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Congress Shouldn’t Punish Patients to Help Insurers [Opinion]

Point well made…

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The first rule of health care is supposed to be: “First, do no harm.” That is to say, health care should always benefits patients, never harm them.

But patients are being punished, often long after they get their care. They are often being hit with big, unfair medical bills. This can happen even when the patient is insured and thinks she is going to an in-network provider or hospital. An anesthesiologist, for example, might be out-of-network, allowing the insurance company to refuse to pay. The patient ends up owing the entire bill.

This is unfair. But Congress should fix the problem, not make it worse. And at least one proposal now under consideration in the House of Representatives would make things worse.

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Rep. Bobby Scott’s Education and Labor Committee proposal would impose a form of price control. It would cap out-of-network charges at the in-network rate. This may sound good at first, but it lets insurers off the hook for a problem they created, while it punishes doctors.

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First, remember where this problem started. Insurance companies basically wrote ObamaCare, the law that mandated everyone carry health insurance coverage. When the government mandates your product, that’s clearly good for business. The law led to higher premiums, year after year, and led to costly regulations that made consumers pay more without making them any healthier.

These companies are still trying to shape public policy to their benefit. Health Insurance companies and their army of lobbyists in Washington spent approximately $74 million last year to influence lawmakers, according to OpenSecrets.org. They know how to game the system.

Second, keep in mind that once out-of-network costs are capped, insurance companies will be able to squeeze in-network reimbursements down. That may sound like good news for patients, but it isn’t.

Doctors and hospitals will be forced to accept less and less in return for their services. We’re already seeing rural hospitals closing down, with 64 shuttering between 2013 and 2017. Expect to see many more facilities close if this bill moves forward.

As for doctors, they’re already working for less than they deserve. Average pay is on the downswing. If this trend continues, we could see doctors decide to retire instead of accepting artificially low pay rates. A group of doctors is warning just that in a joint letter to Congress. Price caps “could lead to market consolidation and artificially low payment rates,” they write.

We can’t improve American health care with fewer doctors and fewer hospitals. That would just mean much worse care for everybody.

It would be better to begin to unwind the connections between government and health insurers, so a true market could begin to function. Instead of mandating coverage, the government could empower consumers to make choices. Doing so would help make more choices available, so patients would have access to larger networks. To its credit, the Trump Administration is taking steps in this direction.

But the Administration shouldn’t be swayed by the inside Washington push to simply “do something” about surprise medical bills. Doing the wrong things would do more harm than good.

Big insurance companies rake in record profits — more than $1 billion per quarter in many cases, while patients go broke paying bills. We need to put an end to surprise medical billing. But also make sure the solution doesn’t punish those who had reason to believe they were using an in-network provider.

Bryan Crabtree, is author of the book, “The Trump In You: Acting Like Trump Is Actually A Good Thing.” He is host of The Bryan Crabtree Show in Atlanta Georgia on WGKA, AM 920 and WAFS, biz1190 as well as the publisher of Talk40.com

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Thus Far in 2021, Big Tech Has Cracked Down on Free Speech More than Ever Before

Only four months into this year, an analysis finds that Big Tech has worked to eliminate free speech more than ever before.

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Only four months into this year, an analysis finds that Big Tech has worked to eliminate free speech more than ever before. An analysis of these fascist efforts to end free speech on the Internet awarded Big Tech a bit fat “F” for its un-American efforts to aid and abet the far-left. Per the Media Research Center: At least 10 separate tech platforms silenced then-sitting President of the United States Donald Trump over the speech he gave in Washington, D.C. the day of the Capitol riot. Both Google and Apple pulled Parler from their app stores. Amazon Web Services also cancelled its contract with Parler, shutting the burgeoning social media site down for more than five weeks. Google removed LifeSiteNews from its advertising programs, and YouTube shut down its channel. YouTube demonetized Steven Crowder’s channels. Amazon removed Ryan T. Anderson’s book examining transgender ideology, and it also removed a Clarence Thomas documentary while continuing to sell at least 270 hate items. That consistent assault on free speech makes 2021 an ideal time to track the biases and failures of Big Tech. Starting with this quarter and going forward every three months, the Media Research Center’s Free Speech America operation will grade the top Big Tech companies, including social media, search media and others that form the backbone of our online lives. This quarter, Big Tech earned a collective “F.” Every one of the Big Tech companies reviewed got an “F” in free speech. That’s simply appalling. The quarter began with unparalleled restriction of the president of the United States. It was unquestionably the low point for online freedom since the creation of the internet. The MRC added its report card: The MRC went on in its report to detail all the reasons why each company in the graph above have…

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The ‘New York Times’ and Its Latest Two Giant Lies

There is no doubt that the ‘New York Times’ is an agent for America’s enemies, but its two recent lies are some of its biggest in years.

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There is no doubt that the New York Times is an agent for America’s enemies, but its two recent lies are some of its biggest in years. One is the straight up lies about the death of Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick. The Times and the left have been straight out lying about this man’s demise since the instant it occurred. Time and again the left has said as if it is a fact that officer Sicknick died as a direct result of the so-called “capitol insurrection.” We now know for a fact that he did not die as a result of anything that occurred during the riot. But more specifically, we have known since day one that the direct statements of fact uttered by the media has been a lie. They never had any truth or fact to back up their bald-faced lies about Sicknick’s death, and they knew it. As Issues & Insights noted: What did the Times base its story on? Unnamed sources, of course. There were no pictures. No videos. No on-the-record accounts. No medical examiner’s report. The story fell apart, as news emerged — no thanks to the mainstream press — that Sicknick had texted his family about being in good spirits that night. Then we learned that he’d returned to his office after the events at the Capitol, and only later went to the hospital. Why the medical examiner’s report didn’t come out until more than three months had passed is a mystery, but when it was finally released this week, it turned out that Sicknick had died of natural causes — from strokes — not from any injuries during the Capitol Hill melee. The Times could have — and should have — known that its story was false from the beginning, or…

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