ObamaCare
Level the playing field for the farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed with a tax deduction for individually-owned health insurance
End geographic mandates and allow Americans to purchase their health insurance across state lines
Dismantle the corporate insurance monopoly in health care delivery and free doctors, nurses, and new market entrants to design higher quality, lower cost care for patients
Enable individual ownership of health policies by allowing employees to take the insurance they buy with them from job to job. True insurance portability.
Modernize the healthcare system with digital technology to create better experience and higher efficiency for both patients and providers in the private sector
Increase attractiveness of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for consumers by raising the limit of allowable contributions to HSAs, expanding allowable expense categories, and extending participation to those covered by government health programs
Unlock the value of information technology for consumers by providing consumers with access to price and quality information to support their value-based decisions about health services
Protect consumers by enforcing contracts made between private parties and ensure consumers are given clear and transparent information about plans they purchase
Implement medical liability reform at the state level through strategies such as caps on non-economic damages or a “loser pays” policy to reduce junk lawsuits and defensive medicine
Streamline all federal funding to the states by reviewing each federal program for effectiveness, duplication, and whether each program should be designed and funded at the state level without interference from Washington
Give states the freedom to make Medicaid work for the most vulnerable by defining budgets and a toolkit to improve benefit designs, and demanding accountability for meeting transparent goals on coverage and quality
Enable states to meet the needs of Americans with pre-existing conditions with targeted solutions, such as appropriately funded high-risk pools, for these individuals.