by Bodwyn Wook
Gov’t Wrecks “Dr. Do-Good’s” Low-Cost Health Care Plan
[The following article is from the Libertarian Party’s online journal, at: email@example.com ]
Build a better mousetrap, the government will beat a path to your door…and shut it down!
That’s what happened to Dr. John Muney, a former surgeon who runs the AMG Medical Group clinics in New York’s five boroughs.
Dr. Muney wanted to help patients who lacked health insurance receive medical care.
So, last year, he came up with an innovative market solution. For just $79 a month, his clinics would offer patients unlimited office visits (with a $10 copay), common tests including bloodworm, sonogram, x-ray as needed, physical therapy visits, and even in-office surgeries. Not included was treatment requiring hospitalization or specialized care.
This innovative, affordable plan led the New York Post to label Dr. Muney “Dr. Do-Good.”
However, the New York state government has stopped Dr. Do-Good. Why? The state Insurance Department declared his service was, in essence, a form of insurance — and that would require a license, certification, and regulation from the state.
“I’m not doing an insurance business,” a frustrated Dr. Muney responded. “I’m just providing my services at my place during certain hours.
“If they leave me alone, I can serve thousands of patients.”
But they won’t leave him alone. So, in order to avoid being shut down, he has been forced to more than triple his per office co-pay charge and cut back service for his uninsured patients.
“I really don’t want to charge more,” Dr. Muney says. “They’re forcing me…. I just wanted to charge the flat rate. Most likely, [patients] will struggle with it.”
Dr. Muney is fighting back, and his story is drawing media attention. Many citizens are outraged at the arrogance of bureaucrats who would cripple a plan designed to help the very people — Americans lacking health insurance — so many in government say they are so concerned about.
Dr. Muney’s story is more proof that the real healthcare problems America faces are caused by politicians and bureaucrats, not the market.
I would only add that the prestige and income needs of the professional class trump will always service delivery to people. The state insurance department above is another coterie of rentiers who have to have “work”…even if it is just a matter of getting in the way. BW
[Bodwyn Wook all l’envoi text-rights reserved 27 March 2009]