Posted by: AtlasMD

November 21, 2013

An Open Letter To Common Sense

Thank you, Todd Keefer (@FreeMktMonkey on Twitter)!

As is in flavor online, Todd Keefer recently composed his own Open Letter. His was addressed to Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine. Keefer mentioned Atlas MD as an example of a realistic alternative to the current insurance scheme. He (and many others) believes that insurance companies profit not from providing care but by clever manipulation that stems, grossly, from participants’ own ignorance.

What we as a nation are up against is an ingrained idea that insurance is the only way to get good care. Our practice’s philosophy is a reaction to this mindset. A mindset that enables those in power to stay in power. This power comes both through the industry’s own influence (we’re talking billion dollar companies in some cases e.g. WellPoint and other large-scale conglomerates), but also through a “benevolent” administration that believes more insurance will somehow fix a flawed system.


Obviously, national healthcare is a complex beast, something too big for one mind to wrap its head around. However, Todd Keefer makes a great point in his letter when he says:

“… Pennsylvania should make a stand and tell the federal government that in our state, we will offer qualified policies as required, but also non qualified policies for those who prefer them. How can doing nothing to protect others be legal but doing something more be illegal? That makes no sense whatsoever.”

Todd compares doing something and doing nothing as independent acts that both facilitate insurance. According to his understanding of insurance, the current system functions on the idea that those who need care will be paid for by those who don’t need care. That’s fine. But now that Obamacare’s enacted, it’s a bit different. Basically, if you participate in the state exchanges, you put money in the pot and when your neighbor needs surgery, you help pay for him. However, now if you don’t want insurance, you face a tax penalty, so in effect you are still paying for his foot surgery, whether you do or don’t do anything!

Following this assumption, Keefer asserts that his state should offer emergency insurance plans that can work well with a direct care clinic membership, regardless of whether they meet the Federal policy guidelines. It’s strange, right? That doing nothing is “legal,” but if Pennsylvania were to offer non-qualifying plans that could help foster the direct care movement, something that could reform health care, then that is “illegal.”

You know the saying, a joke’s only funny because it is half true. What if a new law taxed states who didn’t comply with Obamacare? Then the states (like citizens) could choose whether to participate in Obamacare. Now what if we put this tax towards paying off our national debt? Obamacare would turn into a big publicity stunt to help us do better accounting as nation. Anything would be better than the delusion that it’s going to fix what’s wrong with healthcare.