Los Angeles Times Reports, Obamacare Subsidies On Track To Cost Billions This Year

(via Los Angeles Times)

So, about all those subsidies for health insurance that fueled approximately 8 million sign-ups for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. They are on track to cost us billions of dollars this year, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans who bought healthcare coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.

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Research Suggests That Preventing Illness Won’t Curb Rising Healthcare Costs. So How About We Just Cut The Red Tape?

Spending on health care has consistently grown faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. What’s behind this trend is less certain, though. Economists point to two causes: the prevalence of diseases and conditions afflicting the U.S. population, or the rising costs of treating diseases.

New research from American University Associate Professor Martha Starr and Virginia Tech Research Professor Ana Aizcorbe shows it is the latter, with higher prices for treatment accounting for 70 percent of growth in health care spending.

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Big News — The Real Winner In Healthcare’s Red Tape Might Be The Drug Companies

Looks like the Medicare program is the source of a small fortune for many U.S. doctors. So says a trove of government records that reveal unprecedented details about physician billing practices nationwide.

According to the new data, the government insurance program for older people paid nearly 4,000 physicians in excess of $1 million each in 2012. And those figures do not include what the doctors billed private insurance firms.

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Posted by: AtlasMD

December 4, 2013

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This Is The Best Advertisement For Direct Care (And We Didn’t Even Come Up With It)

Stop what you’re doing and read this article from The New York Times. In a piece called “As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500” writer Elisabeth Rosenthal relays multiple stories of outrageous hospital charges. California Pacific Medical Center’s tidy emergency room treated Deepika Singh who had cut her knee at a barbecue and a toddler named Orla Roche who had sliced open her forehead on a coffee table. Here’s what their bills looked like: Ms. Singh’s three stitches were billed for $2,229.11; Orla’s forehead was sealed with a dab of skin glue that cost $1,696.

And great job, investigative journalists, researchers, everyone who’s fed up with the arbitrary nature of pricing. According to government statistics hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment. These charges are the largest driver of medical inflation, too, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found.

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Posted by: AtlasMD

November 14, 2013

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The Story Of The $1,000 Tetanus Shot

The Story Of The $1,000 Tetanus Shot

Olivier Van Houtte is currently a medical student. His blog post about a bike race turned trip to the ER makes for a compelling read. And to answer your immediate question–no, this tetanus shot did not include a band-aid made of pure gold or a side of heavily steeped saffron tea.

Olivier takes a compassionate look at his medical bills, going line item by line item. He’s fine with a $2,500 CT scan because yes it would have saved his life if he had internal bleeding in his brain. And he’s okay with an $800 ambulance fee if only to compensate for the on-site EMTs who immediately attended to him post-accident.

However, he’s curious how a nurse swabbing his arm with alcohol and administering a $15 shot in his arm was marked up to $1,000. Really, come on.

READ THE COMPLETE BLOG POST ON KEVIN MD

John Green Breaks Down The Inefficiency Of American Healthcare Spending

UPWORTHY linked us to a fantastic video from John Green, astronomically prolific writer and thinker, who explains why healthcare is SO EXPENSIVE IN AMERICA. It’s seven-minutes long but he covers EVERYTHING. Did he mention the red tape? Of course he did. And he also mentioned a fundamental reason for Americans overpaying for EVERYTHING healthcare-related. It’s rooted our inability to negotiate the prices we pay. One thing he didn’t mention? Direct care. And to his point, we are a David up against a Goliath system. But before we turn to the government to negotiate for us, let’s consider the alternatives, doctors like us who can use our power to help patients get the care they need at a price they can afford.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Who is Hank? Hank is John’s brother. They have amassed over 300 million views on their vlog brothers YouTube channel where they take turns explaining things to each other.

Click through for some helpful links John Green provided along with the original video… Read more

Dr. Josh Breaks Down Every Facet Of Direct Care In His Latest Interview

The Objective Standard spoke with Dr. Josh and captured a comprehensive, and digestible, overview of direct care. The conversation was conducted and transcribed by journalist Ari Armstrong and is currently available as a PDF file for private use and distribution. We’re excited to share it personally through this week’s Atlas MD newsletter (will be included as an attachment). If you haven’t signed up for our weekly direct care updates, you can do so here (make sure to check the newsletter box). Or, if you like, email hello[at]atlas.md to request your copy of the interview.

The Objective Standard is a quarterly periodical written from an Objectivist perspective (Objectivism being Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, egoism, and laissez-faire capitalism). Josh’s interview is slated for Fall publication.

Are Doctors Passing The Buck On Healthcare Costs?

Are Doctors Passing The Buck On Healthcare Costs?

Eryn Brown of the LA Times posted an article yesterday claiming that physicians are concerned about skyrocketing healthcare costs. However, according to survey results released earlier in the week, most doctors don’t believe they have a “major responsibility” for reducing those costs.

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